Since 2014, the European Development Fund (EDF) programme funds the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s project in Burkina Faso and Mali. The EDF funds have been used for: equipment purchases to increase export activities and reach international market requirements of quality and productivity; construction of weaving areas to increase production capacities and improve working conditions; and to improve quality control through trainings and human resources.
The Ethical Fashion Initiative has been a member of the Fair Labor Association since 2010 as part of our mandate to produce ethical goods. With guidance from the association, we ensure that community groups and partners follow a rigorous code of conduct. The collaboration allows for the assessment of needs of informal-sector artisans; development of a customized methodology; and building of the necessary tools to address fair labour issues. Additional tools that have been created will allow us to measure the impact of the work of the ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative on the livelihoods of communities producing goods in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya and Uganda.
Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has supported the Ethical Fashion Initiative during the past few years. The donated funds are focused on supporting small-community suppliers to improve their capacities, including tapping access to new markets for products in Japan, supporting the creation of a global network for product development, and raising consumer awareness through extensive multimedia and press coverage on the Ethical Fashion Initiative, supported by notable Japanese journalists in the print and visual media.
The Ministry of Trade & Industry (MOTI) is the lead policy adviser to the government on trade, industrial and private-sector development, and is responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies for the promotion, growth and development of domestic and international trade. MOTI is a key partner in the Ethical Fashion Initiative Ghana Project, together with Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. The project aims to improve the economic situation of poor communities by creating jobs as part of a sustainable supply chain for fashion and lifestyle products.
The work of the Ethical Fashion Initiative has been financed by shared, core-funded contributions from Germany, which has supported the development of key operations systems and the work of the product-development global facility, which provides important technical advice and capacity building for the projects envisaged. This is then implemented across multiple countries, benefiting communities and micro-producers.
The Export Promotion Council’s (EPC) primary objective is to address bottlenecks facing exporters and producers of goods and services in order to increase the performance level of the export sector. The Ethical Fashion Initiative value chain aims to develop a partnership with the EPC to mainstream disadvantaged communities in Kenya into the export process. In-depth needs of micro-producers are assessed by EPC in the areas of management, finance, and domestic and export sales. The objective of the training developed on the basis of this assessment is to enable micro-producers to better manage their companies, sell their products on the domestic market and export their products through Ethical Fashion Africa Ltd., a not-for-profit social enterprise set up by ITC that manages business operations and the social agenda of the Ethical Fashion Initiative in East Africa.
The work of the Ethical Fashion Initiative has been financed by shared, core-funded contributions from Norway, which has supported the development of key operations systems and the work of the product-development global facility, which provides important technical advice and capacity building for the projects envisaged. This is then implemented across multiple countries, benefiting communities and micro-producers.
The Ethical Fashion Initiative Ghana Project is the first of its kind in West Africa and emphasises SECO’s development-cooperation approach of empowering institutions and businesses for sustainable self-reliance. The goal of the project is to improve the economic situation of poor communities by creating jobs within the fashion-industry supply chain. This value chain involving suppliers and buyers is created by establishing links with the fashion and design industry in Europe to respond to the demand of international markets.
Since 2015, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Haiti funds the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s project in Haiti. This partnership aims to empower Haitian artisans and reposition the Haitian handicraft sector in the international fashion marketplace. The funds further the sustainability goals of the initiative to integrate micro-producer cooperatives into the international value chain of fashion, enabling the initiative to strengthen the production hub acting as an interface between artisans and international buyers as well as support capacity building and market opportunities.
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Ethical Fashion Initiative
International Trade Centre
54-56, Rue de Montbrillant
1202 Geneva, Switzerland