BUILDING BLOCKS FOR GOVERNING THE GARMENT INDUSTRY

This series aims to assist policymakers, labour advocates, civil society actors and anyone else interested in designing the new forms of governance needed to improve protection of human rights and the environment in transnational supply chains. With garments as a test case, we hope to help ‘catalyse’ new, multi-disciplinary strategies to make 21st century supply chains fairer and more sustainable.

How many garment brands would need to change their behaviour in order to reach a ‘critical mass’ leading to widespread improvement in respect for human rights and the environment?  And how should governance and regulatory efforts be designed to help achieve that critical mass?  

Using a ‘follow the money’ methodology, Katalyst Initiative overcomes the lack of reliable supply chain labour data to begin to answer those questions.  We illustrate, based on real-world data, that the garment industry has a very different structure than many other industries – and will need to be governed differently as a consequence.

A companion to Sizing up the Garment Industry, this paper is informed by both the questions that prompted that paper, and the findings presented in it.

We outline five challenges related to industry structure that we believe governance designers will need to consider as they develop new laws, regulations, collective bargaining systems and other forms of governance for the future of the garment industry.  While the paper primarily focuses on human rights issues, we believe many of the structural issues outlined in the paper have implications for environmental governance as well.

ARTICLES & OPINION

Human Rights Due Diligence:  Making it Mandatory – and Effective

KI’s Martin Curley on the EUIdeas Blog at the European University Institute argues that creating a central role for labour and civil society in deciding what ‘good’ due diligence looks like is critical as efforts to make human rights due diligence mandatory gather speed.  

Is human rights risk monitoring a weak link in your supply chain?

KI’s Martin Curley writes in Board Agenda on weaknesses in common human rights risk monitoring efforts and what boards need to consider going forwards.  

Katalyst Initiative