The Ethical Fashion Report sheds light on what the industry and individual companies are doing to address forced labour, child labour and exploitation. Each report – since the launch of the first in 2013 – has tracked the progress within the industry. The change since 2013 has been significant. In this edition we have assessed 130 fashion companies, awarding each a grade from A to F based on the strength of their labour rights management systems to mitigate the risk of exploitation in their supply chain.
In 2019, we launch the sixth edition of the Ethical Fashion Report. This report is released ahead of the sixth anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, a tragedy which cut short the lives of 1,134 garment workers. When the factory came down, it simultaneously catapulted the poor and unsafe working conditions of the apparel industry to front page news and to the front of our minds.
The Rana Plaza disaster shocked the collective conscience of consumers and decision makers across the world, accelerating efforts to uphold the rights of workers throughout the entire apparel industry supply chain. Six years on however, the need remains pressing.
The International Labour Organisation estimates that there are presently 24.9 million people in forced labour exploitation and 152 million child labourers scattered across the global economy. Many of this number are forced to work in the farms and factories that resource the apparel industry. For millions of others working in the industry, wages remain so low that they are unable to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
The grades awarded by the Ethical Fashion Report are a measure of the efforts undertaken by each company to mitigate the risks of forced labour, child labour and worker exploitation in their supply chains, as well as protect the environment from the harmful impacts of the fashion industry. Higher grades are given to companies with ethical sourcing systems that, if implemented well, should reduce the extent of worker exploitation and environmental harm.
Our research team assesses each company’s ethical sourcing system according to 44 specific criteria. These assessments consider three critical stages of the supply chain as a proxy for the entire supply chain: raw materials, inputs production and final stage manufacturing. To find out more about how we grade brands, read our FAQ section.
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