The IT boffins at MeasureUp have today made it even easier for you to compare the ethics of your favourite fashion brands! Check out the new homepage now to see a list of the ten companies that scored best on our indicators.
The savvy amongst you may remember that we said we weren’t that keen on a top ten table because life isn’t that simple. We thought it would be unfair because it assumes that the same weight can be attached to each of the indicators. This is not the case. For example, it's easy for a company to have a code of conduct that meets International Labour Organisation standards (Indicator 1) but much more difficult for a company to provide evidence that its workers are actually being paid a living wage (Indicator 3).
However, the consistent feedback we’ve had is that a top ten table would be helpful. So here it is: the inaugural MeasureUp Top Ten!
Today sees the first designer brands added to MeasureUp. Step forward LVMH.
LVMH is the company which owns some very big names in fashion, including Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs. We should say at the outset that LVMH is ahead of a number of its designer peers simply because it actually responded to our emails. No other designer company we have contacted has so far done so. LVMH also publishes relevant information (although some of the reports can be a little tricky to track down). However, the picture is not entirely rosy. For example, despite the fact that a dress from Marc Jacobs could set you back thousands of dollars, LVMH has no commitment to paying the person who made it a living wage.
We've just added the results for Reiss to MeasureUp. You'll see that Reiss is the first company we've assessed that fails on every one of our indicators. But are they really that bad?
If you look at the answers Reiss gave us you'll see that they claim they're working on their ethical policies. But unfortunately, they have so far refused to share any information with us, despite our best attempts to persuade them. This does not, of course, automatically mean that they do not meet any of the indicators. Although, our experience is that if companies such as Reiss have a good story to tell, they are only too willing to share it with us. Even if Reiss does, in fact, meet some of our indicators, if they won't tell us about it then we've told them we can't give them a positive score. And that means we'd rather choose to shop elsewhere until they are able to be a bit more open.
In the interests of fairness, we should also mention that the companies we've added first to MeasureUp have tended to be those that are making more of an effort on ethical issues and have been willing to share what they're doing with the public. Sadly, as we add more companies to the website, there are likely to be quite a few more who, like Reiss, won't tell us anything. And so, like Reiss, they will also fail on every indicator. We should at least acknowledge the fact that Reiss did reply to some of our emails - unlike some others...
New company added! Check out how John Lewis's ethics MeasureUp.
Another new company added! See how LK Bennett's ethics MeasureUp.
More to come in the next few weeks...
New company added! Check out how River Island's ethics MeasureUp.
MeasureUp works! We've heard recently from someone who works for one of the companies included on MeasureUp. They are very conscious of where they have not met the MeasureUp indicators and have identified them as key areas to focus on. We can have even more impact the more people know about the site and "like" MeasureUp on Facebook - please spread the word!
After months of research and development of the website, MeasureUp is now live! Some companies gave us information very easily, others were harder nuts to crack; but we hope the result is easily understandable and accessible information.
The rights of workers in clothing factories is becoming increasingly significant news (for example, the BBC has carried a few stories recently related to factory workers in China) and we hope this site will encourage companies to pay even more attention to it.
We'd be grateful for your comments on the site and, if you like it, please share it via twitter and facebook.
We hope to update this blog with relevant stories over the coming months.
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