Remake: Fashion Accountability Report 2022

This blog article was originally published on the Remake website and was written by Sumedha Vemulakonda. Vemulakonda is an ethical fashion advocate and a writer and ambassador for Remake.

Five years ago, Remake created an assessment criteria with the goal of guiding our community towards ethical and sustainable shopping alternatives to fast fashion. Our initial goal was to expose transparency issues seen in the  business practices and production chains of large fashion brands. The report highlighted the extent to which fast fashion employed overproduction and garment worker exploitation, however, the events of the past couple years have exacerbated this exploitative cycle.

In November, we have released our 2022 Accountability Report to directly respond to change this exacerbated exploitative cycle. We have updated our evaluation framework, and expanded the list of brands within our scope to go beyond transparency, instead looking at action and progress to measure degrees of accountability amongst major players in the fashion industry.

Why the Report Matters 

Human industrial activity has aggravated climate catastrophes, with the fashion industry being particularly identified as the world’s third largest polluter. The World Economic Forum estimates that the fashion industry and its supply chains are responsible for 10% of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions – that is, nearly 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide that fashion production has released into the atmosphere. The UN body, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has officially sounded a “code red” for humanity.

Overproduction of this fashion cycle has been dependent on the systematic exploitation of garment workers. Through the pandemic, a number of fast fashion brands canceled orders, leaving global garment workers unpaid, triggering trickle down effects – with wage insecurity inducing food insecurity and housing insecurity. Remake responded with quick and strategic campaigns to address these injustices.


The trajectory of events over the past couple of years have made it clear that although transparency is a core value of ethical and sustainable fashion, it is not enough. Supporting conscious consumers today has taken on a bigger challenge. In the current environment of fast fashion, being a conscious consumer means more than just shopping ethically. Conscious consumers need conscious industries. This means radically different business models – ones that work within the constraint of finite planetary boundaries and delivery of equity for its workforce.

To this end, we have updated our assessment criteria – raising the baseline of ethical and sustainable evaluation from transparency to accountability. The days of oversold brand commitments set far out into a future that never arrives are over. Fashion companies, especially the corporate giants who control the industry, must make transformative change now. We will no longer reward them for transparency for transparency’s sake. Instead, our updated criteria focuses on action and progress.


How Remake’s Fashion Accountability Report Differs

Remake practices what we preach. We don’t receive any funding from the fashion industry, ensuring our ability to serve as a reputable and independent third-party watchdog.

We have established a baseline for evaluating ethicality and sustainability through information within the public domain – sourced through companies’ own published sustainability and annual reports, or on their websites – for the explicit purpose of ensuring companies are held publicly accountable for both the labor and environmental impacts of their supply chains.

Building on this baseline, Remake’s 2022 Accountability Report tracks actions not just words.

We score companies on progress not promises, cutting through corporate language to award points towards measures of demonstrable progress from direct supply chain practices such as tracking workers who make a living wage to indirect supply chain interactions like tracking animal welfare on farms that source raw material for fashion supply chains.

We also track actions holistically at every stage of the company. This means looking at internal company pipeline indicators like diversity of corporate leadership, diversity statistics within management teams, and wages paid to retail workers. It also means tracking the company’s actions and prioritization of external environmental impact from production cycles – notably progress towards meeting carbon reduction targets.

By tracing and tracking actions holistically, we actively treat social and environmental impacts as deeply intertwined. Because within the fashion industry overproduction is dependent on exploitation of garment workers, and exploitation of garment workers in turn creates and caters a cycle of overproduction, avenues of ethical and environmental progress cannot be separated. As such, we score brands on their inherent business model, not just their business practices. This means fast fashion brands that operate on a model of overproduction through low-quality trend cycles and prioritize excessive sales growth are automatically ineligible to gain points in various accountability scorecard categories.

Remake is on a mission to change the way we consume fashion. We’re dedicated to holding brands accountable for labor and environmental injustices, while simultaneously providing safe working environments and living wages for garment workers around the world. (Read the full blog article here).