Cooperation Agreement for a Sustainable Vietnamese apparel and footwear sector

The development of Vietnamese Apparel and Footwear sector in an environmentally, economically and socially friendly manner is one step closer through the signing of a Cooperation Agreement today.

The Vietnamese government together with sector associations, the private sector and development organizations launched a Public Private Partnership Cooperation Agreement to create a sustainable apparel and footwear sector in Vietnam. The Partnership is part of the by IDH driven Race to the Top program.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Flavio Corsin, IDH Vietnam Country Director said the Race to the Top (RttT) program expected to provide economic, environmental and social benefits to the apparel and footwear sector. “RttT would support the design and implementation process of relevant policies and regulations for a sustainable apparel and footwear production, while supporting manufacturers and mills to invest in environmentally friendly practices.”

Participants in the PPP co-operation are the Department of Light Industry under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the International Co-operation Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs, the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (LEFASO), the Vietnam Cotton and Spinning Association (Vcosa), and international brand Marks & Spencer together with IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative. All Partnership members will contribute together to Race to the Top’s development and implementation plan.

Race to the Top is a multi-stakeholder program within the framework of the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) and co-developed by public and private partners such as the Dutch and Danish governments, global consumer brands (GAP, NIKE, Marks & Spencer, Levi Strauss & Co), international organizations (Sustainable Apparel Coalition, IDH) Better Work and manufacturer (SAITEX).

RttT is a voluntary program that aims to support the production and trade of responsibly produced apparel and footwear products, as well as re-shape the apparel and footwear sector by promoting and enabling embedded sustainable manufacturing practices with Vietnam as the first prioritize country. RttT is composed of 4 taskforces with specific targets and activities assigned in order to promote the socially and environmentally sustainable development of Vietnamese Apparel and Footwear sector.

The PPP will unite member resources to improve production towards environmentally friendly, minimize harmful effects on the environment and enhance worker productivity, worker engagement. Participating members will provide recommendations for the development of relevant national policies, strategies and plans related to Apparel and Footwear industry development, base on implementing experiences from RttT pilots and market requirements; . The partnership will also allocate resources to scale up RttT’s successful models and initiatives, focus on the development and promotion of financial capital for improvement activities and sustainably operating factories in the apparel and footwear industry.

About the Partnership members 

Light Industry Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade

The Ministry of Industry and Trade is a Vietnam Government Ministry, performing state management function in the areas of industry and trade. The Light Industry Department has the duties and responsibilities to consult the Minister of Industry and Trade on executing state management in industrial fields, including Apparel and Footwear. The key state management activities under the Department’s responsibilities include: organizing, guiding and monitoring the implementation of strategies and planning for light industries, presiding researches and project proposals, designing and guiding the monitoring process of implementing legal documents, plans, policies, programs for developing light industries; organizing and monitoring the production, trade and investment in accordance with Vietnamese law.

Vietnam Environmental Administration, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

According to the Decision No. 25/2014/QĐ-TTg, Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) is a subsidiary body under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), which implements functions of assisting the Minister in performing State management and managing law enforcement in the country-wide, implementing public services regarding to environment according to the provisions of the state law. VEA has 21 major tasks, particularly: Developing and submitting to relevant authorities for promulgation of laws and regulations, policies; Manage wastes and improve the environment; Education and dissemination of regulations on environment and biodiversity,… Regarding the organizational structure, VEA will consist of 18 units of which 12 units are the administrative organization assisting the General Director in state management and 06 units are non – business units.

International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Labors, Invalids and Social Affairs

The Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs is a Government Ministry, performing state management function in the areas of: employment, vocational training, wage and salary, social insurances (compulsory social insurance, voluntary social insurance and un-employment insurance), occupational safety, national devotees, social protection, child care and protection, gender equality, social vices control and prevention (labour & social issues and national devotees). The International Cooperation Department has the responsibilities and duties to assist the Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs in executing a harmonized state management over international co-operation & integration activities in the field of labour, social affairs & national devotees, being the focal point of the Ministry in international cooperation, connecting and promoting the implementation of international commitments on labour, occupational safety and health, dialogues at the workplace, negotiation and signing of collective bargaining agreements.

Vietnam Apparel and Textile Association

Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association is a non-governmental organization operating in fields of manufacturing, exporting, trading and services of textile and garment in Vietnam. As being a representative for its member, VITAS protects the rights of its members in particular, and the whole Vietnam textile and apparel industry in general. Furthermore, VITAS helps to generate synergy of the industry, keep members informed of all relevant developments & seek ways to reduce risks for members during the process of their business. Beside it, VITAS also gives its contributions to the government agencies for formulating of policies/ mechanism and for developing of appropriate proposals/ solutions in order to promote production, trade, export of Vietnam textile and apparel industry.

Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association

LEFASO is a voluntary organization, representing the business community Viet Nam Leather, Footwear and Handbag. LEFASO contributes to the development industry and the country’s economy, setting out to keep the development of the Leather and Footwear Industry with its with its position as a key industry of Vietnam’s economy, contributing to many jobs, social security and participation in successful integration into the economy international. LEFASO represents community business enterprises producing export leather shoes and handbags in Vietnam, domestic and international.

Vietnam Cotton and Spinning Association

Vietnam Cotton and Spinning Association “VCOSA” is an non-governmental association, with more than 100 members active in the production, trade, import and export raw materials such as cotton, synthetic fiber and spun yarn, which are the key input for Apparel sector of Vietnam.

Marks & Spencer

Founded in 1884, M&S has grown from a single market stall to an international, multi-channel retailer. We sell high quality, great value products to 32 million customers through our UK stores and our e-commerce platform.