17 Feb

How Ethical Is Dior?

Founded in the 20th century by Christian Dior, Dior has revolutionised womenswear in its own way. The designer is most well known for being the creator of the “New Look”, a modern silhouette at the time, which broke with tradition by emphasising women’s hips and busts.

The maison, which is owned by LVMH, has been dabbling in sustainable fashion: inspired by Dior’s love of gardening, Maria Grazia Chiuri recreated a forest for the Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 runway, promising to replant the trees in the Parisian region after the show.

But is this enough? How ethical is Dior?

Environmental Impact

When it comes to the environment, Dior uses few eco-friendly materials and has set an intensity target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated from its own operations. However, the brand has not set a supply chain target. Dior complies with its own Restricted Substances List but there is no evidence it has taken meaningful action to eliminate hazardous chemicals. We also found no evidence Dior minimises textile waste. Using some eco-friendly materials alone is not enough and the brand no doubt has the resources available to do better for the planet. For all these reasons we rated Dior’s environmental impact ‘Not Good Enough’.

Labour Conditions

Unfortunately, Dior’s labour rating is also ‘Not Good Enough’. Although its final stage of production is undertaken in medium risk countries for labour abuse, the brand received a score of 21-30% in the Fashion Transparency Index. Dior likely publishes information about its supplier policies, audits, and remediation processes. But it does not publish a comprehensive list of suppliers or information about forced labour, gender equality, or freedom of association. We also found no evidence it ensures payment of a living wage in its supply chain. Plus, Dior does not disclose policies or safeguards to protect suppliers and workers in its supply chain from the impacts of COVID-19. The “iconic” brand has a long way to go for workers.

Animal Welfare

Dior’s animal rating is ‘Very Poor’, our lowest rating. The brand has a general statement about minimising animal suffering but not a formal animal welfare policy. What’s more, the brand still uses fur, down, leather, wool, exotic animal skin, exotic animal hair, and angora! It traces some animal products to the first stage of production, but again, that’s simply not enough. As material innovations hit the shelves, we hope to see these luxury fashion houses—who can certainly afford it—investing in animal-free options.

Overall Rating: Not Good Enough

Overall, we rate Dior ‘Not Good Enough’. The brand has made small improvements, such as setting a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emission and using some eco-friendly materials. However, the luxury fashion house still needs to reduce its use of harmful chemicals, ensure it pays its workers a living wage, and consider our animal friends. 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. In any case, there’s still clearly a very long road ahead!

See the rating.

 

Luckily, there are some ‘Good’ and ‘Great’ alternatives to Dior! We recommend these environmentally-conscious luxury brands that offer high quality and beautiful pieces, that are also sustainably and ethically made!

Good Swaps

Ethical alternatives to Dior

Stella McCartney

Rated: Good

A member of the Ethical Trading Initiative and Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Stella McCartney has set some excellent environmental standards across the luxury fashion industry. Stella uses some eco-friendly materials, including recycled polyester and organic cotton, and has a strategy in place to reduce waste across its entire supply chain. It has also adopted the ETI Code of Conduct that includes a living wage definition!

See the rating.

Shop Stella McCartney @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Stella McCartney @ Labell-D.

Shop Stella McCartney Kids Pre-Owned @ Retykle.

Shop Stella McCartney Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Stella McCartney.

Opera Campi

Rated: Good

Founded in 2017, Italian brand Opera Campi creates premium quality garments from locally-sourced raw materials. By using a balanced approach to sustainability, the brand makes conscious choices throughout its supply chain and donates 4% of its profits to social causes. The brand is inclusively sized from 3XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Opera Campi.

HYER GOODS

Rated: Good
3 bucket bags by hyer goods

HYER GOODS is an NY-based, leather goods label that curates hand-made products including handbags, wallets, and accessories. By upcycling "trash" it eliminates the massive energy footprint needed to cultivate land, livestock, crops and fertilizers, while simultaneously reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill. Less energy and less pollution mean fewer greenhouse gases.

See the rating.

Shop HYER GOODS.

Aiayu

Rated: Good

Danish sustainable luxury brand Aiayu offers building blocks to a conscious home and wardrobe, with an emphasis on quality and time enduring designs. Established in 2015, Aiayu products are created with care for the environment, its workers, and the wearer. The brand embodies its belief that the combination of a product’s origins, sustainable production, and environmental impact are equally as vital as its aesthetics.

See the rating.

Shop Aiayu @ Reve en Vert.

Shop Aiayu.

Bianca Spender

Rated: Good

Bianca Spender is Australian fashion royalty, who has taken sustainability into the heart of her label. From smart workwear to statement gowns, this is a label that employs the highest standards of design and quality. Bianca Spender uses deadstock fabric and natural fibres, making all her garments in Ethical Clothing Australia-accredited factories. This is a re-rate for this designer, and we’re delighted to be able to give the brand a ‘Good’ rating.

See the rating.

Shop Bianca Spender.

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 and recycled polyester, 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.

Bario Neal

Rated: Good

Bario Neal is an ethical custom jewellery designer that creates handmade rings with conflict-free diamonds and other gemstones. The brand uses ethically sourced materials, including reclaimed precious metals, Fairmined gold, and ethically sourced stones to bring to life each of its uniquely designed pieces.

Vintage shops

Next time you’re in your favourite second hand shop, why not have a look for vintage (or more recent) Dior items or Dior alternatives? You never know what amazing treasures you might find. If you prefer shopping for vintage items online we recommend having a look at Vestiaire Collective!

When in doubt, rent it out

Nowadays, many websites allow you to rent dresses, items, and bags for an event, so think about this option next time you want to dazzle the crowd with a Dior saddle bag!

Editor's note

Feature image via Dior, 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 more than 2,500 brands. We may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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