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How Ethical Are Your Favourite Fashion Brands?

Despite a love for fashion and style, we all know that plenty of our favourite fashion brands aren’t exactly kosher when it comes to social and environmental standards and a new index ranking the world’s biggest labels is about to blow what you thought right out of the water.

The Fashion Transparency Index is a joint project between UK not-for-profit Fashion Revolution and research co-operative Ethical Consumer, and includes sportswear, luxury and high street brands, all with an annual turnover of at least AUD $66 million.

Brands like Levi Strauss & Co, Inditex (Zara) and H&M were praised in the index for making “significant efforts in given areas and making some or most of their information publicly available.” However, luxury fashion houses including Chanel, Hermes and Prada rated low, “making little effort towards being transparent about their supply chain practices…with little to no evidence that the company has more than a Code of Conduct in place.”

Sitting on the fence were brands like ASOS, Lululemon and Nike who are “making some efforts…[but with] a long way to go towards supply chain transparency.”

The rankings of the 40 international brands and retailers in the index include scores grading their transparency on policy and commitment, tracking and traceability, audits and remediation, engagement and collaboration, and governance. “Transparency means companies know who makes their products, from who stitched them right through to who dyed the fabric and who farmed the cotton,” according to the index.

The release of The Transparency Index coincided with the start of Fashion Revolution week, which runs from April 18 – April 24, which is the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh. Tually said events like the collapse have made it impossible for brands to avoid being transparent about the “tiers” in their supply chain.

Here’s how some other fashion brands rate in percentage on The Transparency Index:

LOW RATING (0-25%)

10 – Chanel
17 – Hermes
19 – Fendi
19 – LVMH (Dior, Givenchy, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, R.M. Williams etc)
21 – Prada
21 – Michael Kors
25 – Under Armour

LOW TO MIDDLE RATING (26-50%)

33 – Ralph Lauren
28 – Gucci
40 – Victoria’s Secret
42 – Hugo Boss (*Cough* Don’t forget WW2)
42 – J Crew
43 – ASOS
43 – Burberry
43 – Coach
44 – Lululemon
49 – Arcadia Group (Topman, Burton Menswear etc)
50 – Mango

HIGH TO MIDDLE RATING (51-75%)

52 – Uniqlo
57 – Converse
57 – Nike
65 – Gap
69 – Adidas

TOP RATING (76-100%)

76 – H&M
76 – Inditex (Zara, Massimo Dutti etc)
77 – Levi Strauss & Co

[via SMH]

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