Memberships and alliances

Memberships and alliances
Memberships and alliances

You can only solve major global tasks collectively. These include the ongoing expansion of sustainable standards in supply chains, the strengthening of democratic structures, or the responsible handling of the impacts from digital transformation. The Otto Group has been addressing these challenges for a long time. Ultimately, however, they can only be comprehensively taken on in an alliance with many partners. That is why we have been dedicating ourselves to a number of initiatives and contributing our experience as a member in diverse organizations.


We are part of the HR group at the German Academy of Technical Sciences [Deutschen Akademie für Technikwissenschaften] (acatech). Human resources experts from the business and scientific community discuss the opportunities and challenges of the digital transformation there and offer ideas for a wide-ranging societal debate on this topic. Representatives from the Otto Group and other members of the circle discuss topics such as how to design education in the STEM fields so that young people can codesign the digital transformation in a technically skillful manner. Or what contemporary continuing education measures should look like so that they can have an impact in rapidly changing work environments.

amfori BSCI

We are one of the founding members of the “Business Social Compliance Initiative,” called amfori BSCI today. It has facilitated long-term partnerships between textile dealers and producers since 2004. Jointly, we should improve working conditions along the supply chain by arranging independent inspections. For example, the Otto Group and amfori launched a forum in 2017 to strengthen the rights of Syrian refugees who had been illegally employed in the Turkish textile industry.

B.A.U.M. e.V.

Since 1987, we have been involved in B.A.U.M. (Bundesdeutscher Arbeitskreis für Umweltbewusstes Management e.V.), the network for sustainable business, and are part of the transformation to a social-ecological market economy. The Otto Group is represented on the network's advisory board.


We are part of the Business Council for Democracy (BC4D) network because the Otto Group considers the strengthening of our democracy and defending it against attacks to be an essential task. BC4D offers employees of the participating companies free training. They learn how to handle hate speech online and how to react, how to unearth and question targeted disinformation and conspiracies, and how to contribute to preserving the Internet as a space for diversity and tolerance.

Diversity Charter

We signed the Diversity Charter. The Otto Group is committed to defining our corporate culture of mutual respect. We want to offer a work environment in which respectful treatment of each other is lived out and employees find their place and can apply their skills, irrespective of age, ethnic origin and nationality, gender and gender identity, physical and mental skills, religion and worldview, sexual orientation, and social origin.

Fashion for Good

Since 2018 we support the initiative „Fashion for Good“. It connects start-ups and investors via an innovation platform to fundamentally change the fashion industry. The goal is to establish technologies and business models that help to make the textile industry more sustainable. For example, this commitment produced the partnership between OTTO and the start-up Cadel Deinking. The Spanish company developed a technology for the high-quality recycling of plastic bags.

Forest Stewardship Council

When procuring furniture wood and paper, we rely on certified materials from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®), which has formulated strict standards for ecologically responsible forest management worldwide. As a member of the FSC since 2006, wooden articles in our own and licensed brands as well as from strategically relevant suppliers and catalog paper with the corresponding certificate are an integral part of our goals for sustainable materials.

Fur Free Retailer

Since 2014 we are a member of the "Fur Free Retailer" program of the animal welfare foundation "Vier Pfoten". The signatories commit not to use real fur. Beyond the self-commitment to be fur-free, this sends a clear public signal for animal welfare.

International accord

In 2013, we played a major role in shaping the „Accord on Fire and Building Safety for Textile Factories in Bangladesh“. The agreement was developed with the trade union federations IndustriALL and UNI, the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC), and national trade unions, and has greatly improved labor and safety standards in the South Asia country. It includes rules for independent inspections of participating textile factories in Bangladesh and shows ways for employees to complain about too little protection at their workplace. In 2021, international companies, including the Otto Group, and unions, agreed to a new International Accord for occupational safety in the international textile and clothing industry and the continuation of the measures already adopted. In addition to Bangladesh, other countries should thus also benefit from the adopted regulations. In January 2023, the Otto Group consequently signed the Pakistan Accord in a further milestone and is thus committed to better labor and safety standards in Pakistan.

