Earlier this week we posted about Jeff Tognetti’s willingness to donate a website URL to the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), and gave a brief overview of the nonprofit group. Today’s post will continue to discuss the organization and information that will go on the URL donated by Tognetti to the FWF.
The FWF focuses heavily on improving labor conditions in the factories where fabric is made into clothing and other sewn products; this sets it apart from organizations like Fairtrade, which ensure fair prices and living wages for farmers in the developing world. The FWF operates on the principle of supply chain responsibility; each actor in the supply chain of a certain product is held partly responsible for the conditions in which the product is made by the FWF.
This short video is a great way to get familiar with the FWF and the complex issues it deals with in the world of textile retail and sweatshops. The ultimate question asked by the narrator is, how, in a complicated, modern, globalized production system, “do you begin to make sure that the people making the clothing are treated fairly?”
Basically, the video summarizes how the FWF strives to create a world where the clothing the public purchases is all 100% fair – made by adults working reasonable hours in safe conditions for a livable wage, in a job they were not coerced into taking. The nonprofit also relies heavily on problem-solving abilities, encouraging brands that employ factories were complaints are filed to work with the factory to fix the problem; this ensures that the workers, the victims in this situation, do not lose their only source of income due to a factory shutting down.
And now, the FWF is looking to expand its already extensive projects and resources.
The FWF’s goal as it proceeds and uses the URL Tognetti donated to it is to create an online library of information that will accompany the WellMade project – a project that will provide training to employees in the European apparel industry on pragmatic things they can do in their day-to-day work that support better working conditions in clothing factories. These free training sessions will be made available at trade fairs and other professional events across Europe over the next three years.
Information that will accompany these training sessions on the actual website part of this project will include the following:
- New and existing documents, films, and other materials that have been developed by FWF and other project partners, like the Ethical Trading Initiative and Dutch trade union CNV
- Information targeted at different kinds of employees, like designers or supply chain managers
- Background information on common problems in the industry (i.e. excessive overtime, unsafe working conditions, etc.)
- Examples and suggestions of actions employees can take that reduce the risk of problems in factories
Best of all, the FWF and European Commission have agreed that this website will be available free of charge – no membership in the FWF will be required for those looking to use the website.
The FWF hopes that their new online library, made possible by the funding provided by the European Commission and the generosity of URL donator Jeff Tognetti, will begin to go live in early July this year.