Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) membership is the beginning of a journey in which brands make step-by-step improvements that lead to real and sustainable solutions. We collaborate with brands that are determined to find a fairer way to make their clothes.
what does it mean to be a FWF member?
Our members are our partners. Together we are working hard to make positive changes. Fair Wear Foundation members take responsibility for labour conditions in the garment factories they work with. They’re aware of the risks, and work hard to limit them, by changing the way they do business. And unlike many other garment brands, they don’t ‘cut and run’ when problems do occur. They stay and face them together with the factory.
FWF members are dedicated to implementing the eight FWF labour standards but know that that doesn’t happen overnight. The garment industry is complex, global, fragmented and rarely transparent. That means FWF brands cannot fix things on their own. All other brands need to step up too. And so do local governments, factories and trade unions. There aren’t yet any 100% fair supply chains in this industry. So, we’re not perfect, but we’re an excellent alternative.
FWF members are open about the steps they are taking toward better labour conditions. And about things that still need to be done. They let an independent NGO (that’s us) check what did and did not go well each year and publically report on this. FWF brands are also transparent about complaints received in the factories they work with. It takes courage to put their brand’s activities out under the public eye, but transparency is the only way forward if we want the garment industry to improve.
WHO CAN JOIN?
FWF membership is open to European garment companies:
- Minimum annual turnover of €2.5 m
- More than 50% production in countries where FWF is active. Production that takes place in countries where FWF does not require full audits can also count towards the required 50%
- At least 50% own production
Companies do not need to already be engaged in CSR at an advanced level in order to join; FWF’s process approach meets companies where they are. FWF guides each company to help them identify areas where potential changes would have the greatest impact on the working conditions in their supply chain. This step-by-step process leads to real and lasting improvements in workplaces throughout the garment industry.
Reasons to join:
- Reasonable expectations: Build a sustainable supply chain by making step-by-step improvements.
- Your company’s activities will be monitored by an independent and qualified organisation, guaranteeing credibility and transparency.
- Balanced approach — FWF is a multi-stakeholder initiative made up of business associations, trade unions and NGOs.
- Demonstrate your company’s due diligence under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
- Enhance your company’s integrity.
- FWF cooperates with other initiatives to avoid duplication and to create a greater impact on the industry as a whole.
- Affordable membership — FWF is a not-for-profit organisation.
- Criteria regarding social standards in (public) procurement policies are covered by the work carried out within the context of FWF membership.
Each year, companies have four opportunities to join FWF, at the beginning of every quarter (1 January/1 April/1 July/1 October).
- Begin with a thorough read of the About section on the Fair Wear Foundation website.
- Download our FWF brochure and ‘Yearly activities of membership’ brochure, and membership fee carefully read this information. Please note that all of the membership application resources can be accessed by scrolling to the very bottom of this page.
- Email FWF to discuss your application and the next possible application deadline.
- Submit your application.
- FWF will review the application and, if necessary, request that you provide further information or make changes to the documents.
- Once the FWF has received all the required information, the application team will review and assess your application.
- The FWF team will notify your company following the approval of your membership application. Your company can then join at the next quarterly start date.
Please note: The application process takes approximately 12 weeks from the submission of the first draft of your application, including your work plan and supplier register. However, this timeframe may differ, depending on factors such as the size of your company’s supply chain, the structure of your company, and the time needed for consultation with FWF.
WHAT YOU GET AS A MEMBER
FWF members pay an annual membership fee based on their turnover. Membership with FWF includes the following services:
- Verification: annual Brand Performance Check, factory verification audits and a complaints mechanism
- FWF support and advice from your personal case manager
- A set amount of support hours from FWF staff, which can include training activities or extra help in crisis resolution and audit remediation
- Access to FWF’s expertise, research and tools
- A chance to join our innovative pilot projects on thematic topics
- Communication opportunities, including media, on-garment branding, FWF website, newsletter, press releases, social media etc.
- Become part of an influential network of more than 85 members, in which you can share experience and exchange knowledge
- Participation in seminars and workshops, including the FWF Annual Conference
INTERESTED? WANT TO KNOW MORE?
You can email [email protected] to request more information or to ask to join one of FWF’s biannual seminars for prospective and new members.