COVID Fashion Commitments Company Resources

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To help companies meet the COVID Fashion Commitments, we have collated a bank of helpful information and guidance. This page brings together informative/explainer pieces along with guidance documents, rapid assessment tools, events, and opportunities for collaboration.

We invite you to use the resources below when assessing how to best support workers in your supply chain during the COVID-19 crisis. None of the resources are intended to provide a prescriptive checklist for companies to follow, but rather should be reviewed and adapted appropriately within your business context.

In the spirit of collaboration, if you come across any resources or events that other companies could benefit from, please share them with us and we will add them to this page.

This page will be updated as required on an ongoing basis.

Disclaimer: This page is intended as a helpful guide and in no way constitutes an endorsement of/ affiliation with any of the listed agencies or their specific guidance. Baptist World Aid Australia has no vested interest in any of the organisations or services referenced. Please note that given the rapidly changing circumstances of the current crisis, information can quickly become outdated. Please check the date of publication on all resources and assess appropriate actions against the current government advice in your own country and your sourcing countries.

Contents
Quick Reference

Steps for Action


Prior to 17th July 2020:

  1. As a company, assess your ability to make a commitment and gain necessary internal approvals.

  2. Make a public commitment on your website, social media, or through endorsement of an equivalent initiative.

  3. Inform the Baptist World Aid team via email that a commitment has been made.

  4. Publicly share the actions you are taking to meet these commitments. Again, inform the Baptist World Aid team of any updates.

  5. For any action the company is reporting, provide accompanying evidence to the Baptist World Aid team.

Baptist World Aid Resources


  • COVID Fashion Commitments – Provides a detailed rationale and suggestions for meeting each of the six commitments.

  • Frequently Asked Questions: Updated 30/06/2020 – Collates our responses to some FAQs about the COVID Fashion Commitments and the 2020 Ethical Fashion report.

  • COVID Fashion Commitments Submission Template – We have created this optional template, which you are welcome to use should you find it helpful in preparing your submission.

  • Ethical Fashion Report Survey – Please note, companies do not need to complete this survey in 2020. The COVID Fashion Commitments have replaced our usual survey process for this year. However, we anticipate returning to this survey in 2021 and we invite you to review our usual survey questions as a benchmark for assessing your response to COVID-19, and particularly when evaluating your approach to Commitment 6.

  • Ethical Fashion Report Survey Support Document – While we are not assessing against our usual survey this year, the COVID Fashion Commitments are consistent with our usual standards for worker wellbeing. This document provides a helpful baseline for our expectations and validation requirements.

1. Support workers’ wages by honouring supplier commitments


Events

  • Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, Addressing the immediate challenge: Purchasing practices and risk assessment, Baptist World Aid.The first webinar will explore Commitments 1 and 2, including a discussion of the immediate impacts of purchasing behaviour in production countries during COVID-19, and tools and strategies companies can use to conduct a thorough risk assessment. Joining us on this panel will be: Kim Randle, Executive Director and Lawyer at FairSupply; Matt Friedman, CEO of Mekong Club, and; Fuzz and Carolyn Kitto, National Directors of Be Slavery Free.

    Registration link has been emailed to company contacts.

    Please note this event has now passed. You can find a recording in Webinar Recordings

2. Identify and support the workers at greatest risk


Events

  • 2nd June 2020, Addressing the immediate challenge: Purchasing practices and risk assessment, Baptist World Aid.

    The first webinar will explore Commitments 1 and 2, including a discussion of the immediate impacts of purchasing behaviour in production countries during COVID-19, and tools and strategies companies can use to conduct a thorough risk assessment. Joining us on this panel will be: Kim Randle, Executive Director and Lawyer at FairSupply; Matt Friedman, CEO of Mekong Club, and; Fuzz and Carolyn Kitto, National Directors of Be Slavery Free.

    Registration link has been emailed to company contacts.

    Please note this event has now passed. You can find a recording in Webinar Recordings

3. Listen to the voices and experience of workers


Events

  • 16th June 2020, Adjusting to a ‘new normal’: Innovation in the face of adversity, Baptist World Aid

The second webinar will explore Commitments 3 and 4, including a discussion of practical strategies companies can take to ensure worker voices are heard, and vulnerable workers are protected from exploitation during this period. Joining us on this panel will be: Amirul Haque Amin, President of the National Garment Workers Federation, Bangladesh; Mabel Wong, Senior Director of Elevate, and; Gary Shaw, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Kathmandu. Registration link will be emailed to company contacts. Please note this event has now passed. You can find a recording in Webinar Recordings

4. Ensure workers’ rights and safety are respected


Please note that some of the below advice relates to specific third-party auditing/certification regimes. Where companies regularly conduct their social audits via a third party, we encourage you to reach out to them to understand how they are adapting their usual monitoring procedures during this time. Where companies do not use these third parties, we encourage you to assess the documents below to determine how you can adapt your own internal monitoring processes to best maintain visibility of conditions and safeguard workers.

