Brand Performance Checks

The Brand Performance Check is a core element of Fair Wear membership. It’s a tool we use to figure out how our member brands’ have worked to improve labour conditions and a chance for them to publicly report that progress.

Tracking our brands’ progress

Every year, we review brands’ efforts by measuring how well they have assessed, identified and resolved issues with their suppliers in the past year. This can look like many things. For example, we will check if a company’s production planning is realistic, making sure there are no late orders or unreasonable deadlines that could lead to excessive overtime. We then openly share these findings with the public.

This is a unique approach that sets Fair Wear apart and has many benefits.

Brand Performance Checks:

  • Strengthen Fair Wear member brands’ accountability
  • Clearly communicate brand successes
  • Make progress and needs visible to colleagues within an organisation(i.e. buyers, production managers and other stakeholders)
  • Provide targeted feedback to brands on how to improve
  • Offer a clear improvement or exit path for under-performing brands
  • Serve as a tool for consumers to learn more about member brands

Based on their Brand Performance Check, member brands are placed into a category that best corresponds with their performance. Categories are calculated based on a combination of benchmarking score and the percentage of own production under monitoring. The specific requirements for each category are outlined in the Brand Performance Check Guide. The categories are as follows:

  • Leader: This category is for member companies who are doing exceptionally well, and are operating at an advanced level. Leaders show best practices in complex areas such as living wages and freedom of association.
  • Good: Fair Wear believes that member companies who are making a serious effort to implement the Code of Labour Practices—the vast majority of Fair Wear member companies—are ‘doing good’ and deserve to be recognized as such. They are also doing more than the average clothing company, and have allowed their internal processes to be examined and publicly reported on by an independent NGO. The majority of member companies will receive a ‘Good’ rating.
  • Needs Improvement: Member companies are most likely to find themselves in this category when major unexpected problems have arisen, or if they are unable or unwilling to work towards CoLP implementation seriously. Member companies may be in this category for one year only after which they should either move up to Good, or will be moved to suspended.
  • Suspended: Member companies who either fail to meet one of the Basic Requirements, have had major internal changes which means membership must be put on hold for a maximum of one year, or have been in Needs Improvement for more than one year. Member companies may remain in this category for one year maximum, after which termination proceedings will come into force.

Brand Performance Checks recognise that the management and purchasing decisions of clothing brands have an enormous influence on factory conditions and that this should be addressed if we want to change the way our clothes are made. ‘What we see is that brand’s internal processes highly influence labour conditions on the factory floor. This is one of the key things we evaluate during the Performance Check. Because at the end of the day, it’s really difficult to fix a problem if you aren’t aware that you’re the one causing it,’ explains Anne van Lakerveld, Fair Wear brand liaison.

It’s really difficult to fix a problem if you aren’t aware that you’re the one causing it.

Anne van Lakerveld, Fair Wear brand liaison

The first Brand Performance Check happens after the first year of membership. Throughout the first year, brand liaisons help brands prepare. They explain in detail the different aspects of the check and how to deal with them. After the first Brand Performance Check is complete, liaisons then help member brands make sense of the results and determine the next steps.

Want to see what a Brand Performance Check looks like? Visit the brand pages to see the latest Brand Performance Check of each brand.


Brand Performance Check Guide 2020

The Brand Performance Check, conducted annually at all Fair Wear member companies, is the most important element of Fair Wear’s unique ‘sh…