Every year Baptist World Aid Australia releases their annual Ethical Fashion Report to shed light on what the industry and individual companies are doing to address forced labour, child labour and exploitation. Along with their report they provide FOR FREE an accompanying Fashion Guide that grades 106 companies (330 brands) based on their ethical performance. As consumers we should absolutely be grabbing hold of this valuable information and using it to help us make informed purchasing choices.
To give you a brief overview of how it works, the grade applied to each company is reflective of their labour rights management systems. Using 40 different criteria BWA's research team has analysed each company's supply chain over four main areas:
- knowing suppliers
- auditing and supplier relationships
- worker voice
One of the great things that this report shows is the improvements some companies have made over recent years. We are seeing some SIGNIFICANT gains made.
This report mainly looks at labour rights so there are obviously still some significant issues around ethical production that fall outside of labour. Issues like environmental policies and intellectual property are not covered in this report. BUT... What a great starting point. At the very least we should be aware of the best brands and the worst brands in this report. And we should be using our consumer power to call the worst performing brands to account.
Have a read and let us know what you think! Are you surprised by some of these scores? Where are your favourite brands placed? If you want to find out more about why being ethical and sustainable is important to us as a company, check out our questions page