Events

  • Tuesday, 16th June 2020, Adjusting to a ‘new normal’: Innovation in the face of adversity, Baptist World AidThe second webinar will explore Commitments 3 and 4, including a discussion of practical strategies companies can take to ensure worker voices are heard, and vulnerable workers are protected from exploitation during this period. Joining us on this panel will be: Amirul Haque Amin, President of the National Garment Workers Federation, Bangladesh; Mabel Wong, Senior Director of Elevate, and; Gary Shaw, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Kathmandu. Registration link will be emailed to company contacts.

    Please note this event has now passed. You can find a recording in Webinar Recordings

5. Collaborate with others to protect vulnerable workers


  • COVID-19: Action in the Global Garment Industry, International Labour Organisation – A call to action setting urgent priorities for governments, retailers, brands, manufacturers and international organisations to work together to contribute to shared solutions.

  • COVID-19 Hub, Better Cotton Initiative – Collates updates from the field as well as information on how BCI is adapting procedures to support members and farmers.

  • COVID-19 Hub, Fairtrade International – Collates guidance for producers with briefings and impact updates.

  • What is ETI doing to support members and businesses during COVID-19? , Ethical Trading Initiative – ETI is hosting group calls and a platform for members and MSIs to collaborate on COVID-19 solutions.

Events

  • Please see the Upcoming Events section for collaborative opportunities hosted by Baptist World Aid and other peer organisations.

6. Build back better for workers and the world


  • NEW! The COVID-19 Crisis – The Impact to Supply Chain Sustainability, Amfori – Webinar recording from 24th June 2020. “COVID-19 has created unprecedented times on a global scale. All aspects of day-to-day life have been impacted, ranging from our work schedules to personal interactions. Our supply chains have experienced the unseen disturbances, affecting producers through to the end consumer. However, this impact is more than just financial. Supply chain sustainability cannot be overlooked at this critical time. In collaboration with Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Australia, we will examine how supply chains have changed; the challenges being faced; the effect on sustainability; and the opportunities that are being presented as the world adjusts to new normal.”
  • #UnitingBusiness to Respond to COVID-19, UN Global Compact – To help companies navigate the sustainability challenges magnified by COVID-19, the UN Global Compact has compiled a series of COVID-19 issue area briefs that detail the impact of the pandemic on a range of sustainability issue areas including gender equality, ocean, water stewardship, climate, decent work, sustainable finance, human rights and anti-corruption. Each brief includes a variety of resources to help companies build back better and recover stronger.
  • Leading by Example During and After the COVID-19 Crisis, United Nations Virtual Forum – A recording of this highly distinguished panel, outlining how businesses can respond responsibly to this crisis and continue building towards a resilient future.
  • COVID-19 and the world of work: Ensuring the inclusion of persons with disabilities at all stages of the response, ILO – A detailed policy brief that provides key recommendations for disability inclusion in the immediate response and recovery following COVID-19.
  • Rebuilding a More Sustainable Fashion Industry After COVID-19, BCG, SAC, Higg Co. – Outlines sustainability priorities for businesses in the short-, medium- and long-term recovery phases of COVID-19.

  • Time for Change: How to use the crisis to make fashion sourcing more agile and sustainable, McKinsey & Company – Details the systemic transformation to the ‘next normal’ in the fashion industry.

  • CEO Agenda 2020: COVID-19 Edition, Global Fashion Agenda – Outlines six key opportunities for fashion executives to rebuild a resilient and sustainable fashion industry.

  • The COVID-19 recovery requires a resilient circular economy, Ellen MacArthur Foundation – A thought provoking piece that goes beyond the fashion industry to urge for a complete system reset, moving towards circular economies in the aftermath of COVID-19.

  • Ethical Fashion Report Survey – Please note, companies do not need to complete this survey in 2020. The COVID Fashion Commitments have replaced our usual survey process. However, we invite you to review our usual survey questions when assessing your response to COVID-19 and how you will ‘build back better’.

  • Ethical Fashion Report Survey Support Document – While we are not assessing against our usual survey this year, the COVID Fashion Commitments are consistent with our usual standards for worker wellbeing. This document provides a helpful background information on our usual survey questions.

Events

  • Tuesday, 30th June 2020, Building back better: Establishing a more sustainable business model in a post-COVID world, Baptist World AidOur last webinar will explore Commitment 6, and how companies may work together with other industry bodies to create a stronger supply chain for the benefit of people and planet.  We will be speaking with international CSR leaders about how they’ve overcome challenges to build their sustainability programs.   Speakers for this panel will be published in coming weeks. Registration link will be emailed to company contacts.

