Partnerships & Networks
Cooperation with stakeholders is essential in order to achieve lasting improvements. Below you can read about our partnerships and the networks we are part of.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND DECENT WORKING CONDITIONS
Social Awareness and Voluntary Education (SAVE) is an NGO based in Tirupur, India and has been working for the last 25 years to abolish child labor and has been involved in the empowerment of women as well as comprehensive development projects of the textile and garment industry workers. SAVE has been operating as a campaigner for the protection and promotion of the rights of the textile and garment workers. Varner has been cooperating with SAVE since 2018 in a project addressing unfair labour practices in the spinning mill sector in Tamil Nadu.
STITCHING UNITED WORK
United Work Reintegration and Placement Services is a non-profit organization that is running a social responsibility project funded by the Dutch Government aiming to support Syrian refugees being employed in Turkey. Varner has been cooperating with United Work since 2018 to support refugees in finding formal work in the garment sector.
JOINT ETHICAL TRADING INITIATIVES (JETI)
Joint Ethical Trading Initiatives (JETI) is an ethical trading platform and collaboration between the Ethical Trading Initiative UK, Ethical Trade Denmark, ETI Sweden and Ethical Trade Norway. Varner has cooperated with JETI since its inception in 2013, in particular with the implementation of JETI’s flagship programme Social Dialogue in Bangladesh. Ethical Trading Initiative Bangladesh is the local arm of JETI in Bangladesh.
THE INTERNATIONAL ACCORD
The International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry was in its inception an independent, legally binding 5-year agreement between brands and trade unions designed to work towards a safe and healthy Garment Industry in Bangladesh. We signed the agreement in 2013. The agreement was revised and re-negotiated in 2021, and Varner signed the new agreement, called International Accord for Health & Safety in the Garment & Textile Industry, as one of the first companies in September 2021.
RMG SUSTAINABILITY COUNCIL
The RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) is a national tripartite initiative that was established in 2020 to carry forward the implementation of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. The parties in the initiative are trade unions, the readymade garment industry in Bangladesh, and international textile brands and companies. Varner is a part of the initiative through the Brands Association for Textile & RMG Sustainability in Supply Chains.
The Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (SGDD-ASAM) is a Turkish organization providing solutions for the problems encountered by refugees and asylum seekers. We have since 2015 cooperated with them in order to find responsible solutions for refugees connected with our supply chain.
REFUGEE SUPPORT ASSOCIATION
The Refugee Support Association (MUDEM) was established in Ankara, Turkey in 2014 to carry out activities in the country and abroad to address the problems of forcibly displaced persons. The organization is providing social and legal support for asylum seekers to access rights and services in Turkey. We have cooperated with them since 2015 in order to find responsible solutions for refugees connected with our supply chain.
THE CENTRE FOR CHILD RIGHTS AND BUSINESS
The Centre for Child Rights and Business is a China-based implementing partner of Save the Children providing services and expertise to help businesses with programs and projects that improve the lives of children, young workers and working migrant parents. We have been cooperating with the organization since 2014.
ETHICAL TRADE NORWAY
IEH is a resource center and an advocate for ethical trade practices. Their objective is cooperation on trade which promotes human rights, workers' rights, development and environmental standards.
Fairtrade is an international, third-party certification organization that works with nearly 2 million farmers and workers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Standards are based on strict social, economic and environmental criteria and aim to secure decent working conditions, fair prices and better terms of trade so that producers can thrive and live sustainably. Fairtrade provides an essential safety net for producers by setting minimum prices for all major commodities and the Fairtrade Premium provides additional funds for farmers and workers to invest according to their own needs. Varner buys Fairtrade cotton which provides the farmers with support in the transition to more sustainable farming methods. The Fairtrade Premium can also be invested in the local communities in children’s education and improved infrastructure and services in order to build resilience in the face of climate change.
We have been working with Fairtrade certification since 2017.
Kno Global is an organization headquartered in Hong Kong. It has developed a community-driven platform that aims to boost employee engagement and monitor improvements in real-time. Varner has been cooperating with KNO Global since 2021.
CYDD (Association for Supporting Contemporary Living)
CYDD is a Turkish NGO working on the topics of breaches of democracy, human rights and violation of law, particularly related to education, rights of women, and environmental issues. We have been cooperating with CYDD in the “From Production Back to Education Project” since 2017.
KOALISJONEN FOR ANSVARLIG NÆRINGSLIV (KAN)
KAN is a coalition consisting of businesses, unions, civil society and other movements, working to ask for a human rights law for businesses in Norway. Varner is part of the coalition supporting the work towards a law protecting decent work and human rights in global supply chains, and an effective implementation of such a law.
MATERIALS & ENVIRONMENT
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is an industrywide group of more than 250 leading apparel, footwear and textile brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, non-profit organizations, NGOs, and academic institutions working to reduce environmental impact and promote social justice throughout the global value chain.
Leveraging the Higg Index suite of tools for the standardized measurement of value chain sustainability, the SAC is working to transform business for exponential impact. The SAC was incorporated as a 501(c)6 non-profit organization and launched the Higg Index suite of tools in 2011.
The Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM) is one of the industry's most trusted and commonly adopted tools for measuring a facility's environmental performance in the value chain. The tool assesses seven environmental impact pillars, including environmental management systems, energy use, water use, chemical management, wastewater, and more, empowering facilities to scale sustainability improvements.
Since becoming a member of the SAC in 2020, we have started adopting the Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM), developed by the SAC, as our primary tool to assess and improve the environmental performance of supplier factories.
