Founded by Ayesha Barenblat, Remake is a nonprofit that initially began with a goal of igniting a conscious consumer movement to turn fashion into a force for good. They created documentaries featuring the women who make our clothes whether they were in Sri Lanka or LA. Ayesha would even take fashion design students on trips to meet garment workers so they could have a better understanding of the process and their peers in the industry who worked in the factories.
When Covid hit many major brands not only cancelled orders but refused to pay factories –and thus workers– for jobs already completed. This crisis brought to light the severity of the disparity between those who create the clothes and those on the business end of the industry. Remake, along with Elizabeth Cline began the #PayupFashion campaign to demand that brands pay their workers. This initiative and others empower citizens to advocate for fair wages and eliminate environmental injustice in the fashion industry –which is now the mission of Remake.
What’s the Remake Fashion Accountability Report?
This report ranked 60 fashion companies across 6 key areas with a possible total of 150 points
1. Traceability/Transparency -8 points
2. Wages and Wellbeing – 23 points
3. Commercial Practices – 15 points
4. Raw Materials – 20 points
5. Environmental Justice and Climate Change – 42 points
6. Governance, Diversity and Inclusion – 42 points
And they added in “Spotlight Issues”
In addition to the 150 possible points brands could earn, for each of the three spotlight issues listed below, brands lost five points if the campaign was relevant to them and they did not support it or actively lobbied against it.
- Did the brand PayUp after the start of the pandemic?
- Has the brand signed on to the International Accord for Health and Safety?
- Did the brand publicly support the Garment Worker Protection Act?
They brought in experts
They didn’t try to figure it out alone but brought in labor rights organizations; professors of human rights, employment, fashion and law; and experts in the fields of sustainability, environmental justice and circular economy to help with the assessment.
Rather than assessing fashion companies based solely on their goals and transparency, we have held them accountable to progress. As the COP26 conference and pandemic have shown us, we need less talk and more action. –From the report
for the TL;DR crowd
If you take away only one stat from the Remake’s accountability report it should be this: out of a possible score of 150 points the highest number of any of the companies reviewed was 83. Yes, you read that right. No one even broke 100. And the lowest, a paltry unconscionable negative 13.
But wait, what brands were included in this study? With a score like that you’d think it was all fast fashion. But no, Remake chose the most profitable apparel companies (not-so-fun fact: 20 companies control 97% of the industry profits).
Then they added those that are being tracked by PayUp Fashion. And finally, a few of our favorite small to medium brands that market themselves as sustainable/more responsible.
You might be surprised to learn–as we were– that fast fashion brand ASOS ended up scoring higher than “green economy” favorite AllBirds. …ummm that doesn’t mean we love ASOS (which scored only a 16/150) just saying we found some results surprising.
Small and Medium-Sized sustainable brands outperform fashion giants (so let’s be giant killers!) They have resilient business models focused on durable products while phasing out virgin fossil fuel fabrics and are transparent about their supply chain. They are also the ones who were consistently vocal about California’s transformative Garment Worker Protection Act, including Boyish Jeans, Nisolo, Christy Dawn, Eileen Fisher, Mara Hoffman and Reformation.
Our Final Thoughts…
We love how Remake’s accountability report expands expectations of how companies should behave. It’s a fully holistic approach to fashion and creating the awareness about what the issues are –so we, the citizen consumers understand – makes it easier for all of us to shine the light on companies and create expectations that these companies will need to meet to get our business.
So read the report for yourself because, you know –knowledge is power.