British department store Marks & Spencer has been named the most ethical high street fashion retailer by Ethical Consumer magazine, in its 2014 sector report on the Fashion Industry product guide, which was published last week on the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh.
Although Marks & Spencer beat rival high street retailers such as Next and Debenhams, the department store only managed to score 10.5 out of 20, followed by fast-fashion chains Zara and H&M whom each scored 9.5 respectively due to their “ top rating policies on supply chain, living wages and toxics.”
However, the 2014 guide rates high street retailers on a number of categories, including effects on climate change, habitats and resources, animals rights and testing, human and workers' rights as well as product sustainability.
Bryony Moore, lead author of the Ethical Consumer 2014 guide, commented: “As we mark the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster the good news is that there are now many small companies whose entire business model is based around creating a better and fairer fashion business model.”
“It’s worth remembering that when a company is solely concerned with making a profit, somebody, somewhere is always going to suffer. Choosing to buy from companies which are doing most to reform their supply chains is an important way for shoppers to help drive changes in the clothing sector.”
The Ethical Consumer recommends shoppers to purchase clothing from other companies such as People Tree, Living Crafts and THTC who were listed as the top 'Alternative Clothing' retailers, which offer menswear and womenswear, and scored 16 and 15 out of 20 respectively.