Fashion Transparency Index 2020

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY About the Fashion Transparency Index 2020 We are pleased to deliver our fifth annual Fashion Transparency Index 2020, which reviews and ranks 250 of the world’s largest fashion brands and retailers according to how much they disclose about their social and environmental policies, practices and impacts. This year we reviewed an additional 50 brands and retailers, including major brands from Australia, India, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa and Switzerland for the first time. We also added in several e-retailers this year, including Fashion Nova (USA), Koovs (India) and Pretty Little Thing (UK). The Fashion Transparency Index comprises 220 indicators covering a wide range of social and environmental topics such as animal welfare, biodiversity, chemicals, climate, due diligence, forced labour, freedom of association, gender equality, living wages, purchasing practices, supplier disclosure, waste and recycling, working conditions and more.

High street brands lead on transparency but luxury brands are making progress

The majority of brands and retailers lack transparency on social and environmental issues

H&M (H&M Group) is the highest scoring brand this year at 73% of the 250 possible points, followed by C&A at 70%, Adidas and Reebok at 69% and Esprit at 64%.

More than half (54%) of brands score 20% or less. However, there are fewer low-scoring brands this year compared to 2019. 28% of brands score 10% or less, compared to 36% of brands last year.

The overall average score among the 250 brands is 23% (up from 21% among the 200 brands in 2019). Gucci is the highest scoring luxury brand at 48%, up from 40% in 2019, and is the only brand to score 100% on Policy and Commitments. The other Kering Group brands we reviewed come in just behind Gucci, including Balenciaga (47%), Saint Laurent (47%) and Bottega Veneta (46%) Ermenegildo Zegna has become the first luxury brand to publish a detailed supplier list. However, Hermès has disclosed many of its owned and operated manufacturers and suppliers for many years. Meanwhile, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Gucci and Saint Laurent have also published a handful of raw material suppliers this year. We hope to see more luxury brands follow their lead.

Of the new brands added to the Index in 2020, 15 brands score 5% or less, including Canada Goose, Fashion Nova, Pepe Jeans and DKNY. Brands that disclose nothing at all include Swiss luxury brand Bally, ready-to-wear brand Elie Tahari, Jessica Simpson’s eponymous brand, Dutch high street brand Mexx and Chinese retailers Belle, Heilan Home and Youngor.

Participation in the Fashion Transparency Index is influencing brands to disclose more social and environmental information Brands that participated in the Fashion Transparency Index 2020 (by completing our questionnaire) have achieved an overall average score of 35% (compared to 23% overall average among all 250 brands.) Non-participating brands achieved an overall average score of 11%. Every brand in the top 20% of scores in 2020 and all brands scoring above 40% participated in the Fashion Transparency Index this year. However, the scores of approximately 30 brands have barely changed from 2017 to 2020, including Gap, Uniqlo and Walmart, among others. This means they have not taken significant steps towards increasing transparency within the past three years, compared to other brands.