How Ethical Is Boohoo?

By November 5, 2018Big Brands, Fashion
Woman in red and white stripey dress

Founded in Manchester, in 2006, Boohoo sells its own-brand clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty products online. It has grown so fast since then that in June, it was reported by the Guardian that “sales had increased by more than 50% in the previous three months compared with the previous year”. The brand even purchased PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal, two other Fast Fashion brands in 2017.

With such a rapid growth, we can only wonder: how does Boohoo impact on the Planet, People and Animals? How ethical is Boohoo? Read on to find out!

Environmental Impact: Very Poor

Boohoo’s rating is ‘Very Poor’ as it doesn’t publish sufficient relevant information about its environmental policies for us to give a higher rating. As consumers, we have the right to know how the brand’s production practices impact the environment.

Labour Conditions: Not Good Enough

The brand audits and reports on its final stage of production but does not disclose where these final steps occur, providing no evidence of listing countries for any of its supplies. It also does not say whether it pays a living wage at any stage of its supply chain. What’s more, in 2017, it was revealed that Boohoo and other fast fast brands were paying workers below minimum wage.

Animal Welfare: It’s A Start

Although it still uses leather and wool, Boohoo does not use fur, down, exotic animal skin, hair and angora, which is why we gave it an ‘It’s A Start’ rating.

Overall Rating: Not Good Enough GoY-Ratings_2

The Good On You team rated Boohoo ‘Not Good Enough’, based on our own research. The Fast Fashion brand is very opaque on its environmental and labour impacts as well as on its policies.

In order to improve its rating, Boohoo could start by disclosing information and being more transparent about its practices.

What’s more, Boohoo is a prime example of the newest kind of fast fashion brands, designing and putting clothes on the market even faster than before, sometimes in just under a week. By doing this, Boohoo encourages a “throw-away” culture and makes us believe we need to shop more and more to stay on top of trends, creating a constant sense of need and ultimate dissatisfaction.

Ethical Alternatives

Know The Origin GoY-Ratings_5

Kata Navy | | Ships internationally

Know The Origin is committed to a 100% transparent production process, so you can have style with nothing to hide. The brand is certified by Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and uses 100% GOTS certified organic cotton!

Meemoza GoY-Ratings_4

Jane Top | | Ships internationally

Manufactured in Montreal, Canada, Meemoza creates casual, vintage-inspired clothing for men and women. It uses come eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton. The brand also reduces its carbon footprint by manufacturing locally.

unrobe GoY-Ratings_4

unrobe x fleurdesfleurs Tiger | | Ships internationally

Unrobe creates fashionable designs with the finest sustainable fabrics! It limits the amount of chemicals and water used in production and has a Code of Conduct that covers all of the ILO Four Fundamental Freedom principles.

Ecoalf GoY-Ratings_4

Heidi Sweater | | Ships internationally

Using recycled materials, such as recycled wool and down, Ecoalf creates sustainable fashion with the same quality, design and technical properties as the best non-recycled brands. Its use of eco-friendly materials limits the amount of chemicals, water and wastewater used in production.

Vaute GoY-Ratings_5

Pema Party Dress | | Ships internationally

Vaute prides itself as being the world’s first 100% vegan fashion brand, using innovative, high-tech and sustainable textiles, cut and sewn in New York. In addition to using a high-proportion of eco-friendly materials, the brand also has a repair programme in place and it offers a one-year warranty on its coats, so you can keep them for longer.

Feature image via Boohoo. All other images via brands mentioned.

Solene Rauturier

Author Solene Rauturier

Originally from France, Solene is currently Content and Community intern at Good on You.

More posts by Solene Rauturier

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Jodee Sydney says:

    Thank you so much for investigating and looking into these brands. I don’t buy from Boo Hoo because it never felt right to buy high street fashion, paying only mere dollars and know that the supply chain has had many hands touch the garment, all for $10.

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