I have examined the websites of Adidas, Reebok, and Patagonia – the three leading companies in the transparency index. Their contribution is undoubtedly admirable; however, in my view, the most remarkable report was made by Patagonia. Since Hart (2019) mentions that this brand was included in the index for the first time, it becomes clear that the company made a lot of progress within just one year. Additionally, Patagonia’s website provides the most information in its sustainability section: it demonstrates its environmental approaches, social programs, and supply chain reports. Also, the presented data is very extensive; under the slogan «know how your clothes are made» (Patagonia, 2021), customers can find the exact factory where each item is produced and how the company supports people who work there. Overall, Patagonia launched more than 15 sustainability programs covering almost every step of its production and retail processes. Although Adidas’s and Reebok’s contributions are undeniably valuable, I believe Patagonia presents the most transparency to their customers so that everyone can ensure they uphold their social responsibilities.
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Regarding the point that «lack of transparency costs lives», I can agree that this refers to the workers in the first place. When companies conceal some of their manufacturing processes, it often signals that the factories have unsuitable or even dangerous conditions. One of the most striking examples was discussed is Kashyap’s (2019) article: in 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed and killed nearly 1500 workers. This event alone proves that transparency is essential in order to control and sustain safety in factories. Brands that do not pay due attention to their social responsibilities may put their employees at risk, and this behavior needs to be fairly judged.
Hart, C. (2019). Sportswear brands lead the way on transparency. Supply Management. Web.
Kashyap, A. (2019). Transparency is in fashion: Reward brands that are telling consumers where, how and by whom their products are made. New York Daily News. Web.
Patagonia. (n.d.). Environmental & Social Footprint. Web.