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‘Amplifying Impact’ – Better Work’s ambitious strategy for the next five years

22 Dec 2017

Better Work is to radically extend its impact on the lives of millions of workers in the apparel industry, and beyond, in the coming years.

22 December 2017.

Geneva – Better Work has launched a step-change strategy to significantly increase its impact on the global garment industry. Amplifying Impact, Phase IV of Better Work’s Strategy for 2018 – 2022, aims to magnify the programme’s success in improving working conditions and living standards for three million workers to date, to eight million workers and 21 million of their family members by the end of the period.

“We’ve established a model of intervention that, according to our independent impact assessment, has made measurable impacts in the lives of millions of workers and their families and made businesses more competitive and up to 22 per cent more profitable.  Now the challenge is to broaden our impact further,” said Better Work head Dan Rees about the launch of the programme’s new strategy.

Better Work aims to lift labour standards in global supply chains through two broad interventions:

– Influencing business practices in the garment supply chain at the factory and global level, including improving compliance with labour standards and promoting business practices that promote decent work; and,

– Strengthening the prospects for decent work through building capacity in garment-producing countries to implement good labour market policies, and inform and influence both national and transnational discussions on decent work through empirical research and reliable data.

“While we have shown that Better Work works, we can’t be everywhere. We will continue to work intensively with enrolled factories, but by stepping up our engagement with policy makers, unions and business leaders, we can help hundreds more factories and millions of workers,” said Rees.

In an industry where the workforce is 80 per cent female, the strategy outlines an approach to gender equality that will inform and underlie efforts to influence national and global policy as well as strengthening factory level services on gender issues.

Other major results foreseen in the new strategy include, among others: new Better Work country programmes; greater collaboration with parent organizations the International Finance Corporation and the International Labour Organization to improve factories’ access to finance and environmental performance; collaboration with retailers and brands to improve business practices; strengthened labour market governance through collaboration with government; and the publishing of non-compliance data from factories to isolate issues and incentivise improvements.

The programme’s unique research findings and data are also expected to inform international policy dialogue on the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 8 (promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all), SDG 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) and SDG 1 (combatting poverty).

“We look forward to working closely with new and existing partners from business, unions, government and civil society in 2018 and beyond,” said Rees. “It is only by pooling our efforts and our expertise that we will create lasting, transformative change in the industry.”

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