4 remarkable Supply Chain Transparency and ESG data visualizations about the largest apparel companies
Data is beautiful, right? A graphic widely shared on social media neatly explains that sorting, arranging, and presenting data in an organized way helps us make sense of it. Sorted and well-presented data gives us a deeper understanding of the world and allows us to make better decisions.
Next week on November 3rd, we’re launching several interactive data visualizations that present what we know and what we don’t know about top 100 Apparel companies’ supply chain transparency and ESG data. Combined, these companies are worth $1.2 trillion USD and have tremendous potential to impact the world both positively and negatively.
Since Rana Plaza, apparel companies have been pressured to say where and who their suppliers are. That might not sound revolutionary, but we need to know this to improve working conditions and prevent modern slavery.
Another area that has grown in importance in recent years is ESG data. Companies produce yearly reports about their Environmental, Social, and Governance performance. This data is essential to understand and improve companies’ global impacts.
Our visualizations will let you explore sorted and arranged data on the apparel sector’s most prominent companies. Here is a quick guide to what they will show:
- Where the largest apparel companies are headquartered and how much they are worth by market cap.
The FashionUnited Top 100 Index is a great resource, and it’s also the starting point for looking at the largest apparel companies. Using the index’s market cap values — how much a company is worth as determined by the stock market — we’ve mapped the headquarters and relative value using different sized bubbles for each company in the Top 100 Index. The results are interesting: a strong clustering in North America, Europe, and East Asia paints a picture of the global distribution of these highly impactful companies.
2. ESG data disclosure rates
Next up, ESG data disclosure rates. Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance disclosures are information shared by the company saying what they’ve done or how they plan to improve their performance in these areas. If they aren’t sharing information about reductions in their carbon footprint or how they prevent modern slavery in their workforce, how do we know they are doing anything? The short answer is: we don’t.
We have two ESG data visualizations. The first visualization lists, from highest to lowest, the combined ESG disclosure rate scores we’ve given each of the top 100 apparel companies. The other shows the company’s disclosure scores for each E, S, and G element.
The surprising thing here is that the largest apparel companies share information on less than half of the key environmental, social, and governance indicators.
3. Companies that are reporting their suppliers — i.e., Supply Chain Transparency
This is an important one. Sharing the name and exact location of suppliers may not sound transformational. But it is fundamental to creating better working conditions and preventing modern slavery.
This visualization shows how many of the top 100 are sharing their supplier lists. In this graph, you can see how many supplier lists are published by the company.
The takeaway here is that although progress has been made, there is still room for significant improvements.
4. Where are the suppliers located?
Of those suppliers we know about, we’ve mapped them to show where they are clustered. In contrast to the headquarters, suppliers are more widely distributed globally and highly concentrated in South and East Asia. There are also several suppliers spread through Africa, South and Central America. In Europe, there are many countries with suppliers, but much smaller in quantity than South and East Asia.
With this map, you can filter the location of suppliers by company and year to see in greater detail where a company sources its materials for products.
These visualizations allow you to explore all the information we know about the largest apparel companies’ supply chains and ESG data. You can dig into the data we’ve used to gain a deeper insight into which information is available and which is not.
We made Apparel 100 to show WikiRate.org’s potential to use data to create a sector snapshot that is valuable to multiple audiences. We’re looking for organizations, academics, and researchers with whom we can co-create similar data ecosystems that make clear critical information through visualizations and analyses.
We launch the visualizations on Wednesday, November 3rd — we’d love to see you visit it and hear your thoughts.