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 (submitted to the 27th UN/CEFACT Plenary, February 2021) 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"
Use Cases and CCBDA Data Structure: Draft Recommendation on Code Lists and Identifies for the Textile and Leather Sector (April 2021)
Guidelines and studies
Mapping of Garment and Footwear Sector Ecosystem (April 2021)
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.
5 June 2018: EDD 2018 - Lab Debate “Do you know where your clothes come from?” (Proceedings p.69-70) in Brussels.
6 June 2017: “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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