We believe this simple question gets people thinking differently about what they wear. We need to know that our questions, our voices, and our shopping habits can have the power to help change things for the better. With more citizens encouraging brands to answer ‘who made my clothes?, we believe Fashion Revolution has the power to push the industry to become more transparent.
Read the FASHION TRANSPARENCY INDEX 2019
While we are seeing companies share their policies and commitments on human rights and the environment, there is still much crucial information about the practices of the fashion industry that remains concealed — particularly when it comes to impacts on the lives of workers in the supply chain and on the environment.
The Fashion Transparency Index 2019 reviews and ranks 200 of the biggest global fashion and apparel brands and retailers according to how much information they disclose about their suppliers, supply chain policies and practices, and social and environmental impact.
We assessed brands and retailers across five key areas:
The results aren’t that surprising: the average score for all 200 brands and retailers is 21% out of 250 possible points, proving that there is still a lot of work to be done.
However, we are seeing brands and retailers making moves towards greater transparency.
Out of the 150 brands and retailers we reviewed in 2018, we have seen a 5% average increase in their level of transparency this year and when we look at the 98 brands reviewed in the Index since 2017 we see an almost 9% increase in their average scores.
The highest scoring brands this year are Adidas, Reebok and Patagonia, who each score 64% of the 250 possible points.
No major brands score above 70%. Although, last year no brands scored above 60% and no brands above 50% in 2017.
At the highest score of 64% this year, it shows that even leading brands and retailers still have significant room for improvement when it comes to sharing their social and environmental policies, practices and impacts with their customers and stakeholders.
Please note we are not evaluating brands’ ethical or sustainability performance but rather how much information they disclose publicly about their human rights and environmental policies, practices and impacts.
The good news is that more brands and retailers are disclosing their suppliers than they were three years ago.
70 out of the 200 major fashion brands we reviewed are publishing a list of their first-tier manufacturers, where clothes are cut, sewn and finished.
38 brands are disclosing their processing facilities, where ginning and spinning, wet processing, embroidering, printing, dyeing and laundering typically takes place.
10 brands are disclosing some of the facilities or farms supplying their fibres such as viscose, cotton and wool.
This progress is encouraging, but there is still so much we don’t know about the people who make our clothes, from farm to retail.
Lack of transparency costs lives. It is impossible for companies to make sure human rights are respected, working conditions are adequate and the environment is safeguarded without knowing where their products are made. That’s why transparency is essential.
Transparency requires that companies know who makes their clothes – from who stitched them right through to who dyed the fabric and who farmed the cotton — and under what conditions. Crucially, it requires brands to share this information publicly.
If we know the facilities where our clothes are being made, if we have access to information about the factories, mills and farms where brands are sourcing then the public can help hold the industry to account for their claims.
This is what Fashion Revolution is asking for.
Transparency alone is not enough to fix the industry’s problems, but it is a necessary first step towards wider systemic change. Transparency shines a light on issues often kept in the dark.
Ultimately, we each need to act upon the wealth of information that is being disclosed in order to hold brands and retailers, governments and suppliers to account for human rights, working conditions and environmental impact.
Fashion Revolution believes that the whole fashion industry needs a radical paradigm shift and that the way that we produce, sell, consume and dispose of clothes needs to be holistically transformed. Transparency helps to reveal the structures of fashion industry so we can better understand how to change this system in a fundamental, long-lasting and positive way.
Read our Manifesto for a Fashion Revolution.
We are taking action on our findings and encouraging brands to take the following urgent and concrete steps towards greater transparency:
We recognise that being transparent is difficult. As a business, you might fear transparency because you don’t want it to jeopardise your competitiveness, or because you might not be able to answer workers or suppliers if questions are asked, or because it might uncover issues you don’t know how to resolve. We know it can be complicated.
But we live in an era when personal and corporate secrets can be unravelled with a few lines of code or clicks of the mouse, and so today, it is only a matter of time before the public discovers the facts.
There is no excuse anymore. As a company, your greatest fear should be that more tragedies like Rana Plaza will happen again, and you will be complicit. Fashion Revolution is here to help companies see through these fears. We are here to show that knowing who makes your clothes is a first important step towards ensuring these kinds of tragedies are no longer possible.
Not only is transparency about understanding and reducing any risk to your company reputation but it can also be good for business. Knowing who makes your clothes and where, being in better touch with your supply chain, means you can understand it more clearly and make more informed business decisions.
We believe that greater transparency will lead to more accountability and eventually, this will lead to a change in the way business is done.
Fashion Revolution is here to encourage the companies who are making real efforts to be more transparent about who makes their clothes. It is up to all of us to make sure companies are doing what they say they are.
Ultimately, everybody needs to play a part in holding the industry to account for its business practices and impacts — the public, NGOs, certification bodies, industry associations, governments, trade unions, producers, workers, suppliers, communities and even brands themselves.
Find out more about how you can use your voice to push for greater transparency.
If you have any questions relating to the Fashion Transparency Index, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A review of the 200 biggest fashion brands and retailers ranked according to how much they disclose about their social and environmental policies, practices and impact.DOWNLOAD
Ranking the levels of transparency of 150 of the biggest global fashion companies.DOWNLOAD