David Jones and Kmart are two of the most-improved brands when it comes to supply chain governance since 2013, according to a special report by Baptist World Aid.
In its top five most-improved list, discount department store Kmart is in the top 20% with a score of 56 out of 100, while David Jones sits in the top 40% with a score of 42.
The three other brands in the list include Lacoste at 44 in the top 40%, Lululemon at 56 in the top 20% and American global apparel company VF Corp at 54 in the top 20%.
The list is part of a special edition release, now covering 25 of the usual 120-list of fashion companies from its October 2022 Ethical Fashion Report. The brand with the highest score in the list of 25 is Patagonia at 60.
However, according to Baptist World Aid, some Australian clothing brands and retailers have failed to make significant progress to it supply chain governance.
It claimed companies are still only reaching an average ethical benchmark of 43.6/100, with areas of greatest progress including policy development, supply chain tracing, and transparency.
According to Baptist World Aid, the special report shows the fashion industry is decades away from delivering on ethical goals.
It predicts that the paying of a living wage at a minimum of one factory per company won’t happen until 2098.
The report also predicts it will take 30 years for all companies to achieve traceability of more than 75% of raw materials and fibre producers, and 17 years before all companies make grievance mechanisms available to workers at a minimum of one factory each.
Baptist World Aid advocacy manager Sarah Knop said that fashion companies can no longer hide behind their policies and public commitments.
“There remains a huge gap between what companies have committed to on paper and what change is actually happening for workers,” Knop said.
“The simple fact is that policies must be backed by proof of action, otherwise the problem will continue to worsen as it has done for the past decade."