The OECD Due Diligence Guidelines for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector clarifies how businesses can conduct risk-based due diligence and better identify and address risks and impacts associated with business activities and business relationships in the germane and footwear sector. It was developed through close cooperation with governments, representatives of the economy, trade unions, and civil society. The guidelines are based on the recommendations of governments on responsible business conduct (RBC) in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Who are the OECD clothing guidelines relevant to?
The guide is relevant to all businesses in the sector and at all stages of the supply chain. This includes, among others, retailers, brands, manufacturers, textile manufacturers, global commodity traders, processors, and raw material producers. It can also be useful for initiatives that support businesses to conduct due diligence or monitor and certify business performance.
How is the Clothing Guide structured?
The OECD clothing guidelines are divided into two sections. Section I contains “Basic Guidance” on how businesses can conduct due diligence – in six steps – applicable to the RBC risks and impacts that businesses face. Section II focuses on how businesses can apply and further adapt the due diligence recommendations when dealing with specific sectoral risks such as forced labor, overtime, hazardous chemicals, and freedom of association.
What is due diligence and why is it important?
The due diligence approach set out in the Guidance differs from the more traditional compliance-based approaches commonly used by businesses in the sector. For example, the Guide expects businesses to conduct proportionate, ongoing, and „risk-based“ due diligence based on demonstrated improvement over time. As part of a risk-based approach, businesses should identify the most severe and likely risks and impacts in their operations as well as in their supply chains and prioritize them for action. They should also tailor their due diligence to the nature, severity, and likelihood of the specific risks and impacts they face (see also Section II, Risk Modules).