The Garment Industries Transparency Initiative (GITI) is a multi-stakeholder initiative with the aim of contributing to the implementation of labour standards in the global garment industries through improved transparency and participation. The GITI was initiated by Prof Dr Peter Eigen, former Chairman of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and co-founder of the Berlin Governance Platform. The GITI is based on the successful EITI process model.
The clothing industry is essential for economic and social development in many countries. For millions of people, this industry means work and at the same time a livelihood for entire families. However, the tragic events in factories in Bangladesh in recent years have made it clear that working conditions in the producing countries must be improved. At the same time, they have sparked an ongoing debate about the responsibility of all players in this industry, which is characterised by complex supplier structures and high market pressure.
The lack of implementation of international labour standards at national level, limited legal enforcement at international level and visible limitations of voluntary codes of conduct make it clear that the need for worker empowerment and better buyer-supplier relations has not yet been adequately addressed.
Meeting this challenge requires an improvement in the lack of governance at national and international level. This includes the chronic lack of transparency in the garment industry. At the same time, there is growing support for the need for closer co-operation between all relevant actors in the sector. This includes not only governments and business owners in the producing countries, but also international buyers, trade unions and civil society. An inclusive participatory process is needed to improve the credibility of information.
About the Garment Industries Transparency Initiative
The Garment Industries Transparency Initiative (GITI) is a multi-stakeholder initiative with the aim of contributing to the implementation of labour standards in the global garment industries through improved transparency and participation.
The GITI was initiated by Prof Dr Peter Eigen, former Chairman of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and co-founder of the Berlin Governance Platform. The GITI is based on the successful EITI process model.
Transparency: The GITI generates reliable, publicly accessible and generally accepted information in the form of regular country reports as a product of a consultative process. The provision of such country reports is to be based on a coherent framework that is currently being developed by the GITI Secretariat - with the support of an International Advisory Group.
Participation: The GITI improves the credibility of the information provided through a deliberative process that involves all stakeholder groups (especially the government, companies, civil society and trade unions).
Improved transparency and multi-stakeholder participation create an enabling environment and a credible basis for taking the issue seriously. Through the publication process, the GITI seeks to ensure an active demand for accountability, which in the long term contributes to improved implementation of labour standards, improved buyer-supplier relations and strengthened competitiveness in the global garment industries.
Over time, this approach creates a trust-based, consensus-orientated multi-stakeholder environment for joint action.
The GITI was supported by funding from the C&A Foundation, CARE Deutschland e.V., the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Otto Group and Tchibo GmbH.
The Berlin Governance Platform provides the international secretariat for the initiative.
Call to pilot countries
The GITI is to be established in several producing countries at the same time. The GITI therefore aims to achieve improvements for the participating countries without them losing competitiveness in comparison to each other.
Based on extensive conceptual work, the GITI is currently in dialogue with potential pilot countries regarding the establishment of national multi-stakeholder groups and the detailed development of the global GITI standard.
The development of the global GITI standard involves determining (1) what information is relevant and should be published; (2) how transparency can be achieved; and (3) how the initiative will be managed in the future.
In order to continue to contribute to the implementation of labour standards in the global garment industries, the GITI Secretariat is currently examining various financing options.
Prof. Dr. Peter Eigen