This article is written by Remake’s Sustainability Fellow, Jessie Ampofo, who filtered brands through Remake’s rigorous criteria to make it easy for shoppers to find and learn about ethical and affordable fashion.
It is positive to see a growing number of brands and consumers come to the realization that “sustainable is better,” and it is equally satisfying to see them look for ways to hold themselves accountable. When it comes to accountability, there are more and more options popping up to help brands take control of their sustainability efforts. What is needed now is a comprehensive and easy to use tool to make understanding ethical fashion more accessible.
With so many options, how is a brand to choose which sustainability framework to use?
Some of the big players in the space in the accountability space include the GRI, Higg Index, and more – all with their own frameworks. The GRI is a pioneer in sustainability reporting and has a comprehensive framework that focuses on environmental, social, and economic areas of a supply chain using both qualitative and quantitative data. It has a large database of annual reports and does aim to include variou types and sizes of companies. In addition, ethical fashion brands can also find The HIGG Index useful. It is a self-assessment tool that incorporates awareness, planning, and implementation. Exact metrics are needed which pushes brands to really delve into their sustainability efforts.
These frameworks are incredibly useful, however, it does require capacity to record and report detailed information that some smaller brands do not have. In addition, most of these frameworks are for businesses and customers can’t get access to detailed, independent information on how their favorite brands are performing. Reports can also highlight successes and gloss over failures or areas of improvement, resulting in greenwashing. For both consumers and brands, a framework is needed that is informative and clear and more holistic.
Remake’s Sustainability tool is moving the conversation beyond “is this product doing as little harm as possible?” to, “ is it actually doing good for makers and the future of this planet?” Using the information available to consumers as well as third party sources, brands receive a score between 1 to 100 needing at least a 50% to be added to the latest Remake collection.
How the Remake Sustainability Tool Differs from Other Frameworks:
- Made for the customer: the tool is consumer facing and holistic unlike other tools that are currently B2B.
- Focuses on doing good, not just on doing less harm.
- Calls for leadership and transparency from every brand.
The result is a framework all brands can use to get a good sense of their sustainability performance and how that is being communicated to customers–and it only takes 30 minutes to an hour to complete. At the moment, Remake is the independent body filtering through brands to ensure sustainability, however, the clear and easy to follow tool is so user friendly, brands can also use it for self-assessment. At a time when ethical fashion is challenged for being inaccessible, making sure compliance frameworks are simple enough for everyone to use and understand is important and is an area where Remake is excelling–in addition to making sure the right ESG metrics are accounted for. Based on the brands we ranked, it would seem that many brands are not tracking carbon emissions, for example, and could use the Remake tool to take stock of what they need to include in their sustainability metrics before their next production cycle.
Overall, the important thing is to take responsibility for your supply chain rather than relying on poor audits or violations to pop up before addressing issues. Remake’s tool is quick to do, easy to use, and gives a comprehensive overview of your sustainability achievements.