Our editors curate highly rated brands that are first assessed by our rigorous ratings system. Buying through our links may earn us a commission—supporting the work we do. Learn more.
Boasting more than a million followers on Instagram, Aritzia is arguably one of Canada’s most popular brands. But how ethical is Aritzia, really? Sadly, we rate the brand “Not Good Enough”. Aritzia isn’t doing enough to protect workers and the environment. Keep reading to learn more about Aritzia’s sustainability rating. This article is based on the published in January 2022.
Dabbling in sustainability but not doing enough
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 more 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. In 2020, the brand announced it would 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 aims to empower and positively impact members of the local community.
All of these initiatives are commendable, but what are the actual impacts of Aritzia on people, the planet, and animals? How ethical is Aritzia?
We gave Aritzia’s environmental initiatives a “Not Good Enough” rating. The brand does use some eco-friendly materials, including organic cotton, 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, becoming “carbon neutral” and simply offsetting carbon emissions is not enough, and we found no evidence Aritzia is actively reducing its carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain.
When it comes to labour, little of Aritzia’s supply chain is certified by labour standards which ensure worker health and safety or other labour rights. The Canadian brand received a 21-30% score in the 2021 Fashion Transparency Index, an improvement from its 11-20% score the previous year.
While Aritzia did disclose some policies and safeguards to protect suppliers and workers in its supply chain from the impacts of COVID-19, we found no evidence Aritzia ensures payment of a living wage in its supply chain or that it implements practices to support diversity and inclusion. For all these reasons, we rated Aritzia’s labour standards as “Not Good Enough”.
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. The brand has slightly improved over the years, certifying parts of its supply chain or being more transparent about how it protects its people from COVID-19. But it’s not enough for us to give a higher rating to the Canadian brand.
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 making sure its workers are treated fairly and paid a living wage.
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.
If you’re into Aritzia’s aesthetics and want to look good, while doing good, we found more ethical and sustainable alternatives to Aritzia.
“Good” and “Great” alternatives to Aritizia