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02 Nov
Someone in a faded out yellow wrap dress with text saying

How Ethical Is Anthropologie?

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Anthropologie may be popular with the “creative, worldly woman”, but when it comes to ethics and sustainability, it is “Not Good Enough” across the board. This article is based on the Anthropologie rating published in September 2022.

Trendy? Yes. Responsible? Not quite

Like its sister-brand Free People, Anthropologie is known for its free-spirited, adventure-inspired, elegant collections. The American brand—first opened in 1992 in Pennsylvania—now operates over 200 stores worldwide, selling a diverse range of womenswear, accessories, and furniture.

Anthropologie defines itself as “a portal of discovery—a brush with what could be. A place for [women] to lose—and find—[themselves]”. But in its search for adventure, has Anthropologie forgotten about its impact on people, the planet, and animals? Let’s find out how ethical Anthropologie really is.

Environmental impact

Anthropologie’s environment rating is “Not Good Enough”. It uses few eco-friendly materials. It uses some renewable energy in its direct operations to reduce its climate impact but not its supply chain. There is no evidence it has taken meaningful action to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals, nor that it implements water reduction initiatives.

This lack of care for the planet is disappointing from brands that clearly have the resources to do better.

Labour conditions

We also rate Anthropologie “Not Good Enough” on the labour front. Some of its supply chain is certified by Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit – SMETA Best Practice Guidance and Business Social Compliance Initiative Code of Conduct – BSCI, but it only received a score of 11-20% in the Fashion Transparency Index. There is no evidence the brand implements practices to support diversity and inclusion in its supply chain, nor does it disclose any policies or safeguards to protect suppliers and workers in its supply chain from the impacts of COVID-19. Most importantly, there is no evidence it ensures payment of a living wage.

Sadly, the women and other workers behind the scenes don’t seem to be a priority for Anthropologie, flowery marketing aside.

Animal welfare

Anthropologie doesn’t use fur, down, exotic animal skin, or angora, which is a plus. But it still uses leather, wool, and exotic animal hair, and while it has a general statement about minimising animal suffering, there’s no sign of a formal animal welfare policy, which is why its animal rating is also “Not Good Enough”.

If brands insist on using animal-derived fabrics in their products, the least they can do is source from certified factories that consider animal welfare in their practices. Better yet, ditch the animal products altogether.

Overall rating: Not Good Enough

Overall, we’ve rated Anthropologie “Not Good Enough” due to a lack of practices aimed at reducing its environmental impact, and there being no evidence of ensuring the payment of a living wage. Note that Good On You ratings consider 100s 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.

To get a better rating, Anthropologie needs to use more eco-friendly materials and implement solutions to reduce its climate impact, minimise textile waste, and avoid hazardous chemicals. The brand also needs to improve its labour conditions, especially by making sure workers in its supply chain are paid a living wage.

See the rating.

Good swaps

We also like adventure and consider ourselves a “portal of discovery”, so read on to discover some “Good” and “Great” more ethical alternatives to Anthropologie.

MUD Jeans

Rated: Great

Sophie Rocks Skirt – Ships internationally

Dutch denim brand MUD Jeans is all about sustainability. Not only does it offer a repair service, but it also provides a rental service where you can lease a pair of jeans for up to a year. MUD Jeans uses a combination of GOTS certified organic cotton and post-consumer recycled cotton.

MUD Jeans are available in a range of sizes, usually from W25 L30-W33 L32 for women and W28 L34-W36 L34 for men.

See the rating.

Shop MUD Jeans.

Christy Dawn

Rated: Great

Theo Dress – Ships to internationally

Christy Dawn is a minimalist showroom for vintage-inspired women's clothing and footwear, locally made with surplus fabric. The US brand rates "Great", making it a fabulous option for your wardrobe. Find the clothes in standard sizes XS-XL, or shop the Extended and Petite collections.

See the rating.

Shop Christy Dawn.

GRAMMAR @ Made Trade

Rated: Great

The Split Infinitive Shirt – Ships internationally

On the face of it, this brand new label only sells one thing - white shirts.  But look at the detail and you see a full range of clever tailoring, creative cuts and details that mean there’s a shape and style to suit everyone. All GRAMMAR’s shirts are made from ethically sourced 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton and produced in small batches in New York city.

See the rating.

Shop GRAMMAR @ Made Trade.

TAMGA Designs

Rated: Good

Phoebe Blouse – Ships internationally

TAMGA Designs is out to prove how colourful and exciting responsible fashion can be. TAMGA offers a range of tops, skirts, dresses, and accessories made from 100% Micro TENCEL™ and LENZING™ ECOVERO.™ You can find the full range of this Canadian brand in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop TAMGA Designs.

Tasi Travels

Rated: Good

Vagabon Jumpsuit – Ships internationally

For travelwear designed for adventures, look no further than Australian brand Tasi Travels. Boasting a stunning collection of handmade garments in eco-friendly materials that are made-to-order, you can feel good out in the world knowing you are leaving a light footprint behind. Garments come in sizes XS/S, S/M, and M/L.

See the rating.

Shop Tasi Travels.

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good

Flora Pants – Ships internationally

Offers

person lounging in black dress by Whimsy + Row.

Whimsy + Row – Warehouse Sale

With even more reductions, check out your favorites at Whimsy+Row's Warehouse Sale, including overstock, damages and samples. 30%-80% off Warehouse Sale.   (Ends: 5 FEB)

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Whimsy + Row is an eco-conscious lifestyle brand born out of a love for quality goods and sustainable 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.

See the rating.

Shop Whimsy + Row.

Shop Whimsy + Row @ Earthkind.

Altar

Rated: Good

Altar is a US-based boutique that specialises in alternative and custom fashion, apothecary, and gifts. The brand celebrates independent manufacturers and artists from across North America, with a focus on the stories that are woven into their work. Its clothing brand, Altar Houseline, is proudly made in America using deadstock materials.

Find most of Altar Houseline's items in sizes S-6XL.

See the rating.

Shop Altar.

Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash, all other 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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