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Baptist World Aid Australia release 2020 Special Edition COVID Fashion Report and Guide

Date published: Wednesday 4 November 2020

Category(ies): Feature

In a year that has thrown us into disarray causing many a change to our daily lives, Baptist World Aid Australia (BWAA) chose to highlight that some important things remain the same... Garment workers not only have the right, but deserve to live a thriving, healthy life with dignity. The 2020 Special Edition COVID Fashion Report and Guide focuses on empowering the conscious consumer to consider their fashion choices from an ethical lens, to provide opportunity and dignity to workers as well as being sustainable.

BWAA CEO, John Hickey said "fashion companies have been literally fighting for survival in 2020. But the wellbeing of the workers who produce the garments they sell must still be considered a core priority. Survival is critical but it should not be achieved on the backs of their most vulnerable workers."

The Guide focuses on providing resources to help you in becoming a more thoughtful and ethical consumer. These include stories, tips, ideas and resources to guide your journey and that of those around you.

The Report explores the impacts of COVID on the fashion industry, including analysis of complex global supply chains, vulnerable workers and consumer discretionary spending of over 400 well-known brands - it is the story of an industry in crisis. Brands were asked "What steps and measures are you taking to protect and support the most vulnerable workers in your supply chain?", with six key commitments to supply chain workers identified. These commitments outlined key actions, feasible for companies that result in the greatest positive difference for garment workers.

Notably, over 70% of companies assessed in 2020 could provide evidence of their deliberate positive actions to support vulnerable workers through the COVID pandemic. Yet, none of the companies assessed in the report were able to demonstrate an end-to-end supply chain response.

Director of Advocacy at BWAA, Peter Keegan said "Embedding a vision and practice in the fashion world that treats all workers - regardless of where they work in the supply chain - with dignity and respect, is critical."

Baptist Care Australia Executive Director, Nicole Hornsby added "the release of this report by Baptist World Aid Australia is reflective of the need to not only respond immediately to the impacts of COVID-19 but also to the long-term development and continued progress of the industry."

To order your own copy of the Report and Guide click here.