Leibniz University of Hannover

In November 2020, we presented a study on voluntary sustainability cooperations (German language only) with the Institute for Corporate Leadership and Organization at the Leibniz University of Hannover. It shows the types of cooperation that are possible in the textile industry, the potential strategies to pursue, and the approach for successful action that is socially and ecologically sustainable. The study included the Otto Group’s experiences over the last 25 years in various alliances. The manual should help other companies negotiate their way in the broad field of cooperation and joint initiatives.

Save the Children

The Otto Group stands by its social responsibility and wants to support families and children in particular. To this end, it has teamed up with Save the Children to implement projects with a strong and experienced partner that aim to sustainably improve the lives of parents, families and young workers in supply chains and to support factories in becoming responsible and family-friendly employers. More information on the project in China and Turkey can be found here (in German only).

Science Based Targets Initiative

We are intensively addressing the alignment of our climate targets and climate protection activities with the Paris Climate Agreement and the 1.5-degree target formulated therein. Since 2022, we have been working with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), which has supported us in the development of a science-based target. The ambitious climate target was validated by the SBTi at the beginning of 2024 and thus represents an important basis for driving forward the reduction of emissions along the entire value chain on a science-based basis.


Since 2018, we have been a member of Cascale, the largest industry alliance for the sustainable production of apparel, footwear and textiles. The goal of Cascale is to establish industry-wide sustainability standards and common tools in the sector. With the help of the Higg Index, for example, we carry out standardized measurements of environmental sustainability in the supply chain and use the Material Sustainability Index to evaluate fabrics and fibers in our articles. In this way, we increase transparency about production conditions, determine the impact of our products on the environment in a more targeted way, and improve these step by step.

Partnership for Sustainable Textiles

Since 2015, we have been a member of the „Partnership for Sustainable Textiles“ (Bündnis für nachhaltige Textilien). The Otto Group supported the initiative of the federal government from the beginning and has represented the interests of the business community in its management group since 2015. The Alliance networks industry, commerce, NGOs, and policymakers to shape the global textile supply chain in a more social and ecological manner through joint standards. 

The Otto Group is committed to living wages and responsible sourcing practices through its active participation in the relevant strategy group. It was also involved in the “Living Wage Lab” initiative and is active in the “Tamil Nadu” initiative, which is dedicated to improving working conditions in the textile and clothing industry in the Indian state of the same name. On the website of our local implementation partner MSI-TN you can find more information on the Tamil Nadu initiative and an overview of the completed trainings. 

Since 2017, the Otto Group has fulfilled its obligation to report regularly on targets and measures. All information is reviewed by external and independent parties and published on the Textiles Partnership website. Click here to go directly to the current progress report with target achievement (only available in German).

Textile Exchange

Since 2006, we have been a member of the non-profit organization Textile Exchange to further develop industry standards for sustainable materials and share knowledge with companies in the fashion industry. In regular roundtables and the annual Textile Sustainability Conference, we network with other players in the market to collectively drive a sustainable transformation of the industry.

UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action

In 2018, we signed the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action to improve the climate impact of the fashion sector across the entire value chain. The Charter for Climate Action is part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The aim is to gradually reduce CO₂ emissions along the entire textile value chain. In this way, climate neutrality is to be achieved by 2050 in order to limit climate change to a maximum of 1.5°C. With a holistic approach to climate protection with approaches to reduce emissions in the supply chains, the focus of this globally active initiative is particularly on joint implementation. In addition to active participation in higher-level committees and selected working groups, we support the comprehensive goals of the Fashion Charter to transform the fashion sector in the long term.


In 2020, we launched the ZukunftsWerte initiative. Together with other entrepreneurs, managers, politicians, and civil society representatives, we would like to take on the many challenges of the digital transformation. The important part in this is that we succeed with a digital transformation that is based on European values and the rules of the social market economy. In Europe, we need an autonomous digital economy that sets itself apart from the Californian and Chinese model. Ours should demonstrate responsibility to society and be sustainable and conserve resources. The Otto Group would like to use the initiative to contribute to implementing this model.

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