None of the 150 biggest global fashion brands could score over 60 per cent in a new transparency index, suggesting that more needs to be done in ensuring transparency in global supply chain.
Only 10 of them scored over 50 and only one brand published information related to suppliers of raw materials this year, according to the new index.
Fashion Revolution, a campaign group, unveiled the 2018 Fashion Transparency Index that ranked the clothing brands based on transparency across their supply chain.
The average score the brands achieved was 21 out of 250, proving that there is still a lot of work to be done.
The research found that even the highest scoring brands on the list still have a long way to go towards being transparent.
Adidas and Reebok topped the Index again this year scoring 58 per cent or 144.5 out of 250 possible points, followed by Puma, H&M, Esprit, Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, C&A and Marks & Spencer in the 51 to 60 per cent range. ASOS is shortly behind at 50 per cent, having increased their level of disclosure by 18 per cent since last year.
The group compared the 98 brands and retailers that were included in both the 2017 and 2018 Fashion Transparency Index, and found that these brands and retailers increased their level of transparency by an average of approximately 5.0 per cent overall and across each section of the methodology - suggesting that inclusion in the Fashion Transparency Index has influenced brands and retailers to disclose more.
Fashion Revolution conducted the Fashion Transparency Index 2018 that reviews and ranks 150 of the biggest global fashion and apparel brands and retailers according to how much information they disclose about their suppliers, supply chain policies and practices, and social and environmental impact.
Those brands were selected based on their annual turnover over $1.2 billion, voluntarily agreed to be included after last year's edition and representing a cross-section of market segments, including high street, luxury, sportswear, accessories, footwear and denim from across Europe, North America, South America and Asia.
"The good news is that 37 per cent of the 150 brands in the Fashion Transparency Index 2018 are publishing supplier lists at the first tier - where our clothes are typically cut, sewn and assembled," the report accompanied with the index said.
About 18 per cent are publishing their processing facilities where clothes are dyed, laundered, printed or treated. Only ASOS publishes its raw material suppliers, so there is no way of knowing where cotton, wool or other fibres come from or who produces them, the report said.
Some 21 per cent of the brands scored more than 80 per cent on policy and commitments and all but 10 brands were publishing at least one policy.
On an average, the brands scored just 11 per cent when it comes to traceability and 17 per cent when it comes to publishing procedures and outcomes of supplier assessments.
This means there is little shared by brands about how their policies are put into practice or how their policies impact workers in the supply chain, the report added.
Three-quarters of brands publish a policy on discrimination for people working both in the company and in the supply chain.
However, only 40 per cent publish an equal pay policy, 14 per cent publish the annual gender pay gap and only 5 per cent disclose any information about the prevalence of gender-based labour violations in the factories where their clothes are made, it showed.
Citing the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed more than 1,100 garment workers in 2013, the report said that the lack of transparency costs lives.
When asked, Md Shahidullah Azim, a former Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) leader, said though transparency in the whole supply chain is important, it is a complex issue to be ensured.
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