The Index ranks 40 of the most recognizable fashion brands based on their supply chain transparency and governance practices.
The average score was 42%, with only three brands receiving a “top rating” of up to 77%.
Companies with higher scores made their supply chain policies available to the public, and had auditing and reporting policies in place.
A majority of companies receiving low scores merely had a code of conduct available on their websites.
The report concluded that there is a need for all brands to improve their strategies in publicly addressing social and environmental issues throughout their supply chains.
Many brands do not own the thousands of factories in their value chains, creating a challenge in monitoring sustainability and working conditions.
Furthermore, most fashion houses are familiar with their manufacturers that cut, sew and assemble garments, but are unaware of those further up the chain that dye and weave fabrics, especially farms that grow the fibers.
The Index Report also provided best practices for companies to incorporate into their business strategies, including promoting stakeholder engagement, tracing products down to raw material sources, publishing factory lists and implementing transparent reporting processes.
Third party supply chain transparency service providers can help brands map their garments right down to the source, and provide assistance in their transparency and reporting needs.