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