Fashion Revolution Week: #whomademyclothes?
Today marks the end of Fashion Revolution Week, the global movement led by Fashion Revolution, to urge radical changes within the fashion industry. The week coincides with the anniversary of the Rana Plaza, a Bangladesh garment factory collapse on 24th April 2013. The incident, which killed 1,138 people, occurred hours after factory owner Mohammed Sohel Rana ignored safety warnings and refused to evacuate, leaving over 2000 people inside the building when it collapsed. Brands linked to the factory including Benetton, Matalan and Primark faced few repercussions.
To make steps towards a safer and fairer industry, an annual Fashion Transparency Index was created by Fashion Revolution to score brands on their human and environmental impacts and hopefully give us, the consumer, a better, more transparent view of our favorite brands.
Fashion Revolution’s index rates 100 brands (including Burberry, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Prada and YSL) on five factors:
- Policy & commitments
- ‘know, show & fix’
- ‘spotlight issues’ (fair wages and environmental concerns).
Each of the factors explores how successful the brand is in terms of accountability, paying workers and commitments towards social issues to give a final score of transparency.
HOW THE 100 BRANDS WERE CHOSEN
Brands were selected on the basis of three factors:
- According to annual turnover, over $1.2 billion USD.
- Voluntarily agreed to be included after last year’s edition.
- Representing a cross-section of market segments including high street, luxury, sportswear, accessories, footwear and denim from across Europe, North America, South America and Asia.
THE FINAL SCORES
Total scores were out of 250 possible points, which Fashion Revolution has converted into percentages. They chose to publish percentages rather than each brand’s individual scores because it encourages readers to focus on emerging patterns rather than exact details.
0-10%: Brands scoring between 0-5% are disclosing nothing at all or a very limited number of policies, which tend to be related to the brand’s job hiring practices or local community engagement activities. Brands scoring between 5-10% are likely to be publishing some policies for both its own employees and suppliers. Those closer to 10% are likely to be publishing a basic supplier code of conduct and some detailed information about their procedures and possibly supplier.
11-20%: Brands scoring between 11-20% are likely to be publishing a majority of policies, some procedures and information about their supplier assessment and remediation processes.
21-30%: Brands scoring between 20-30% are likely to be publishing much more detailed information about their policies, procedures, social and environmental goals and supplier assessment and remediation processes.
31-40%: These are the brands who are publishing suppliers lists as well as detailed information about their policies, procedures, social and environmental goals, supplier assessment and remediation processes and general assessment findings. These brands are also more likely to be addressing the Spotlight Issues such as living wages, collective bargaining and/or circular resources.
41-50%: Brands scoring over 40% are those who are most likely to be publishing more detailed supplier lists, some will be publishing processing facilities as well as manufacturers — in addition to detailed information about their policies, procedures, social and environmental goals, supplier assessment and remediation processes and general assessment findings. These brands are also more likely to be addressing the Spotlight Issues such as living wages, collective bargaining and/or circular resources.
51-60%: No brands score above 50% but if they did these brands would be disclosing all of the information already described as well as publishing detailed information about assessment and remediation findings and detailed supplier lists from manufacturing right down to raw materials. These brands would be making public commitments to paying living wages across their supply chain and reporting on progress towards meeting this aim. These brands would be disclosing the number of workers in their supply chain covered by collective bargaining agreements or part of trade unions. These brands would be their mapping social and environmental impacts into their financial business model.
Here are the scores for 2017. Brands ranked in numerical order by score out of 250, but shown as rounded-up percentage. Where brands have the same percentage score, they are listed in alphabetical order and grouped with others from same parent company.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH THIS INFORMATION?
As consumers, we sustain the economy through our buying power; therefore we have the ability to transform it. Fashion Transparency Index was created to inspire people to ask their favorite brand: #whomademyclothes, demanding greater transparency.
At the moment none of us have enough information about where and how our clothes are made. We have the right to know that our money is not supporting exploitation, human rights abuses and environmental destruction. There is no way to hold brands and governments to account if we can’t see what is truly happening behind the scenes. This is why transparency is essential. I hope the Fashion Revolution research inspires you to try to find out more about the production processes and people behind what you wear.
TO ENCORAGE BRANDS TO DO MORE; YOU CAN TAKE ACTION IN TWO WAYS:
Encourage more public disclosure from brands. You can do this by using social media to ask brands #whomademyclothes and by supporting campaigns that call for brands to publish their supplier lists and supply chain information;
Write or call policymakers and ask them to do two things:
To implement regulation ensuring brands are responsible for the impact they have on the lives of the people working in their supply chains, at home and abroad;
Require brands to report transparently about their social and environmental impacts across the entire value chain using a common framework.
So… dear @mango… #whomademyclothes?