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Fashion Transparency Index 2018

See how global fashion brands and retailers compare when it comes to publishing where and how our clothes are made
Fashion Transparency Index 2018

The Fashion Transparency Index 2018, released this week, reviews and ranks how much information 150 of the biggest global fashion brands and retailers publish about their suppliers and social and environmental policies, practices and impacts.

The research found that even the highest scoring brands on the list still have a long way to go towards being transparent. The average score brands achieved was 52 out of 250, representing just 21% of the total possible points, and none of the companies on the list scored above 60%.

Leaders in transparency

The research reveals 10 brands and retailers are leading the way towards greater transparency amongst the major corporate players.

Adidas and Reebok top the Index again this year scoring 58% (or 144.5 out of 250 possible points) followed by Puma, H&M, Esprit, Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, C&A and Marks & Spencer in the 51-60% range. ASOS is shortly behind at 50%, having increased its level of disclosure by 18% since last year.

The 98 brands and retailers that were included in both the 2017 and 2018 Fashion Transparency Index have increased their level of transparency by an average of approximately 5% overall and across each section of the methodology. This suggests that inclusion in the Fashion Transparency Index has influenced brands and retailers to disclose more.

Supplier information

The good news is that 37% of the 150 brands in the Fashion Transparency Index 2018 are publishing supplier lists at the first tier — where our clothes are typically cut, sewn and assembled. 18% are publishing their processing facilities where clothes are dyed, laundered, printed or treated.

21% of the brands scored more than 80% on policy and commitments and all but 10 brands were publishing at least one policy. However, on average the brands scored just 11% when it comes to traceability and 17% when it comes to publishing procedures and outcomes of supplier assessments. This means there is little shared by brands about how their policies are put into practice or how their policies impact workers in the supply chain.

Discrimination policies

Three-quarters of brands publish a policy on discrimination for people working both in the company and in the supply chain. However, only 40% publish an equal pay policy, only 14% publish the annual gender pay gap and only 5% disclose any information about the prevalence of gender-based labour violations in the factories where their clothes are made.

If you wanted to find out exactly what brands and retailers are doing or how they are performing on social and environmental issues, the research ‘it is difficult — sometimes entirely impossible — to find this information’. Without easy-to-find, trustworthy information, it’s hard to make informed decisions about what we buy.

Keep asking #whomademyclothes to encourage greater transparency

Demand public disclosure

At the moment none of us have enough information about where and how our clothes are made. This is why Fashion Revolution is asking brands for more public disclosure of their suppliers and social and environmental policies, practices and impacts.

The first step towards positive change is greater transparency. You can encourage more public disclosure from brands by asking #whomademyclothes on social media. Find out what else you can do to push for greater transparency by reading the Fashion Transparency Index 2018.

Fashion Revolution believes in a fashion industry that values people, planet, creativity and profit in equal measure and that positive change starts with transparency, traceability and openness.

More transparency will lead to greater accountability, which eventually will lead to a change in the way business is done.

Click here for more about Fashion Revolution 2018 and ideas about how to get involved.

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