Since the Baptist World Aid Australian 2016 Fashion Report came out last week, there’s been strong uncomfortable vibes between the general public, major fashion brands, and ethical fashion bloggers alike.
It turns out that a lot of brands that we know and love, and preach a level of ethics, are totally not being as transparent about their sourcing and production as they should be.
One of the big ones that upset many was Factory X brand, Gorman.
They have an incredibly loyal, vocal fan base, many of whom are proud to wear the label due to appearing to be a fundamentally ethical company – their marketing is always natural, earthy and world-focussed, and your brain begs you to rethink that $5 K-Mart shirt you were going to buy.
Except Factory X don’t appear to be overly ethical themselves, according to the report. Well, they might be – but they’re not transparent enough for anyone to actually know.
They scored an ‘F’ on the report – the lowest rating you can get. The quota that was graded was sectioned into ‘Living Wage’, ‘Inputs Production’, and ‘Raw Materials’. Factory X scored F on every single question in each of those segments.
Clearly in an attempt to detract away from this looming information, Gorman posted this image on their Instagram account last night:
Here is the first of a series of photos of the people making Gorman clothes. Today we introduce Liao. #whomademyclothes. “Hi, I’m Liao, a knitter at C.Partners factory in China. I have been working here for 6 years. I love gormans knit designs, especially the colours.” We are particularly proud of the ethically sourced non-mulesed merino knits Liao and his team have produced for Gorman for the last 4 years. Thanks guys.!! #ethicallwool #merino #australianfashion
And you have a quick skim of the comments on that photo, you’ll see that even their usually fanatical customers are pretty unimpressed that their only attempt at ethical transparency is joining a pre-existing ‘hashtag’ marketing campaign:
While the non-for-profit and their message are both important and positive, Gorman fans still have a right to be concerned about the company’s previous lack of transparency. And they certainly have every right to be bluntly asking for answers about their production and sourcing, rather than being placated with #Hashtag #Viral #Marketing #Campaigns.
You can read the whole Baptist World Aid Australian 2016 Fashion Report here: baptistworldaid.org.au/assets/Be-Fair-Section/FashionReport.pdf
If you’d like to see the petition to ensure Gorman releases details about their production and sourcing, it’s here: change.org/p/factory-x-lisa-gorman-the-clothing-label-gorman-to-produce-clothes-in-a-more-ethical-manner