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FASHION REVOLUTION | FASHION TRANSPARENCY INDEX 2017

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VIEWPOINT

DR. MARK ANNER DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR GLOBAL WORKERS’ RIGHTS PENN STATE UNIVERSITY

Fashion Revolution once again has provided an important contribution to efforts to address sweatshop practices with its Fashion Transparency Index. The Index is an eloquent reminder of how much work remains to be done in the industry. Far too many workers still face unacceptable conditions of work in apparel supply chains, including forced and excessive overtime, unsafe buildings, and subpar wages that do not cover basic living expenses.

Research has consistently shown that an organized and empowered workforce is often the most effective and democratic way to address many violations. Yet, Fashion Revolution’s findings indicate that most brands are not disclosing information about unionization and collective bargaining agreements. In far too many countries, workers are often dismissed or threatened when trying to organize unions, raise wages, and establish more stable work. Many problems are the result of employer abuses and weak local governance. Yet, significant problems are the result of sourcing practices that start at the top of global supply chains. This includes a worrisome pattern of reducing the price paid to produce apparel and shortening the time allotted to make and ship items. Such a price squeeze contributes to low wages and unsafe buildings. And the lead time squeeze engenders forced overtime and increased worker production quotas.

Sustainable supply chains require sustainable sourcing practices. The price brands pay to produce their garments should cover the costs of living wages and safe buildings, and the lead times brands allot to make their goods should allow for reasonable hours of work and reduced work intensity. Such good practices must extend through the entire supply chain, from tier 1 factories to home work.

"the time has come for brands and retailers to make their entire supply chains transparent" As Fashion Revolution's effort indicates, the time has come for brands and retailers to make their entire supply chains transparent. The time has also come to establish sourcing practices that are conducive to the human development and empowerment of the workers who work so hard every day to make the clothes we wear.

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...