06 Jan

How Ethical Is Aritzia?

Launched in 1984, Canadian brand Aritzia’s mission is simple: offer beautiful clothes in aspirational spaces with exceptional service. Since then, the brand has grown to be one of Canada’s most popular brands.

Aritzia has been dabbling in sustainability and ethics for a while, creating a sustainable denim and using eco-friendly materials. In 2020, the brand declared it’s now carbon neutral, claiming it’s “accounting for 100% of the carbon [it] emits through [its] offices, stores and distribution centres,” and is offsetting them by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and investing in Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) certified carbon offsets. Back in December, the brand also announced it will be donating 1,000 of its popular Super Puff jackets to Canadian women and girls during the holidays, as part of the company’s Community Giving Program, which is aimed at empowering and positively impacting members of the local community.

All of these initiatives are commendable, but what is the true impact of Aritzia on people, the planet, and animals? How ethical is Aritzia?

Environmental Impact

We gave Aritzia’s environmental initiatives a ‘Not Good Enough’ rating. The brand does use some eco-friendly materials, including Tencel, but we found no evidence that it has taken meaningful action to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals. We also found no evidence Aritzia minimises textile waste when manufacturing its products. In addition to this, becoming “carbon neutral” and simply offsettings carbon emissions is not enough, and we found no evidence Aritiza is actively reducing its carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain.

Labour Conditions

When it comes to labour, none of Aritzia’s supply chain is certified by labour standards which ensure worker health and safety, living wages, or other labour rights. The Canadian brand received a score of 11-20% in the Fashion Transparency Index. It likely publishes some information about its supplier policies and audits but it does not publish a list of suppliers or information about forced labour, gender equality, or freedom of association.

We also found no evidence Aritzia ensures payment of a living wage in its supply chain and it did not disclose any policies or safeguards to protect suppliers and workers in its supply chain from the impacts of COVID-19. For all these reasons, we rated Aritzia’s labour standards as ‘Not Good Enough’.

Animal Welfare

Sadly, Aritzia’s animal rating is also ‘Not Good Enough’. While the brand has a general statement about minimising animal suffering, it does not have a formal animal welfare policy. Aritzia still uses wool, leather, exotic animal hair, and down accredited by the Responsible Down Standard. It does not, however, use fur, angora, or exotic animal skin. There is no evidence it traces any animal products to the first stage of production, which means the welfare of our animal friends can’t be guaranteed.

Overall Rating: Not Good Enough

We rated Aritzia ‘Not Good Enough’ overall, based on information from the research done by our team at Good On You. For its clothes to be truly beautiful, inside and out, Aritzia needs to improve its impact on the planet by actively reducing its carbon emissions throughout its supply chain, but also make sure its workers are treated fairly and paid 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.

See the rating.

 

If you’re into Aritzia’s aesthetics and want to look good, while doing good, we found 5 ethical and sustainable alternatives to Aritzia.

Good Swaps

Sustainable alternatives to Aritizia

tentree

Rated: Good

Canadian brand tentree believes big change starts small. Small as in bringing your reusable bag to the grocery store, making fewer, more thoughtful purchases, and choosing to purchase sustainably when you do. The brand plants ten trees for every item purchased to help regenerate ecosystems and provide planting jobs in communities around the world, and has already planted over 65 million trees.

All tentree’s products are created with an Earth-First approach, meaning they're made in fair, safe working conditions, and constructed using only sustainably sourced and recycled materials. tentree’s super comfy fabrics and easy wardrobe staples are typically available from XS to XL.

See the rating.

Shop tentree.

Kotn

Rated: Good
man wearing striped ethical shirt by Kotn

Certified B Corp Kotn is based in Canada and works with local NGOs on the ground at the Nile Delta to provide every child in their farming communities with quality education, and to help close the gap of low literacy rates amongst communities. With every purchase, not only will you adorn a beautifully made shirt, but also help fund school infrastructure, materials, and salaries for teachers. Find Kotn in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Kotn.

Franc

Rated: Good

Franc is a Canadian brand that makes basics so you can enjoy a complete wardrobe built on timeless essentials. The brand ranks 'Good' on all fronts: it uses eco-friendly materials, pays a living wage and uses no animal products. Find most products in sizes XS to 3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Franc.

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good

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, sustainable 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.

Mara Hoffman

Rated: Good

With a focus on mindful and conscious practices, Mara Hoffman uses eco-friendly materials including GOTS certified cotton, recycled nylon, and recycled polyester, and even has a range of Oeko-Tex STeP certified products. Items come in sizes XS to 3XL, and the brand also has a gorgeous extended sizes collection, so you can be sure to find a new wardrobe addition no matter the bod you rock!

See the rating.

Shop Mara Hoffman @ Reve en Vert.

Shop Mara Hoffman @ Farfetch.

Shop Mara Hoffman Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Mara Hoffman.

MANNING CARTELL (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start

MANNING CARTELL is a designer brand that is ethically-made in Australia and committed to creativity, inclusivity and igniting joy. This Australian brand was created by three sisters, creating for women, who understand how women want to look and feel.

See the rating.

Shop MANNING CARTELL Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Editor's note

Feature image via Aritzia. 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. We love to recommend some of the best sustainable brands, rated ‘Good’ or ‘Great’. We also encourage shopping pre-owned as another great way to reduce the impact of our fashion choices. Use our Directory to search more than 3,000 brands. We may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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