Best & Less
Clothing retailer
Best & Less Group is made up of retail brands Best & Less and Postie (NZ). In 2019, Allegro Funds acquired the businesses from Greenlit Brands, and listed it on the ASX in 2021. Acquired by BB Retail Capital in 2023 and delisted from the ASX.

Overall

Owned AUS
Rating D
About the Ratings

Company Ownership

Best & Less Pty Ltd
AUS
BB Retail Capital Pty Ltd
owns 100% of Best & Less Pty Ltd
AUS
Investment company
Private investment company founded by Australian Brett Blundy in 1980 with offices in Sydney and Monaco. Core divisions are consumer, funds management, retail property, and cattle. Consumer brand investments include Lovisa (jewelry), Accent Group (footwear), Best & Less (clothing) and Adairs (homewares). Sold Bras N Things to HanesBrands in 2018 for $500 million and Honey Birdette to Playboy in 2021 for $443 million.

Company Assessment

Best & Less Pty Ltd
Praise
This company received a packaging performance level of 3 (Advanced) in its 2024 APCO Annual Report. Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is a not-for-profit organisation leading the development of a circular economy for packaging in Australia. Each year, APCO Members are required to submit an APCO Annual Report and Action Plan, which includes an overall performance level from 1 (Getting Started) to 5 (Beyond Best Practice).
Source: APCO (2024)
Oxfam Australia's Company Tracker compares the big clothing brands on their efforts to pay a living wage to the women working in their factories. This company has released the names and addresses of at least 70% of their supplier factories, has taken some action towards paying a living wage within a set timeframe in the supply chain, and has made a commitment to ringfence wages.
Criticism
According to Oxfam's 2019 report, "Made in Poverty - The True Cost of Fashion", this company sources from Bangladesh. Some of the many disturbing findings of the research in Bangladesh were that 100 per cent of workers interviewed were not paid a living wage, nine out of ten could not afford enough food for themselves and their families until their next monthly pay and seven out of 10 could not pay for medical treatment when they were sick or injured. Other findings include people sleeping on floors in overcrowded houses, spiralling debts, and mothers separated from their children.
In 2023 this company back-paid employees more than $5.2 million and signed an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman. Best & Less underpaid about 686 employees a total of around $5.21 million in wages, plus around $500,000 in superannuation, between 2013 to 2020. The company was also ordered to make a $200,000 contrition payment.
Information
This company has been called out by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) for not signing the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile & Garment Industry. All of the brands that have not yet signed the Accord continue to put workers' lives at risk and CCC urge them to sign on as soon as possible.
This company has Corporate Social Responsibility claims on its website under heading that include ethical sourcing, living wages, sustainability, community and animal welfare.
This company is a member of the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex), a not-for-profit, membership organisation that leads work with buyers and suppliers to deliver improvements in responsible and ethical business practices in global supply chains. Tens of thousands of companies use Sedex to manage their performance around labour rights, health & safety, the environment and business ethics.
Baptist World Aid Australia's '2022 Ethical Fashion Report' assessed 120 companies on their efforts to mitigate against the risks of forced labour, child labour and worker exploitation in their supply chains, as well as protect the environment from the harmful impacts of the fashion industry. Assessment criteria fall into five main categories: policy & governance, tracing & risk, auditing and supplier relationships, worker empowerment and environmental sustainability. This company received a score of 33/100.
California, the UK and Australia have all enacted legislation requiring companies operating within their borders to disclose their efforts to eradicate modern slavery from their operations and supply chains. Follow the link to see this company's disclosure statement.
In 2020 Baptist World Aid Australia released The COVID Fashion Report, a special edition of their Ethical Fashion Report. The report is framed around six COVID Fashion Commitments that ask companies to demonstrate the steps and measures they are taking to protect and support the most vulnerable workers in their supply chains. This company showed evidence of actions that cover SOME areas of the COVID Fashion Commitments.
In 2020 Oxfam evaluated several clothing brand's purchasing practices across seven categories: whether a brand provides accurate forecasts of upcoming work to factories; its price negotiation strategies; whether a factory's environmental and social compliance influences the brand's purchasing decisions; how a brand places orders with factories; what its payment terms are; commitment to pay a living wage; and the transparency of a brand's supply chain. This company was given a score of 2 with 4 being the highest possible score.
Human Rights Law Centre's 2022 report, "Broken Promises: Two years of corporate reporting under Australia's Modern Slavery Act", examines statements submitted to the Government's Modern Slavery Register by 92 companies sourcing from four sectors with known risks of modern slavery: garments from China, rubber gloves from Malaysia, seafood from Thailand and fresh produce from Australia. Modern slavery statements are analysed to see if they comply with the mandatory reporting requirements, identify or disclose obvious modern slavery risks, and demonstrate effective actions to address risks. This company's modern slavery disclosure statement received a rating in the 41-60% range. The average score was 44% and the highest score was 89%.
BB Retail Capital Pty Ltd
Criticism
BBRC exports the majority of its live cattle to Indonesia, with some stock going to Vietnam. In 2014 a spokesman the company was focused more on live cattle exports than trading processed beef. Live export has been heavily criticised by animal rights groups such as Animals Australia and RSPCA.
Information
This company's Honey Birdette subsidiary has been repreatedly criticised for offensive advertising. Fifteen times between 2012 and 2019 the Advertising Standards Bureau upheld complaints about poster ads by this company on the grounds that they breached advertising codes. The ads were subsequently discontinued or modified.

Company Details

Type:
Wholly-owned subsidiary
Employees:
4,000 (2020)

Contact Details

Address:
657-673 Parramatta Road, Leichhardt, NSW, 2040, Australia
Phone:
1300 135 766
Website:
www.bestandless.com.au

Products / Brands

Best & Less
Best & Less Clothing Stores
Best & Less Everyday Apparel