Issue 413 | March 31, 2017
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The WRAP Blog

Welcome to The WRAP Weekly newsletter.  Feel free to look around and thank you for being a loyal reader.

Last week we certified 55 factories in 10 countries:
Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Dominican Republic, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

As of the sending of this newsletter, there are 2,343 factories with current WRAP certificates around the world employing 2,119,890 workers.  
This Week's Headlines
A major new campaign has been launched aimed at raising awareness of basic Occupational Safety and Health issues for the country's garment industry. Backed by the government and the International Labor Organization (ILO), the "Safe Workplaces, Go Ahead Bangladesh" effort will use a series of 19 radio episodes to reach out to the country's workers to help them better understand how to be safe at work. The program will receive additional support from Canada, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. ( UNB)

apparelriskApparel and textiles posed the third-highest risk to European consumers last year according to the latest version of the "Rapid Alert System" which ensures information about dangerous products is quickly shared between European Union member states and the European Commission. Experts say the high volume of apparel sold in Europe increases the chances of finding defective products. Toys and motor vehicles were noted in the report as posing the highest and second-highest risks respectively. ( Just Style) *NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

The European Union Council of Ministers has approved a protocol extending the European Union's partnership and cooperation agreement with Uzbekistan to bilateral trade in textile products. The move comes after the European Parliament expressed support late last year for a textile trade deal with Uzbekistan aimed at increasing imports from the country. This deal overrides a 2011 decision that postponed the deal amid concerns of forced and child labor in the Uzbek cotton harvest. ( Just Style*NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

The European Commission has proposed increasing tariffs on women's jeans made in the United States by 0.45% to 4.35% effective on May 1. The move comes as part of a continuation of sanctions imposed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the United States for their failure to comply with a WTO ruling against the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000. ( Rivet

cambodiaBoth union and management representatives at a Phnom Penh garment factory where a boiler explosion claimed at least 1 life last week say the machine operator was not at fault for the incident, which contradicts claims from police. Authorities say the operator had put too much wood into the boiler's fire causing it to over pressurize, while factory representatives say the operator did not have enough wood to do that. Factory records also indicate that the machine had been under repairs last month, though it's not clear what those repairs were focused on. ( Cambodia Daily)

rupeeThe strengthening value of the rupee and sinking values of currencies in other countries may be hurting Indian apparel exports, according to the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC). India's rupee has reportedly appreciated by an estimated 5.8% over the last 3-5 months while currencies in competing nations like China and Bangladesh have dropped by as much as 13%. Leaders in India's garment industry were hopeful that an incentive package passed by legislators last year would have boosted exports, but now they say that move may not have been enough. ( Fibre2Fashion)

An upcoming textile industry conference in India is expected to put forth a 10-year roadmap for the sector's future growth. The "Textile India" conference will bring together thousands of international and domestic buyers along with government officials and industry analysts to discuss ways to improve India's competitiveness as a global textile hub. The event will be held June 30-July 2 in Gandhinagar. ( Fibre2Fashion)

Garment exports from Indonesia are likely to remain stable at US$12 billion, the level reached in 2016, according to the Indonesian Textile Association. The group says that the construction of dozens of bonded warehouses and the establishment of new cargo lines have helped to grow exports from the country. The United States is the largest buyer of Indonesian garments. ( Fibre2Fashion)

myanmarOver 600 workers at a Myanmar factory were reportedly fired after participating in a strike to get a 10-day holiday to celebrate a local festival. Workers' representatives say they walked off the job while in talks with management, who had originally proposed only 5 days off, and managers told the workers to leave if they did not want to work. Factory representatives have so far not commented on the incident. ( Myanmar Times)

Cutting, making, and packaging (CMP) garment exports from Myanmar are on track to earn the country US$2.2 billion this year, according to a national industry group. Local analysts say that an increase in orders from Europe and Japan are fueling growth among the country's CMP companies. ( Fibre2Fashion)

The Netherlands
A new multi-stakeholder initiative has been launched aimed at making the global fashion industry more sustainable. The "Fashion For Good" initiative is billed as an "open-source" initiative that aims to move the global apparel sector toward a "cradle to cradle" circular model. It was launched with an initial grant from the C&A Foundation and has brought together a number of major companies and key sustainability groups. ( PR Newswire)

The Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) says that it is pushing the government to announce a National Cotton Policy and a financial bailout for the country's cotton producers. Among the provisions, the PGCA is asking for a ban on growing sugarcane in core cotton areas as the crop takes up valuable resources away from cotton. The group is asking for the policy to be implemented before the cotton sowing season. ( Fibre2Fashion)

Textile testing and quality assurance company Oeko-Tex says it has issued the first certifications from its Leather Standard. First launched earlier this year, the new standard tests products for harmful chemicals as well as quality tests like color fastness. The first certifications were given to a pair of German sheepskin producers. ( Fibre2Fashion)

United Kingdom
A new database has been launched that makes it easier for British designers to connect with domestic manufacturers. The British High-End Manufacturers Database lists verified manufacturers in the United Kingdom that brands can connect with to make their products. The database is publicly available and will sit as part of the British Fashion Council's Fact File. ( Just Style) *NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

United States
texexA new report by Textile Exchange says that companies are setting ambitious targets for using more sustainable raw materials in their supply chains. The report, which assesses progress in the group's "Preferred Fiber and Materials (PFM) Benchmark Program," says that 61% of responding participant companies have set targets for using more sustainable sources of cotton while 75% have committed to use more organic material. ( Fibre2Fashion

The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) has launched a new website designed to help brands stay abreast of requirements regarding global product safety and compliance. The site,, allows FDRA members to look up important information regarding restricted substances and physical testing requirements. ( Vamp Footwear

A new US$51.3 million package has been announced in an effort to boost New York City's garment manufacturing industry. The package, backed by a number of local and national industry groups, will provide investments in technology, business technical assistance, and workforce development. New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio says that supporting the city's garment manufacturing industry is a priority of his administration. ( Fibre2Fashion)

U.S. apparel brand Patagonia says that all 48 styles of its swimwear line are now Fair Trade Certified. The company says that they will pay an additional premium that will be disbursed to individual workers to "elevate" their standard of living and bridge the gap between a living wage and the minimum wage. Last year, Patagonia committed to ramp up its relationship with the Fair Trade USA group by making 300 of its lines in Fair Trade factories by this year.
( Just Style) *NOTICE: This article requires a paid subscription

Textile technology company Applied DNA Sciences says it now has the ability to trace recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) in textile supply chains. The company says it partnered with towel manufacturer Loftex Home to launch the program coined "CertainT." ( Sourcing Journal) *NOTICE: This article requires a free subscription

Uzbekistan is pushing for a renewed focus on growing its textile industry. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev says that the nation should concentrate on increasing its garment and textile exports and creating new jobs in the sector. Uzbekistan is also hoping to attract foreign investments of about US$70 million. ( Fibre2Fashion)

About WRAP
Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, USA, with regional offices in Hong Kong, SAR, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, full-time staff in India and Southeast Asia (Thailand and Vietnam), and for Latin America, WRAP is an independent, objective, non-profit team of global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane, and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education. To learn more about WRAP, please visit .

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