H&M. Levi’s. Nike. North Face. Every year, Baptist World Aid Australia ranks these and about 100 other popular fashion brands by their ethical values, to see which companies take issues like the environment and fair treatment of workers most seriously.
This is a big deal in fast fashion, where low prices are often prioritized over the wellbeing of people and the planet. Around 50 million people worldwide are employed by the fashion industry, which is considered one of the global industries most vulnerable to things like human trafficking and slavery. And while the industry as a whole has seen some significant improvements over the last few years, the average ranking for Baptist World Aid’s score is still an abysmal 33.6 out of 100.
“We’ve seen considerable progress in the fashion industry and engaged with many brands that are committed to becoming more ethical and sustainable,” Baptist World Aid’s director of advocacy Peter Keegan wrote in a press release. “But these grades and scores show us we’re not there yet.”
That’s why Baptist World Aid’s mission is so important. Every year as part of their poverty advocacy work, the company ranks popular brands by different categories like environmental sustainability, human rights monitoring and worker empowerment, to see how they measure up, and then gives them a letter score. This year, 23 brands received a D or an F, 55 got a B or a C and 20 got an A or A+. While 40 percent of the companies listed saw their score increase over last year, the average grade for wage improvement and worker unions was still just a D. Not great. Also, only 15 percent of companies are paying workers in their supply chain a living wage — that’s a drop from 20 percent the previous year.
So, how did they measure up?
Some notable brands that scored an A are companies like Patagonia, H&M, Nike and Converse.
Some bigger brands that got a B include Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Levi’s and Target.
C-listers include brands like Abercrombie, Hollister, Ralph Lauren, Under Armor and Victoria’s Secret.
A few companies that only got a D are Everlast, Marco Polo and Mossimo.
Meanwhile, brands like Forever 21, Billabong and Quicksilver flunked entirely.
You can look up your favorite brands here to see how they measured up, and plan your fall wardrobe accordingly.