Code of conduct

Code of Conduct: Our values, our promise

As a company, we have a responsibility towards our employees, our stakeholders, society and above all the environment. With this Code of Conduct, we acknowledge this responsibility and commit to sustainable economic activity.



The Association of the German Textile and Fashion Industry (t + m), its member associations, and companies in the industry, are all committed to social responsibility - regardless of whether they conduct their economic activities in Germany, across Europe, or in other parts of the world. That is why they developed this Code of Conduct. It is available to companies in the textile and fashion industry as a voluntary instrument and serves as a guideline for entrepreneurial action that always takes social responsibility into account. t + m and its member associations promote the application of the Code of Conduct. Every company should commit itself to it and take suitable measures to ensure compliance with its content. Wherever it is possible and economically justifiable, every company should stand up for the promotion of the stated goals. This also applies in relation to suppliers and customers. At various points in this Code of Conduct, international contracts are mentioned which are referred to in the footnotes. These are aimed at and bind states, not companies. The references are therefore to be understood in such a way that the companies are guided by the content, insofar as this is possible for a private-sector organization.


1. Basic understanding

Corporate social responsibility is one of the basic and core principles of entrepreneurial activity. In all business decisions, the consequences must be considered in economic, social and ecological terms and brought into an appropriate balance of interests. Companies always keep an eye on the principles of the UN Global Compact. The companies voluntarily contribute to the wellbeing and sustainable development of global society in the locations where they operate, within the scope of the possibilities of the individual. The same applies to business relationships within the textile chain. Business partners are to be treated fairly. Contracts are to be observed unless the general conditions change fundamentally. The generally applicable ethical values ​​and principles are to be taken into account, in particular this applies to human dignity.


2. Scope

This Code of Conduct applies to all worldwide branches and business units of the committed company.


3. Key points of corporate social responsibility 

Compliance with the law

The company committed to the Code of Conduct (hereafter referred to as “the company”) complies with the laws and regulations of the countries in which it operates. For countries that do not have a satisfactory level of regulations, it carefully examines which good corporate practice from Germany should be used to support responsible corporate governance. The company follows legally sound and recognized business practices and fair competition. In particular, it will not participate in collusion or behave in a manner that contradicts German or European antitrust law or the antitrust law of another state in which the company is active. The company rejects corruption and bribery in accordance with the UN convention. It appropriately promotes transparency, integrity and responsible management and control in the company. The interests of the company and the private interests of employees are to be kept strictly separate.

Consumer interests

The company takes consumer interests into account in its actions. It ensures that its products are harmless to health and safe for the respective purpose. Legal limits are to be observed and, if possible, to be undercut. The interests of consumers are also adequately taken into account in information and distribution measures.


The company communicates the Code of Conduct and its implementation to employees, business partners, and other interest groups, e.g. through announcements on its company website. It is ready to engage in dialogue about the content of the Code of Conduct. Company secrets and business information from third parties are treated sensitively and confidentially.


4. Human rights

The company complies with and promotes human rights within the meaning of the UN Human Rights Charter. The company pays particular attention to the following human rights:

  • Health and safety
    The company is committed to a health-promoting work environment, safeguards health and ensures occupational safety to prevent accidents and injuries.

  • Harassment
    The company protects its employees from physical punishment; physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment; and from intimidation or abuse. 

  • Freedom of speech
    The right of freedom of speech and expression is protected and guaranteed. 

  • Protection of privacy


5. Working conditions

Compliance with the ILO core labour standards

The company complies with the eight core labour standards of the ILO. Specifically:

  • the prohibition of child labour in accordance with the ILO conventions No. 138 (minimum age) from 1973 and No. 182 (prohibition and immediate measures to eliminate the worst forms of child labour) from 1999.

  • the prohibition of forced labour according to ILO conventions No. 29 (forced labour) from 1930 and No. 105 (abolition of forced labour) from 1957.

  • the promotion and, if possible, securing of equal pay for men and women for work of equal value in accordance with ILO Convention No. 100 (Equal Pay) from 1951.

  • respect for workers' rights in accordance with ILO Conventions No. 87 of 1948 (freedom of association and protection of the right to organize) and No. 98 (right of association and right to collective bargaining) from 1949, insofar as this is legally permissible and possible in the respective country.

  • the prohibition of discrimination according to the ILO Convention No. 111 (Discrimination in Employment and Occupation) of 1958. The prohibition relates in particular to discrimination against workers on the basis of gender, race, disability, ethnic or cultural origin, religion or belief or sexual inclination.

Working hours

If the respective national regulations do not stipulate a lower maximum working time, the regular standard working time per week is no more than 48 hours. Employees have at least the equivalent of one day off in each 7-day period. Provided that the respective national regulation so stipulates, this can be granted within a period of up to 14 days.


6. Environmental protection

The company complies with the applicable environmental protection regulations that affect its operations at the respective locations. It is environmentally conscious at all locations. At locations where the applicable regulations do not achieve a level of protection that ensures sustainable management, the company will take measures within the framework of economically justifiable measures to achieve a satisfactory level of protection. The company also handles natural resources responsibly in accordance with the principles of the Rio Declaration.


7. Civic engagement

The company contributes to the social, cultural and economic development of the country and region in which it operates and promotes corresponding voluntary activities by its employees.


8. Implementation and enforcement

The company makes all suitable and reasonable efforts to continuously implement and apply the principles and values ​​described in this Code of Conduct and to remedy any deficits as quickly as possible. Contractual partners should be informed of the essential measures on request and on condition that this happens mutually. It should be understandable for the contractual partner that compliance with the Code of Conduct is generally guaranteed. There is no claim to the disclosure of business and trade secrets, to competition-related information, or to other information worth protecting.

Decision of the 2nd of December 2010