when it comes to combating labor abuses, many luxury brands trail behind the high street

A new report ranking brands on their work to eradicate forced labor has offered some surprising results.

by Wendy Syfret
09 December 2016, 1:42pm

A new study has revealed a startling amount of labor abuses within the fashion supply chain. Know The Chain, a resource for businesses to better understand the humanitarian risks within their production process, ranked 20 footwear and apparel companies on their work to eradicate forced labor. They define this as any practice where people — often women and children — are coerced into providing cheap or free work. The companies were marked out of 100 for their efforts to ensure the rights of their employees.

The top performing companies included Adidas, Gap Inc., H&M, and Lululemon, who scored between 69 and 81. Nike, Ralph Lauren, and Hugo Boss all sat around the middle while Gucci's and Saint Laurent's owner, Kering, and Puma hovered near the bottom of the list. Disappointingly, Prada was the lowest ranked luxury band with a score of 9 out of 100. The only companies that performed worst were Chinese manufacturers Belle International and Shenzhou International Group.

The results are surprising considering the criticisms high street brands like H&M have faced for their production practices. Although Know The Chain Project Director Killian Moote notes that while they're not saying labor isn't an issue for these companies, the intensive public scrutiny they constantly face has lead to them being more active in addressing labor issues.

Read the full report here.


Text Wendy Syfret
Photography Jason Lloyd Evans

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