A recent ranking of UK's 18 most influential high street and online fashion retailers by the Alva Group portrays a sad picture of the labor practices and supply chain worker conditions across brands with half of them generating a negative impact. It states, the ranking contains an overall ESG score for each company based on information across 10 metrics. It covers issues such as diversity and inclusion, community relations, labor practices, product safety and quality and environmental impacts. The ranking derives the data for performance on these metrics rom a range of sources, including brands’ own reports, investor relations, government inquiries and NGOs.
As per these rankings, while brands have made strong progress on employee engagement, diversity and inclusion and community relations in recent months, most of them lag on labor practices and safety. According to the rankings reports, Primark and Boohoo Group are the worst performers with Boohoo Group being at the centre of a worker rights scandal in recent months.
Other brands scoring below the league table’s average were H&M Group, Next and TK Maxx’s parent firm TJX Companies. These firms, along with Boohoo Group and Primark, were deemed by Alva to have a net negative impact on ESG issues. Brands that failed to meet the sector average but recorded a positive score were New Look, ASOS and Frasers Group, the parent company for Sports Direct.
In the report, Alva warns that issues regarding labor practices and product quality and safety are becoming more visible to investors and consumers in the current context.