• Mode Tracker was introduced in 2014 to enable fashion brands and retailers to develop a roadmap to engage on a broad range of sustainability issues.
  • Six fashion brands are now engaging with the Tracker - G-Star, Ted Baker, Just Brands, Vivobarefoot, Haikure and We Fashion.
The Tracker enables fashion brands and retailers to develop a roadmap to engage on a broad range of sustainability issues, demonstrate their improvements and communicate their actions publicly

The Tracker enables fashion brands and retailers to develop a roadmap to engage on a broad range of sustainability issues, demonstrate their improvements and communicate their actions publicly

As they work towards improving transparency within their supply chains, six fashion brands including Ted Baker and G-Star have made public their sustainability performance scores using independent assessment tool Mode Tracker.

Launched by European sustainable fashion consultancy Made-By in 2014, the Tracker enables fashion brands and retailers to develop a roadmap to engage on a broad range of sustainability issues, demonstrate their improvements and communicate their actions publicly.

Using expert-developed metrics and scorings, Mode-Tracker independently verifies the brand or retailer's activities, looking at both the sustainability impact reductions made and the management systems in place to support continuous improvement.

It is based around eight topics, or 'cubes', covering People, Product, Manufacturing, Product Waste, Own Operations, Use & Durability, Transparency, and Packaging & Transport. Each cube is broken down into three levels of engagement, from basic (level 1) through to current industry best practice (level 3). The levels are built on metrics and scorings that have been reviewed by over 50 industry experts.

Brands then receive an indicative colour-based summary for the cube topic and individual levels. Those that are driving innovation beyond industry best practice are awarded 'pioneering engagement' status.

In terms of transparency, G-Star has engaged in all topics and publicly disclosed a list of its suppliers and set targets to continually manage human rights and labour standards in its supply chain, publicly disclosing performances against these targets. Yet the report acknowledges there is an opportunity for the brand to further communicate the targets it has set to reduce environmental impacts, other than those from the supply chain.

There is also room for the brand to support its strategic direct suppliers to complete externally-facing sustainability communications and reports, the Tracker says.

Other highlights for the brand include its work to reduce the environmental impact of its product waste and its work to continually innovate in sustainable design. The report suggests G-Star further engage with its customers on how to minimise product end-of-life impacts.

Ted Baker, meanwhile, has engaged in the areas of product and people. On the latter, the brand monitors and reports the number and proportion of direct suppliers that have a valid social compliance audit, and continues to invest in training its commercial teams on labour standards.

The company has also taken steps to achieve best practice and has a process to track homeworkers in its supply chain. The Tracker says there remains room for Ted Baker to undertake activities to ensure freedom of association and collective bargaining, develop a grievance programme and undertake activities to calculate living wages for workers within its supply chain.

Just Brands, Vivobarefoot, Haikure and We Fashion are among the other companies to have publicly disclosed their efforts towards sustainability.

Vivobarefoot has engaged on four topics: product; people, use & durability; and packaging & transport. On product, the company has a strategy to reduce the environmental impacts of its products and communicates this strategy to its suppliers. Its use of more sustainable materials accounts for 45% of its collection by weight, and training is helping the brand support its internal teams to use more sustainable fibres and/or processes.

Click here to view the full Mode Tracker results.