by Sarah Ong
The long, complex, and fragmented apparel supply chain can lead to a lack of transparency and accountability that allows poor working conditions and environmental problems to linger undetected. But we believe transparency can change that. Fostering transparency enables accountability, which in turn incentivizes decision-makers to consider the interests of everyone touched by the industry, not only the interests of the decision makers themselves.
“Supply chain disclosure that names the buyers and suppliers enables anyone to challenge the accuracy of the data. This creates incentives for brands and retailers to make sure they have their house in order and can help brands and retailers detect unauthorized practices and subcontracting ”, said Sarah Ong, C&A Foundation programme manager. “When disclosure includes comparable information about practices – inside a brand or a factory – the information can be used by workers and their representatives to advocate for better working conditions and purchasing practices”.
For consumers, credible, accessible and transparent information allows them to make informed choices and ask brands #whomademyclothes.
Third Global Fashion Transparency Index
Together with the European Union, C&A Foundation has supported Fashion Revolution to produce its 2018 Transparency Index report*. Now in its third year, the Index ranks 150 brands and retailers on their public disclosure. Encouragingly, there was a 5% increase in overall level of transparency versus last year, with some brands noticeably improving their disclosure in some areas. 37% of brands and retailers published at least part of their supplier lists up from 32% in 2017 and 12.5% in 2016. At the same time, the authors observed “brands and retailers give a lot more time and space to explain their values and beliefs rather than their practices and impacts” and the “information shared by the main brands and retailers remains difficult to navigate, jargon-heavy and shallow”. There is still a long way to go.
Read the 2018 Edition of the Transparency Index here.