Transparency in Fashion is an essential matter for the industry. Customers are demanding information, after all, knowledge is power and they want to have it before making the buying decision.
Due to the power of information, the UN declared September 28th the International Day for Universal Access to Information. Initially, this day was created in solidarity with the adoption of right to information laws in African states. However, this should apply to information in all of its forms.
An informed public is proactive. They can make changes to better the world we live in with their attempts at crafting a better tomorrow. It is especially important that we have universal access to information and transparency in industries that possess major influence over the lives of many. On September 28th, we would like to remind our community and highlight the importance of transparency in fashion.
Transparency in Fashion
As concern for the future of the planet continues to grow, there has been an increasing demand from consumers to have access to more sustainable and conscious products. In response to these changes, we have seen a plethora of companies taking steps to modify their supply chains and sourcing. Yet that is not enough.
In order to assure customers that they are doing everything in their power to help reduce pollution and mitigate some of the challenges present today, companies need to be more transparent.
The fashion industry is a multibillion-dollar industry that employs millions of people. Hence, transparency in fashion should be more than just an idea that people talk about. It must be implemented and, actually, should have been implemented earlier on.
Transparency in fashion ranges from correctly labeling the materials used in products, to ethically sourcing labor and maintaining records. That is important to inform the customers of the people and resources who have contributed to the production of the clothes they are wearing.
Recently there have been scandals associated with companies that have presented themselves as being eco-friendly and sustainable. Whether it be the result of mislabeling their products as being from recycled materials or unethically sourcing labor in order to mass-produce their merchandise.
By switching over to become more transparent, fashion companies can avoid this kind of negative attention while also setting an example for small businesses and emerging talents in the industry. The small steps made toward bringing more transparency to fashion will only serve to benefit the entirety of the industry and the planet in the long run.
However, social and greenwashing can’t be accepted. So, if a brand declares to be transparent, it must truly be.
According to last year’s Fashion Transparency Index, Fashion Revolution ranked 250 of the world’s largest fashion brands and retailers according to how much they disclose about their social and environmental policies, practices, and impacts. As Somers affirmed to The Good on You, for the first time we saw a few brands scoring above 70%. Whilst the high street is leading the way on transparency, luxury brands are making significant progress. The overall average score among the 250 brands is 23%. Plus, up from 21% among the 200 brands in the 2019 Index.
However, the general situation shows that more than half of brands score 20% or less. Furthermore, some brands—both high street and luxury—disclose nothing at all. Therefore, even though we are seeing some changes, there’s still a lot to work on when it comes to transparency in fashion.
Trend for Transparency
By bringing transparency into fashion, the industry can build a deeper trust with customers and establish a standard that goes beyond fashion.
The fashion industry has the ability to drastically help shape culture. By implementing practices and policies that promote transparency in the fashion industry, a chain reaction could be triggered. Thus making transparency a universal practice across all industries.
At the end of the day, consumers want to feel confident. They want to trust they are taking the right steps to protect the planet and the people. By being transparent with them about fashion’s supply chains, brands and companies can help bolster their confidence. And, therefore, do our part in making sustainability a main priority.
Here at Fashinnovation, we are doing our part to bring more transparency into fashion. We work towards demystifying the behind-the-scenes of what goes into the process of making the items in our wardrobes and urge the members of our community to follow suit.
Want to learn more about how companies are trying to approach the subject of introducing transparency to fashion? Take a look at our Sustainability & Artisanal Brands via Ethical Practices talk.