The Italian retailer OVS jumped to the top spot in the 2021 Fashion Transparency Index published by Fashion Revolution as the global activism movement pushing for greater disclosure in fashion supply chains warned that progress in transparency in the sector generally remains “too slow”.
OVS reached 78 percent of the objectives covered in the ranking of 250 large brands and fashion retailers on their reporting of human rights and environmental policies, practices and impacts. It was followed by The North Face and Timberland (66 percent), Vans and the fashion retailer C&A (65 percent), and Gildan (63 percent). Timberland, Vans and The North Face are brands owned by VF Corp.
OVS also recorded the largest improvement compared to 2020, with its score rising 44 percentage points, followed by Ugg, owned by Decker Brands, which gained 37 points to 55 percent.
Among other footwear companies, the transparency score for Clarks declined to 34 percent from 40 percent in 2020, while Aldo’s transparency score fell to 14 percent from 17 percent and Cole Haan’s declined to 6 percent from 8 percent. Famous Footwear, the shoe retailer owned by Caleres, saw its score decline to just 3 percent from 6 percent. Dr. Martens increased its score to 15 percent from 10 percent and Skechers held steady at 8 percent.
Adidas fell to 54 percent from 69 percent in 2020 while Nike held steady at 55 percent.
Overall, the average score of the 250 companies in the index was broadly steady, inching down to 22.9 percent from 23.2 percent in 2020. Twenty brands came in with a score of zero. However, companies with a longer track record of disclosure did better. The 92 brands included in the survey since 2017, the first year Fashion Revolution issued the index, stood at 31 percent.
Sarah Ditty, Fashion Revolution’s global policy director, said the report showed some signs of improvement in transparency but that the big brands still need to significantly step up their efforts. “The world’s largest brands and retailers disclose very little about their efforts to address important topics such as poor purchasing practices, living wages, racial and gender equality, overproduction and waste, water use and carbon emissions in the supply chain,” she said.