IN Sustainable Textile and Apparel Parks (INSTEP) is a collaborative approach to step up the sustainable production of textiles and apparel via Industrial Parks, reaching multiple factories and shared facilities, with assessments and interventions to reduce environmental impact and improve working conditions.

INSTEP contributes to systemic change within the textile and apparel industry and supports brands’ sustainable sourcing commitments, net zero goals, GHG reductions, and the UN SDGs.



Stepping up the sustainable production of textiles and apparel

INSTEP works with producers in industrial parks to meet international environmental and social standards, by:

  • Improving their competitive position, environmental monitoring, and data transparency
  • Establish them as a lower-risk sourcing destination
  • Informing them about the economic benefits of sustainable manufacturing

The program is currently active in Ethiopia, Kenya and Vietnam.


The global textile and apparel sector is seeing a marked shift towards more sustainable supply chains. Global brands are increasingly enshrining sustainability at the core of their business practices while persevering their own compliance requirements. Brands require their suppliers to adhere to increasingly stringent social and environmental standards. Simultaneously, growing numbers of end consumers, demanding fashion players to uphold their social and environmental responsibilities, are also driving the shift. Globally, these trends have a direct bearing on the competitiveness of the textile and apparel sector.

INSTEP works at the Industrial Park level, which is the supply chain’s leverage point to provide the most significant impact in the shortest amount of time and enable access to hard-to-reach, high-impact sustainability areas such as shared facilities.


How does INSTEP work?

The program aims to build environmentally and socially effective, efficient, and sustainable Industrial Parks through Improved Sector Governance, Improved Business Practices, and Proven Business Cases for field-level projects to achieve Better Jobs and a Better Environment.

Environmental interventions


  • Energy: Reducing energy consumption and improving efficiency; transitioning to alternate energy sources; facilitating renewable energy such as installing group rooftop solar panels
  • Water: Reducing water consumption and wastage, recharging water sources, recycling and treating wastewater
  • Chemical management: Improving chemical guidance, chemical management system (CMS) (procuring green chemicals, safe handling, storage, and treatment); zero discharge of hazardous chemicals; accelerating adoption of ZDHC standards and methodology
  • Environmental transparency reporting: Transparent Environmental Data Platform to provide emissions, discharge, and environmental data

Social interventions


Worker engagement: Engaging in worker-management dialogue, financial literacy, skill development and enabling service delivery for workers

Women empowerment: Promoting better jobs for women, addressing issues such as discrimination, gender-based violence, and reproductive health

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS): Assuring a safe working environment for all workers in the Industrial Park

Convening key stakeholders

INSTEP applies an innovative approach to work with Industrial Parks and its key stakeholders to create joint action plans and commitments towards promoting sustainable production in the textile and apparel sector, while also enabling businesses to source responsibly.



Assessments as a key tool

INSTEP will undertake assessments of Industrial Parks and facilities within the Park to identify and understand areas of improvement in a transparent manner and provide support in remediations and interventions.

Assessments will be compared against a globally credible and locally relevant framework and will provide a transparent scoring mechanism to assess and identify engagement opportunities with the Industrial Parks.

Creating system change through

  • Changing business practices

    Increasing procurement from sustainably producing Industrial Parks

  • Improving field-level sustainability

    Socially and environmentally sustainable production process adopted

  • Improving sector governance

    Creating enabling regulations and increasing transparency

Get Involved

By joining the program, you take a leadership role in creating system-level changes for a more sustainable future for the textile industry.

To learn more about how your organization can get involved, contact: