Does Topshop pay its workers enough to live on? Which is more ethical: Adidas or Nike? How often does Patagonia audit its factories? For answers, head to MeasureUp, a not-for-profit website that serves as a benchmarking tool to help consumers make informed decisions about where to buy their clothes. With a growing database of more than 60 high-street and luxury brands—mall faves such as Gap and Zara stand shoulder to shoulder with the rarified likes of Louis Vuitton and Givenchy—MeasureUp offers an at-a-glance look at how different fashion firms treat their workers based on 10 simple indicators, including living wages, factory audits, and transparency of information.
“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,” MeasureUp explains. “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.”
You can even select specific brands for direct comparison, say Old Navy against Uniqlo, or Adidas against Nike and Reebok. Although MeasureUp admits that making a “perfect, objective comparison” between different companies is never going to be entirely achievable, it hopes the site will at least give shoppers a better understanding of the differences in ethical policies among brands.
Not that you can’t dive deeper, of course. Clicking on each rating takes you to information that backs up the site’s assessment. Still, the site’s primary targets are people who are pressed for time.
“Our aim is that it should be really quick and easy to use—that when you’re out shopping you can select a few brands on your smartphone and, in just a few seconds, have an idea of how they measure up,” it adds.