Wondering which brands topped our ratings this year, and which ones are being left far behind? This survey highlights the brands that score the lowest and the highest in 2021 based on our world-leading methodology.
2021 has been quite a rollercoaster for the fashion world. As many places started to emerge from nationwide lockdowns, we saw a significant rise in clothing purchases, especially online, after a slower year in 2020. And even while demand for sustainably and ethically made fashion has seen an uptick throughout the year, so, too, have the worst-offending fashion brands raked in record profits.
These are many of the brands topping fashion’s annual list of best and worst brands as rated by Good On You. This year, it’s once again the fast fashion giants from Boohoo and Forever 21 to Cider and Crocs that are scoring the worst and being the least transparent.
One fast fashion brand, in particular, stands out for all the wrong reasons: SHEIN. The China-based online retailer has come under fire and made headlines repeatedly this year. It has been accused of zero transparency, child labour, offensive items, copying designers, and more.
There’s an Orwellian discord between the track record brands like SHEIN have and the growing number of greenwashed claims they make. In November, a report by Stand.earth found that over 50 fashion brands are at risk of contributing to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest due to their production of leather goods. Of these brands, big names like Coach, LVMH, Prada, H&M, Zara, Adidas, Nike, New Balance, Teva, UGG, and Fendi were all found to have multiple connections to the harmful industry. And many of these brands are also known for producing “eco-collections” and advertising their sustainability efforts.
Increasingly, we know that shoppers see through these shallow and untrue claims. As fashion’s most rigorous and comprehensive ratings platform, we’ve observed a growing number of consumers checking the big brands’ records and opting to go second hand or support more sustainable designers. In furthering this mission, 2021 saw Good On You reach some exciting milestones, which you can read all about in our Year In Review roundup.
With almost 3,500 fashion brand ratings now live on the directory and in the app, and more coming every day, it’s easier than ever to compare brands’ impacts on the issues that matter most. But for those wondering who the standouts are on both ends of the spectrum, this survey highlights the brands that score the lowest and the highest based on our world-leading methodology.
Without further ado, here is our roundup of the best and worst fashion brands of 2021.
The 10 worst brands we avoid
These well-known brands are almost all ultra fast fashion brands that create cheap clothing at breakneck speeds, and they’re all rated “We Avoid”, our lowest score. They are making no headway or concrete effort for people, the planet, or animals across the supply chain and are notorious for poor quality clothing that often ends up in landfill after just a few wears.
- Fashion Nova
- Nasty Gal
- Forever 21
- Hot Topic
- Savage X Fenty
The 10 least transparent brands
Transparency is the first step towards a more sustainable fashion business, and we think you have a right to comprehensive and accurate information about how a brand impacts people, the planet, and animals. These 10 brands provide no publicly-available information on their production and didn’t garner even a single point in our ratings system.
- Kendall + Kylie
- le coq sportif
- Brandy Melville
- Victoria Beckham
The 10 most ethical and sustainable brands of 2021
While it’s important to call out those poorly-rated brands that are harming the planet and its inhabitants, the best part about what we do at Good On You is discovering and sharing “Good” and “Great” fashion brands that care about reducing their impact. These are the 10 highest rated brands of 2021 that deserve your support.