Laudes Foundation launches platform to facilitate greater transparency in fashion
AMSTERDAM, Monday 28 February 2022 — Following the presentation of the Draft Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence by the European Commission last week, Laudes Foundation today launches the Transparency in Action portal. This free, industry-first online platform is designed to help fashion brands around the world understand the role of transparency in enhancing performance, improve their own disclosures and adapt to emerging legislation. The platform also navigates the current fragmented landscape of transparency resources.
Laudes Foundation is committed to enabling fashion brands to increase the level of disclosure as they face new transparency norms and standards. As new policies are announced globally and expectations from consumers and investors are rising, transparency and accountability are moving from the realm of best practice to one of compliance. As such, governments are increasingly shifting from voluntary to mandatory measures, meaning brands will soon no longer have a choice but to disclose information about their impact on the environment and human rights.
Transparency is improving in the fashion industry, but more needs to be done
According to a report launched by Fashion Revolution in 2021, 32% of apparel brands monitored in the research disclosed their supply chains in 2017, while less than five years later the figure had grown to 47%. These signals show positive progress, but more needs to be done. The same report reveals that in 2021, only 4% of brands disclosed data on supply chain workers being paid living wages; 27% of brands publish processing facilities beyond the first tier; and 26% of brands disclose science-based targets.
Offering a one-stop shop to fashion brands
Designed by Laudes Foundation in partnership with knowledge partners WikiRate, Fashion Revolution and Open Apparel Registry, the Transparency in Action portal features best practices, expert advice, tools, and resources – including information on existing and upcoming legislation – for brands to take informed steps towards transparency and expand their current efforts.
The platform takes a comprehensive approach to transparency, covering supply chain, factory performance and purchasing practices. Each have different transparency requirements and the platform offers dedicated guidance and checklists to help fashion brands navigate these.
The Transparency in Action portal also identifies and takes fashion brands through four key transparency steps to improve disclosure:
- Collecting and disclosing data in an open and standardised format
- Analysing and comparing data to identify action points
- Taking action to continuously improve
- Monitoring and evaluation to review whether actions have been effective and adjust if changes are required
The Transparency in Action portal can be accessed for free here: transparencyguide.org
A powerful, collaborative tool for all
On launching the platform, Jill Tucker, Head of Labour Rights, Laudes Foundation says: “Laudes Foundation is committed to accelerating positive change in fashion and has supported various initiatives that foster greater transparency in the industry, such as Fashion Revolution, the Open Apparel Registry (OAR), the WageIndicator Foundation, Solidar Suisse, and Mapped in Bangladesh. We strongly believe in the long-term impact of effective transparency for fashion brands, and Transparency in Action seeks to facilitate that. We urge all brands to make use of this free-to-all resource, no matter where you are in your transparency journey. From supply chain, to factory performance and purchasing practices, the platform offers simple, step-by-step guidance on how to become more transparent. As expectations for transparency are rising, now is the time to get ahead of the curve.”
Katie Shaw, Chief Programme Officer, Open Apparel Registry adds: “We believe transparency is here to stay. When we launched Open Apparel Registry, industry was ready and willing to share name and address data. Fast forward a couple of years and we now hear appetite to share additional data points. Not only is transparency here to stay but it’s growing.”
Laureen van Breen, Managing Director, WikiRate said: “As governments and investors across the world join and strengthen the call for corporate transparency, we see a steady increase in company reporting. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go. There is a serious lack of evidence in companies' reporting on the outcomes of their policies and commitments on ESG issues. It is therefore wonderful to see a thriving community of transparency initiatives that drive corporate accountability, and I'm delighted to see the arrival of the Transparency in Action website to help us keep track of the latest developments, projects, and collaborations”.
Catalysing positive systemic change within the fashion industry
As the dual crises of climate change and deepening inequality has intensified over recent years, championing efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of the fashion industry on society and the environment has been at top of Laudes Foundation’s agenda. The Transparency in Action portal is a key tool that will contribute to address these broader issues.
About Laudes Foundation
Laudes Foundation is an independent foundation joining the growing movement to accelerate the transition to a climate-positive and inclusive global economy. Responding to the dual crises of climate breakdown and inequality, Laudes supports brave action that inspires and challenges industry to harness its power for good. Part of the Brenninkmeijer family enterprise, Laudes builds on six generations of entrepreneurship and philanthropy, working collaboratively to both influence finance and capital markets and transform industry with a focus on the built environment and fashion. For more information visit LaudesFoundation.org.