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 traditions 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 Chirui 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?
Dior is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, but there is no evidence it minimises textile waste. It has also set an absolute target to reduce emissions generated from its owned operations by 25% but hasn’t set a target covering its supply chain. Plus, there is no evidence it has taken meaningful action to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals! For all these reasons we rated Dior’s environmental impact ‘Not Good Enough’.
Unfortunately, Dior’s labour rating is also ‘Not Good Enough’. Although it monitors health and safety issues with an internal procedure, there is no evidence it ensures payment of a living wage in its supply chain or that it publishes supplier lists, and it sources its final stage of production from countries with extreme risk of labour abuse!
Like many big luxury fashion houses recently, Dior has stopped using fur, down, and angora, which is a small step in the right direction. But it still uses leather, wool, and exotic animal skin and hair, which is why it scored ‘Not Good Enough’ for animal welfare. 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 being a member of the Better Cotton Initiative. 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. There’s still a very long road ahead!
Ethical alternatives to Dior