Unpacking the rating system
The Good On You ethical brand rating system gives you the power to make better choices as an informed shopper. Choices that reflect your commitment to doing better by the planet, people and animals. We believe fashion brands have a responsibility and should be transparent about their impact. How did the clothes you’re wearing get to you and how do your favourite brands stack up?
We look at brands’ impact on workers across the supply chain. These include policies and practices on child labour, forced labour, worker safety, freedom of association (the right to join a union), gender equality, sandblasting and payment of a living wage. We also consider a brand’s assurance practices including worker empowerment, supplier relationships and auditing and their policies to protect workers in the supply chain from the impacts of COVID-19.
We consider each brand’s resource use and disposal including any commitments to circular practices and policies to address microfibre pollution, energy use and carbon emissions, impacts on water, as well as chemical use and disposal.
We identify the use of fur, angora, down feather, shearling, karakul and exotic animal skin and hair. We also consider wool use including ‘mulesing’ and whether and how the brand uses leather. We consider how well a brand traces it’s animal products and its animal welfare policies.
For each of people, planet and animals we also consider if brands are taking positive steps – such as providing industry leadership on issues – or whether they engage in ‘negative citizenship’ like lobbying against legislation to increase transparency or reduce harm.
The key data sources are brand and parent company reporting, robust independent assessments, and independent certifications, accreditations and other standards based systems.
Good On You ethical brand ratings build on the great work done by certification schemes and other independent rating projects. The most reliable information about how a brand performs on an issue comes from standardised independent assessments from bodies like the Fashion Transparency Index and CDP Climate Change and Water Security projects, and certification schemes like Fair Trade, Cradle to Cradle, OEKO-TEX STeP and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). But only a small proportion of brands have been independently assessed, or offer certified products, and so we need to look further at the standard systems brands may choose to follow and the other actions that they claim to take.
We collect data on up to 500 data points per brand across 60 key issues, and take into account information from more than 60 certifications schemes, standards systems, independent assessments and similar tools that are available for use by brands. We weight these sources according to their scope (the issues they address) and the quality of their assurance (how well they ensure brands comply with the standards that have been set).
Where an issue is not fully covered by a standard system or rating, we consider the brand’s own public statements. We only put weight on those statements where they meet certain conditions that increase their reliability and usefulness. In particular, we look for statements that make relevant and specific claims which, if false, would breach misleading advertising laws.
Brands may also be awarded additional points where they are showing industry or deducted points if they have been involved in a major breach of good practice (for example sourcing from regions with known forced labour).
For more information please download our Ratings Guide.