OPINION: Transparency can transform fashion - look at Bangladesh

Reuters, December 2020

"The report highlights the work of a number of initiatives like; Transparency Pledge, the Transparency Index, KnowTheChain, Open Apparel Registry (OAR) and Better Work. For example, Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) offers training and spreads awareness about labour standards. BRAC University’s Mapped in Bangladesh allows easy web-based access to basic factory information for all exporting clothing factories in the country."

Transparency has the power to transform the fashion industry - from the factory floor to the retail shop. While transparency is becoming a popular theme in industry discussions, there remains considerable apprehension around it. Demystify what transparency is – and what it is not – is key to understanding how it can bring systemic change to the Bangladesh ready-made garment (RMG) industry.

While there have been some improvements in the industry, there are significant barriers that still keep workers, manufacturers and brands from becoming more transparent – as can be seen in a visual framework mapped in our report: Transparency Assessment: Examining the transparency journey for the Bangladesh apparel sector. It shows where each key stakeholder of the fashion supply chain is on a continuum of transparency and indicates where interventions can be targeted for each group.