How Ethical Is Fashion Nova? - Good On You
16 Sep

How Ethical Is Fashion Nova?

With 19 million followers on Instagram, Fashion Nova has become one of the fastest growing women’s clothing lines on the internet. But we can’t help but wonder something: how does the brand and its production speed impact the planet, people, and animals? We ask, how ethical is Fashion Nova?

Created by Richard Saghian in 2006, Fashion Nova was originally a brick-and-mortar store in California. In 2013, he launched the store online, with the aim of being closer to its consumers. Using Instagram as his main platform, and posting pictures of his best selling items on models, Saghian was able to gather 60,000 followers before the launch.

Since then, Fashion Nova’s following has grown and the brand now works with influencers and celebrities like Cardi B and Kylie Jenner to reach millions. In 2018, Fashion Nova was one of the most searched fashion brands!

So, let’s see what’s behind this ultra fast fashion label.

Environmental Impact

Fashion Nova doesn’t publish sufficient relevant information about its environmental policies, which is why it got our lowest rating: ‘Very Poor’. As a shopper you have the right to know how a brand’s production practices impacts on the environment!

Labour Conditions

When it comes to its labour rating, based on our own research and information from the Fashion Transparency Index (where it received a score of  0-10%), Fashion Nova also received a score of ‘Very Poor’ for people. None of its supply chain is certified by labour standards which ensure worker health and safety, living wages, or other labour rights. Fashion Nova publishes limited information about its supplier policies and audits, and doesn’t disclose any information about forced labour, gender equality, or freedom of association.

In addition to this, there is no evidence it ensures payment of a living wage in its supply chain. Unsurprisingly, in 2019, it was even reported that Fashion Nova’s Los Angeles’ workers were widely underpaid.

Finally, Fashion Nova doesn’t disclose any policies or safeguards to protect suppliers and workers in its supply chain from the impacts of COVID-19.

Animal Welfare

Fashion Nova’s animal rating is simply ‘Not Good Enough’ as the brand doesn’t disclose which animal products it uses. With no relevant information, we have know way to know how the brand impacts our animal friends!

Overall Rating: We Avoid

Unfortunately, we have to give Fashion Nova our lowest possible rating of ‘We Avoid’ overall. It does not provide sufficient information, which is why it rates so low on environmental impact, labour conditions, and animal welfare.

What’s more, Fashion Nova is the prime example of an ultra fast fashion brand, launching new collections at lightning speed, which will very likely end up in a landfill: it prides itself on having a team that “works around-the-clock to bring you the world’s hottest styles”, and on introducing “1,000+ new arrivals to [their] site every week!”. Scary. And not eco-friendly.

To have a better rating, Fashion Nova could start disclosing more information about how, where, and by whom its items are produced, as well as the materials used. Transparency is crucial to ethical and sustainable fashion and is the first step towards reducing a business’ impact on the people, the planet, and animals. 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.

Luckily, the Good On You team found a few ‘Good’ and ‘Great’ brands to choose from next time you need to fill a gap in your wardrobe.

Good Swaps

Ethical alternatives to Fashion Nova

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good

This LA-based brand makes truly affordable ethical fashion that looks great - a rare find indeed.  By limiting each garment to short runs, Whimsy + Row utilise deadstock fabric, reduce packaging waste and take care of precious water resources.

See the rating.

Shop Whimsy + Row.

CHNG

Rated: Great

CHNGE is a sustainable fashion brand using 100% organic material, built to last a lifetime while making a statement.

See the rating.

Shop CHNGE.

Plant Faced

Rated: Good

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

See the rating.

Shop Plant Faced.

337 BRAND

Rated: Good
woman wearing sustainable 337 brand outfit

337 BRAND's leisurewear is designed to make you feel at ease, always. Inspired by nature, comfort and kindness, the brand introduces effortless-style clothing made from earth-friendly materials.

See the rating.

Shop 337 BRAND @ ourCommonPlace.

Shop 337 BRAND.

Editor's note

This article was updated in September 2020. Feature image via Fashion Nova. 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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