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The Brand Performance Check, conducted at all Fair Wear member companies, is the most important element of Fair Wear’s unique shared responsibility approach to improving working conditions in garment, textile, and footwear supply chains.
Fair Wear believes that improving conditions for factory workers requires change at multiple levels. Traditional efforts to improve conditions focus primarily on the factory. However, the management decisions and practices of brands have an enormous influence on factory conditions. In other words, factory conditions cannot be separated from brands’ business practices.
Fair Wear’s Brand Performance Check has evolved into a tool to evaluate and publicly report on the Human Rights Due Diligence efforts of Fair Wear’s member companies. The new Brand Performance Check Guide 2022 takes a more tailor-made approach. It helps brands prioritise and focus on specific topics depending on risks and required remediation in a brand’s supply chain. This approach has the benefit of rewarding specific, innovative supply chain behaviour and results.
While the addition of some new indicators has helped to raise the bar of our performance check methodology, this may also result in a lower score for our member brands. Due to this transitionary period, Fair Wear has lowered the scoring threshold for two years.
‘Instead of solving problems that are discovered from an audit, we’re now looking even more at: what are the risks per factory and how can a brand properly respond to this together with the factory? The great thing is that with this approach, brands operate in line with international guidelines such as those of the OECD. And the direction towards mandatory human rights regulation on EU-level.’ – Niki Janssen, Brand Performance Check Coordinator, Fair Wear
During a performance check, Fair Wear investigates how far member companies have integrated human rights due diligence into their core business practices and assesses how the practices of member companies support the Fair Wear Code of Labour Practices (CoLP).
Each Brand Performance Check report is published online for transparency and accountability. Through these reports, Fair Wear member brands demonstrate the changes that are possible and thus lead the way for the wider industry. The results also enable us to track brand progress over time and measure how well brands have assessed, identified and resolved issues with their suppliers in the past year. The checks enable us to provide one-on-one, tailored recommendations to brands on where they can improve.
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:
The existence of these last two categories is essential to protect Fair Wear’s legitimacy and to prevent ‘greenwashing’ or ‘free-riding’ by a small number of member companies who underperform. The categories provide a clear improve-or-exit path.
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 brands’ 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’ – Anne van Lakerveld, Living Wage Coordinator and Brand Liaison, Fair Wear
Want to see what a Brand Performance Check looks like? Visit the brand pages to see the latest Brand Performance Check of each brand.
The Brand Performance Check, conducted annually at all Fair Wear member companies, is the most important element of Fair Wear’s unique ‘sh…