March 30, 2016

Four brands take pioneering first step

London, 30th March 2016

For the first time, the fashion industry can present sustainability scores for fashion brands and retailers which are truly transparent and independently verified. The performance of four pioneering brands are today made public using a ground-breaking new tool called MODE Tracker, and will continue year on year.

Until now, fashion companies’ sustainability performances have not been independently verified, consumer-friendly, based on a common standard or often published. Today’s announcement changes all that. You can see how the pioneering brands performed by clicking on They are: Ted Baker, G-Star, Vivobarefoot and Haikure.

MODE Tracker was strongly welcomed when it was introduced in concept-form in 2014 following consultation with 50 independent sustainability and fashion experts. Since then, a rigorous pilot programme was followed by a year-long verification of the four companies and a publication of the pilot results of G-Star in 2015.

G-Star’s CR Director Frouke Bruinsma said:

“As well as giving us a comprehensive overview of the strengths and gaps in our approach to sustainability, this process has led to a strategic insight on how to further improve our sustainability performance. MODE Tracker enables us to be transparent in a credible way; to our customers, the industry and critical stakeholders. We are proud to be among the first group of companies to work with it. It represents the way forward for the industry and we therefore invite other fashion companies to also take this step.”

Allanna McAspurn, whose organisation, MADE-BY, developed the tool said:

“MODE-Tracker provides independent verification which allows companies to baseline and measure progress – it covers both social and environmental and is the broadest and deepest monitoring framework in the fashion industry. The results are easy to understand and are layered, making it easy to drill down for more information. In addition to the scorecard of results, companies also receive detailed reports on each topic, showing where their gaps are and what they need to do to be in line with industry best practice. This truly holistic approach, means that MODE Tracker is unquestionably the most advanced tool of its type in the industry.”

Sustainability guru Robert Nuttall who advised and developed the pioneering sustainability strategy – Plan A – for Stuart Rose at M&S, said:

“I consult across many sectors and in my opinion, this tool for the fashion industry is comparable with the best of breed elsewhere. And many industries would do well to look at the work that MADE-BY does and MODE Tracker in particular, and take their lead from this. It creates a level playing field, it is easy to interrogate and, most importantly, it is independent.”

MODE Tracker

MODE Tracker is a progress tool that shows year on year improvements. It enables fashion brands and retailers to develop a roadmap to engage on a broad range of sustainability issues, demonstrate their improvements and communicate these actions publicly. There are eight areas, or cubes, that are assessed: people, product, manufacturing, packaging and transport, own operations, use and durability, product waste and transparency. Companies must choose product and people plus one other. Each cube is broken down into three ascending levels:

1) build foundation and set ambition;
2) make steady progress and
3) adopt best industry practice.

Brands or retailers that demonstrate outstanding industry leadership receive special commendation, indicated by a flag icon.

Rachel Wilshaw, Ethical Trade Manager, Oxfam GB, said:

“This holistic approach from MADE-BY should improve the availability of credible data to stakeholders and influence the quality of sustainability plans. It strengthens the business case for being a leader not a laggard.”

MODE Tracker is an updated version of MADE-BY’s previous Scorecard system which only looked at two areas. It is a comprehensive, transparent and verified progress tracking tool that is more holistic than the previous system. Using expert-developed metrics and scorings, MODE-Tracker independently verifies a brand’s and retailer’s activities, looking at both the sustainability impact reductions made and the management systems in place to support continual improvement. In addition, through MODE Tracker’s in-depth guidance documents for each topic area, brands and retailers are supported in building a comprehensive strategy and roadmap helping them to achieve best practice and beyond.

It is also important to state that MODE Tracker is not a ranking scheme for comparing brands, a detailed reporting tool for product performance or a separate industry standard.

MODE Tracker is complementary to other sustainability indices like Global Reporting Initiative and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index. What differentiates it is the use of third-party evidence based verification, its breadth and depth, its simple visuals and short summaries, its inclusion of consumers among its target audiences and its holistic approach.

MADE-BY – Launched in 2004 in direct response to growing consumer concern in Europe over social and environmental issues in the fashion industry. It is an award-winning European multi-stakeholder non-profit organisation with offices in Amsterdam, London and Dusseldorf.

Its mission is to make sustainable fashion common practice. To achieve this, it works with fashion brands to develop and implement sustainable strategies that improve the environmental and social conditions across their operations and entire supply chains in a commercially sensitive way.

MADE-BY has developed a range of tools and processes that enable brands to measure and monitor their sustainability progress. They include the Textile Wet Processing Benchmark, the Environmental Benchmark of Fibres, Benchmark for Social Standards. In addition, the company has re-developed its transparency solutions supporting brands with supply chain mapping, risk assessment and traceability.

For more information see

Press Enquiries: Zoe Sobel – 07971 066034

Download press release (PDF)