A report exposing worker exploitation in the fashion industry shows Kiwi-owned companies are more ethical on average than their international counterparts. Baptist World Aid Australia's 2017 Ethical Fashion Report ranks companies from A to F based on a number of criteria including what they pay their staff and how supply chain workers are treated. Overall, the 12 New Zealand-owned companies featured in the report scored a median grade of B-. The international average for companies was a C+. The first ethical fashion report was published in the wake of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, which killed 1134 garment workers and has been published annually since. Now, an accompanying guide for Kiwi shoppers is being launched by Tearfund New Zealand to help people "vote against exploitation with their wallet". It shows 242 brands available in New Zealand and their associated rankings, based on the levels of visibility and transparency across their supply chain with regards to worker rights, policies and practices. Glassons, which was slated in 2015 after receiving a D- ranking, has improved again this year, rising to a B- after scoring a C+ last year. High-end retailer Karen Walker has also improved, rising from a C to a B+ and receiving a "most improved" accolade from the report's authors. Walker told the Herald the company's policies were "rock solid" , but they had improved communication after last year's ranking to make sure everyone in the manufacturing process was aware of the label's policies. "We've also gone even deeper in terms of auditing our supply chain so we now work right back to fabrics and trims, not just garment producers," she said. Walker asked Baptist World Aid to work with her company in 2015 and encouraged other Kiwi companies to do the same. "Designers, even those who manufacture in New Zealand may think that their systems comply 100 per cent and are completely ethical, but most would not be able to account for their entire supply chain. "By going through this process with Baptist World Aid, brands will be able to identify any issues and flaws with their current systems and at any stage." Organic clothing label Kowtow topped the list, scoring an A alongside custom print shop Liminal Apparel. Art Director & Founder of Kowtow, Gosia Piatek, said the questions in the survey were "very stringent and a lot of supporting evidence has to be submitted". "To be given the highest grade of all New Zealand fashion businesses shows that we really are who we say we are. No green washing." "We are proud to show that you can have a successful fashion brand without compromising on sustainability and ethics. "Conscious fashion is not a trend anymore - it's a fact and the only way forward. We're happy to be on top." "We forget that it's all handmade: that there's a person operating that machine, or tucking that seam under with his or her finger."