Sustainable Apparel Coalition

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Some Good News: IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative

New IDH Platform Helps Apparel Industry Produce PPE

The spread of COVID-19 has caused a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and community members around the world. Apparel facilities producing and selling PPE like facial masks, gloves, and gowns instead of traditional apparel products need the proper resources and industry connections.To support these facilities transitioning to develop PPE, SAC member IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, launched a new PPE Dashboard

IDH’s PPE Dashboard provides facilities with much needed guidance, including information on PPE standards for different regions, raw material suppliers, and guides for manufacturing different types of PPE. Facilities may also promote the products they manufacture and connect with companies in need of PPE. The English language dashboard was so well-received, IDH created a version in Portuguese to support Brazilian manufacturers as well. While the PPE dashboard helps address the global shortage of PPE, it also enables factories to ensure jobs for workers and develop new business.

Industry Collaboration

To help apparel factories understand EU and U.S. requirements for PPE, IDH collaborated with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and SAC member Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) to host several online webinars and an in-person event for manufacturers. The events offered information on topics such as FDA requirements in the U.S. and CE (Conformité Européene) requirements in the EU for PPE production. They also helped attendees connect with American and European export markets to help the facilities scale their PPE production and distribution. 

In collaboration with VITAS and the Ministry of Labour in Vietnam, IDH developed resources for facility employees with information on welfare and social protection to help workers navigate situations like job losses and other employment challenges they may be facing due to COVID-19. To quickly and effectively share this information, IDH distributed the flyers to local networks, media, and unions. It also supported the development of the social well-being app Atun, currently available in Vietnam and Indonesia. Atun provides factory workers with COVID-19 health updates, job opportunities, training opportunities, and resources on social welfare. 

IDH hosted manufacturer trainings on EU and U.S. requirements for PPE.

Safety Support

IDH is also developing an online manual featuring guidance on occupational health and safety practices. It gives facilities the information they need to produce PPE while protecting worker health. In India, Pakistan, and Vietnam, IDH is also offering safety assessments to facilities before they reopen. The assessments evaluate a facility’s hygiene practices and promote government-mandated social distancing guidelines.

See IDH in action

Learn more about IDH’s COVID-19 efforts.

COVID-19 Impacts & Resources

The SAC launched a new COVID-19 impacts webpage that offers information and resources for the apparel industry to leverage while navigating the current crisis.

Giovanna Davila is the Research & Communications Analyst at the
Sustainable Apparel Coalition.

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