    Please note this event has now passed. You can find a recording in Webinar Recordings

  • New! 8th July, 2020 Introducing Living Wage and Living Income Reference Values, Global Living Wage Coalition & Living Income Community of Practice.
    “In this webinar, Martha and Richard Anker will present their new methodology for estimating living wages and living incomes, which builds on their renowned Anker Methodology. The Anker Reference Value method is an important development for living wage and income work globally, allowing NGOs, companies, trade unions, and other stakeholders to understand wage and income gaps in many more countries and regions and start working to reduce them.”

  • 12 – 13th October 2020, Copenhagen Fashion Summit: Redesigning Value – How do we define value in fashion post-crisis?“The time for a reset has arrived. When our industry begins to recover post-pandemic, we must be ambitious in rebuilding a better new normal. There will only be a green lining to this crisis if we take the opportunity to learn how we can reconcile our aspirations for short-term survival and prosperity with the desire to establish long-term thriving industry that is environmentally, socially and economically sound.”

General Information and Guidance


This section includes guidance which is applicable across many or all commitments. We invite you to review these general documents in conjunction with the specific guidance above to holistically address the six commitments.

Country and Regional Guidance


Upcoming events


Please note that this list includes events which go beyond the immediate timeline of the COVID Fashion Commitments and this year’s Ethical Fashion Report. Our intention is for you to continue progressing beyond the publication of this year’s report, and we will be following up into 2021.

  • NEW! 8th July 2020, Introducing Living Wage and Living Income Reference Values, Global Living Wage Coalition & Living Income Community of Practice.
    “In this webinar, Martha and Richard Anker will present their new methodology for estimating living wages and living incomes, which builds on their renowned Anker Methodology. The Anker Reference Value method is an important development for living wage and income work globally, allowing NGOs, companies, trade unions, and other stakeholders to understand wage and income gaps in many more countries and regions and start working to reduce them.”

  • 21st – 22nd July 2020, Asia Region Anti-Trafficking Conference, Be Slavery Free, Chab Dai Coalition, The Freedom Story.“This conference will not only be a sit back and learn conference – this conference will be a participatory conference. We aim to develop multi-sector learning and partnerships to improve our responses to the issues of human trafficking and slavery in Asia. We aim to be updated on the trends and changes in the last 3-5 years in the region and its impact for the future to establish the realities of our context. We aim to learn from each other about the best practices in what and how we best work in our contexts. Finally, we aim to identify key industries and contexts for collaborative action”

  • 12 – 13th October 2020, Copenhagen Fashion Summit: Redesigning Value – How do we define value in fashion post-crisis? “The time for a reset has arrived. When our industry begins to recover post-pandemic, we must be ambitious in rebuilding a better new normal. There will only be a green lining to this crisis if we take the opportunity to learn how we can reconcile our aspirations for short-term survival and prosperity with the desire to establish long-term thriving industry that is environmentally, socially and economically sound.”

Webinar Recordings


Webinar 1 – Addressing the Immediate Challenge: Purchasing Practices and Risk Assessment

Recorded Tuesday 2nd June, 2020

This first webinar explores Commitments 1 and 2, including a discussion of the immediate impacts of purchasing behaviour in production countries during COVID-19, and tools and strategies companies can use to conduct a thorough risk assessment. Joining us on this panel are: Kim Randle, Executive Director and Lawyer at FairSupply; Matt Friedman, CEO of Mekong Club, and; Fuzz and Carolyn Kitto, National Directors of Be Slavery Free.

Webinar 2 – Adjusting to a ‘new normal’: Innovation in the Face of Adversity

Recorded Tuesday 16th June, 2020
This second webinar explores Commitments 3 and 4, including a discussion of practical strategies companies can take to ensure worker voices are heard, and vulnerable workers are protected from exploitation during this period. Joining us on this panel are: Apoorva Kaiwar, Regional Secretary of IndustriALL South Asia; Amirul Haque Amin, President of the National Garment Workers Federation, Bangladesh; Heather Cannon, Vice President, Capacity Building at ELEVATE, and; Gary Shaw, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Kathmandu.

Webinar 3 – Building Back Better: Establishing a More Sustainable Business Model in a Post-COVID World

Recorded Tuesday 31st June, 2020
This webinar unpacks Commitment 6, “Build back better for workers and the world”, through the lens of collaboration with industry peers and related organisations. The events of this year have forced companies to pause and reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their supply chain models – and more than ever, this is now the time to start future-proofing businesses in a sustainable manner. We discuss strategies that companies may adopt as businesses begin to emerge from the initial COVID period, and how to ensure the dignity of garment workers and environmental protection is at the forefront of business moving forward. Joining us on this panel are: Angela Bell, National Manager of Ethical Clothing Australia; Camille Reed, Director of Australasian Circular Textile Association; Nayeem Emran, Advocacy Lead-Labour Rights at Oxfam Australia; and Leisl Lancaster, Social and Environmental Impact Manager at Outland Denim.