Green America examined the environmental and social sustainability policies of major American apparel companies, focusing on companies who sell their own branded clothing. The companies are a mix of traditional and fast fashion retailers. We looked at publicly available information, such as codes of conducts, corporate social responsibility webpages and sustainability reports, if available. We also sent companies on the scorecard a survey with a list of questions to supplement this information. To keep the scorecard from becoming too cumbersome, we looked specifically at how their policies affect workers and environments in their supply chains – so while policies about greenhouse gas emissions, retail stores/corporate offices, and other operational aspects are important for companies to consider, they are not a part of this particular scorecard.
It’s important to note that even if a company has some policies in place to address sustainability within its current supply chain, it does not negate the sheer volume of resources used and lost annually to manufacture new clothes. Furthermore, there is still, unfortunately, no way for us to shop our way to sustainability.
This scorecard examines if a company has a policy, and does not necessarily translate to an endorsement of that particular policy.
A (+) indicates that the company has a detailed policy described and shares its benchmarks/progress. A (/) indicates that the company states that it has a policy, but there are no details about how it measures progress and/or what its goals are. For chemical management, a (•) indicates that the company has a chemical policy that addresses consumer safety but does not have one that addresses chemicals used in the manufacturing process.
To see full company breakdowns, please refer to the appendix of our 2019 Toxic Textiles report. If your favorite company isn't listed, reach out to them and ask what they're doing to fix environmental and social challenges!