This Christmas, some clothing companies have been behaving better than others.
Since the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh shocked the world in 2013, many companies have promised to improve their practises, updated their code of conduct and sign on to pledges designed to protect workers. Which is great. But unless a company publishes the locations of its factories, there is still no way of checking if their clothing is being made under safe and fair conditions. And, workers can’t easily raise problems and get them fixed. There’s no other way out of the Naughty List.
It’s embarrassing to be on the Naughty List and companies know it. So be informed this Christmas and share this far and wide. The women making your gifts will thank you for it.
Oxfam Australia does not endorse or have any affiliation with the featured companies. Oxfam Australia acknowledges that the copyright in the logos featured is the property of these companies
* ASOS has taken significant steps towards transparency, with a commitment to publish its full top tier factory list in the near future. We look forward to welcoming them onto the ‘nice’ list soon!
* Inditex (Zara) publishes a list of their dyeing mills, but still does not publish their factory list showing where clothes are sewn.
Get the detail on who’s been Naughty…
The Just Group, including Just Jeans, Peter Alexander, Dotti
Certainly not ‘just’ when it comes to workers’ rights, The Just Group still does not publish their factory list on their website. This means there’s no way of easily checking the conditions in factories that are making your favourite PJ’s from Peter Alexander, or jeans from Just Jeans. The Group also has not joined the Bangladesh Fire & Building Safety Accord, opting instead for the weaker Alliance on Worker Safety – so it’s a definite ‘naughty’ from Oxfam’s elves again this year for The Just Group.
Best & Less
Still not best, Best & Less has made some progress by publishing a Code of Conduct and set of policies for their suppliers, aimed at protecting worker’s rights. The problem is, without also publishing the places their clothes are sewn, there’s just no way to easily check if any of these good commitments are really being put into practice. The Oxfam elves are also keeping Best & Less in the bad books for never signing the Bangladesh Fire & Building Safety Accord after the terrible collapse of the Rana Plaza building in April 2013.
Topshop wants you dress up with your very own party persona this Christmas, we just wish some of the choices were more ethical. We’re inviting Topshop to our party this year by asking them to reveal exactly where they make their clothes, so we can see whether that outfit comes with more than what Australian consumers might have bargained for. Topshop does have some top ethical sourcing polices, codes and guidebooks – as well as a lot of good information about auditing on their website. Now they need to take the next step and publish their full factory list.
Great for basics, this new brand in the Australian market has made some big waves. We just wish some of them were on transparency! Their parent company Fast Retailing has some strong policies and codes, and some limited information about where clothes are sourced. It’s time for Uniqlo to step up and reveal exactly where they make their clothes.
Inditex, including Zara
Credit where credit is due, Inditex (the owner of Zara) has taken the big step of publishing their list of dyeing mills used to source the fabric for their clothes. This is positive and means that workers in those factories know who else is supplying this big name in fashion, and can more easily raise issues directly with Inditex. Oxfam’s elves made the tough decision of keeping them on the Naughty List this year, because we think Inditex has to do better. We want to know where their clothes are sewn together as well – and are asking Inditex to publish their full list.
Factory X, including Gorman, Dangerfield & Alannah Hill
It’s hard to publish where you make your clothes when you don’t have a website at all and Factory X is one company with very little public information available. However it’s brands, including Gorman, Dangerfield and also Alannah Hill do all have their own websites and have taken a couple of positive steps this year. They have each published an ethical supplier code of conduct, which makes it easier for them to be held to account if factories are not up to standard. Gorman has also published a pretty clear run-down of its auditing results, showing where corrective actions have been taken. But none of these brands are transparent about exactly where they make their clothes. We love edgy fashion, but it’s not cool to keep your factories under wraps. Factory X needs to step up on transparency.
UK brand ASOS has also stayed on the Naughty List for 2016 because they are yet to publish their factory list. They’ve promised to publish, though, so the elves are ready and waiting to move them onto the Nice List soon. In good news, ASOS has clear policies and codes as well as public information available about their review of purchasing practices.
