Eighty six per cent of brands participating in the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT) are on the way to meeting the agreement targets, according to the annual report published by the parties to the AGT recently. By the end of 2018, 92 garment and textile brands had signed up, representing around 48 per cent of turnover in the Dutch market.

In 2018, companies and other parties to the agreement, such as trade unions, civil-society organisations and government, intensively worked together on projects relating to a living wage and child labour. They also developed tools to support companies in areas such as freedom of association and animal welfare.

By gaining a clearer picture of conditions at a larger number of production sites and of the materials used by companies, and by analysing their own supply chain, companies took specific action in 2018 to change their operational management in a way that makes them better able to tackle abuses in their supply chain, according to a report from the Netherlands Social and Economic Council (SER). International co-operation with other initiatives also grew, according to the annual report.

Companies sign up to the Agreement voluntarily, but participation is not without commitments. In 2018, the efforts of participating companies were assessed for the first time based on an assessment framework, which parties drew up together. The AGT Secretariat carries out the assessment and is provided by SER.

The agreement was signed on July 4, 2016, and runs for five years. With their influence and knowledge, the signatories help companies to fulfill their obligations under the agreement, which involve working on a transparent supply chain and risk management to tackle the problems that exist in the chain.