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Press Release

January 24, 2018

BMZ: Chic and trendy fashion can be fair and affordable

Taking as its slogan ‘Sustainable textiles – from the cotton fields to the coat hanger', the Federal Ministry for Economic Development (BMZ) is providing information to visitors at the Green Week. Federal Minister for Development Gerd Müller: ”Whenever we buy bargain clothes here in Germany someone, somewhere else is paying the price with 16-hour shifts, piecework that pays 70 euros a month, child labour. The shift from free trade to fair trade must apply to the clothes we wear too. That is where the Sustainable Textile Alliance, established in 2014, comes in, which specifically targets 1,500 improvements a year.” In 2017 binding targets and deadlines were decided on for all members. It means the so-called ZDHC list now applies which outlaws 160 toxic chemicals during production. By 2020 sustainable cotton must account for 35 per cent of overall output. Minister Müller and Barbara Meier, the ‘textile ambassador’ for the BMZ and a former winner of the ’Germany’s Next Top Model’ competition, presented some of the textile industry’s innovative ideas. Meier said, ”Whenever they go shopping consumers should take a closer look and ask questions . Does the maker or fashion label campaign for fair working conditions? Does the clothing item come with a social or environmental seal of approval? Worldwide, more than 60 million people are employed in the textile and clothing industry, most of them in developing and threshhold countries, and frequently under inhuman conditions. The Sustainable Textile Alliance has over 150 members, including numerous well-known brand names such as adidas, H&M, Hugo Boss, C&A and Tchibo, as well as society in general.

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