Measure Up: The Quick and Easy Way to Compare Fashion Brands
I always maintain that second-hand shopping is the ultimate in guilt free consumption. Second-hand finds are sustainable and affordable and, if they are charity shops finds, you're supporting a good cause too. Sometimes though, you can't find everything you need second-hand. Sometimes, you might want to venture onto the high street and the that can be a confusing place if you're trying to be an ethical shopper.
One website however, is providing an easy way to navigate the retail sinners and saviours. Measure Up launched last summer as a quick and easy tool for conscious consumers to compare high street favourites. Each retailer/brand is scored with a traffic light system against ten indicators such as 'evidence of living wages?' and 'factories audited every two years?' In the months since its launch more companies have been added, featuring everything from Accessorize to Zara.
The money needed to set up and run it has been put in by the individuals who've done the research, design and programming without any links or affiliations to any clothing brands. It represents a lot of work, all edited down into an easy to use matrix. So who measures up best? People Tree comes top of the class with full positive marks and Monsoon Accessorize also scores positively, as do Asda.
The more I learn about ethical and sustainable fashion, the more confused I become. It's certainly not a black and white issue, yet measureup.org.uk is a great step forward in demystifying the market. What's more, having a straight forward way to compare brands will hopefully give low-performing brands an incentive to change their ways.
This blog was first published on the Oxfam Fashion Blog and is reproduced with permission.