A memorandum on the launch of the Better Work Program in Uzbekistan was signed as part of Tashkent Textile Week. This has opened an opportunity for local companies to cooperate with global brands. Fibre2Fashion was the knowledge partner for the event.
Tashkent hosts one of the major textile industry events in the CIS. Twice a year, the textile industry’s experts come together in Uzbekistan for textile week to showcase the most recent innovations and address topical issues for the sector’s further growth.
Throughout the week, there were seminars on business management and textile trends as well as the 6th International Textile and Fashion Exhibition Uztextilexpo-2023 (Spring), a joint forum of the Uztextileprom Association and Confederation of Employers.
The outcomes of the exhibition and forum showed an increasing level of interest on the part of foreign businesses in textiles from Uzbekistan. About 3,000 visitors from more than 15 countries visited the exhibition and other events just on the first day alone, and the presentations on colour trends and brand development at the seminars on the advancement of women entrepreneurs sparked lively conversation among the attendees.
The important event of the second day of the Textile Week was the forum “Social Entrepreneurship in Textile Industry” with participation of the senate speaker of Oliy Majlis Tanzila Narbayeva, UN coordinator Consuelo Vidal Bruce, bureau director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Olga ulaeva, general director of the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) Christian Schindler and deputy minister of Investment, Industry and Trade Khurram Teshabaev.
The opening remarks touched on themes of social responsibility in the textile sector, such as the defense of employees’ rights, the improvement of working conditions, and production that is environmentally sustainable. Participants in the forum emphasized the value of fostering social entrepreneurship in the textile industry and pledged their support for it.
The II international joint conference of ILO and the Confederation of Employers of Uzbekistan “Social Entrepreneurship, Socially Responsible Employer” took place on the second day as well. Speakers could discuss the textile industry’s commitment to environmental sustainability, worker rights protection, and corporate social responsibility.
Participants of the joint panel discussion with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) discussed the implementation of digital technologies in production processes. The ability to guarantee supply chain transparency is one of the key advantages of digitisation.
The forum culminated in the signing of a memorandum on the launch of the Better Work programme. The agreement makes working with international brands possible. As an illustration, the well-known corporation Disney published a list of supplier countries on March 25, 2023, which includes Uzbekistan.
Herewith, the main requirement for cooperation is the Better Work programme, in order to better manage the supply chain of products and ensure a more reliable and consistent compliance with standards. These conditions also apply to Pakistan, Haiti, Ethiopia, and Nicaragua.
Better Cotton and the National Commission Against Human Trafficking and Forced Labour have also signed a Sustainability Joint Action Plan for 2023–2024. The document focuses on several key areas where progress remains to be made, learning from the Better Cotton 2022 results.
This step demonstrates that major international brands and corporations consider Uzbekistan as a responsible and sustainable manufacturer of high-quality textiles.