ICAR Launches Online Apparel Data Directory to Connect Advocates with Data on Working Conditions in the Apparel Sector


September 26, 2019 

Washington, D.C. - ICAR is pleased to launch ApparelData.org, a free online data directory that connects advocates seeking to transform working conditions in the apparel and footwear industry with publicly accessible data that can make their efforts more effective. Previously only available as an excel sheet, ApparelData.org is a user-friendly, searchable online database.

ApparelData.org fills a key gap identified during a meeting among data generating, data gathering, and policy advocacy organizations co-hosted by ICAR and C&A Foundation in October 2016. During that meeting, participants highlighted that both advocates and data generating organizations themselves are often unaware of what data is already available and where it can be found. Without this information, advocates may miss key data that could strengthen their advocacy efforts, and data generating organizations may spend scarce resources producing data that is already available. ApparelData.org provides information about publicly available data on working conditions in the apparel sector in one central place.

“There are many initiatives working to increase transparency and generate good data on working conditions in the apparel sector,” said Nicole Vander Meulen, Advocacy Counsel at ICAR. “But that information and data must be used to actually achieve real change on the ground. By providing a clear map of the data landscape, ApparelData.org will connect advocates with existing data to improve conditions and secure better industry practices.”

ApparelData.org only includes data which has the potential to increase accountability on an ongoing basis, meaning that the data is publicly available, names specific entities—such as countries or brands—and is regularly updated and provided in a standardized format to enable comparison between peers and over time. While the organizations currently included in the Directory focus primarily on improving social performance in the industry, we welcome organizations that disclose data on environmental performance as well.

Public disclosure of apparel and footwear industry data has a key role to play in the effort to secure practical and lasting improvements to labor and human rights in the sector, but only if the right people know where to find it. By bringing this information into one place, ApparelData.org makes it easier for advocates to find and use relevant data in their efforts to improve working conditions, while also connecting data generating organizations with one another to reduce duplication and encourage collaboration.

 To learn more about the ApparelData.org or to inquire about having your initiative added, please contact Nicole Vander Meulen (Nicole@icar.ngo).