Forever 21, Ross, GBG score low in Accountability Remake Report – WWD

The results are on this year’s trendy violators – at least according to the nonprofit Remake’s second annual accountability report.

Forever 21, Ross, Global Brands Group, TJX Cos. Inc., Edinburgh Woolen Mill, The Children’s Place, Mothercare, JC Penney Co. Inc., Sears, Kohl’s Corp., American Eagle Outfitters Inc., Lululemon Athletica, Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Fashion Nova, Missguided and Walmart Inc. are among the worst of the lot – racking up negative scores on a possible 150-point scale – in the report released Wednesday.

Remake drew on consultations with more than a dozen industry experts in the areas of human rights, employment, fashion and law, as well as publicly accessible disclosures. public. The association has scored 60 fashion companies, in the fields of luxury, fast fashion, children’s wear and more. The cross section is representative of the most profitable companies in the industry, as well as a handful of smaller brands like Christy Dawn, Nudie Jeans and Nisolo, which were sampled last year.

The main areas of assessment include transparency, wages and welfare, business practices, raw materials, environmental justice and climate change, governance, diversity and inclusion.

New this year, Remake rated companies on “product production,” or volume of goods, and total environmental impact, while also tackling the greenwashing of circularity, which the nonprofit has described as the new “standard”.

As of November 2020, Supreme, Allbirds, and Everlane were among the worst sustainability violators in Remake, and this year’s Deep Dive also showed no mercy, with the lowest score being -13 (awarded to Forever 21 and Ross), the average score being 17 points and the highest score being 83 points (attributed to Nisolo).

Small and medium-sized businesses scored four times as high (37 points on average) than large businesses, which scored on average 9 points.

“[Ross] is one of the most profitable clothing companies in the world, believe it or not, and one of the least socially responsible, as evidenced by its score. Some of the merchandise in Ross’s outlets are made exclusively for its stores, and those products are made with a terrible human rights record. In fact, Ross Dress for Less is a leading offender of wage theft from California garment factories, having benefited for years from the state’s sweatshop conditions, ”the report notes.

The authors of the Remake report also pointed out that Ross Stores “allowed its trade associations to lobby against the California Garment Worker Protection Act,” a landmark wage theft law that was passed in California in September.

Tied with Ross, Forever 21 has come under fire for its business model of low-cost fast fashion, although it is no longer “the king of fast fashion,” as the report noted.

“The brand has earned its notoriety time and time again by paying wages in sweatshops in Los Angeles, robbing young designers and communities of color, and refusing to disclose any credible information that would make its supply chain more transparent. “, continued the evaluation of Remake. As with other offenders, the California company never approved the Garment Worker Protection Act. “The only area where Forever 21 scored was animal welfare, which is a red herring that distracts from the company’s reliance on petroleum-based fabrics like polyester.”

Global Brands Group, similarly, has been shamed for serving on the board of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, which has lobbied against the legislation. Some 37 percent of the companies, or 22 companies, in the report lobbied against the bill or were complicit in trade lobbying.

On the other end of the spectrum, Nisolo was the top-rated brand for its active listening and “substantial social sustainability efforts in the public domain,” according to the report.

“This is exactly what we want brands to do, so that citizens and workers can hold brands to account. The Nashville-based leather goods brand is known for being the only company to prove that not only its tailors and direct employees make a living wage, but also its models, photographers, photo assistants and logistics workers. The company is also transparent about the number of products it manufactures (61,773 last year across its entire assortment) and its carbon footprint, ”according to the report. But there is always room for improvement, as the report’s authors asked for more details on Nisolo’s raw material suppliers, especially around leather sourcing.

Other calls include “woke-washing” or running campaigns to attract communities of color without lasting teeth or participation in decision-making, as is the case with only 12% of companies invested in them. communities where they operate, or the only 8% of companies able to prove a living wage.

While the report found that science-based climate goals were set, with 55% of companies releasing Scope 1, 2 (direct) and 3 (indirect) emissions – the report found that only one company, Levi’s , was on the right track.

“Levi’s was early adopting more sustainable practices, such as making water efficient and less toxic denim, and was among the first major brands to set an ambitious carbon reduction target for its chain of ‘supply. Levi’s reported a CO2 reduction in 2020 in line with its science goal, and it’s the only large company that can demonstrate that kind of progress (however, the brand says the pandemic likely contributed to the reduction, so we’ll be in. watching them closely next year) ”, according to the report.

The full report is available on Remake’s website, and in addition, the association will be holding a press conference on Wednesday to discuss its findings.

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