Check out the 2018 Ethical Fashion Report and Guide HERE
Five years since the Rana Plaza tragedy that claimed the lives of more than 1,000 garment workers, an industry-leading research report launched in April reveals the fashion industry may finally be making headway in protecting workers.
Baptist World Aid Australia’s fifth and largest Ethical Fashion Report graded 114 apparel companies (or 407 brands) from A to F on the systems that companies have in place to uphold the rights of workers.
The report revealed significant improvement in supply chain transparency, noting that until the Rana Plaza tragedy, few global fashion companies chose to make information about their supply chains publicly available.
“The Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh catapulted the plight of workers into the minds of consumers and companies globally,” said Baptist World Aid Australia’s Advocacy Manager, Gershon Nimbalker.
“The global fashion industry now recognises that transparency demonstrates a willingness to be accountable to consumers and workers, and we commend the 35% of companies publishing full direct supplier lists,” continued Mr Nimbalker.
Mr Nimbalker stressed that worker empowerment and payment of a living wage remain the areas where the most advancement still needs to be made, while tracing of raw materials remains a significant challenge.
“Year on year, Our Report has shown that companies are not taking the challenge of paying a living wage seriously. Sadly, our fifth report is no different, with only 17% of companies able to prove they were paying all workers a living wage.”
“Outland Denim is a standout when it comes to demonstrating paying all its workers a fair living wage, whereas Ally Fashion, Decjuba, Wish, Pavement United Brands and Voyager Distribution all received an F grade due to a lack of transparency with labour rights management systems.”
Today’s consumers want assurance that the brands they buy from are doing their bit to protect workers from being exploited…
“Today’s consumers want assurance that the brands they buy from are doing their bit to protect workers from being exploited, and the global fashion industry has responded to this by improving its systems, forming new alliances, and becoming more transparent. That being said, there is still a great deal of improvement to be made.”
As churches launch the Ethical Fashion Guide they are increasing the impact of the research, which over the last five years has led to significant positive change for garment workers who can be so easily exploited within global supply chains. Not only that, these churches are being a powerful witness, demonstrating in practical ways God’s heart of compassion and justice in a broken world.