Belfast Telegraph

Fashion brands 'not transparent enough on social and environmental policies'

Many of the biggest fashion brands still do not reveal enough information about their impact on workers in their supply chains or on the environment, according to a report.

The Fashion Transparency Index gives Adidas and Reebok the highest score of 121.5 out of 250 in a ranking of how much information 100 of the biggest global fashion companies publish about their social and environmental policies, practices and impacts.

Marks & Spencer ranked highly with 120 points, as did H&M with 119.5 points.

However, even the highest scoring brands on the list "still have a long way to go towards being transparent", according to the report.

The average score achieved by those included in the index was 49 out of 250 - less than 20% of the total possible points - and none of the companies scored above 50%.

Only eight brands scored higher than 40%, while a further nine brands scored 4% or less out of 250 possible points, of which Dior, China-based Heilan Home and Germany's s.Oliver scored zero because they disclosed nothing at all.

Only 34 brands have made public commitments to paying living wages to workers in the supply chain, and only four - H&M, Marks & Spencer, New Look and Puma - are reporting on progress towards achieving this, according to the study.

The index, launched to mark the start of Fashion Revolution Week which marks the anniversary of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in which more than 1,000 workers died, aims to help consumers make informed decisions about the companies they support through greater transparency.

Brands were awarded points based on their level of transparency across five categories - policy and commitments, governance, traceability, supplier assessment and remediation and living wages, collective bargaining and business model innovation.

Fashion Revolution co-founder Carry Somers said: "People have the right to know that their money is not supporting exploitation, human rights abuses and environmental destruction.

"There is no way to hold companies and governments to account if we can't see what is truly happening behind the scenes. This is why transparency is so essential.

"Through publishing this research, we hope brands will be pushed in a more positive direction towards a fundamental shift in the way the system works, beginning with being more transparent."