Last week The Fashion Revolution released its annual Fashion Transparency Report. For those of you who are not familiar - The Fashion Transparency Index is an annual report that reviews top fashion brands on their practices towards transparency specifically with policies, practices, and environmental impact.
The score is based out of 100% - and is generated from 5 smaller categories:
1. Policy and Commitments (19.5% of total)
2. Governance (4.5% of total)
3. Traceability (34% of total)
4. Know, Show, and Fix (28% of total)
5. Spotlight issues (14% of total)
Transparency plays a huge role in sustainability and the Fashion Industry. It was an industry norm to keep suppliers and workers information private. The Fashion Revolution started the hashtag #WHOMADEMYCLOTHES movement which created a buzz and demand for more transparency within the Fashion industry. While most of us only see the finished product, the truth is that garment usually touches a lot of hands before it reaches us in the store. Knowing where who and how my clothes were made, what kind of impact it has on the environment, what chemicals were used in the making of this garment, and the workers that made my clothes have a good quality of life are important to me.
There is still a lack of regulations overseas at factories. After the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, there has been a movement to improve workers rights within these countries. Unfortunately, not enough has been done because factory fires, building collapses, and toxic pollution is still happening.
Keep reading below for a summary and interesting facts I came across on the report. if you would like to read the entire report - I have put a link at the bottom of the page.
- This year, Adidas, Patagonia, and Reebok tied at 1st place with a score of 64%. Espirit and H&M didn't fall far behind scoring 62% and 61%.
*Note that no brand or retailer has ever received a 100%.
- Tom Ford, Ellie Tahari, Mexx, Jessica Simpson, and Youngor scored ZERO POINTS. This was interesting to me because Tom Ford was named the new chair of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), replacing Diane Von Furstenburg. The CFDA is a nonprofit organization that raises funds for charity and industry activities. Their mission statement is "To strengthen the impact of American Fashion in the global economy". The fact that Tom Ford has yet publicly shed light on sustainability and is now the chair of the CFDA is quite shocking.
- The average score this year was a small 21%. This is proof that although there is some movement towards transparency, 21% out of 100% is not an average the industry should be proud of.
- Adidas has consistently been a top placeholder since 2017 when the first report was released.
* Fun-fact Adidas stated that in 2019, they will produce 11 million pairs of shoes that will use recycled ocean plastic. They also went as far as to say that by 2024 they will only use recycled polyester in every product.
- In comparison to 2018, most brands have increased their score from last year. While it may only be by a few percents, it's good that transparency and sustainability is a conversation happening within most companies. While it may not be moving as fast as we might all like - it's better than nothing!
- There seems to be more light shed on environmental impact rather than women's rights and factory workers rights. 54% had published initiatives on improving environmental factors, while 40% published initiatives to improve human rights.
- There is a need for governance in most brands. Less than half of the 200 brands reviewed scored less than 20% on the Governance portion of their review. Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Marks & Spencer, Puma, and Saint Laurant scored all points possible on this portion.
- Two-thirds of the brands reviewed did not disclose any of their suppliers. Traceability has the lowest average score out of all five sectors. Patagonia and Espirit ranked the highest falling between the 71-80% range.
Overall there has been growth within the industry, unfortunately not enough changes have been made. I encourage you to follow fashion revolution, as they constantly post updates on the Fashion industry and how to be apart of the change!
Click here to read the full Transparency Index.