This “label” confirms the GFF’s reflection, initiated in 2020 and supported by the DEFI, on the deployment of a socially and environmentally responsible approach in the clothing sector. Even if the French fashion industry is “de facto” in the “sustainable” field, due to the quality of its production and the geographical proximity with most of its principals, the sector is faced with several CSR challenges: legislative and regulatory changes (AGEC law, “Climate and Resilience” law), the growing awareness of consumers and of course brands, which are now systematically integrating the CSR component (starting with the carbon impact of production) in their strategy.
The GFF, created in 2008, for the promotion and defense of the interests of the manufacture of clothing products of French origin is presided over by Sylvie Chailloux (also president of the French Union of Fashion and Clothing Industries – UFIMH). The association has therefore set about structuring its approach. Three stages were necessary to achieve the birth of the “Ateliers Engagés” label, between 2020 and today. First, the GFF coordinated a CSR diagnosis of the sector and its members. Then, the group has done a lot of work to raise awareness of ISO 26000 (the international standard for CSR) during recurring webinars and the development of a reference framework audited by an independent third-party organization.
The third and final step is the imminent launch of the “Les Ateliers Engagés” label at the Made in France trade show, on March 30 and 31 at the Carreau du Temple: “Our profession as manufacturers is changing. From being a technician and a minute seller, we have had to structure ourselves or be supported to reach 2022 and become committed entrepreneurs, in our territories, with our employees, as well as our customers and principals, to meet the “time to market, at the right price”, Sylvie Chailloux underlined on this occasion.
In detail, seven themes are covered in the reference framework for obtaining the label: compliance with French law, the managerial aspect, the social and environmental footprints, the value chain, the consumer footprint and finally the territorial footprint. This certification is thus a “tailor-made” response to the clothing sector and adapted to French SMEs. Ultimately, its objectives are to promote good practices (HR, environment, French manufacturing, etc.), to provide new advantages to customers (a single system valid for 3 years, etc.), and to initiate a renewal of dialogue with all stakeholders.
Several companies have already made a concrete commitment to this approach, which is accessible to all workshops, stimulates cooperation between the players in the sector, and allows the best practices of all to be recognized. To join the process and obtain the label, clothing companies present in France can apply to the GFF.