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Enhancing Traceability and Transparency for Sustainable Value Chains in Garment and Footwear

Improving transparency and traceability has become a priority for the garment and footwear industry to increase its ability to manage the value chains more effectively, identify and address labour and human rights violations and environmental impacts, combat counterfeits, and handle reputational risks, while embracing more sustainable production and consumption patterns.

In fact, many companies have a limited view of the network of business partners within their value chain and do not get the full story behind their products. Most can identify and track their immediate suppliers, but information is often lost about the suppliers of their suppliers. Considering that the value chain is global and fragmented, with at least 15 nodes between the production of raw materials to the end-user product, achieving progress is a complex issue. It requires the collaboration of all industry partners, the deployment of common approaches and reliable technical solutions in widely different environments.

Our Focus

UNECE and UN/CEFACT, jointly with key industry stakeholders have looked into such challenges and risks and have launched a project for an international framework initiative to enhance transparency and traceability for sustainable value chains in the garment and footwear industry.

The project aims at setting up a multi-stakeholder policy platform, developing policy recommendation, traceability standards and implementation guidelines, and build capacity and conduct pilots on the project deliverables.

It is jointly implemented with the International Trade Centre (ITC), with support from the European Commission (EC), and in collaboration with a wide range of partners, over the period 2019-2022.



30-31 October 2019: 34th UN/CEFACT Forum - Workshop on “Enhancing Traceability & Transparency of Sustainable Value Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector” in London

11-12 September 2019: OECD Global Policy Blockchain Forum – “Looking Past the Hype on Blockchain: Understanding use cases for due diligence in raw material supply chains” in Paris

11 September 2019: UNECE meeting “Blockchain / distributed ledgers for traceability and due diligence in garment and footwear value chains in a circular economy” in Paris

4 April 2019: 33th UN/CEFACT Forum - Workshop on “Enhancing Traceability & Transparency of Sustainable Value Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector” in Geneva

13 February 2019: OECD Due Diligence Forum – “Promoting Decent Work and Improving Transparency and Traceability for Sustainable Value Chains in the Garment Sector” in Paris

18 June 2019: European Development Days 2019 – Project Lab on “Ethical clothes = decent work: Enhancing informed consumer choices” in Brussels

5 June 2018: EDD 2018 - Lab Debate “Do you know where your clothes come from?” in Brussels.

24 April 201831st UN/CEFACT Forum. Conference on “Traceability for Sustainable Value Chains: Textile and Leather Sector”

3 October 2017: 30th UN/CEFACT Forum. Conference on “Ethical and informed choices for sustainable clothing …” in Rome.

6 June 2017:The Emperor’s New Clothes







Press release