Improving transparency and traceability has become a priority for the garment and footwear industry to increase its ability to manage the value chains more effectively, identify and address labour and human rights violations and environmental impacts, combat counterfeits, and handle reputational risks, while embracing more sustainable production and consumption patterns.
In fact, many companies have a limited view of the network of business partners within their value chain and do not get the full story behind their products. Most can identify and track their immediate suppliers, but information is often lost about the suppliers of their suppliers. It requires the collaboration of all industry partners, the deployment of common approaches and reliable technical solutions in widely different environments.
UNECE and UN/CEFACT, jointly with key industry stakeholders have looked into such challenges and risks and have launched a project for an international framework initiative to enhance transparency and traceability for sustainable value chains in the garment and footwear industry.
Over the period 2019-2022 the project aims at setting up a multi-stakeholder policy platform, developing policy recommendation, traceability standards and implementation guidelines, and build capacity and conduct pilots on the project deliverables.
As part of that work, UNECE has launched "The Sustainability Pledge" inviting governments, garment and footwear manufacturers and industry stakeholders to pledge to apply our toolkit of measures and take a positive step towards improving the environmental and ethical credentials of the sector.
Jointly implemented with With the support of
- Key Documents
Call to Action - The Sustainability Pledge
Call to Action for Traceability, Transparency, Sustainability and Circularity of Value Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector (submitted to the 27th UN/CEFACT Plenary, March 2021) English French Russian
Join and submit your action/s to "The Sustainability Pledge"
Textile and Leather Data Model
Product Transparency Message
Traceability Event Message
Business Process Analysis (BPA) for Sustainability and Circularity
Guidelines and studies
Mapping of Garment and Footwear Sector Ecosystem (April 2021)
13 February 2023: 2023 OECD Due Diligence Forum in the Garment and Footwear Sector: From farm to shelf: Why upstream and downstream actors need to work in tandem to achieve social and environmental justice in fashion value chains
8-12 November 2022: COP27 Contribution of "The Sustainability Pledge", Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt
6 October 2022: Team of Specialists on Environmental, Social and Governance Traceability of Sustainable Value Chains in the Circular Economy - Second Session, Palais des Nations, Geneva Switzerland
22 June 2022: Tracing textiles: Advanced technologies for sustainable value chains - Unleashing the potential of blockchain for traceability, transparency and circularity in garment & footwear, Brussels Expo, Brussels, Belgium (12:05 - 12:50 CET)
24-25 May 2022: UNECE-UNIDO Regional Workshop: Accelerating action for the sustainable garment and footwear industry - Harnessing the potential of innovation for due diligence and reduced environmental impact the way forward to UNFCCC COP2707 April 2022: 2nd UNECE-FAO RLC Latin America Regional Workshop – Accelerating action for the sustainable and circular garment and footwear industry, innovation for inclusive cotton value chains
Santiago Chile (9:30 - 17:30 GMT-3)
25 March 2022: Joint Event: International Conference of Confederation of Employers of Uzbekistan and UNECE Programme "The sustainable garment and footwear industry of the future."
Hilton Tashkent City, Tashkent Hall, Tashkent Uzbekistan (9:30 - 17:00 CET)
11 March 2022: Textile Transparency Toolbox - UNECE x Manchester Fashion Institute
Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, Manchester United Kingdom (9:00 - 17:00 GMT)
22 February 2022: Untapping the potential of blockchain for responsible and inclusive business models in the garment and footwear sector
Paris, France (14:00 - 15:15 CET)
15 February 2022: Building the traceability of sustainable value chains across the two continents with support of blockchain technology
Brussels, Belgium (14:30 - 15:15 CET)
06 December 2021: UNECE-FAO Latin America training Workshop - accelerating action for the sustainable and circular garment and footwear industry - innovation for inclusive cotton value chains
Santiago, Chile (10.30 am - 4.30 pm, Santiago time) (2.30 pm - 8.30 pm, Geneva time)
21-23 September 2021: UNECE-SDA BOCCONI Regional Workshop - Accelerating action on sustainability and circularity in the garment and footwear sector with innovations that deliver on due diligence and informed consumer choice
12 July 2021: Making the circular transition work for a transformative and prosperous post-COVID recovery, side event during the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, 13:20-15:00 (CET)
19-20 April 2021: 27th Session - UN/CEFACT Plenary 10:00 - 18:00 (CET)
16 March 2021: Building back better: Unlocking the potential of advanced technologies for circular and sustainable value chains in the garment and footwear sector - Side event of the UNECE Regional Forum on Sustainable Development, 12:15-13:45 (CET). Flyer Presentation.