ZDHC Roadmap To Zero
ZDHC is a multi-stakeholder organization comprising over 150 contributors from across the industry including Brands, Suppliers and Chemical Suppliers. The Roadmap to Zero Programme, by ZDHC, leads the fashion industry to eliminate harmful chemicals from its global supply chain by building the foundation for more sustainable manufacturing to protect workers, consumers, and our planet’s ecosystems. The ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (ZDHC MRSL) is a list of chemical substances. These substances are banned from intentional use in facilities processing textile materials, leather, rubber, foam, adhesives and trim parts in textiles, apparel, and footwear. Using chemical formulations that conform to the ZDHC MRSL allows suppliers to assure themselves and their customers that banned chemical substances are not intentionally used during production and manufacturing processes.
In 2022, we joined the ZDHC's Roadmap to Zero Programme as a 'Friends' member to align our upstream supply chain towards sustainable and responsible chemical management, from the purchase of chemicals to their final discharge and disposal. We believe that the ZDHC Foundation's Roadmap to Zero Programme provides an opportunity for us to improve the implementation of sustainable chemical management. The ZDHC guidelines, solutions, platforms, and implementation projects, along with collaborations with others within the ZDHC Community, will be valuable assets for Varner as we continue our journey towards detoxing our supply chain.
To identify and prevent other hazardous chemicals from being used in our production, we acknowledge ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (ZDHC MRSL) as a global industry standard which we encourage our suppliers to adopt.
The purpose of The Swedish Textiles Initiative for Climate Action (STICA) is to support the apparel and textile industries and their stakeholders in the Nordic region to, at minimum, reduce greenhouse gases in line with 1.5 C warming pathway, as outlined by the United Nations Framework on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. Ultimately STICA’s aim is to ensure the Swedish and Nordic textile industry does more than its share by becoming the first climate-positive apparel and textiles industry in the world well before 2050.
STICA achieves this by:
- Supporting apparel and textile companies operating in both the Nordic and international markets to set science-based targets and reduce their greenhouse gases in line with 1.5 C warming pathway, as outlined by the United Nations Framework on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.
- Providing a neutral, non-competitive platform for companies and organizations to learn best practices for reducing their GHG emissions as well as to track and publicly report on their progress on a regular basis.
- Supporting the development of joint projects and cross-sector collaborations in order to reduce the Nordic apparel and textile industry’s GHG emissions while stimulating climate solutions that can also be exported outside of the Nordic region, thus increasing the Nordic apparel and textile industry’s global competitiveness.
- Working with industry stakeholders to develop a roadmap and implement an action plan for how the Swedish and Nordic apparel and textile industries will reduce their GHG emissions well below the 1.5 C warming target in order to become climate positive, while also becoming a global leader in developing climate positive solutions for the global apparel and textiles industry.
STICA’s Action Learning Network
Companies participating in STICA’s action learning network commit themselves to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in line with 1.5 C warming pathway, as outlined by the United Nations Framework on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. Companies also commit to publicly reporting their progress on an annual basis and to working collaboratively in order to develop joint solutions for accelerating GHG reductions.
Varner partners with Better Cotton to improve cotton farming globally.
Varner is committed to sourcing 100% of our cotton as ‘more sustainable cotton’ by 2025.’ ‘More sustainable cotton’ includes Better Cotton, organic cotton, Fairtrade cotton and recycled cotton.
Better Cotton is sourced via a chain of custody model called mass balance. This means that Better Cotton is not physically traceable to end products, however, Better Cotton Farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we ‘source.’
Better Cotton’s mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive while protecting and restoring the environment.
Better Cotton trains farmers to: use water efficiently, care for soil health and natural habitats, reduce the use of the most harmful chemicals and respect workers’ rights and well-being.
2016 marked the start of our journey with Better Cotton.
THE GREEN DOT
The Green Dot (Norwegian: Grønt Punkt) is the European license symbol of industry-funded systems responsible for recycling used packaging. Consumers who see the logo should know that the company of the product contributes to the cost of recovery and recycling.
The chemical group spreads the latest knowledge in chemistry and environment-related issues to member companies in the textile and electronics industry. A membership gives access to global monitoring and networks, practical tools as well as updates on relevant legislation and news in the field of chemicals in goods and substitution. Together, we prevent the occurrence of unwanted chemicals in goods such as textiles, shoes and electronics. We have had a membership since 2012.
Textile Exchange is a global nonprofit organization that inspires and equips people to accelerate the adoption of preferred materials through clear and actionable guidance. They convene the fashion, textile, and apparel industry to collectively achieve climate reduction goals and holistic positive impacts across fiber and raw material production.
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS
In January 2021, Varner signed a main collaboration agreement with Doctors Without Borders (MSF). The agreement as a main partner is the most significant form of partnership Doctors Without Borders enters into with business companies in Norway.
We plan for a long-term collaboration and wish to include both employees and customers on this journey. Our main aim is to create a commitment and drive towards a bigger goal: To contribute to life-saving treatment for people affected by war, disasters, and conflicts. We at Varner are proud to be a contributor to the important work done by Doctors Without Borders.
Fretex is the largest collector of used clothes and textiles in Norway and has operations internationally. We have since 2012 cooperated with Fretex for collection of overstocked goods, claims and used products.
We have take-back collection boxes in Dressmann, Bikbok and Cubus stores.
Ung Norge (and local branch Ung Oslo) is an organization working to ensure a good childhood for underprivileged children and adolescents. Varner has been cooperating with Ung Norge since 2012.
- Animal Welfare