During this week, Fashion Revolution will be holding a number of online events and workshops, discussing various issues within the fashion industry one of those issues being transparency between brands and the public. Fashion Revolution describes transparency in relation to the fashion industry to be about more than just sharing the good but also sharing the failures and processes brands are going through to do better. This week Fashion Revolution and getting consumers to ask more questions starting with #whoMadeMyClothes? From stitching, creating the fabrics to who farmed the cotton, Fashion revolution is calling for the public to demand transparency from the brands they wear.
“Transparency is more than just sharing the good work that brands are doing. Too often we see brands boasting about their business values and positive progress without sharing much about the things that go wrong, the systemic challenges they face and the actual honest results of their efforts to protect human rights and the environment. This can come across as greenwashing. It is also not enough to disclose crucial supply chain information internally or selectively to certain stakeholders only. This is how brands have operated for a very long time, yet widespread abuses remain endemic across the industry. True transparency requires public disclosure.”
This year Fashion Revolution reviewed 250 of the world’s largest brands and retailers and ranked them according to their level of transparency. This was measured using 55,000 data points taking into account how they much they revealed and dealt with animal welfare, biodiversity, climate, due diligence, forced labour, and living wages. To make things fair the list only looked at brands that incur an annual turnover of over $400m across either sportswear, luxury, or high street fashion.
The average score for brands ranked at 23% for transparency while Swedish high street brand H&M ranked 73% at the top of the list. A few brands fell dismally behind ranking 0%, brands such as Bally, Maxmara, and Tom Ford. With lots of talk on sustainability being the future of fashion post lockdown, these brands will certainly be scrutinised in hopes for them to take a deeper look into their ethics and begin the process to become both more sustainable but also transparent in their process to achieve this.
This is the fifth annual edition of the Fashion Transparency Index and Fashion Revolution is presenting a perfect distraction from all the devastation and uncertainty. People have been waiting for more answers and a sense of direction for what we can do to improve the fashion industry as we have had so much time to reflect on how much damage we have done to our earth and as mentioned by Stella McCartney in last weeks Vogue Global Conversations, our earth is healing and bouncing back so quickly because we are allowing it to. Speaking to Naomi Campbell on her YouTube live-stream series, the American Vogue editor Anna Wintour explained that people’s values with regards to consumption will take a shift.
“I think it’s an opportunity for all of us to look at our industry and to look at our lives, and to re-think our values, and to really think about the waste, and the amount of money, and consumption, and excess – and I obviously include myself in this – that we have all indulged in and how we really need to re-think what this industry stands for” – Anna Wintour