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FASHION REVOLUTION | FASHION TRANSPARENCY INDEX 2017

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2. GOVERNANCE IMPLICATIONS Management and board level responsibility If you wanted to find out more about the social and environmental practices of the brands in this Index, you might find it difficult to know whom to contact. It may seem a simple ask but 36 of the 100 brands do not publish an email address or phone number so that people can contact the sustainability or CSR team directly. This means over one-third of the brands aren’t easy to get in touch with should you want to know more about how their products are made, by whom and under what conditions. Just over half of the brands (51%) publish the name of a board level committee that is responsible for sustainability and ethics issues, but only 39% describe how this works in practice.

Few real incentives for employees or suppliers to create change When it comes to other company staff — designers, buyers, merchandisers, etc. — only seven brands are disclosing whether employee performance or incentives (bonuses or other rewards) are tied to social and environmental impacts. Generally speaking, it’s difficult to tell whether anyone other than the brands’ board of directors and the sustainability/CSR team are held accountable for human rights and environmental protection. Meanwhile, roughly one-quarter (26%) of brands report how they incentivise their suppliers to make social and environmental improvements.

As explained by the Ethical Trading Initiative, brands’ "practices such as last-minute changes to orders and ever-shorter lead times can contribute to excessive overtime, increased use of casual labour, and even unauthorised sub-contracting. And pressure from retailers to reduce prices can make it difficult for suppliers to pay workers a living wage.” Many brands talk about training staff and suppliers on social and environmental issues. However, if brands truly want to make a positive change, they should be publicising how they are incentivising changes at each stage of the product’s creation from designing more sustainable products to sourcing better materials to better purchasing practices and rewarding responsible suppliers with more orders or better terms of business.

Profile for Fashion Revolution

Fashion Transparency Index 2017  

A review of 100 of the biggest global fashion brands and retailers ranked according to how much they disclose about their social and enviro...

Fashion Transparency Index 2017  

A review of 100 of the biggest global fashion brands and retailers ranked according to how much they disclose about their social and enviro...