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Clothing retail
Founded in 1864, today they operate over 700 stores worldwide, of which 500 are in the UK and Ireland.

Overall

Owned UK
Rating C
About the Ratings
Next Retail Ltd
UK

Company Assessment

Next Retail Ltd
Praise
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is an alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs. They work in partnership to improve the lives of workers across the globe who make or grow consumer goods - everything from tea to T-shirts, from flowers to footballs. This company is a full member.
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Climate Change score of B.
Source: CDP (2023)
This company is a signatory to the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile & Garment Industry. The International Accord was established in 2021 as the successor to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which was established in 2013 in the wake of the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed more than 1,000 workers and seriously injured thousands more. Company signatories to the International Accord commit to: Disclosing all factories producing for them in countries with International Accord programs; Ensuring all listed factories participate in the inspection, remediation, and safety training programs; Supporting factories to ensure remediation is financially feasible; Contributing to the operational costs of International Accord programs. This company has also signed the Pakistan Accord.
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to manage and govern freshwater resources. Responding companies are scored on six key metrics: transparency; governance & strategy; measuring & monitoring; risk assessment; targets & goals; and value chain engagement. This company received a CDP Water Security score of B-.
Source: CDP (2023)
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 ALL areas of the COVID Fashion Commitments.
In 2023 KnowTheChain benchmarked 65 apparel and footwear companies on their efforts to identify and tackle forced labour risks in their supply chains. This company received a score of 39/100. The average score was 21/100 and the highest score was 63/100.
The 2020 Sustainable Cotton Ranking, published by WWF, Solidaridad and the Pesticide Action Network UK analysed the 77 largest cotton users among international apparel brands and retailers, reviewing their policies, actual uptake of more sustainable cotton and transparency in their supply chains. According to the report, this company is "well on the way" with a score of 25.3%. The average score was 18.2% and the highest score was 79.2%.
The Apparel and Footwear Supply Chain Transparency Pledge (Transparency Pledge) helps demonstrate apparel and footwear companies' commitment towards greater transparency in their manufacturing supply chain. Transparency of a company's manufacturing supply chain better enables a company to collaborate with civil society in identifying, assessing, and avoiding actual or potential adverse human rights impacts. This is a critical step that strengthens a company's human rights due diligence. This company is fully aligned with the Transparency Pledge, thereby committing to regularly publish on its website a list naming all sites that manufacture its products.
The 2023 Fashion Transparency Index reviewed 250 of the world's largest fashion brands and retailers and ranked them according to how much they disclose about their human rights and environmental policies, practices and impacts. Brands owned by this company scored 36%, signifying it is publishing suppliers lists as well as detailed information about their policies, procedures, social and environmental goals, supplier assessment and remediation processes, and is more likely to be addressing issues such as living wages and collective bargaining. The average score was 26% and the highest score was 83%.
World's Most Sustainable Companies of 2024 by TIME and Statista recognises the Top 500 most sustainable companies in the world. From a selection of 5,000 of the world's largest companies, non-sustainable businesses were excluded, and the remaining companies were rated on Commitment & Ratings, Reporting & Transparency, and Environmental & Social Stewardship. This company received a total score of 55.5/100, ranking 422nd overall.
Source: TIME (2024)
Criticism
The Clean Clothes Campaign report, Tailored Wages 2019 analyses responses from 32 top clothing brands about their progress in implementing a living wage for the workers who produce their clothes. This company received the lowest possible grade in the report, meaning they produced no evidence that any worker making their clothes was paid a living wage anywhere in the world.
This company is still sourcing garments from Myanmar, where there has been a significant increase in labour and human rights abuses of garment workers across the country since the military takeover in Feb 2021. Wage theft, inhumane work rates and mandatory overtime, and attacks on freedom of association are the most frequently recorded types of abuse.
The Green Supply Chain Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) evaluates consumer-facing companies that have a sizeable supply chain in China. The evaluation uses government supervision data and public information to assess the environmental management of their supply chains in China. This company received a score of 13.64/100 (retrieved 24 Nov 2023).
Source: IPE (2023)
The 2023 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assessed 55 companies in the apparel sector on their human rights performance. This company received a score of 15.1%. The overall average score was a disappointing 18.2% and the highest score was 53.4%.
Information
This 2011 report by the International Textile Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF) examined working conditions in 83 factories in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Investigations found that widespread violations and abuses of workers' rights continue to be the norm, such as underpaying workers, long hours, forced overtime, and repression of the freedom of association. This company's brands were found to be made in one or more of the 83 factories covered in the research. [Listed under Information due to age of report]
