London - KnowTheChain, a resource for businesses and investors who need to understand and address forced labor risks within their supply chains, have published findings for the apparel industry, of which there are surprising results.
Founded by Humanity United in 2013, KnowThe Chain benchmarks current corporate practices, develops insights and provides practical resources to inform investor decisions and enable companies to comply with growing legal obligations while operating more transparently and responsibly.
Know theChain sources information about corporate compliance and works with companies on their disclosure statements whilst providing guidance to the UK Home Office for the Modern Slavery Act.
20 of the world's leading fashion brands were benchmarked
In its latest assessment, KnowTheChain benchmarked 20 of the world's largest apparel and footwear companies on their efforts to eradicate forced labour from their supply chain. The companies were selected on the basis of their size and extent to which they derive revenues from corporate branded products.
Prada and Kering had the lowest scores
The top three highest scoring companies are Adidas, Gap and H&M, who received respective scores of 81, 77 and 69. Brands who scored low include Kering, Prada and Shenzhou International, with respective scores of 27, 9 and 1.
Prada's low score comes as a surprise, as they have made little effort to show its coveted bags and clothing are free of forced labour. Key findings show it needs to take action to ensure its workers have a voice throughout their supply chain and workers need to be protected during the recruitment process.
KnowTheChain offers a remedy which includes greater commitment needed by apparel companies to address and remediate abuses.
While Kering and Prada failed the quality and transparency assessment, other luxury labels such as Ralph Laurent and Hugo Boss, only marginally passed, with scores of 45 and 46.
According to KnowTheChain scores higher than 46 means companies have considered to take initial steps to show awareness and commitment to address human rights in the supply chain.
"It would be hard to fathom a company taking steps to address slavery in its supply chains and then failing or refusing to disclose it publicly," Kilian Moote, project director of KnowTheChain told the Guardian newspaper.
Photo credit: Prada hangbags