Reebok was one of the firms that topped Fashion Revolution’s transparency ranking  ©Warwick Saint/Reebok
Reebok was one of the firms that topped Fashion Revolution’s transparency ranking ©Warwick Saint/Reebok

Fashion supply chains 'still not transparent'

Global fashion brands are failing to disclose enough information about how their supply chains affect the lives of workers and the environment, according to a report.

Adidas, Reebok, Marks & Spencer and H&M topped Fashion Revolution’s second annual Fashion Transparency Index. Last year Levi Strauss came out on top.

The report reviewed 100 of the biggest global fashion companies in terms of how much information they publish about their social and environmental policies and practices on the fourth anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh.

But even the industry’s leaders are not doing enough to make conditions for workers fully transparent, the report said.

While an average score was 49 out of 250, less than 20% of the total possible points, even the best-performing companies failed to score above 50%. This reveals there is a long way to go before the fashion industry is truly transparent, said Fashion Revolution.

Adidas and Reebok scored 121.5 out of 250, followed by Marks & Spencer with 120 points and H&M with 119.5 points.

They were followed by Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, and Puma – the only other brands to score higher than 40%.

However, the largest group, which included Ralph Lauren, Georgio Armani and Christian Dior and high street brands such as Forever 21, Claire’s Accessories, Anthropologie and Monsoon, scored below 10%.

Heilan Home and s.Oliver failed to disclose any information at all and so scored zero.

“Tragedies like Rana Plaza are eminently preventable, but will continue to happen until brands and every other stakeholder in the fashion supply chain take responsibility for their actions and impacts,” said Fashion Revolution co-founder Carry Somers. “Transparency is the first step towards making this happen.”

Only 34 brands made public commitments to paying workers in their supply chain a living wage and only four – H&M, Marks & Spencer, New Look and Puma – are reporting on progress towards achieving this aim.

Some 14 brands published details of processing facilities where their clothes are dyed, laundered, printed or treated and 31 brands published details of their first tier supplier list, including Asos, Benetton, C&A, Esprit, Gap, M&S, Uniqlo and VF Corporation brands – up from five last year.

Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy scored highest on traceability (44%) because they included information on types of products or services and approximate number of workers in each supplier facility. 

However, no brand published details of its raw material suppliers.

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