STTI’s First In-Person Meeting Brings Commercial Compliance One Step Closer

The Sustainable Terms of Trade Initiative (STTI) holds its first bi-annual in-person meeting on Monday March 14th in Istanbul, Turkey and announces new spokespersons

The event was hosted by IHKIB, one of the now 15 associations participating in STTI, and planned to coincide with the IAF-IHKIB seminar “Greening the Apparel Industry”, as well as the vibrant Istanbul Fashion Week, which STTI associations attending the event were also able to attend.

The STTI meeting consisted of an external component where STTI exchanged ideas and insights with key stakeholders including global retailers, and an internal part that focused on concrete planning for each of three themes that are currently in place to drive the implementation of ‘commercial compliance’ in the apparel industry. These included:

  • STTI’s outreach to MSIs and brands and retailers to eventually establish plans of action on commercial compliance and hence the improvement of purchasing practices;
  • The work on transparency on commercial compliance, which is led by project partner Better Buying Institute and is aimed at developing a permanent survey mechanism for measuring progress by brands and retailers, as reported by manufacturers; and
  • ‘Supplier solutions’, which covers practical instruments that manufacturers may use to help improve the commercial compliance of their clients, including supplier contract clauses, training, and a complaints mechanism.

It was hugely valuable to be able to meet again in person, as a sector, to address the many challenges the global apparel industry faces. The meeting was characterized by lively discussions, illuminating country perspectives from the manufacturer associations, and a palpable sense of clarity and purpose.

A recurring theme from the manufacturers in attendance was ‘reciprocity’. Sanem Dikmen, Co-Chair of TCMA, comments: “To achieve real impact in purchasing practices we finally need reciprocity in buyer-supplier relations and agreements. Only then can we move from win-lose to win-win.”

STTI also decided to strengthen its representation in upcoming in-person industry events. Next to STTI spokesperson Miran Ali, Vice President at BGMEA, Fatima-Zohra Alaoui, Director General of the Moroccan Apparel and Textiles Association AMITH, has now joined as STTI’s deputy spokesperson.

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The Sustainable Terms of Trade initiative, led by the STAR Network, the International Apparel Federation (IAF) and the Better Buying Institute and supported by GIZ FABRIC consists of 15 industry associations from 11 countries facing similar challenges regarding purchasing practices in the textile and garment industry. These are: API, Indonesia; VITAS, Vietnam; CNTAC, China; GMAC, Cambodia; MGMA, Myanmar; BGMEA and BKMEA, Bangladesh; AEPC, India; PHMA, PTEA, TMA, Pakistan; IHKIB and TCMA, Turkey; ECAHT, Egypt and AMITH, Morocco.