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Someone wearing a basic white blouse with the word Everlane and a flat-mouthed emoji highlighted in which on top of the image.
04 Oct
Someone wearing a basic white blouse with the word Everlane and a flat-mouthed emoji highlighted in which on top of the image.

How Ethical Is Everlane?

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Everlane claims “radical transparency”, but does it live up to its own promises? Let’s dive into the brand’s improved middling “It’s a Start” score based on the rating published in July 2023. It may not reflect claims the brand has made since then. Our ratings analysts are constantly rerating the thousands of brands you can check on our directory.

Timeless, affordable, making improvements

Californian online retailer Everlane is synonymous with timeless styles at affordable prices. Everlane has built its brand with the tagline “radical transparency” and positioned itself as a leader in ethical practice. It says it is committed to revealing the true costs behind all of its products—from materials, to labour, to transportation. But behind the sleek advertising campaigns and celebrity endorsements, how do Everlane’s claims stack up? We take a look at how this US retailer rates in terms of its environmental impact, labour rights, and animal welfare and ask: how ethical is Everlane?

Environmental impact

When it comes to the environment, we are pleased to report an increase in effort and transparency from the brand, seeing its score here raise from “Not Good Enough” to “It’s a Start” in the most recent review. 

Everlane rejects passing trends, instead emphasising classic, well-made designs that are more likely to be worn for longer—a key characteristic of ethical fashion. And we were pleased to see that in September 2017, Everlane introduced a new denim line that addresses many of the environmental impacts of denim production. 

The brand uses a medium proportion of lower-impact materials including organic cotton, which helps limit the chemicals, water, and wastewater in its supply chain. While Everlane has now eliminated some hazardous chemicals, it has not as yet made a commitment to eliminate all hazardous chemicals in manufacturing. And while the fact that it has now set a science based target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in both its direct operations and supply chain is positive, unfortunately there’s no evidence it’s on track.

Taking this all into account, we have awarded Everlane our middling score of “It’s a Start” to reflect both its progress for the planet, and the places where it still needs to improve.

Labour conditions

When taken at face value, Everlane appears to do right by its workers. The Everlane website includes a “Factories” section that identifies many of the brand’s suppliers worldwide and provides pictures of the factories, short descriptions of how Everlane found them, the materials produced there, and information about the owners. Though publicly sharing a list of suppliers is a good step towards “radical transparency”, Everlane doesn’t state whether this is a complete list of suppliers, and the list doesn’t include any suppliers at the raw material stage.

What’s more, although the images provided depict good working conditions, it is difficult to confirm that they are truly representative of Everlane’s suppliers, as they were not provided (or audited) by an independent third party. It’s also unclear which part of the supply chain is audited and how often those audits occur. Despite these “happy” factories, there is no evidence the brand has worker empowerment initiatives such as collective bargaining or rights to make a complaint, nor does it appear to support diversity and inclusion or ensure payment of a living wage in its supply chain.

Unfortunately, the brand still scores “Not Good Enough” for workers at this stage, as it still has a long way to go.

Animal welfare

Everlane’s animal score also increased from “Not Good Enough” to “It’s a Start” for our animal friends in the most recent review.

The brand now has a formal policy aligned with the Five Freedoms of animal welfare, but unfortunately no clear implementation mechanisms in place as yet. It doesn’t use fur, exotic animal skin, or angora in any of its products. While it does use leather, wool, and down in its products, some of it is recycled, which is a good step. It also traces some animal-derived materials to the first production stage.

The brand does still use exotic animal hair and silk, and the welfare of both animals and workers cannot be guaranteed when a brand does not list the source of animal-derived materials. Everlane needs to further improve its transparency and the traceability of its materials, or even better, eliminate animal-derived materials from its products altogether.

Overall rating: ‘It’s a Start’

We’ve given Everlane an improved overall rating of “It’s a Start” in its most recent review based on our own research. To its credit, Everlane focuses on timeless designs over short-lived trends and emphasises the high quality and craftsmanship of its products, and acknowledges that brands ought to be transparent. But there are essential ways in which Everlane fails to live up to its own hype, and further improvements are still needed across the board—though especially when it comes to workers’ rights—for the brand to see a higher score on our directory.

Note that Good On You ratings consider hundreds of issues, and it is not possible to list every relevant issue in a summary of the brand’s performance. For more information, see our How We Rate page and our FAQs.

See the rating.

So for the conscious consumer, Everlane might be out until it further improves its practices. Luckily, many responsible brands offer timeless, well-made designs that do right by workers, animals, and the planet. 

Good swaps

Check out these alternative brands to Everlane rated “Good” or “Great” by us.

