How Ethical is Your Favourite Fashion Label?

A comprehensive report has ranked all your favourite fashion labels based on how ethical and transparent their supply chains are, and whether workers have the right to a safe workplace, a living wage, and freedom from forced and child labour. 

Baptist World Aid Australia has launched its fifth and largest Ethical Fashion Report. This report grades 114 apparel companies (407 brands) from A to F on specific standards around the environment, labour and gender-discrimination, the systems that the companies have in place to uphold the rights of workers. Higher standards that correspond to the systems and processes brands have in place that reduce the risk of modern slavery, child labour and exploitation.

This year, Baptist World Aid included two new standards — Gender-Based Discrimination and Environmental Impact which increases the effectiveness of the report by becoming even more robust in rating brands. In previous years the report focused solely on labour as the only definitive for ethical fashion. The increase in standards means brands who may have previously rated well, now receive a lower rating because the environment is now being considered.

American retailer that focuses on upscale casual wear for young consumers, Abercrombie & Fitch has decreased its rating from a D+ in 2017 to a D in 2018 report.

Several companies, such as Decjuba, Bras N Things, Trelise Cooper, Bloch and Wish, have received the lowest grade for consecutively failing to report on their manufacturing and sourcing processes. Their non-responsive attitude has ultimately seen them receive an F for demonstrating no transparency in the supply chain, nor any attempt to do so.

Low-cost clothing chain Cotton On Group (which includes the brands Typo, Rubi, Supré, and Factorie) has turned around an ethical-fashion black mark to become one of the country’s top performers. Being one of the most improved performers, lifting its grade, from a B- in 2013 to an A in 2018.

Women’s and men’s designer collection apparel, Calvin Klein has increased their rating from last year C+ to this year B- because of the addition of new standards. 

Only a small number of companies in the report were found to have exceptional labour rights management systems. A star performer was Melbourne’s label Etiko, their mission is to empower and lift people out of poverty and create a better life for themselves and their community. 

We believe such reporting has benefited consumers to look up their favourite brands and check their shopping impact. Another great way to do so would be to hop on the Good On You App, it has a collection of the top ethical brands from Australia. 

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