UNECE launches ‘Sustainability Pledge’ for garment and footwear sectors

On 20 May 2021, the UNECE launched ‘The Sustainability Pledge’, a call to action for governments, garment and footwear manufacturers and industry stakeholders to improve the environmental and ethical credentials of the garment and footwear sectors.

The Sustainability Pledge aims to meet consumer demand for more information on how products are sourced and manufactured. Once available, more transparent global supply chains will allow all stakeholders to identify issues within the garment and footwear sectors and take steps to reduce environmental and social concerns.

In an effort to implement more transparency within global supply chains, the UNECE has published a toolkit of policy recommendations, implementation guidelines and standards, which gives guidance on traceability and transparency solutions for tracking garments and items of footwear from raw components to point of purchase.

The UNECE toolkit information on how to generate a record of provenance as well as the composition of an item of clothing or pair of shoes. Once available, this information can be used by businesses, consumers, and regulators to check and verify claims related to sustainability and ethical production.

Commitments to ‘The Sustainability Pledge’ should be made in time for the next multi-stakeholder policy dialogue, planned to take place on 21-23 September in Milan, Italy.