11 February 2020: "Policy Approaches for Traceability and Sustainability in Garment", OECD Conference Centre, Paris. Download: Agenda PPTs Report
30-31 October 2019: 34th UN/CEFACT Forum - Workshop on “Enhancing Traceability & Transparency of Sustainable Value Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector” in London. Downloads: Agenda Report Day 1-PPTs Day 2-PPTs
11 September 2019: UNECE meeting “Blockchain / distributed ledgers for traceability and due diligence in garment and footwear value chains in a circular economy” in Paris.
Downloads: Agenda Report Background note PPTs
13 February 2019: OECD Due Diligence Forum – “Promoting Decent Work and Improving Transparency and Traceability for Sustainable Value Chains in the Garment Sector” in Paris.
05 June 2018: EDD 2018 - Lab Debate “Do you know where your clothes come from?” (Proceedings p.69-70) in Brussels.
06 June 2017: “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
- UNECE blockchain pilot for cotton paves the way for more sustainable fashion
- United Nations will launch a study on global second-hand clothing trade and disposal in Chile
- Innovation, Transparency and Traceability: A Must in the Clothing Industry
- COP27: How the textile and clothing industry could do its bit in the fight against climate change
- Team of Specialists on Environmental, Social and Governance traceability in the UNECE region aims to help industries move from strategy to action
- On the way to COP27, UNECE-UNIDO conference in Egypt paves the way to tackle climate change in textile and leather sectors
- We need more traceability and transparency to make better choices in the fashion industry, urges activist Lily Cole together with UNECE and FAO in Latin America
- UNECE supports Uzbekistan’s strategy towards sustainable practices in the garment and footwear industry through its “Sustainability Pledge”
- UNECE and ITC jointly acknowledge new corporate accountability proposal by the European Union to foster transparent and responsible behavior in supply chains
- UNECE and partners call for concrete action for a sustainable garment sector at EU-Africa Business Forum 2022
- UNECE and FAO join forces on cotton traceability to connect sustainable rural producers in Latin America to global value chains
- UNECE launches a Team of Specialists on Environmental, Social and Governance Traceability
- Supply chain transparency could help the clothing industry significantly reduce its GHG emissions
- UNECE launches ‘The Sustainability Pledge’ for measurable and verifiable sustainability in the garment and footwear sector
- Policy shift and game-changing tech will enable sustainable and circular economy at scale
- Cleaning up the garment and footwear sector: regulation for action
- With improved tracking, tracing and labelling the garment sector has an opportunity to build back more sustainably
- How Fashion could become more sustainable after Covid-19?
- Transparent value chains can help make the fashion industry’s post-COVID recovery more resilient and sustainable
- UNECE traceability initiative can accelerate fashion industry’s shift to more sustainable and circular model
- Transparency in fashion – UNECE mobilizing industry and experts to develop blockchain traceability tool and policy framework under EU-funded project
- UNECE and partners accelerate action for a sustainable garment and footwear industry at OECD Due Diligence Forum
- Media Clipping issued by UNECE: Call for tanners to participate in UN survey
- UN/CEFACT Conference on Traceability for Sustainable Value Chains: Textile and Leather Sector
- Do you know where your clothes come from? UNECE joins the EU and ITC to discuss transparency and traceability solutions at European Development Days
- Fashion is an environmental and social emergency, but can also drive progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals
- UN/CEFACT standards can enhance traceability for sustainable clothing
- New study outlines directions for more transparent and sustainable textile value chains
- UN/CEFACT Conference on “Ethical and informed choices for sustainable clothing – Tracking and tracing textile supply chains”
- The European Development Days
- Towards a more sustainable clothing industry: 30th UN/CEFACT Forum to explore enhancing traceability
- UNECE and partners launch initiative for more sustainable clothing
- Join the project
If you wish to take part in UNECE project Enhancing transparency and traceability for sustainable value chains in the garment and footwear industry or require further information, please contact [email protected]
Call for Participation and expression of interest, ToRs
Sub-group 1 - Develops a Policy Recommendation on Traceability and Transparency for Sustainable Value Chains in the Garment and Footwear Industry
Sub-group 2 - Develops Standard for Electronic Information Exchange for the Textile Sector for traceability and transparency of sustainable value chains
Sub-group 3 - Develops a Standard for Electronic Information Exchange for the Leather Sector for traceability and transparency of sustainable value chains
Sub-group 4 - Conducts Pilots, Training and Awareness raising for traceability and transparency of sustainable value chains