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Hidden supply chains in fashion

HighLifeChannel April 23, 2018

Top luxury brands including Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel are among the least transparent businesses when it comes to labour conditions in their supply chains, according to research released five years after the Rana Plaza disaster, the sector’s deadliest industrial accident on record.

Dior discloses virtually nothing about where its clothes are made, according to this year’s Fashion Transparency Index, while D&G, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Versace and Giorgio Armani all scored less than 10pc of the total available points.

The report was published by Fashion Revolution, a campaign group set up after the collapse of Rana Plaza, a complex of garment factories in Bangladesh, which killed more than 1,100 workers.

It ranked companies based on how open they were about where their clothes were made, who was responsible for conditions in their supply chain and how they dealt with trade unions.

The worst performing British brands included Matalan, Sainsbury’s clothing label Tu and Sports Direct.

The most transparent brands according to the research were sportswear makers Adidas, Reebok and Puma, while the top UK companies on the list were Marks & Spencer and Asos.

Peter McAllister, executive director of the Ethical Trading Initiative campaign group, said many large mass-produced brands had upped their game after attracting negative attention.

He said: “[Luxury brands] haven’t been under the same pressure, yet we know many of their things are produced in exactly the same countries, sometimes in exactly the same factories as regular high street brands.”

Chanel, D&G, Versace, Matalan and LVMH, which owns Dior and Marc Jacobs, did not respond to requests for comment.

An Armani spokesman said that its suppliers were “carefully selected” and that “regular audit programmes, both social and environmental, are constantly implemented in order to ensure full compliance of the company’s code of conduct”.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said all of its suppliers had to meet its code of conduct and that it had “dedicated teams in the UK, China, India and Bangladesh to ensure we can regularly visit our sites and confirm they meet our high standards”.

A Sports Direct spokesman said it was “committed to responsible business practices”.


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