Our Rating System
Our Rating System
Changing Room’s scoring system provides transparency into the impact of clothing products and brands, providing consumers a tool to understand fashion products’ environmental and social impact. We offer a path to making more sustainable purchases through our low-impact suggestions.
We understand “sustainability” as two-pronged– incorporating both environmental and social and ethical responsibility. With that understanding, our rating system scores products and their brand based on environmental impact and efforts to protect those involved in their manufacturing process.
Our goal is to empower consumers to choose their impact and make a #CHNG toward more sustainable fashion.
Our score ranges from 1 (Let’s Avoid) to 5 (Great), representing an average of each of the scoring categories.
Breakdown of our Impact Score
The Changing Room Score incorporates data and information on two main areas pertaining to products and brands:
These categories are broken down further into more specific subcategories that allow for a more comprehensive score. The data and information used in our rating system include over 130+ material impact data points, 2000+ brand data points from audit reports, all these sources were identified by our team as the primary factors needed to accurately determine sustainability.
Social & Ethical Responsibility considers:
Environmental Impact considers:
The data sources used in our rating system are comprised of various third-party sources, such as Good on You, the HIGG Materials Sustainability Index (MSI), the Business of Fashion (BoF) Index and the Fashion Transparency Index. We also gather insights and information through academic papers and government reports, and different certifications (e.g. Fair Trade, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), BLUESIGN). Additionally, we gather information directly from brands and retailers.
We utilize these various data sources based on their focus areas and the level of transparency in their own process to ensure quality and credibility in the information and data we synthesize.
How It Works
Our rating system incorporates publicly available information and establishes two main layers that guide our scoring methodology: the brand and the product. These two layers act as initial data sources for our overall score map above, feeding into both the environmental and social impact considerations.
We are constantly working towards improving our methodology. Our goal is to provide more detailed and granular insights from brands' supply chains. We are in the process of making our current algorithm open source, but in the meantime, if you have any questions please feel free to email us.
1. Brand audits and reports
As a proxy of brand sustainability commitment and impact, we are relying on reputable third-party sources (e.g. Good on You, BoF Index, Fashion Revolution) that rate brand supply chains and manufacturing. The criteria used are focused on a commitment to transparency and measurable actions to limit environmental impact and increase ethical governance and labor practice.
Some questions being asked:
Are brands relying on social energy or fossil fuels?
Are they using a lot of harmful chemicals in their dying process?
What are their commitments to reduce their harmful environmental impacts?
2. Production, materials, and certifications
The production impact estimates the overall impact from the manufacturing process including the water and solid waste incurred by different material compositions. We look at the average impact that a garment has depending on the estimated weight of garments, the estimated carbon footprint and water consumption of the material and production, as well as end-of-life and circularity metrics (microplastic pollution, biodegradability, etc.).
a. Linear production impact
We define “linear impact” in the supply chain as the impact measured until the garment is sold. We estimate the environmental impact of the production of clothes across different processes (e.g. from farming to weaving and dyeing) by combining the Higg Index on material sustainability impact and scientific research on the life cycle assessment of different materials.
b. Circularity and end-of-life
Currently, most brands only refer to the linear impact disregarding the circularity and end-of-life. Our circularity impact measurement considers the impact incurred from using the product and its end-of-life impacts, such as the product’s renewability, recyclability, biodegradability, and microplastic pollution potential.
Some questions being asked:
Will this product contribute to shedding microplastics?
Is this product recyclable or will it accumulate as waste when thrown out?
Are the sourcing of the materials well-documented, comprehensive, and credible?
c. Part component and material percentages
Sometimes brands don’t provide breakdown information about the total material composition of the garments, but provide information by parts (e.g. Shell: 70% polyester 30% cotton, lining: 3% spandex 27% cotton 70% polyester). From the type of garment, we are able to estimate and map the total material composition of the garment to score the garments fully.
Work-in progress and future improvements
We rely on data reports from notable ratings or auditing companies, however, they often do not capture information about smaller brands' supply chain practices yet. We are working towards bridging this gap.
We are in the process of adding certifications into our algorithm to add accuracy and granularity in our mapping of materials impacts. Furthermore, we aspire to add transportation and logistics data to reflect more accurate carbon footprint and energy consumption scores across the entire value chain. Currently, from the opacity of the industry, it’s difficult to accurately assess chemical usage.