New Zealand’s Ethical Fashion Companies For 2016 Has Been Revealed

After the Rana Plaza collapsed three years ago, there’s been a lot of talk about how we should become ethical shoppers who understand fully, where our clothes come from and how they are made. The collapse killed 1136 garment workers and revealed the unsafe working conditions within huge fashion chains.

A Colmar Brunton survey the year following the tragedy found that 90% of New Zealanders wanted to buy ethically and socially responsible products.

Baptist World Aid assessed 87 Australian and Kiwi fashion brands to find out which ones passed the test and which ones did not. The policies, suppliers and worker empowerment were explored while grading these 87 companies.

Baptist World Aid found that only half the companies it interviewed knew who their suppliers were. “Knowing suppliers is critical to a strong labour rights management system. If companies don’t know or don’t care who their suppliers are, then they cannot ensure that workers are not being exploited,” it says.

Behind the Barcode

Overall grading (including slavery and labour rights)
The Register edited this to only include major brands relevant to New Zealand. The full list can be found here.
*Non-responsive companies

Company name   Grade
American Apparel B-
Asos C+
AS Colour B-
Adidas A-
Billabong C
Bonds B+* F
Cotton On, Cotton On Body, Cotton On Kids B+
Country Road B+
Cue B-
David Jones B-
Dotti C+
Esprit B
Ezibuy C
Factorie B+
Forever New B
Glassons C+
H&M B+
Industrie B-
Jay Jays C+
Jeanwest B
Just Jeans C+
Karen Walker C
Kathmandu B-
Kmart B
Kookai C
Levis C+
Liminal Apparel A-
Lululemon C
Macpac D+
Marcs C
Mink Pink D+
Nike* C+
Peter Alexander C+
Pumpkin Patch D
Quiksilver C
Roxy C
R.M. Williams C+
Rubi Shoes B+
Sass & Bide C+
Seed Heritage* F
Supre B+
Tigerlily C
Topman, Topshop C+
Trenery B+
Valley Girl D+
Vans B-
Victoria’s Secret* D+
Witchery B+
Wrangler B-
Zara A

As well as this, these brands were paying improved wages to workers in part of their supply chain:

  • Berlei
  • Bonds
  • City Chic
  • Cotton On, Cotton On Body, Cotton On Kids
  • Country Road
  • Cue
  • David Jones
  • Dotti
  • Factorie
  • Forever New
  • Glassons
  • H&M
  • Industrie
  • Jay Jays
  • Jeanswest
  • Just Jeans
  • Karen Walker
  • Kmart
  • Kookai
  • Patagonia
  • Peter Alexander
  • Portmans
  • Rubi
  • Supre
  • Trenery
  • Witchery
  • Zara

Glassons significantly improved since last year’s score of F in 2015 for workers rights, monitoring and training, training, and traceability and transparency categories for not disclosing its practices, The Register reports. This year, as shown above, it has received a C+ grade.

See the full Behind the Barcode report here.