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How our retailers stack up in the Tearfund Ethical Survey

  • News
  • April 10, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
How our retailers stack up in the Tearfund Ethical Survey

Another year has rolled around and with it has bought the Tearfund Ethical Survey. The fashion guide is based on research by Tearfund NZ and Baptist World Aid Australia and gives insight into our brands ethical standards of production. Many of our most loved retailers worked hard to improve their scores from last year, while many of our most popular were given a failed grade.

This year 130 companies, representing 480 brands, have been assessed in the guides A-F rating system. Many of the companies with an F or low grading have a mark * next to them, means companies that own those brand shave chosen not to participate and Tearfund find their own information based on level of transparency.

Grading covered six areas with different percentage weights:

Polices – 10 percent: Covering codes of conduct, what it includes and how much of the supply chain it is applied to.

Traceability & Transparency – 25 percent: Based on how much of the supply chain the company has traced and how transparent they are with the public.

Auditing & Supplier relationships – 25 percent: Looking at company audits and how they’re taken out, as well as often they take place and whether a company prioritises building relationships with its suppliers.

Worker empowerment – 30 percent: Assessing whether a company is working to improve wages or paying a living wage and what worker protections are in place, including grievance mechanisms, training, unions and collective bargaining agreements.

Environmental management – 10 percent: Whether brands have evaluated their environmental impact throughout their supply chain, and the systems and programmes they have in place to improve their environmental management.

Through these, a brand is given a grade. Below we’ve profiled our top New Zealand brands, and Australian labels that have a solid footing in New Zealand. We’ve also included what added to these grades in terms of their worst and best areas to include more insight into the finial number.

3 Wise Men – Grade F, due to non-participation

Adidas – Grade A, scoring highly in transparency but low in environmental management.

Alannah Hill – Grade B-, high in transparency but very low environmental management.

AS Colour – Grade A-, high in most areas, low lower in environmental management but still higher than most.

Bec and Bridge – Grade F, due to non-participation.

Bonds – Grade A, high marks on auditing and supplier relations.

Bras N Things – Grade A, high marks on auditing and supplier relations and transparency.

Camilla and Marc – Grade F, due to nonparticipation.

Champion – Grade A, high marks on auditing and supplier relations and transparency.

City Chic – Grade B+, high marks on transparency but very low on environmental management.

Converse – Grade B-, high on transparency but very low for worker empowerment.

Cotton On (including all sub brands) – Grade A-, high in auditing and supplier relations, but low on environmental management. 

Crane – Grade B-, high on supplier relations, very low on worker empowerment.

Cue – Grade C-, due to nonparticipation.

David Jones – Grade B, moderate scores across all, except low in environmental management.

Decjuba – Grade D-, due to nonparticipation.

Ezibuy – Grade D+, poor scores across the board.

Farmers – Grade F, due to nonparticipation.

Forever New – Grade B, lacking in worker empowerment and environmental management.

Glassons – Grade B+, high scores but let down by environmental management.

H&M – Grade B+, high scores but let down by worker empowerment.

Huffer – Grade B-, high of transparency, very low on environmental management and worker empowerment.

Icebreaker – Grade A+, almost perfect scores, lower in environmental management.

Jockey – Grade A, high scores except environmental management and polices.

Karen Walker – Grade B, due to nonparticipation.

Kathmandu – Grade A, high scores yet let down by environmental management.

Kmart – Grade B+, average scores across all parts.

Kowtow – Grade A+, high marks in both worker empowerment and transparency.

Lululemon – Grade A-, highest marks in supplier relationships, low in environmental management.

Macpac – Grade B-, below average scores across the board.

Max – Grade C, due to nonparticipation.

Mighty Good Undies - Grade A+, high marks across all sections, lower in polices and environmental management.

Nike - Grade B, average scores across the sector.

Nature Baby - Grade A -, high scores across the board, with a high mark in environmental management. 

Pagani - Grade C-, low scores in all sections.

Peter Alexander - Grade C+, low scores in environmental and worker empowerment.

Postie – Grade C, below average scores across the whole sector.

Rodd & Gunn – A-, high scores in transparency let down by the rest of the sector.

Ruby – C, below average regarding every part.

Swanndri - Grade C+, lower than average marks across the sector.

The Warehouse – B-, high transparency, poor marks in environmental, worker empowerment and supplier relations.

Trelise Cooper – Grade F, due to nonparticipation.

Uniqlo – Grade B+, let down by worker empowerment.

Vans – Grade B, average across all sections.

Witchery – Grade A-, strong scores in all except environmental management.

World – Grade D-, due to nonparticipation.

Zara – Grade A, higher than average marks across the board.

Zimmermann – Grade B-, let down by almost 0 in environmental management, low in worker empowerment.

To read the report and get further knowledge on what retailers scored what, download the full survey here.

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