AMSTERDAM – Leading clothing brands and retailers, NGOs, textile mills and auditors have today signed a letter of intent to develop a new, harmonised industry standard for social and labour compliance in the global apparel manufacturing sector. Diverse companies such as H&M, Columbia Sportswear, PVH Corp., Timberland, W.L. Gore, Avery Dennison, adidas and Target – among others – have all signed up to a ‘Social and Labour Convergence project’ facilitated by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition that is aligned with current ILO (International Labour Organisation) standards. The move comes in a bid to cut the cost of multiple audits and re-invest the money saved into improving social welfare for millions of apparel workers. John Mowbray reports.