Baptist World Aid Australia have recently released an ethical fashion guide: Behind The Barcode, which assesses 128 fashion brands found in Australia in order to help consumers make ethical shopping decisions. The brands are rated on a criteria of three main points:
- The overall grades companies receive in The Australian Fashion Report
- Whether the brand guarantees that workers receive a living wage, and
- Whether the brand has committed to boycott the use of Uzbekistani cotton, which is picked using the forced child labour of tens of thousands of children.
A lot of the results aren’t very surprising, with brands and companies like Supre and David Jones receiving a great big ‘F’ for their grade, but it’s truly dismaying to see that barely anyone guarantees workers receiving a living wage. This really is an eye-opener and is a helpful resource for those of us who are trying to be more ethical and conscious in our shopping choices. It would be interesting to see more studies with wider criteria and participants to see how the brands shape up! It’s definitely worth a look and keeping in mind next time you go out for a shop.