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September 20, 2021

Clean Clothes Fashion Tracker shows transparency is key

The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) Fashion Checker website gives garment workers, activists and consumers access to data on where clothing was made and the working conditions in which it was produced.

By Michelle Russell

New data on the Fashion Checker website shows transparency remains key to holding brands accountable as workers, unions and campaigners call on brands to not “leave workers in destitution” during the pandemic.

It also shows very few surveyed brands improved their transparency score. CCC claims all of the researched brands were found to have still failed to guarantee workers in their supply chain receive their pre-pandemic wages during the pandemic, let alone living wages, despite their promises to respect labour rights in their supply chains.

Specifically, the updated Fashion Checker data, collected in collaboration with Fashion Revolution, focuses on transparency and reveals 159 brands (60%) received a 1 or 2-star rating, which means that they do not comply with the Transparency Pledge.

46 out of 264 brands (17%) receive five stars, meaning they disclose extra information about their supply chain – for example whether or not there is a union in the workplace.

Fashion Checker, which launched in June, will be presented at UNECE-SDA BOCCONI Event on Accelerating action on sustainability and circularity in the garment and footwear sector with innovations that deliver on due diligence and informed consumer choice in Milan, Italy.

This is the first in a series of events that aims to provide industry stakeholders with the tools they need to drive action on sustainability and advance progress towards circular economy approaches on a national, regional and global scale, CCC says.

The regional workshop is co-organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and SDA Bocconi School of Management, in conjunction with the project ‘Enhancing Traceability and Transparency for Sustainable and Circular Value Chains in Garment and Footwear’, jointly implemented with the UN’s International Trade Centre (ITC).

“Many brands make promises and claims about respecting workers’ rights and paying living wages but with no transparency, they remain mere claims and workers, unions and civil society organisations are unable to hold brands accountable to their promises,” CCC says. “The lack of transparency once again shows the need for ambitious human rights due diligence legislation. At EU level as well as in several European countries, such legislation is currently being discussed, which is promising.

“Transparency, however, needs to be a part of such legislation. Without transparency, monitoring the implementation of the legislation will be extremely difficult. Besides, transparency is an integral part of the accountability that is required in a HRDD process.”

Paul Roeland, transparency coordinator, CCC, adds: “Brands must stop hiding their supply chains. Their clothes are made by real people, often hit hardest by the pandemic. When violations of worker rights occur, they need to know where to get remedy. And consumers deserve to know where, and how, clothes are produced.”

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