Newsletter Issue 30 – September 2023 

Issue 30 – September 2023

Welcome to the September issue of the Fast Forward Newsletter presenting the latest updates and insights from the UK and beyond! As always, we aim to provide content that keeps you informed and engaged with the ever-evolving industry landscape. This month’s highlights:

Fast Forward News

Industry and Legislative News – all sectors

Apparel and General Merchandise

We want to hear from you! Share your feedback and requests for inclusions in this publication or any other part of the programme. Contact us today!

The Fast Forward Team


Building Commercially Sustainable Supply Chains
Webinar recording now available!

If you are an SEP subscriber, Member Brand or FF Approved Auditor login to your Dashboard to join Stronger Together’s Hannah Newcomb in this webinar to hear the latest updates on:

  • Labour costing based on 2023 rates and predictions for 2024 and how this can inform your pricing strategies
  • Momentum towards potential due diligence and purchasing practices regulation
  • Best practice on fair purchasing practices and guidelines for suppliers and brands in Fast Forward
  • Industry developments that impact your operations

Sign-up for our final webinar of 2023 on the 28th November “Promoting Diversity and Inclusion” to
Learn proactive strategies to foster diverse and inclusive workplaces and teams. The Fast Forward team will be on hand to address your queries during the live Q&A chat.

Do you have a suggestion for topics you’d like us to cover in 2024? We would love to hear your ideas, kindly email

Supplier (SEP) Training Sessions

The Supplier Engagement Programme (SEP) training sessions are now available for booking through your Dashboard. This presents a valuable opportunity for both brands and suppliers to enhance their skills and maximise the benefits of our program.

During these 2.5-hour training sessions, your business can gain essential insights on how to effectively navigate your dedicated dashboard and self-paced Core Standards training modules, ensuring you remain well-informed about the latest standards and industry practices.
Our training sessions are open to both SEP subscribers and Brand members.

At the conclusion of each session, we offer dedicated breakout sessions for suppliers and brands separately. This provides a unique space for peer-to-peer discussions, allowing you to address questions, overcome challenges, and explore opportunities within your business and supply chain.
To explore the full agenda of this training session, click here.


Effective Grievance Mechanisms in European
Due Diligence Legislation: Design of the
Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive

This paper delves into the topic of grievance mechanisms that run independently from the government oversight but are provided by companies or independent third parties. These mechanisms may be additional ways to help people resolve their complaints or issues. They complement official government processes and lawsuits, which are also ways to address problems.

Non-state-based operational-level grievance mechanisms may offer people a variety of choices when seeking assistance, creating a multi-layered system for addressing grievances. These mechanisms can help identify and prevent problems, and they also build trust between people and companies.

Download the paper here

EU Settlement Scheme late applications perceived
“loophole” has been closed.

The Association of Labour Providers (ALP) recently highlighted a situation where applicants without the right to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) were able to submit applications and obtain a Certificate of Application (CoA). This CoA granted them a statutory excuse for 6 months when verified through the Employer Checking Service. In instances where an application was rejected or the 6-month period lapsed, applicants could simply submit new applications and continue their employment in the UK.

Effective from August 9th, 2023, this ‘loophole’ has been addressed. Late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) will now undergo an initial assessment that considers the validity of the reasons provided for the late application. A CoA will only be issued when these grounds for a late application have been approved. For more detailed information and examples of what qualifies as reasonable grounds for a late application, you can refer to the updated Caseworker Guidance.

Read Home Office Guidance

Working in apparel and footwear manufacturing: How does technological upgrading and automation affect women?

This podcast by the ILO explores the clothing and footwear manufacturing sector frequently relying on a predominantly female workforce and that despite the significant skill set required for these roles, they often come with inadequate pay, job insecurity, and a looming sense of uncertainty, primarily due to the potential replacement of human labour by automated equipment.

Join the ILO as they engage in a thought-provoking discussion with the International Labour Organization’s Valeria Esquivel, an expert in Employment Policies and Gender, and Senior Economist David Kucera, exploring the multifaceted impact of automation on women in this vital industry.

Listen to the podcast here

GOTS enters OECD Alignment Assessment Process to Advance Sustainable Practices in the Textile Industry

In a significant move towards responsible business practices, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) has officially started the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Alignment Assessment process for GOTS version 7.0. In this GOTS’ aims to demonstrate ongoing commitment to harmonising with the international framework for responsible supply chains in the clothing and footwear industry.

The OECD Alignment Assessment mentions three stages: a Standards Assessment, an Implementation Assessment, and a Credibility Assessment. GOTS is currently in the Standards Assessment phase, emphasising its dedication to sustainability, in line with the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance. This process, which is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, began in July 2023 and is expected to conclude in January 2024.

Read more here

Just Good Work

Just Good Work is a free, interactive mobile app giving jobseekers and workers from the UK or abroad critical information and advice on recruitment and employment. The Fast Forward audit requires businesses to display the Just Good Work poster.

Posters are available to download for free in nine languages from the Fast Forward website: Albanian, Bulgarian, English, Croatian, Gujarati, Polish, Romanian, Serbian and Ukrainian.


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