Australian fashion brands exploiting workers exposed

Australian Fashion Report 2015 available from Baptist World Aid website
Australian Fashion Report 2015 available from Baptist World Aid website

The 2015 version of The Australian Fashion Report and accompanying Ethical Fashion Guide are now available to download from the Baptist World Aid website.

First published in 2013 after the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, the new report evaluated an additional 90 fashion brands available for purchase in Australia. Each was reviewed in terms of workers rights, monitoring & training, traceability & transparency and policies.

Two thirds of brands that were also evaluated in 2013 have improved their practices, however, many of Australia’s fast fashion brands have some way to go.

Baptist World Aid advocacy manager Gershon Nimbalker was interviewed for ABC radio this morning.

“Brands like the Just Group or Best and Less and Lowes, or some fast fashion brands like Industrie, Ally and Temt, Valley Girl – all not doing that well at all and we can’t see a lot of evidence that they were taking much action to make sure that their workers weren’t part of a forced labour system or child labour or just being paid terrible poverty-level wages,” Gershon said.

Those that rated the most poorly overall are:

  • Ally Fashion (Ally)
  • Apparel Group (JAG, Saba, Sportscraft, Willow)
  • Fast Future Brands (Mirrou, Temt, Valleygirl)
  • Glassons (Glassons)
  • Just Group (Dotti, Jacqui E, Jay Jays, Just Jeans, Peter Alexander, Portmans, Smiggle)
  • Lowes (Beare & Ley, Lowes)
  • Playcorp (A League, AFL, Aquasport, Blueprint, Boomdoggers, French Kitty, Globalocal, Hi There by Karen Walker, Itsu, Jimmi Jams, Ladybird, Milly, NRL, Paperdolls, PlayCorp Apparel Purr, Wayne Cooper, Wiggles)
  • Pretty Girl Fashion Group (BeMe, Rockmans, Table Eight, W. Lane)
  • The PAS Group Limited (Blackpepper, Breakaway, Equus, Marco Polo, Metalicus, Review, Yarra Trail, Yvonne Black)
  • Voyager Distributing Co (Anthea Crawford, Jump, Kachel, Thurley)
  • Webster Holdings (David Lawrence, Jigsaw, Marcs).

Those that achieved the best scores overall are:

I was personally surprised that Lululemon Athletica rated as well as it did, as I have been critical of that brand on this blog in the past.

When searching for ethical fashion, Ethical Clothing Australia is another good source of information. It accredits brands that manufacture ethically in Australia.

All products for sale at our Evolution Emptor store are also sustainably made, without harm to people, animals or the environment. Most are made by small Australian businesses as passionate about sustainability as we are, so check that out too.

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