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Asian garment fabric workers at work stations

Textiles

Our Approach

It is important to us that garment and household textiles, which are a regular component of our weekly special buys, are produced in an environmentally and socially sound way. Our goal for the future is to further expand our range of sustainable textiles and create even greater transparency in ALDI’s supply chain.

Most of our textile products are manufactured in production facilities in Asia. Our Corporate Responsibility (CR) team works closely with our textile business partners to support them in the implementation of our CR standards. Additionally, our colleagues based in Hong Kong and Bangladesh are frequently in the production facilities to assess the conditions on the ground. While we strive to improve working conditions in our production facilities, we also look at other stages of our supply chain, from cotton production to dyeing and finishing of garments.

Our Actions

Manufacturing supply chains

We expect our business partners to comply with all our social and environmental standards and we pay particular attention to production conditions in countries where adherence to these standards cannot yet be taken for granted. In these countries, we want to contribute to the improvement of working conditions and the protection of the environment.

As many of our products are not sourced directly from producers, we value our business partners as key allies in improving working conditions in production facilities used for ALDI. Therefore, we maintain an ongoing dialogue with our business partners, work together on projects (e.g. the ALDI Factory Advancement Project) as well as monitoring their activities to ensure that our requirements are implemented and adhered to in all production facilities used for ALDI production.

World map visits and assessments

Transparency of supply chains

We attach great importance to sustainable production conditions in the manufacturing of food and non-food products. Supply chain transparency is the foundation for all our sustainability measures. Without the knowledge where our products come from, we cannot ensure compliance with our requirements, analyse risks, monitor or implement projects. We work with our business partners to increase the transparency of our supply chains so that we have a better understanding concerning the origin of every product we sell and the raw materials we use for our products.

In order to offer greater transparency to our customers, we are publishing the addresses and number of employees of all our main production facilities used for the manufacturing of garment textiles and shoes bought by the International Buying department. Production facilities are classified by product groups or country and the information will be updated bi-anually.

Detox

In 2015, the ALDI SOUTH Group joined 80 other international fashion retailers in committing to the goals of Greenpeace’s Detox campaign. Since then we have reduced the negative impacts of chemical-based production processes used in the textile and footwear industry on workers, local communities and the environment.

We have empowered our suppliers to work with their business partners in order to deliver our requirements and verify their implementation within the scope of our sourcing activities. Our ALDI Detox Reports summarise the positive progress we have made over the past five years.

We will continue to increase the scope of our work to address further environmental impacts, ranging from strengthening our commitment to more sustainable material sourcing to raising awareness of opportunities to buy more sustainably. This means that we will promote more sustainable production processes and sustainable products to enable our customers to consume sustainably.

Cotton

Cotton accounts for the majority of all fibres used in the garments and household textiles offered by ALDI. Whilst cotton is a renewable natural resource that is fully biodegradable, it is also linked to human rights and environmental risks in the countries where it is grown.

Together with our business partners, we are committed to standards that achieve long-term sustainable improvements in the cultivation of cotton. We will ensure to use 100% sustainable cotton for our ALDI-exclusive garments and household textiles by 2025.

Our Goal & Performance (2019)

Our Goal: All textile business partners receive a Corporate Responsibility (CR) evaluation and respective training.

100%

of our textile business partners are integrated into the CR Supplier Evaluation Programme

Our Projects

Anke Ehlers cutting cake on the opening of the Bangladesh CR office
International organisation
ALDI CR offices in Asia

Each of the ALDI SOUTH Group’s national organisations sources products from Asia. To minimise the risks relating to working conditions and ensure compliance with our high standards, the ALDI SOUTH Group, together with ALDI Nord, has been operating its own CR office in Hong Kong since 2012 and established a second CR office in Bangladesh in 2017.

The focus of these CR offices is to monitor our business partner’ production facilities and the performance of our business partners with regard to social compliance. For this purpose, the CR offices conduct ALDI Social Assessments in the production facilities on behalf of the ALDI SOUTH Group and provide support to business partners on how to implement them.

More on 'Company Profile'
Male and female people sitting around in circle
Project in Bangladesh
ALDI Factory Advancement (AFA) Project

ALDI is committed to promoting human rights in the garment industry. With the ALDI Factory Advancement (AFA) Project, the ALDI SOUTH Group, together with ALDI Nord, has introduced a programme which delivers change in factories that produce our garments in Bangladesh.

Launched in 2013, the AFA Project places factory workers and managers at the centre of its activities to find sustainable solutions for improved workplaces. Its core principle is the promotion of dialogue and cooperation between workers and managers. To date, approximately 85,000 workers and their managers of 40 participating factories have benefitted from the project and experienced positive changes in their day-to-day working environment.

