The textile industry plays a major role in the economy of manyAsian countries. While the underlying conditions vary considerably between countries, the challenges they face are similar – to ensure decent conditions for workers and reduce environmental impacts. To overcome these challenges while continuing to expand, the industry needs to be more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. This can be done, but it requires collaboration. Strong networks and regular knowledge-sharing can help the industry to implement sustainable business models across the board.
To strengthen regional exchange, in 2016 GIZ Social and Labour Standards in the Textile and Garment Sector in Asia (SLSG) project has initiated the conference series called “Asian Dialogues on Sustainable Production in the Textile and Garment Sector”, providing a platform to discuss opportunities and challenges on the way towards sustainability, to share regional experiences and to learn from innovative initiatives tackling sustainability issues in the different producing countries. The Asian Dialogues stand for joining forces for a strong and sustainable textile and garment production in Asia.
Fostering and Advancing Sustainable Business and Responsible Industrial Practices in the Clothing Industry in Asia (FABRIC) is continuing this format and also seeks to develop it further. Each Asian Dialogue Event has a key topic and always takes place in one of the regional producing countries. Environmental sustainability thereby plays a key role. Often, the Asian Dialogue conferences are followed by a meeting of the STAR Network of the regional producing associations.
The series of conferences entitled "Asian Dialogues on Sustainable Production in the Textile and Garment Sector" brings together industry representatives from brands, suppliers, civil society and government bodies from across Asia. The conferences are organized by FABRIC project in cooperation with members of the STAR Network, a network of business associations in the region, and other local partners.
The events gave around 600 participants an opportunity to discuss their experience of sustainable production issues like industrial relations, occupational health and safety or renewable energy and learn about state-of-the-art initiatives in other partner countries. Since 2016, the conference has been held twelve times at locations in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Vietnam and Pakistan.
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