Global fashion activism movement, Fashion Revolution, recently unveiled its report Fashion Transparency Index 2021, which is aimed at tracking 250 of the world’s biggest brands and retailers in the industry.
While the brands as a whole have achieved an average transparency score of just 23 per cent, which encompasses sustainable practices, carbon emissions, textile waste and fair pay for workers, some brands did show an improvement when it came to transparency.
Top scoring brands included Italian brand OVS with a score of 78 per cent, with an increase of 44 per cent from 2020. Swedish fast fashion giant H&M, which came second with 68 per cent, did drop down a place. The brand was followed by Timberland and The North Face at 66 per cent, along with C&A and Vans at 65 per cent. Other brands scoring above 55 per cent include Gildan, Esprit and United Colors of Benetton, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Van Heusen, Gucci, Target Australia, Kmart Australia and Patagonia. Brands that showed the most progress in terms of transparency scores included OVS, UGG and Tom Tailor, while those that showed a drop in their score, included Wrangles, which dropped by 24 per cent and sportswear brands Adidas and Reebok which dropped by 15 per cent each.
As revealed by the report, 20 brands and retailers scored zero per cent on Fashion Transparency Index 2021. These brands include Belle, Big Bazaar, Billabong, Celio, Elie Tahari, Fashion Nova, Heilan Home, Jessica Simpson, Koovs, Max Mara, Metersbonwe, Mexx, New Yorker, Quiksilver, Pepe Jeans, Roxy, Semir, Tom Ford, Tory Burch and Youngor.
The average score, which had been increasing up until 2019, not only dropped in the year 2020 but also stayed the same since. As per the report, 99 per cent of the biggest fashion brands still don’t disclose the number of workers in their supply chain who are paid a living wage and 96 per cent have no public roadmap on how they plan to achieve a living wage for all their workers. While 62 per cent of participating brands did publish their carbon footprint within their operations, their disclosures fail to extend throughout their supply chain.
The report, which started in 2015, also pointed out the lack of disclosure over Covid-19 response and climate action from fashion brands. Out of all the fashion brands assessed, a mere 3 per cent made public the number of the workers they have laid off due to the pandemic.
Overall, Fashion Revolution’s index is based on the information disclosed by some of the world’s largest fashion houses on their environmental, social, and governance policies, practices and impacts.
“Transparency underpins transformative change. But unfortunately, much of the fashion value chain remains opaque while human and environmental exploitation thrives with impunity,” said the report.
Image used for representational purposes only.