Each year Baptist World Aid put together an ethical fashion report as part of the Behind The Barcode Project that grades brands on their labour right management systems. This research is then published to help you make a more informed decisions when making a purchase.
This year the report has been released just in time for Fashion Revolution Week, a week that was born out of the devastation of the of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, a tragedy which cut short the lives of 1,134 garment workers fours ago.
Unfortunately, it took a catastrophe like this to magnify the poor and unsafe working conditions of the garment industry and put it to the forefront of peoples minds.
( 3 minute read )
HOW FAR HAVE WE COME IN 12 MONTHS?
The past 12 months have been the best yet for sustainable fashion. With the release of the True Cost Documentary in late 2015, this allowed the average person like you and I to better understand what was happening in these factories and inspire us to start thinking about where are clothes are made and by whom.
As for the larger brands out there, we thought it would be interesting to compare their grade from 2016 to their grade in 2017 and highlight the improvements. In simple terms brands are graded on each brand’s labour rights management systems. Higher grades correspond to systems which, when implemented well, should reduce the risk of modern slavery, child labour and exploitation.
Each brands supply chain practices are analysed in four key areas:
2. Knowing Suppliers
3. Auditing & Supplier Relationships
4. Worker Voice
Brands are then graded based on the evidence and input they supplied in response to the criteria and pertinent publicly available information.
2016 - 2017 COMPARISONS
We have selected a handful of the brands graded below to compare.
Slavery & Labour Rights Grade
Brands highlighted in GREEN have improved, brands highlighted in RED have down graded.
|Sass & Bide||C+||C+|
Download the full list here
A huge stand out for us is General Pants who went from an extremely low grade F to an more commendable grade C, what a huge shift.
Each improvement should be celebrated as it is a step in the right direction.
*sigh* How can it be possible to be downgraded? With such a shift in the industry and labour rights being talked about and highlighted to the extent it has, how have Hollister downgraded from a grade C- to a grade D+? It would be great to hear their feedback on this, maybe we should as Hollister #whomademyclothes this Fashion Revolution Week.
NAME & SHAME
Other brands who are simply not doing enough and should be ashamed of themselves are the following:
These brands were Graded F and were non-responsive to Baptist World Aid.
Airflex, Ally, Betts, Bloch, Decjuba, Jump, Kachel, Get Formal, Farmers, Oxford, Ping Pong, Rodger David, Ron Bennett, SEW253, Wish.