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Response to the Baptist World Aid – Australian Fashion Report – 2016

The third edition of the Baptist Aid – Australian Fashion Report was released, earlier this year. 

This detailed report outlines the progress of many Australian fashion brands in regard to their journey with ethical trading.  It also allows a wide audience to access information on the ethical performance of apparel companies.  This enables concerned consumers to make better purchasing decisions.  In recent years this type of informed purchasing has become fashionable with many customers who embrace social change.

This annual report is an amazing resource for the Australian Fashion Industry.   Baptist World Aid are to be commended for their initiative; conducting this comprehensive study and reporting on their findings annually.  During the history of this report, the numbers of Australian fashion brands reported on, who have adopted ethical sourcing has continued to grow and there was a 50% increase in the number of brands assessed in the 2016 report.
Each reported company’s results, when tested to the specific assessment criteria, providing valuable feedback for all the brands involved.  This report provides an effective method for each fashion brand to gauge how their ethical sourcing performance shapes up when compared to peer companies.  The report provides the opportunity to benchmark their brands ethical sourcing performance against their peers, and also their own company past performance.  How good is that!

It is a true testament to the importance of ethical sourcing, in the modern world, to realize how many organizations are working tirelessly in pursuit of a fairer life for the workers manufacturing goods for our consumption.  The growing number of brands who have committed to sourcing ethically are to be applauded.   OK, so not all companies have addressed all the criteria of this report, however the important thing is that companies continue to make progress with their ethical sourcing journey.  It is a complex undertaking and genuine commitment from each company is paramount if they really aspire to make a difference to the working lives of workers producing goods for our marketplace.

It is my opinion, the big issues of abolishing child, forced and bonded labour, together with the need to pay a living wage, while providing safe working conditions are all much more achievable when the standard of ethical manufacturing is consistently required from all who trade with manufacturing companies across the world.  The ultimate aim is for these ethical standards to become the minimum standard of operation and trading.

In order to continue the research, analysis and reporting required to produce the 2017 Australian Fashion Report, Baptist World Aid conducted a crowd funding exercise.  I am sure they would continue to greatly appreciate any donations to assist with the continuation of this project/report.  Please keep this in mind when you read the report and use the valuable information it contains.

Congratulations Baptist World Aid on this wonderful initiative and valuable report for the Australian Fashion Industry!