….and who’s been Nice!
Wesfarmers, including Kmart, Target and Coles
The big names in the Wesfarmers group, including Kmart, Target and Coles sell clothes all around Australia and source from all around the world. Luckily, these brands are leaders when it comes to transparency, having been first in Australia among those to publish their factory lists. Each of these companies also has clear sourcing policies and codes of conduct. When buying that T-shirt or dress from these companies, you can be assured they are not hiding the factories where their clothes are made.
One of the international leaders, H&M has long published their factory list. They’ve also made some moves towards paying better wages for workers across their supply chain – a welcome move. Recent reports have revealed accusations of serious issues in the H&M supply chain, and Oxfam does not take these lightly. The level of transparency by H&M, however, does allow problems like these to be uncovered much more easily – and then acted upon. So in this list we welcome their transparency as a positive step in the right direction for better conditions for workers.
Great on transparency, not as good on listening to worker’s organisations: GAP has made it to the Nice List this year for recently publishing their full factory list. A big achievement. They’ve also got strong public polices and codes. However, GAP has chosen not to join the Bangladesh Fire & Building Safety Accord, instead being part of the weaker Alliance on Worker Safety. Both sound great, but the Accord includes unions and worker’s representatives on an equal decision-making footing with brands. So, well done on transparency GAP – but still some work to do!
Specialty Fashion Group, including Katies, Rivers, Millers/Autograph, Crossroads and City Chic
Speciality Fashion Group is a 2016 success story: taking the bold decision to publish their factory list in April this year. At the time, Group CEO Gary Perlstein told Oxfam he was proud to make their suppliers and sourcing policies visible, in order to help customers to make more informed purchasing decisions. Well done Specialty Fashion Group!
Big W, owned by Woolworths
Big W is another 2016 publisher – revealing their factory list also in early 2016. The company is committed to regularly updating the list and also publishes lots of useful information on their souring policies and the way in which they audit their factories.
Cotton On Group, including Cotton On, Cotton On Kids, Cotton On Body, Rubi, Typo, Supre and Factorie
Cotton On cottoned on to transparency in August 2016, joining the growing numbers of Australian companies publishing their factory lists. They also publish strong codes of conduct, sourcing policies and some auditing details, as well as being a party to positive initiatives like the Bangladesh Fire & Building Safety Accord.
Pacific Brands: Rio, Bonds, Explorer, Sheridan, Berlei, Holeproof & Jockey
‘Show your glow’ is Bonds’ catch-cry for the season and it sure will be bright for workers because they’ve published their factories just in time to make our Nice List! Not only that, Pacific Brands new parent company, US brand Hanes, has also added to the list of factories they publish. Together both companies are now publishing 95% of their global supply chain. That’s getting into the spirit of giving! Pacific Brands can also be applauded for being a part of the Ethical Trading Initiative and having strong policies and codes.
Earlier this month Jeanswest published 80% of their factory list – that’s a big move going from zero to (almost) hero! We look forward to celebrating when that final 20% is brought out of the dark. Jeanswest also makes some clothes in Australia, and they get an extra candy cane from Oxfam’s elves for ensuring their Aussie fashion line is accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia.
Forever New are asking customers to be ‘Forever Festive’ this Christmas and the Oxfam elves are ready to party – here’s why: the company has just gone from publishing only 40% of their factory list to publishing 70%. There’s still a long way to go, but this is one big improvement just in time to jump across from Naughty to Nice this Christmas. They’ve also got a strong policy and code of conduct for all to see and are members of the Bangladesh Accord.
The PAS Group, including Designworks, Review
Everyone loves a good dress and these brands makes some lovely ones – and now we’re happy to say you can feel a little better about buying them for your next big event! In an exciting move, the PAS Group has just published 70% of their international supply chain. We can’t wait for them to publish the rest! On top of this, one of their brands, Designworks, is a signatory to the Bangladesh Accord, and another is accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia…so keep up the good work PAS!
HOW YOU CAN HELP THIS CHRISTMAS
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