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
Recommendation n°46: Enhancing traceability and transparency of sustainable value chains in the garment and footwear sector (ECE/TRADE/463) English, French, Russian
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"
Business Requirements Specification for Traceability and Transparency in the Textile and Leather Sector, Part 1: High-Level Process and Data Model (February 2021)
Business Requirements Specification for Traceability and Transparency in the Textile and Leather Sector, Part 2: Use Cases and CCBDA Data Structures (February 2021)
Textile and Leather Data Model
Product Transparency Message
Traceability Event Message
Business Process Analysis (BPA) for Sustainability and Circularity
Business Process Analysis for Sustainability and Circularity in the Leather Value Chain
Business Process Analysis for Sustainability and Circularity in Textile Value Chains
Report on the Blockchain Pilots Project for the Garment and Footwear Sector (October 2022)
Harnessing the potential of blockchain technology for due diligence and sustainability in cotton value chains, Policy brief (April 2021)
Guidelines and studies
Enabling Sustainability and Circularity in the Garment and Footwear Sector: Policy Developments and Industry Perspectives on Traceability and Transparency
Enhancing Traceability of Products along International Value Chains for the Circular Economy and Sustainable Use of Resources
Reference Guide on Code Lists and Identifiers in the Textile and Leather Value Chains
Mapping of policies, regulations and guidelines: Report, Policy developments on traceability and transparency and its Executive summary for policymakers (April 2021)
Mapping of Garment and Footwear Sector Ecosystem (April 2021)
Policy Paper on Accelerating action for a sustainable and circular garment and footwear industry
Briefing note - Sustainable Textile Value Chains in the Garment and Footwear Domain for SDG12 (2019)
UNECE Study on Transparency and Traceability in Textile Value Chains (2017)
Handbook - Implementing UN/CEFACT e-business standards in Agricultural Trade (2016)
A Framework - Traceability for Sustainable Trade (2016)
The Sustainability Pledge Leaflet
The UNECE Blockchain Pilot Infographic
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
5 December 2022: Working Meeting - Team of Specialists on Environmental, Social and Governance Traceability of Sustainable Value Chains in the Circular Economy as part of the 39th UN/CEFACT Plenary
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 Switerzland
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)
6 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)
28 April 2021: Traceability for Sustainable Garment and Footwear (agri-domain), 36th UN/CEFACT Forum, 13:30-15:30 (CET) Presentation
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.
1 February 2021: 2021 OECD Forum - Decent Work,Transparency and Traceability in the Garment Sector: Emerging Stronger from the COVID-19 Crisis
23-24 November 2020: Third Multi-Stakeholder Policy Dialogue: Accelerating action for Sustainable and Circular Value Chains in Garment & Footwear (online) Report
1 October 2020: Scaling up Sustainable Trade: Strategies, Policies and Technologies for More Sustainable Production and Value Chains (online)
27-28 April 2020: "Second Multi-Stakeholder Policy Dialogue: Accelerating action for Sustainable and Circular Value Chains in Garment & Footwear". Download: Agenda Report
13 February 2020: "Garment Tech Talk", OECD Conference Center, Paris. Download: Agenda PPT
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
11-12 September 2019: OECD Global Policy Blockchain Forum – “Looking Past the Hype on Blockchain: Understanding use cases for due diligence in raw material supply chains” in Paris. Download: Agenda
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
4 April 2019: 33rd UN/CEFACT Forum - Workshop on “Enhancing Traceability & Transparency of Sustainable Value Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector” in Geneva.
Downloads: Report 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.
18 June 2019: European Development Days 2019 – Project Lab on “Ethical clothes = decent work: Enhancing informed consumer choices” in Brussels.
Read proceedings Download: Agenda
17 October 2018: Hangzhou Forum - Towards a circular economy – Traceability and transparency for Sustainable Value Chains (Use Cases and Examples of Implementation) in Hangzhou. Download: Agenda
5 June 2018: EDD 2018 - Lab Debate “Do you know where your clothes come from?” (Proceedings p.69-70) in Brussels.
24 April 2018: 31st UN/CEFACT Forum. Conference on “Traceability for Sustainable Value Chains: Textile and Leather Sector.
Downloads: Agenda Report PPTs
3 October 2017: 30th UN/CEFACT Forum. Conference on “Ethical and informed choices for sustainable clothing …” in Rome.
Download: Agenda PPTs
6 June 2017: “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
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