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Tom Ford and Savage X Fenty: Major brands giving ‘bare minimum’ are revealed in transparency ranking

Major brands like Fashion Nova, Max Mara and Van Heusen are among the lowest scorers.
Major brands like Fashion Nova, Max Mara and Van Heusen are among the lowest scorers. Copyright Pexels / MART PRODUCTION
Copyright Pexels / MART PRODUCTION
By Monica Meade
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Major fashion brands ranked on transparency about their environmental impact and working conditions by Fashion Revolution’s index scale.

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The world’s largest fashion activism movement has ranked 250 different brands on how much information they share about their supply chain and environmental policies, practices and impacts.

Fashion Revolution is pushing for 100 per cent public transparency from brands to work towards a reduction in the likelihood of exploitive, unsafe working conditions and environmental damage.

But results revealed today (13 July) from its Transparency Index show that only two major fashion brands scored above 80 per cent and 70 scored between 0 to 10 per cent.

“Time is running out and yet the majority of the fashion industry continues to dig their heels in and refuse to change,” Fashion Revolution’s Policy and Research Manager Liv Simpliciano says.

“We cannot shop our way out of the climate crisis, we cannot recycle our way out of overproduction and frankly, there is no fashion on a dead planet.”

Canva / bdspnimage
Textile waste in BangladeshCanva / bdspnimage

An eye-watering 94 per cent of brands don’t disclose what fuel is used to manufacture garments and 99 per cent withhold the number of workers in their supply chains being paid a living wage rate.

Testing wastewater and making changes based on what is found could reduce  environmental impact from pollution - a mere 7 per cent of brands are willing to share these results.

Microplastic particles are destroying sea life and have been found in the Mariana Trench, but 85 per cent of brands won’t disclose annual garment production volumes.

What is the Fashion Transparency Index?

Fashion Revolution’s Transparency Index reviews and ranks 250 of the world’s largest and most influential apparel brands and retailers. It provides an index score based on the percentage of what they reveal.

A score of 100 per cent would mean that all details of every supplier in their chain, policy, procedure and performance are disclosed.

The higher the score, the larger the likelihood of positive change for the environment and human rights by bringing accountability to the brands.

A low percentage score means more information is being hidden and a higher chance of poor practice behind closed doors.

What are the results of the Fashion Transparency Index?

Last year only 15 brands scored 0 per cent, but this year there are 18.

These include ANTA, Belle, Big Bazaar, Bosideng, Fashion Nova, K-Way, KOOVs, Max Mara, Metersbonwe, Mexx, New Yorker, Heilan Home, Savage x Fenty, Semir, Splash, Tom Ford, Van Heusen and Youngor.

On the other end of the scale, just two brands scored 80 per cent or higher this year. These are Gucci at 80 per cent and OVS at 83 per cent. Following closely behind are Kmart Australia and Target Australia at 76 per cent.

Canva / Katelyn Whitson
Gucci has improved by 21 per cent since last yearCanva / Katelyn Whitson

Five of the biggest movers in this year’s rankings were luxury brands with Gucci seeing the most significant increase of 21 percentage points.

Fashion Revolution says that it shows that big strides can be made in transparency if there is the will for change.

“As activists, it is maddening to have to continually push for what ultimately is the bare minimum of what we should expect from major fashion brands,” Simpliciano says.

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“The unimpressive progress here is worrisome in the face of deepening social inequality, environmental destruction and various incoming legislations.”

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