There are several resources available to you these days... alll there to help you understand the story behind the garments.
A couple that we often refer to are the Good On You app and the Behind the Barcode report.
Bethany Nobel (Good On You) & Jasmin Mawson (Behind the Barcode), have kindly provided some information below on how to use their resources.
Good On You
At Good On You we rate brands on their impact on the environment, their worker's rights and how they treat animals. Our research for each brand is extensive. We look to other organisations who have done research into fashion brands. Organisations like Baptist World Aid, Rank a Brand and Shop Ethical. We then conduct direct research into the brand. Because we believe that consumers have a right to know who made their clothes and the impact their product had on the world, we look for publicly available information. What accreditation does the company have? For example have they signed the Bangladesh Accord? Do you they use organic cotton or Fairtrade practices? All of this information informs where a brand sits on our five-tier rating system. Starting with 'We Avoid', 'Not Good Enough', 'It's a Start', 'Good' and 'Great'.
Behind the Barcode
Behind the Barcode is a series of industry reports seeking to empower consumers to purchase ethically, and by doing so, encourage companies to ensure workers are protected and not harmed, that they are rewarded, not exploited and that they work free from the tyranny of modern slavery. The 2015 Australian Fashion Report grades 219 fashion brands operating in Australia and around the world, and assess the systems they have in place to protect the workers in their supply chain from exploitation, forced labour and child labour.
The grades indicate the extent to which a company has traced its suppliers and established systems throughout its supply chain that can enable it to prevent and address worker exploitation and slavery. Each brand is graded from A+ to F based on the efforts it has taken to prevent worker exploitation. In assessing a company, we ask a set of 61 questions about its production policies and practices. Our assessment questions concern a company’s management of raw materials, inputs and cut-make trim manufacturing, and fall into four categories: Policies, Traceability & Transparency, Monitoring & Training, and Worker Rights. You can download the full report and order an Ethical Fashion guide at www.behindthebarcode.org.au.