1 People

Rated: Good
image of two people in tops and trousers by 1 People

1 People is a Danish-designed lifestyle and luxury brand. It blends Scandinavian colour palettes and minimalist design to create effortlessly elegant collections for the conscious-minded. Its pieces are thoughtfully crafted by small family-run manufacturers using lower-impact and certified materials.

Find the collection in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop 1 People.

Shop 1 People @ Cerqular.

The Standard Stitch

Rated: Great
Pink and yellow eco-friendly t-shirts by The Standard Stitch.

The Standard Stitch was founded on the belief that the fashion industry should be shaken up. This loungewear brand makes size inclusive, more sustainably sourced, and responsibly-made apparel for all your lounging needs.

Find most items in sizes XS-5XL.

See the rating.

Shop The Standard Stitch.

Shop The Standard Stitch @ Wearwell.


Rated: Great
Asian woman wearing red sleeveless skivvy dress by A.BCH.

A.BCH is a Melbourne-based, Australian-made fashion label for individuals who care about garment provenance. It utilises renewable, organic, and recycled materials.

Find the range in sizes XS-XL, or customise to fit you.

See the rating.

Shop A.BCH.

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good

Whimsy + Row is a US-based lifestyle brand born out of a love for quality goods and responsible practices. Since 2014, its mission has been to provide ease and elegance for the modern woman. Whimsy + Row utilises deadstock fabric, and by limiting each garment to short runs, the brand also reduces packaging waste and takes care of precious water resources.

Find most products in XS-XL, with an extended sizing range up to 3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Whimsy + Row.

Shop Whimsy + Row @ Earthkind.


Rated: Great


female presenting models in mila vert clothing

Mila.Vert – Site-wide

Closing sale: save up to 50% on our last remaining items (Ends: 5 JUL)

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Mila.Vert makes chic, minimalist clothes that have a distinctly modern feel. The Slovenia-based brand produces clothes in small batches based on a pre-order system to minimise waste and help to avoid the ethical and environmental issues that the fashion industry represents.

Find the garments in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Mila.Vert.

Shop Mila.Vert @ Immaculate Vegan.

Girlfriend Collective

Rated: Good
Two women wearing sports leggings and crop tops in burgundy and green

Girlfriend Collective creates minimal, luxury clothes made with fair labour, certified by the Social Accountability Standard International SA8000. The brand uses lower-impact materials like recycled polyester as well as lower-impact, non-toxic dyes and is fully OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 certified.

Inclusively sized Girlfriend Collective offers products from 2XS-6XL.

See the rating.

Shop Girlfriend Collective @ LVRSustainable.

Shop Girlfriend Collective.

ALTER X Company

Rated: Good
Alter x organic tee label

US brand ALTER X Company crafts apparel that finds its true meaning and potential when a person of purpose decides to be the change they want to see in the world. Each purchase donates 20% to a cause of your choice at checkout.

Find the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop ALTER X Company.

People Tree

Rated: Great

Conscious fashion pioneer People Tree uses lower-impact materials and addresses labour risks by adopting the Fairtrade International - Small Producers Organisations Code of Conduct.

Find most products in UK sizes 6-18.

See the rating.

Shop People Tree EU.

Nina Rein

Rated: Good

Nina Rein is a German brand that creates more sustainable business attire in Europe under fair conditions. The brand's aesthetic is clean, feminine, and colourful, and each piece includes little details everyone loves.

Find most items in sizes 34-44.

See the rating.

Shop Nina Rein.


Rated: Good

Fashion and responsible production can go together and Womsh is the brand that proves it. Its shoes are entirely designed and manufactured in Italy, and its clothing range is made from lower-impact fabrics like organic cotton.

Find most shoes in EU sizes 35-42, and clothes in XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Womsh.

We love these more sustainable brands listed above, but they may not meet your specific needs right now. Maybe they’re out of your price range, or don’t stock your size. If you really need something and a product from Everlane is the best option, then you shouldn’t feel guilty about buying it. “It’s a Start” means just that—the brand is making a start. Everlane is already ahead of comparable brands by creating timeless staples that don’t go out of fashion nearly as fast. And if your options are Everlane or a brand like SHEIN that is making little to no effort for people, the planet, and animals, Everlane is a clear winner. Progress over perfection.

You can also reach out to brands who you think need a little nudge in the right direction. If enough customers demand change, brands that truly care about their impact will have no choice but to respond in kind. Check out the “Your Voice” function on the app or slide into their DMs on social media to let them know what you think.

Editor's note

Images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world's most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet, and animals. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands.

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