Friday 9 May 2014

MeasureUp The High Street For Ethical Fashion

If ethical fashion is all about innovation, whether in method, material or manufacture, then ethical shopping is all about information. It's important to know where all the big name brands stand when it comes to the way they treat their workers, or if their plants dump foamy toxins into the local water supply. Until this information is on the labels, next to the washing instructions, it's tricky to figure out just how safe it is to buy a high street name.
MeasureUp aims to change that. It's an online benchmarking tool that allows you to see at a glance just where your favourite brands line up on a table of ethical metrics. If you've ever wondered how Matalan fares against Loius Vuitton when it comes to regular factory audits or transparency, you can find out at a glance. MeasureUp features a database of 60-plus brands that covers the full range of fashion outlets, and it's growing all the time. There's a Top Ten (unsurprisingly, People Tree seems to be a lock at number one, although it's interesting to see names like George at Asda in there, particularly following parent company Walmart's stubborn stance over Rana Plaza), and you can match any brand against any other. It's kind of like Fifa Football Manager for the fashion game.
MeasureUp says:
“We wanted to be able to shop more ethically, but when we tried to look into it we simply couldn’t find the information we needed to compare different companies—at least not without doing months of research or reading lengthy reports. So we decided to start this website. It’s taken quite a while to put together and we’ve tried hard to make it as accurate and useful as possible.”
If you're really interested, there's plenty of supplementary data available to give you all the info you need to make an informed choice. Once you start digging, MeasureUp becomes a surprisingly in-depth research tool. The focus, though, is on ease of use. The primary market for the site is for those of us on a smartphone who just need to see how ethical a purchase that new pair of strides really is.
Even five years ago, the ability of a consumer to check the ethical credentials of an item of clothing while it's still on the rack would have seemed like science fiction. MeasureUp have taken that dream and made it into a straightforward and simple tool that will help us all make the right choice--and of course, point manufacturers in the right direction too.


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