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Methodology

Our COVID-19 Apparel Action Tracker captures information on responses to the pandemic and the impact on workers around the world through a number of different evidence-based indicators and survey responses. This live tracker is updated on an ongoing basis as we receive further information.

How it works

Selected data points from our research, surveys and relevant trackers are displayed visually on each company page, and can be viewed on the ‘compare company responses tool’ on our tracker homepage.

Symbols and colours

  • Green signals a ‘positive’ action
  • Red signals a ‘negative’ action
  • Blue signals a ‘neutral’ action that we have assess neither as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’
  • An explanation point indicates that there is a ‘condition’ on a response that is not straightforward. You can click ‘read more’ for further contextual information.

Please note, the information on this tracker is primarily based on company commitments and adherence to public statements that have not been verified.

What we are tracking

Apparel

Actions taken by fashion brands to protect their profits at the expense of worker rights have had profoundly negative impacts on vulnerable garment workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brands have used their disproportionate power over factory suppliers to cancel agreed orders, pay suppliers substantially reduced prices for orders, or to grossly extend payment terms. These decisions have a devastating knock-on impact on the 60 million garment workers in fashion supply chains. Millions of workers have lost their jobs, have had months of unpaid wages, or have been forced to work for a fraction of their usual wage – an amount that has never been enough to cover a basic standard of living.

Labour rights advocates are appealing to brands to contribute to wage funds to make up for the wages that have been lost, estimated as up to US$5.8 billion over just a three-month period from March – May.

We are tracking and publishing the commitments made by 50 global fashion brands, the ongoing demands from the labour movement, and recommendations on how to build back better.

Our survey

In May 2020, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) conducted a survey of 35 fashion brands and retailers (26 responded) regarding their response to the pandemic as it related to garment workers. The questions and full set of survey responses and non-responses can be found here.

In November 2020, BHRRC undertook a follow-up survey with the original 35 companies and an additional 15, seeking responses from 50 companies (34 responded). The questions and full set of survey responses and non-responses can be found here.

Responses to this survey informed our online COVID-19 tracker of apparel companies. We also referred to other publicly available sources of information – including this live tracker maintained by the Worker Rights Consortium and the Center for Global Workers’ Rights, which has been used for supplier-verified data on order payments. This was used in instances where there were inconsistencies, gaps or non-responses to our questions. We have also drawn on other public statements by the company and information reported by credible news sources.

You can explore company responses and non-responses below.

Keeping it up to date

This is a live tracker we update on an ongoing basis. If you have additional information on these issues please contact us at [email protected] with the subject line ‘COVID-19 Apparel Action Tracker’.

The effect of COVID-19

COVID-19 has been referenced in news articles and reports on our website.