© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Ethical fashion companies recognised

Emma Turton

The Tearfund Ethical Fashion Guide for 2019 was released yesterday.

The guide grades companies on their efforts to address worker exploitation and environmental damage in their supply chain. It aims to give consumers the power to shop ethically. For the guide, Tearfund assesses 130 different companies which represent more than 480 brands.

The questions they ask delve into policies, worker empowerment, transparency, supplier relationships and a newly added category, how the business measures their environmental impacts.

This new category was added because "a truly ethical company is one that takes environmental impact seriously and works to manage their footprint," Claire Hart, Tearfund Education and Advocacy Manager said.

"We got to the point where we couldn't not ask those questions, because the fashion industry has such a huge environmental impact," Hart said.

New Zealand companies which received a high rating were Icebreaker, Kathmandu, Nature Baby and AS Colour. Amongst companies with a rating at the other end of the scale were 3 Wise Men, Farmers and Baby City.

With this guide Tearfund is trying to combat fast fashion and the issue of consumers regularly purchasing low-quality cheap clothing.

"We're in a time now where the fashion industry is only moving in one direction, towards sustainability and transparency and care for workers," Hart said.

The guide aims to change consumer behaviour, through people downloading the guide and making conscious buying decisions.