Someone wearing a teal crop singlet top against a yellow brick wall.
01 Feb
Someone wearing a teal crop singlet top against a yellow brick wall.

How Ethical Is CIDER?

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If you’re on TikTok, you might have come across a mysterious brand from Hong Kong: CIDER. But how ethical is CIDER? This article is based on the CIDER rating published in September 2022.

CIDER is viral, but for the right reasons?

CIDER has taken social media platforms by storm since launching in late 2020, with some of its products going viral (like this cute orange sweater), and it now boasts an immense community of 4.1M followers on Instagram.

Digitally-native CIDER describes itself as “a globally-minded, social-first fashion brand” that makes “clothes for a new generation”. On paper, the brand functions similarly to SHEIN, listing small batches of items for specific moods and occasions every week and functioning as a direct-from-factory marketplace. CIDER also prides itself in being “an innovator”, using data to only produce what they know will sell, which allegedly enables them to keep costs low and reduce the unsold stock.

We’re getting a whiff of greenwashing here, so we thought it was high time we took a look and figured out: is CIDER a good clothing brand? And more importantly, is CIDER ethical?

Environmental impact

CIDER receives our lowest possible score of “Very Poor” for its impact on the environment.

It uses few eco-friendly materials, producing scores of clothes overwhelmingly made from harmful fabrics like virgin polyester and spandex.

There is no evidence CIDER reduces its carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain, nor does it appear to have taken meaningful action to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals. Toxic chemicals in fast fashion is a serious issue in today’s shopping landscape, and worth researching before purchasing from this and similar stores.

Finally, CIDER doesn’t implement any water reduction initiatives we could find. All in all, this is one brand to avoid if you care about the impact of your closet on the planet.

Labour conditions

The results aren’t any better for CIDER’s reputation surrounding working conditions in its supply chain, coming out with another “Very Poor” score.

CIDER does not publish sufficient relevant information about its labour policies to give a higher rating. As a shopper you have the right to know how its products impact on its workers. Transparency is key in a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry.

Animal welfare

One area where CIDER is making some effort is animal welfare, receiving a middling score of “It’s a Start” here.

While the brand doesn’t use leather, exotic animal hair, fur, down, angora, or exotic animal skin across its collections, it does use wool without stating sources. There is no evidence of an animal welfare policy, nor does the brand appear to traces any animal products even to the first stage of production. There is certainly room for improvement here, too.

Overall rating

Overall, CIDER receives our lowest score of “We Avoid” owing to its lack of action across the board. Ultimately, the brand can make piecemeal improvements and increase transparency, but as an ultra fast fashion brand rooted in overconsumption and mass production, it cannot be a responsible brand worth supporting without a deeper shift in its business as usual.

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.

See the rating.

Luckily, the Good On You team found a few “Good” and “Great” brands that we’d love to see go viral for all the right reasons. They are fantastic options to choose from if you want to break your fast fashion addiction and support the planet and all of its inhabitants with your purchases.

Good swaps

More sustainable alternatives to Cider, all rated “Good” and “Great” in the directory

CHNGE

Rated: Good

CHNGE is a US-based sustainable fashion brand using 100% organic material, built to last a lifetime while making a statement. Find CHNGE's inclusive clothes in sizes 2XS-4XL.

See the rating.

Shop CHNGE.

Afends

Rated: Good
two images of people in tops, shirts and trousers

Born in Byron Bay, Afends is a responsible brand leading the way in hemp fashion. Drawing inspiration from the environment, streetwear, and surf culture, Afends’ mission is to create more sustainable clothing through innovation, action, and positive change. As true hemp advocates, they purchased 100 acres of farmland called Sleepy Hollow to grow their own hemp crops and ignite the hemp revolution. Explore their range made from 100% eco-conscious threads.

See the rating.

Shop Afends.

Luna + Sun

Rated: Good
person holding a baby wearing a hat, top and shorts, with a person in a loose, pink dress by Luna + Sun

Luna + Sun is an Australian, cruelty-free fashion line creating gorgeous feminine designs. Its factory is certified by Ethical Clothing Australia, and its products are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified. Find the clothes in AU sizes 6-18.

See the rating.

Shop Luna + Sun.

Unrecorded

Rated: Good
image of person in shirt, cardigan and trousers by Unrecorded

Unrecorded is an independent clothing brand from the Netherlands that represents a new wave of unisex brands that are rebelling against the nature of fast fashion. Unrecorded is passionate about style, and produces apparel using more eco-friendly materials.

Its range includes items that are all year round essentials suitable for any wardrobe, available in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Unrecorded.

Yes And

Rated: Good
two women wearing yes and sustainable clothing

Yes And aims to banish the stigma that sustainable fashion has to sacrifice style, quality, fit, colour, comfort, or price. With this US-based brand you can actually have it all, and more: it is certified organic, low-impact dyed, and ethically made. You can find most items in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Yes And.

Plant Faced Clothing

Rated: Good

Streetwear without sweatshops, that's the motto of this British 100% plant-based, ethical, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free streetwear apparel brand.

Buy Plant Faced Clothing in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Plant Faced Clothing.

Discover our editors’ favourite alternatives to CIDER’s best sellers

 

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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