Sustainable Manufacturers Benchmark

In today's globalized market, sustainability and transparency in manufacturing have never been more crucial. The Sustainable Manufacturers Benchmark® is a comprehensive tool designed to evaluate manufacturers on a range of vital sustainability dimensions, ensuring partners and clients can make informed decisions based on best practices in the industry.

  • Traceability: An increasingly important factor in global supply chains, traceability assesses the manufacturer's capability to track products and materials from origin to delivery. The Sustainable Manufacturers Benchmark® explores this through the lens of tiered supplier verification, culminating in end-to-end traceability with real-time monitoring and complete transparency.

  • Digitized Products: The digital landscape has transformed B2B interactions. This facet assesses the extent to which manufacturers have digitized their product offerings. The spectrum ranges from manufacturers without any online product catalog to those boasting advanced B2B e-commerce platforms, providing clients with order customization, real-time tracking, and an integrated view of the supply chain.

  • Readiness to Contract: Before entering a partnership, it's pivotal to understand a manufacturer's business legitimacy. The Sustainable Manufacturers Benchmark® checks for the presence and verification of essential documents, ranging from basic business licenses to comprehensive documentation, client testimonials, and even third-party attestations that verify a manufacturer's reliability and readiness to contract.

  • Preferred Materials: This aspect gauges the extent to which manufacturers incorporate sustainable, circular, and regenerative materials in their supply chain. It assesses whether companies merely use standard materials or whether they actively prioritize sustainable and preferred materials in their product range, even going so far as to offer digital verification of material certificates.

  • Facility Verification and Services: This dimension evaluates the openness and commitment of manufacturers regarding their facility's conditions and services. It covers a spectrum, from providing no facility details at all to showcasing comprehensive third-party audits, ensuring transparency in worker welfare and showcasing a clear commitment to maintaining top-tier facility services.

The Sustainable Manufacturers Benchmark® will be launched in November 2023 and is at the forefront of evaluating and promoting sustainability standards in manufacturing. Manufacturers who are members of CommonShare can update their information up to four times a year, ensuring up-to-date and accurate representation of their sustainability practices.

Obtaining a grade for each Manufacturer

We specifically look at 5 dimensions: Traceability, Digitization of Products, Readiness to Contract, Preferred Materials, and Facility Verification & Services. Each Company obtains a grade between 1 to 5 for every dimension, 5 being the highest (best) grade, and 1 being the lowest. We then calculate the average from the total of all the dimensions to obtain the final grade.

Preferred Materials

Preferred Materials is a foundational element within our methodology, serving as a critical lens through which we examine a manufacturer's or supplier's commitment to sustainable material choices. This assessment encompasses key factors including sustainability considerations, the prevalence of preferred materials, documented material sourcing policies, transparency in sourcing practices, and digital certificate verification. By evaluating these essential criteria, this dimension empowers businesses to forge partnerships with entities that prioritize sustainability, responsible material sourcing, and product excellence. In doing so, it plays a pivotal role in advancing sustainability practices within the apparel industry.

Variables used:

Does the manufacturer consider sustainability or performance when selecting materials for their products?
How prevalent are preferred or sustainable materials within the manufacturer's product range?
Does the manufacturer have documented policies for material sourcing, and to what extent do they use preferred materials across their products?
Is there transparency in the sourcing of the manufacturer's preferred materials, and are certificates provided for verification?
Does the manufacturer exclusively use preferred materials, and are digital verifications of all certificates readily accessible for brands and retailers?


Exclusively uses preferred materials, with digital verification of all certificats readily available for brands and retailers
High percentage of products using preferred materials, with transparent sourcing and certificates provided
Significant use of preferred materials; documented policies for material sourcing.
Some preferred or sustainable materials, but not predominant in product range.
Uses standard materials without consideration of sustainability or performance.