IRBC AGREEMENT AND OUR EFFORT
We want to make the world a bit nicer, more handsome and better with fair eco wear that gets your motor running.
Okimono is aiming for premium quality, sustainable identity wear: good basics with awesome designs, which are produced as world friendly as possible and will last a long time. A brand where a reliable product is self-evident, with solid basics manufactured in a continuous production process.
Our aim for continuity translates into using sustainable materials, compact working methods and, not in the least, in long lasting collaborations with reliable agents and producers. This asks for a clear understanding and short pathways, with like-minded partners who are open and transparent, for maximum insight into the production methods of our clothes.
IRBC AGREEMENT AGT
By signing the IRBC Agreement AGT in 2016 Okimono wanted to put more flesh on the bones of its endeavour for that world friendly production. With that we committed ourselves to an annual auditing system, which leads organisations through a process of Due Diligence. This AGT-auditing system is based on the OECD guidelines and Guiding Principles of the UN for multinationals and human rights, and on ISO 26000.
The IRBC Agreement for sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT) is an initiative of various stakeholders - supported by the Dutch government, trade unions and NGO's - and is powered by the Dutch Social and Economic board, SER. With its signing, the broad coalition of companies and organisations together strive to actively stem the abuses in the garment and textile industry.
Today some 82 companies have signed the AGT Agreement – amongst whom G-Star Raw, HEMA, WE Fashion and Zeeman – and it is supported by some 29 other stakeholders. See here the complete list of stakeholders.
- Originally the duration of the agreement was to be five years, as of mid 2016. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic this has now been prolonged to the end of 2021. At this moment the parties concerned are working on a follow up. -
In 2016 we decisively said ‘yes’ to the continuous improvement of our production processes and being transparent about these. Every year we give an update and adjust our plan of action accordingly, under a constructive but close surveillance by the AGT organisation: what did we set out to do, what progress did we make and are we still on track? Much has been achieved and there still is enough to be done. The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed some of our activities, which we are resuming gradually.
CONNECTIONS AND TRANSPARENCY
The ever-growing support for the agreement enables better collaboration between different companies and organisations and for the AGT itself it is easier to seek collaborations with key players internationally, such as with the German Bündnis für Nachhaltige Textilien and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC).
Subsequently in 2019 an alliance was formed with the Open Apparel Coalition, because of which the production locations of all affiliated companies were published in one list on the Open Apparel Registry, since June of that year. This is an international and public online database of textile producers, by and for companies and consumers. By sharing production locations with one another, companies can support each other and as such reinforce the chain. Additionally Okimono ensured that our own specific production location list can be found on there as well and of course you can also check it on our own website: ... Made by
On November 6 2019 Okimono also signed the Transparency Pledge of Clean Clothes Campaign and with this again we emphasized our commitment to transparency about our production methods and locations. We publish our progress on the Okimono website and our production location list is updated periodically, when this is relevant.
By producing mainly in (Western) Europe, we seek to minimize possible risks in the process, concerning both labour conditions and environmental issues, and to realise the shortest possible pathways and distances – moving the production of our organic cotton shirts and sweaters from India to Portugal in 2015 was an important step in this and as of 2020 all our eco-cotton clothes are manufactured by that same producer in Portugal.
Ultimately we strive for a production with a control system in which both Okimono and the producer keep informing one another periodically. To achieve this, at the moment we are working on a declaration of intent with our main producers and agents. This ‘Code of Conduct’ consists of guidelines for labour conditions (based on the Fair Wear Foundation Code of Labour Practices) and environment conscious production, supplemented by agreements made with each individual agent or producer tailored to their specific production processes. Based on the information supplied by the producers Okimono can, at all times, make further inquiries and choices. This practice fits in best with the long-term, sustainable collaborations Okimono engages in.
The next step will be visiting the various production locations ourselves. Whenever this will be possible again, we will review this option anew. Our attention in this will mainly go to Portugal, where the bulk of our clothing, some 98%, is produced.