Maid in India', a 2012 report by two Dutch NGOs (SOMO and ICN) revealed how workers in the South Indian garment and textile industry continue to suffer exploitative working conditions while making garments for Western brands. While some recent improvements have been made, thousands of girls work under recruitment and employment schemes that amount to bonded labour. This company was shown to be sourcing from one or more of the four garment manufacturers investigated, and failed to respond to a review request. [Listed under Information due to age of report]
Source: SOMO (2012)
As listed on the We Mean Business website, this company has committed to the following climate action initiatives: adopt a science-based emissions reduction target; commit to 100% renewable power.
In 2011, a group of major apparel and footwear brands and retailers, including this company, made a shared commitment to help lead the industry towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020. It includes specific commitments and timelines to realize this shared goal.
Source: ZDHC (2023)
This company has taken angora items off the shelves and promised not to use angora again, following a PETA campaign launched in Dec 2013 which revealed the cruelty inflicted on angora rabbits in Chinese factory farms, where 90% of the world's angora is produced.
Source: PETA (2018)
This retailer has committed to being a fur free retailer, as recognised by the International Fur Free Retailer Program.
Brands owned by this company are listed in Human Society International Australia's Better Wool Guide as using 100% non-mulesed wool from a robust certification scheme, or has a time-bound commitment to do so. Mulesing is the controversial practice of removing strips of the skin of a lamb's rear and is often done without pain relief. In Australia, the only country where mulesing still occurs, an estimated 10 million merino lambs are subjected to mulesing each year - equivalent to 19 lambs per minute.
This company is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, a voluntary program which encourages the adoption of better management practices in cotton cultivation to achieve measurable reductions in key environmental impacts, while improving social and economic benefits for cotton farmers, small and large, worldwide.
The Female FTSE Board Report 2020 measures of the number of women executive directors on the corporate boards of the UK's top companies. This company has 4 women on its board of directors (44%), and was one of 28 in the FTSE 100 with women in executive roles.
This company is a participant in the Action, Collaboration, Transformation (ACT) initiative, an initiative between international brands and retailers, manufacturers, and trade unions to address the issue of living wages in the textile and garment supply chain.
The Material Change Index (MCI) is a voluntary benchmark that tracks the apparel and textiles sector's progress toward more sustainable materials sourcing (cotton, polyester, nylon, manmade cellulosics, wool, down and leather), as well as alignment with global efforts like the Sustainable Development Goals and the transition to a circular economy. This company was rated "Maturing", the second highest performance band.
This company is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a multi-stakeholder initiative launched in March 2011 by a group of global apparel and footwear companies and non-profit organizations (representing nearly one third of the global market share for apparel and footwear). The Coalition's goals are to reduce the apparel industry's environmental and social impact, and to develop a universal index to measure environmental and social performance of apparel products.
This company is a member of the Leather Working Group, a multi-stakeholder group who's objective is to develop and maintain a protocol that assesses the compliance and environmental performance of tanners and promotes sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry.
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts towards removing commodity-driven deforestation and forest degradation from its direct operations and supply chains. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Forests score of C.
Source: CDP (2023)
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 43/100.
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.
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre digital platform presents news and allegations relating to the human rights impact of over 20,000 companies. Their enhanced Company Dashboards also include financial information, key data points based on corporate policies, and scores from prominent civil society benchmarks. Follow the link and use the search function to view this company's dashboard.
The 2023 Gender Benchmark ranks 112 companies from the apparel and food and agriculture sectors on their efforts to drive gender equality and women's empowerment across their entire value chain. Companies are assessed on governance and strategy, representation, compensation and benefits, health and well-being, violence and harassment, and marketplace and community. This company ranked #29/112, with a total score of 29.9%. The average score was 23% and the highest score was 55%.
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 40/100 in the Retailing category of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices (last updated 21 Oct 2022). The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.
The 2022 Nature Benchmark ranks 400 companies across eight industries on their efforts to protect our environment and its biodiversity. The companies were assessed using three measurement areas: governance and strategy; social inclusion and community impact; and ecosystems and biodiversity. This company ranked #51/400, with a total score of 27.9/100.

Company Details

Type:
Public company
Employees:
49,033 (2017)

Contact Details

Address:
Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Website:
www.nextplc.co.uk

Products / Brands

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