More about 'AFA Project'
Picture drawn from a child showing the scene from a child care service
Project in Bangladesh
AFA Project Plus for child care services

From 2016 until 2019, the AFA Project PLUS addressed the critical need for quality childcare for the children of working parents in factories that produce our textile goods in Bangladesh. ALDI supported selected factories participating in the AFA Project in improving their internal day-care services.

Many workers are reliant on these services due to financial constraints and a lack of alternative care options. Together with local non-governmental organisations, we trained caregivers, childcare centre supervisors, nurses and parents working at the factory. 

More about 'AFA Project'
Workers in garment factory in Bangladesh
Special focus
Bangladesh

ALDI SOUTH was one of the first signatories of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh in 2013 and 2017. By signing this independent, legally binding agreement we have committed to improve the safety of the Ready-Made Garments (RMG) factories in our Bangladesh supply chain.

As Bangladesh is one of our most important sourcing countries, we have intensified our regular ALDI Social Assessment (ASA) activities in this country to step up cooperation with business partners sourcing from there.

With the ALDI Factory Advancement (AFA) Project, the ALDI SOUTH Group, together with ALDI Nord, has introduced a programme, which delivers change in factories that produce our garments in Bangladesh.

More on 'AFA Project'
Hand holding cotton
International goal & projects in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mozambique
Cotton

International goal

Together with our business partners, we are committed to standards that achieve long-term sustainable improvements in the cultivation of cotton. We will ensure to use 100% sustainable cotton for our ALDI-exclusive garments and household textiles by 2025.

We prohibit our business partners from using cotton sourced from countries where cultivation and harvesting are systematically associated with human rights violations, such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Fairtrade project on cottonseed

Since 2018, ALDI SOUTH Germany has been supporting the Fairtrade project in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The project aims to empower smallholder farmers and to improve the quality and supply of cotton from Central Asia.

To reach the project goal the following measures are implemented:

  • Training for farmers on seed production and multiplication
  • Actions to combat GMO-contamination
  • Enlargement of cultivable acreage for organic cotton and yield
  • Knowledge management and sharing

Cotton made in Africa recycling project

In 2019, Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and the local cotton company SAN-JFS developed a recycling project in Mozambique. This project supports women from local farming communities who operate eco-collection points. Over 72,000 empty pesticide containers were collected and sent for recycling in the first year and benefitted up to 20,000 farmers. With the exclusive support of ALDI, the project is able to continue into a second phase and benefit even more farmers.

More on 'Cotton'
Logo of Partnership for Sustainable Textiles
International project
‘Partnership for Sustainable Textiles’ Initiative on living wages

In the context of our membership in the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, we actively work on the topic of living wages by being a member of the Partnership Initiative on living wages since 2019.  Within this initiative, we are working on the improvement of our purchasing practices as these can have an immense impact on the working conditions and wage payments in production facilities used for ALDI production.

As a first step, we conducted a purchasing practices self-assessment, involving our international buying, design and quality departments. Based on this gap analysis, we have developed a comprehensive roadmap together with our buying colleagues with concrete measures aiming at responsible purchasing practices. Together with other brands we have now established a peer learning group to find solutions for challenges and share best practices.

More on 'Partnership for Sustainable Textiles'
Tshirt with recycling circle
Special focus
Quality and longevity of textile products

The high quality of our products is a basic requirement to be met by all ALDI suppliers. By placing our particular focus on quality and monitoring quality throughout the production process, ALDI directly meets the demand for a long lifespan of our textile products. High-quality products are only one of the two equally important key factors impacting textile longevity, the second being the ‘best possible’ care of the product during its useful life.

Therefore, high quality production standards and the correct care of the product during its useful life ensure that our customers can enjoy their textile product for a long time after the purchase.

More about 'Quality and longevity of textile products'

Sustainable Development Goals

1 No poverty 8 Decent work and economic growth 10 Reduced inequalities 12 Responsible consumption and production 17 Partnerships for the goals

UNGC

Human Rights

Principle 1

Support and respect the protection of human rights

Principle 2

Not complicit in human rights abuses

Labour

Principle 3

Uphold freedom of association and recognition of right to collective bargaining

Principle 4

Elimination of forced and compulsory labour

Principle 5

Abolition of child labour

Principle 6

Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation

Environment

Principle 7

Precautionary approach to environmental challenges

Principle 8

Promote environmental responsibility

Anti-Corruption

Principle 10

Work against corruption in all its forms

GRI references

GRI 103: Management approach 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 103-1 Global Reporting Initiative 103-2 Global Reporting Initiative 103-3

GRI 308: Supplier environmental assessment 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 308-2