Fashion Revolution launches 2019 Transparency Index

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In a decentralized the industry, chances are many of the clothes we wear have been through more than 20 different pairs of hands, across multiple countries. To ensure all apparel industry workers have decent working conditions, we need credible, accessible and transparent information.

To promote further transparency and accountability that can make fashion a force for good, C&A Foundation, together with the European Union, supported Fashion Revolution to launch the Fashion Transparency Index 2019.

In its fourth edition, the index compared the level of transparency of 200 brands and retailers according to their policy and commitments, governance, traceability, supplier assessment and remediation, as well as spotlight issues, which in 2019 focus on the Sustainable Development Goals. 

This year’s results are encouraging. For the first time since the index was launched, brands score over 60%, showing that brands are now taking real, tangible steps to disclose more about their social and environmental policies, practices and impacts. Overall, there was an 8.9% increase in the average score amongst the 98 brands reviewed since 2017. Amongst which, 11 brands have increased their scores by over 10% in the last year alone. 

Besides the increased disclosure of suppliers list, the report also shows 55% of brands are publishing their annual carbon footprint. Out of these,19.5% disclose carbon emissions in the supply chain – where over 50% of the industry’s emissions occur. 

Additionally, only five brands scored zero this year, compared with nine last year, showing more brands are embracing transparency.

Continuous work to foster transparency

Despite the visible improvement, there is still much room for improvement.  Still no brand has scored above the 70% range. 

According to Sarah Ditty, Fashion Revolution Policy Director and report author, “detailed information about the outcomes and impacts of their efforts are still lacking. Major brands are disclosing very little information and data about their purchasing practices, which means that we still don’t have visibility into what brands are doing to be responsible business partners to their suppliers”. The index shows that only 9% of brands disclose a formal process for gathering supplier feedback on the company's purchasing practices and just 6.5% of brands publish a policy of paying their suppliers within 60 days. 

“Brands now need to move beyond disclosing their tier one suppliers and give transparency to who is dying, cutting and also producing the fabrics”, states Jill Tucker, Head of C&A Foundation’s Labour Rights Programme.

“This will ensure that we not only know who made our clothes but also can work to ensure better working conditions across the entire supply chain”, she adds.  

Signs of change are promising, and this is just the beginning of this Fashion Revolution. To further promote transparency in the fashion industry, C&A Foundation has recently renewed the partnership with Fashion Revolution for three more years to continue supporting and give scale to the Fashion Transparency Index.

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