A close up of someone wearing a long pearl necklace.
21 Sep
A close up of someone wearing a long pearl necklace.

How Ethical Is Cult Gaia?

Cult Gaia may be “inspired by women and nature”, but it doesn’t appear to care much for the workers or the environment in its production. The brand rates “Not Good Enough” for its lack of transparency. This article is based on the Cult Gaia rating published in August 2022.

Worth a cult following?

Climbing to fame after the popularity of its signature wooden Ark “it” bag a few years ago, Cult Gaia has since gained a large following for its full range of ready-to-wear clothing, shoes, and accessories that hit the mark on unique style and trend. The brand’s pieces embody the “wearable art” ideal of modern fashion that appeals to many consumers, including celebs like Beyonce.

Not without its share of drama, Cult Gaia’s founder has been accused of sharing anti-Palestine sentiments on social media, which led to the brand being removed from retailers like Harvey Nichols and Galeries Lafayette. What about behind the scenes? How is this popular brand treating people, the planet, and animals across its supply chain? How ethical is Cult Gaia? Let’s take a look.

Environmental impact

Cult Gaia’s environment rating is “Not Good Enough”. While it uses some eco-friendly materials including recycled materials, there is no evidence it reduces its carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions; implements water reduction initiatives, or that it has taken meaningful action to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals.

Labour conditions

For workers, Cult Gaia gets our lowest score of “We Avoid”. The brand doesn’t publish sufficient relevant information about its labour policies to give a higher rating. Transparency is crucial in more ethical and sustainable fashion, and as a shopper you have the right to know how products impact workers.

Animal welfare

The brand is also “Not Good Enough” for our animal friends. There is no evidence it has an animal welfare policy, and it uses leather, wool, and exotic animal hair. It doesn’t use fur, down, angora, or exotic animal skin.

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.

Love the unique, high-fashion feel of Cult Gaia’s range but prefer more transparency? We’ve rounded up a selection of more ethical and sustainable alternatives to Cult Gaia you’ll love.

Good swaps

“Good and “Great” alternatives to Cult Gaia

ARTICLE22

Rated: Good

Every piece of ARTICLE22 jewellery is locally handcrafted in Laos using recycled materials from Vietnam War bombs, plane parts, military hardware, and other aluminium scraps. The brand embodies the innovation that the fashion industry needs more of—using recycled materials to produce beautiful globally-marketable products, while equipping local artisans with new skill sets and providing them with a sustainable source of income. ARTICLE22 gives back to clear more unexploded bombs in Laos, supports traditional artisans, and donates a proportion of profit to community development for workers. The range is available in sizes S-XL.

See the rating.

Shop ARTICLE22.

Mochi

Rated: Good
A colourful knot tied top designed ethically by Mochi.

Mochi was founded in 2013 in the Netherlands as an artisanal label that celebrates cultural, traditional methods of embroidery. Find sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Mochi.

Vitamin A

Rated: Good
woman smiling on sand wearing sustainable swimwear by Vitamin A

Made locally in California, Vitamin A’s collections of swimwear and loungewear use a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, including recycled nylon. The brand also uses a waterless process to print its designs with, reducing its chemical and water usage. Find the pieces in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Vitamin A.

Shop Vitamin A @ Curate.

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.

Mashu

Rated: Good
Peach mashu mini tote

Mashu is a British sustainable and vegan accessories label specialising in handbags. Mashu’s environmental rating is "Good", crafting its exterior with vegan leather alternatives while its interiors feature vegan suede made from recycled polyester, ensuring you never have to sacrifice your morals for style again.

See the rating.

Shop Mashu.

Bam Loves Boo

Rated: Good

Bam Loves Boo is a unisex Australian childrenswear brand that is all about making beautiful clothing for the little people you love. The clothes are available for children 0-3 years.

See the rating.

Shop Bam Loves Boo.

NOAH

Rated: Good

NOAH creates cruelty-free and 100% vegan shoes and accessories. This German brand's high-quality and long-lasting shoes are hand-crafted in Italy, using a small proportion of eco-friendly material. Find them in EU sizes 35-42.

See the rating.

Shop NOAH.

Shop NOAH @ Immaculate Vegan.

Wires

Rated: Good

Wires is a London based eyewear brand that creates beautiful styles from a single piece of metal wire and 3D printed parts.

See the rating.

Shop Wires.

Shop Wires @ Rêve en Vert.

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. We may earn a commission on sales with top-rated partners made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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