WAKEFIELD – A textile supply chain specialist has called for radical transparency in the apparel industry, suggesting that the naming of Tier 1 suppliers by brands is simply an “appeasement strategy” which ignores the fact that most environmental impact occurs in Tiers 2, 3 and 4. Drawing on data from Quantis, the Fashion Transparency Index and other publicly available information, it is shown that the main significant impacts in Tier 1 (Final Assembly) are working conditions. Meanwhile, the real environmental issues take place in Tier 2 (dying & finishing) and Tier 3 (yarn & fabric preparation) where significant impacts include climate change, water scarcity, workers health and working conditions. The focus on Tier 1, it is suggested, is because much of the pressure to reveal supplier lists has come from NGOs concerned about labour rights transgressions.
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