Someone outdoors doing a yoga pose in a set of red activewear behind the word Fabletics with a highlighted sad face emoji.
14 Dec
Someone outdoors doing a yoga pose in a set of red activewear behind the word Fabletics with a highlighted sad face emoji.

How Ethical Is Fabletics?

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Kate Hudson’s brand Fabletics has grown in popularity since the explosion of athleisure in recent years, but how ethical is Fabletics? Here’s why the brand gets our lowest score of “We Avoid” overall for its lack of efforts. This article is based on the Fabletics rating published in June 2022.

Fabletics has to put in the work

Athleisure is booming, and people are more aware of their health and their comfort than ever in recent years. Countless fashion brands have clued in on the trend, creating sportswear that wears just as well in the gym as on the couch—and actor Kate Hudson jumped on the trend, co-founding the brand Fabletics in 2013.

With a focus on inclusivity and a tagline of “At Fabletics, we believe everyone deserves to look and feel their best,” we hope the brand is taking steps to care for not just its VIP members but the people in the supply chain and the planet. So, how ethical is Fabletics?

Environmental impact

With a heading of “New styles every month!” or taglines for the current massive sale front and centre on the website and hundreds of styles already in production, it’s clear Fabletics hasn’t heard the news about slowing fashion down. In a classic fast fashion move, Fabletics all-too-frequently pumps out new styles in unsustainable fabrics at low prices.

While the brand uses some lower-impact materials, the effort ends there. There is no evidence that it reduces textile waste, has taken any meaningful action to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals, or is working to reduce carbon emissions. If your inclusivity doesn’t include the planet’s longevity, you’re doing something wrong. Fabletics is “Not Good Enough” for the environment.

Labour conditions

Another area of minimal effort, Fabletics is “Very Poor” when it comes to labour conditions. As a bare minimum, the brand has a Code of Conduct that covers all of the ILO Four Fundamental Freedoms principles. Beyond that? No evidence of worker empowerment initiatives, no info on where its final stage of production occurs, and no proof it is paying a living wage at any stage.

The impact of fast fashion on garment workers is a confronting yet important topic, and for a brand that wants everyone to “feel their best”, the lack of transparency is especially disheartening. Do better for all people, Fabletics—not just your VIP members.

Animal welfare

Fabletics avoids all animal materials in its range of clothing typically free from animal-derived fabrics aside from some designs including wool, for which it doesn’t state its sources. The brand gets a “Good” score for animal welfare.

Overall rating: We Avoid

So, how ethical is Fabletics? Overall, Fabletics is one “We Avoid”. With bare minimum efforts for people and the planet, this brand has a long way to go before it can be considered ethical or sustainable. We’ll get our athleisure fix elsewhere, thank you very much.

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.

See the rating.

We know that size inclusivity is one of the most significant barriers for people trying to shop more ethically, and there is no shame in shopping for brands that are making a start if they best suit your needs. Fortunately, there are tons of size-inclusive ethical brands like Fabletics out there to help you slow your consumption down and invest in quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Here are a few of our faves.

Good swaps

“Good” and “Great” alternatives to Fabletics

Elle Evans

Rated: Good
group of women wearing eco-friendly activewear by Melbourne designer Elle Evans

Founded in 2013, Elle Evans Swimwear creates beautiful, more sustainable swimwear and activewear for people who care about fashion and the future. The brand uses post-consumer waste fabrics and traces all of its supply chain.

The range is stocked in sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Elle Evans.

Girlfriend Collective

Rated: Good

Girlfriend Collective creates minimal, luxury clothes made with certified fair labour, certified by the Social Accountability Standard International SA8000. The brand uses more eco-friendly materials like recycled polyester as well as low-impact non-toxic dyes and is fully Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified.

Inclusively sized Girlfriend Collective offers products from 2XS-6XL.

See the rating.

Shop Girlfriend Collective @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Girlfriend Collective.

Conscious Step

Rated: Good

Conscious Step creates premium fair trade, organic, vegan socks and clothes which support great charities. The US brand is committed to lasting social and environmental change and every step it takes in its production process supports farms and factories with fair wages, safe facilities, and sustainable materials.

The socks come in S-L sizes, and the clothes in 2XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Conscious Step.

Knickey

Rated: Great
knickey sustainable underwear set

Made in a Fair Trade Certified factory, Knickey’s organic cotton underwear sets are some of the best in the sustainable market. Taking it a step further, the brand has also partnered with an NYC non-profit to recycle old undergarments, turning the fibres into insulation and rug pads. Sending in your old undies will not only help cut down on the amount of fibres that wind up in the landfill, but it’ll give you the freedom to buy new, eco-conscious sets. Find most items in sizes 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Knickey.

Boody

Rated: Good
woman wearing black sustainable active crop bra and tights by Boody

Founded in Australia by two best friends, Boody is a clothing brand with comfort, style, and health at its core. It creates comfortable, thoughtfully made everyday essentials made from organically grown bamboo. It reduces waste through low-waste cutting techniques and using a closed-loop system in its supply chain, supporting the green and ethical movement.

Find the range in sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Boody.

Shop Boody @ Immaculate Vegan.

tentree

Rated: Good
woman stretching in pink sustainable activewear by tentree

Canadian brand tentree believes big change starts small. Small as in bringing your reusable bag to the grocery store, making fewer, more thoughtful purchases, and choosing to purchase sustainably when you do. The brand plants ten trees for every item purchased to help regenerate ecosystems and provide planting jobs in communities around the world, and has already planted over 65 million trees.

All tentree’s products are created with an Earth-First approach, meaning they're made in fair, safe working conditions, and constructed using more sustainably sourced and recycled materials.

tentree’s super comfy fabrics and easy wardrobe staples are typically available from XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop tentree.

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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