Baptist World Aid Australia has released its 2019 Ethical Fashion Report, grading 130 fashion and footwear companies from A+ to F based on five categories; environmental management; worker empowerment; auditing and supplier relationships; transparency and traceability; and policies.

The 2019 report is the first edition where environmental management is assessed as part of the grading, after the body decided in 2018, “that a “truly ethical” company not only ensures that its supply chain empowers workers and pays them a living wage, it also understands its impact on the environment and manages its footprint to keep waterways, the earth, and the atmosphere healthy.”

Of the 130 graded companies, the median grade was a C+, seven received an A+, while 17 companies received an F.

Of the footwear companies included on the list, Adidas and Reebok both scored an A while Rubi Shoes – owned by the Cotton On Group – was given an A-.

Cotton On Group's general manager of risk and sustainability, Alice Polglase, said that the Group has many initiatives in place to improve its operations, and will continue to find better ways to create a positive impact.

“We have made a commitment to living wages and have joined with Action Collaboration Transformation to partner with on this journey.

“In 2018, we embarked on an Australian retail industry first partnership with CARE Australia to deliver a bespoke program to develop the life and leadership skills of factory workers, in particular women, in key supplier garment factories in Bangladesh.

“We also commenced a program to eliminate plastic shopping bags from our 1,450 stores globally, diverting millions of plastic bags from the environment annually.

“We remain committed to finding a better way through every aspect of our operations to create a positive impact on the people in our supply chain, the communities we operate in and our planet,” she said.


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