GoodGuide Clothing Ratings: Patagonia on Top While Polo Scores Badly

Patagonia ranks best among dozens of national retail clothing brands rated by GoodGuide, while Polo ranked last.

Consumer Ally has teamed up with GoodGuide, whose experts have rated more than 65,000 consumer goods -- including food, toys, personal care and household products -- using factors that include concern for the environment, personal health and social responsibility, as consumers begin increasingly to consider those in addition to price.GoodGuide's ratings also include a brief explanation for each category, though the user can drill down into each score for more detail. The health score measures a product's potential health impact on consumers.

The environment score is based on the impact of the product in question and the company's overall policies and practices. The society score evaluates social impact, which can include treatment of workers, workplace diversity, community involvement and corporate ethics.

Since clothing doesn't pose a health risk, criteria were not assigned to apparel makers.

For example, Patagonia's 7.5 rating is based on:
  • A Health score of N/A (not applicable)
  • An Environment score of 8.3: Compared to other companies, this company scores well on reducing climate change emissions.
  • A Society score of 6.8: Compared to others, the company that makes this product earns an above average rating on general corporate governance.
On the other hand, Polo's 3.7 rating was based on:
  • A Health score of N/A (not applicable)
  • An Environment score of 3.3: The company that makes this product has one of the lowest scores for using recycled materials.
  • A Society score of 4.1: This product has one of the lowest scores in response to violation information.
GoodGuide ranked 118 brands of apparel makers in all, but because some are small and not nationally recognized, we've focused on well-known brands. You can view the complete apparel rankings here. The ratings also include an explanation of GoodGuide's methodology as well as shopping tips for consumers.

5 Top-Ranked National Retail Clothing Brands 5 Bottom-Ranked National Retail Clothing Brands GoodGuide says the best-rated brands strive to improve working conditions and reduce environmental impact. They also disclose suppliers, monitor treatment of workers and publicize responses to labor violations. Conversely, GoodGuide's lowest-rated clothing makers do not focus on labor conditions or environmental policies of their suppliers.

You can view all the top-rated clothing brands (in descending order) here and all the poorly rated clothing brands (in ascending order) here.

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