Those who believe in socially responsible fashion know that our true power comes in how we walk the talk – that is, by the fashion brands we purchase and wear. We probably all have favorite brands that we know are socially responsible based on our own experience or research – I know I do. But, I’m always happy to learn about new socially responsible fashion brands and to learn more about the initiatives and goals of brands. I also have my biases (based on past experiences) with regards to brands I will never purchase – but are these biases still valid? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was an online platform to share information around the multitude of issues surrounding responsible design, production, and distribution of fashion brands. Project JUST has come to the rescue! As they state on their website “Project JUST lets you learn, ask and share the stories behind your clothes.” Currently, they have researched over 60 brands (including Eileen Fisher, Adidas, Forever 21, and lululemon) around eight business strategies:
• Size and business model – number of employees, annual revenue, type of business model, etc.
• Transparency – openness of the brand in communicating their supply chain
• Labor conditions – how the brand treats workers in their supply chain
• Environment – how the brand treats the environment
• Intention – brand’s goals and commitments to improve social and environmental impact
• Community – social responsibility efforts among the brand community and multi-stakeholder initiatives
• Management – brand’s leadership and any reported issues or scandals
• Innovation – brand’s efforts to go above and beyond the status quo in their operations and supply chain
Each brand listed is independently researched by two individuals who cross-check findings; a third individual then verifies the compiled information before posting. Information is updated on a regular basis and they encourage comments, updates, and contributions from others.
In reviewing several brands including those I know are in pretty good shape and those I know have real issues – I was pleased to see that their comments – both pro and con – were right on track! In addition, have you ever wondered what was meant by bluesign, OEKO-TEX Standard 100, SAI, or SA8000? The website also includes a comprehensive “new slang” dictionary of certifications, accreditations, laws, and multi-stakeholder initiatives.
Sound impressive? It is! Check it out!