Lingerie brands called out for lack of transparency

Global lingerie brands are not disclosing enough information about their impact on the lives of workers in their supply chains and on the environment, research published today has revealed.

UK-based not-for-profit organisation Fashion Revolution’s second annual Fashion Transparency Index ranks 100 of the biggest fashion and apparel brands and retailers according to how much information they disclose about their suppliers, supply chain policies and practices, as well as social and environmental impacts.

Marks & Spencer ranked highly with 120 points out of a possible 250.

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But underwear brands Victoria’s Secret and Under Armour both scored just 27.5 points, and Calzedonia and Triumph were among the worst performers, scoring 22.5 points each.

This means that these brands are likely to be publishing a basic supplier code of conduct and some detailed information about their procedures and possibly supplier assessment process, but are failing to make public commitments to paying living wages to workers in the supply chain.

But even the brands who came out in the top range of scoring – those half way up the ladder – have a long way to go towards being transparent about their suppliers and supply chain management and their business practices, according to the report.

The average score achieved by those included in the index was 40 out of 250 – less than 20% of the total possible points – and none of the companies scored above 50%.

“While we are seeing brands begin to publish more about their social and environmental efforts, which is welcome and necessary, there is still much more crucial information about the practices of the fashion industry that remains concealed, particularly when it comes to brands’ tangible impact on the lives of works in the supply chain and on the environment,” the report said.

The Index was launched to mark the start of Fashion Revolution Week, which marks the anniversary of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in which more than 1,000 workers died.

It aims to help consumers make informed decisions about the companies they support through greater transparency.

“Tragedies like Rana Plaza are eminently preventable, but will continue to happen until brands, and every other stakeholder in the fashion supply chain, takes responsibility for their actions and impacts. Transparency is the first step towards making this happen,” said Fashion Revolution founder and global operations director Carry Somers.

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