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26 Apr

How Ethical Is FILA?

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For decades, sportswear brand FILA has been a popular choice for athletes and fashion enthusiasts. But how ethical is FILA? Read on to learn more about the brand’s “Not Good Enough” rating. Note that this rating was published in March 2023 and may not reflect claims the brand has made since then. Our ratings analysts are constantly rerating the thousands of brands you can check on our directory.

A look at FILA’s sustainability report card

FILA has been a household name for decades. Founded in Italy in 1911 then acquired by FILA Korea in 2007, this sportswear company initially specialised in underwear and knitwear before expanding to sportswear and footwear. FILA is particularly famous for its tennis shoes and attire, worn by some of the sport’s most iconic players, including Björn Borg.

Throughout its history, FILA has continued to innovate and push the boundaries of sportswear design. While some could argue that the brand peaked in the ‘90s, it’s been making a comeback in recent years, with the FILA Disruptor II becoming “the internet’s most divisive shoe”, according to Dazed.

But what about FILA’s impact on people, the planet, and animals? It’s time we answer the usual question: how ethical is FILA?

Environmental impact

Our planet rating evaluates brands based on the environmental policies in their supply chains, from carbon emissions and wastewater to business models and product circularity. Here, we rate FILA “Not Good Enough”.

FILA says it strives to “minimise [its] environmental impact throughout the product life cycle, from product development to production and disposal”, but the data tells another story.

There is no evidence that FILA is taking meaningful action to reduce its climate impacts. In addition, the brand uses few lower-impact materials. There is also no evidence that it minimises textile waste in its supply chain or that it takes meaningful action to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals in manufacturing.

Labour conditions

FILA received a “Very Poor” rating in the people category, in which we evaluate brands’ policies and practices related to workers’ rights.

None of FILA’s supply chain is certified by crucial labour standards that help ensure worker health and safety, living wages, and other rights. FILA received a score of 11-20% in the 2022 Fashion Transparency Index. What’s more, we found no evidence that the brand supports diversity and inclusion in its supply chain or ensures workers are paid living wages in its supply chain.

Finally, FILA has been linked with sourcing cotton from the Xinjiang region in China at risk of using Uyghur forced labour and has taken insufficient steps to remediate.

Animal welfare

We rate FILA “Not Good Enough” for animals, a category which focuses on animal welfare policies and how well brands trace their animal-derived products.

While the brand doesn’t seem to use fur, angora, or exotic animal skin, it still uses down (some of it is certified by the Responsible Down Standard), leather, wool, exotic animal hair, and silk. We found no evidence that FILA has an animal welfare policy, though it traces some animal-derived materials to the first production stage.

Overall rating: Not Good Enough

Overall we rate FILA “Not Good Enough”. Its lack of transparency throughout its supply chain, coupled with insufficient measures to reduce its impact on people, the planet, and animals, mean we can’t give the brand a higher rating. The brand rates “Not Good Enough” and below on all fronts, and it has a lot to do if it wants to live up to its goal to “to realise sustainable values for people, environment, and society throughout the business process.”

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.

FILA may have a retro aesthetic that appeals to you, but as a consumer, you can make a difference by taking care of what you own, reducing what you buy, shopping second hand, and choosing to support brands that are doing better than FILA. If you’re interested in more sustainable alternatives to FILA, we recommend checking out second hand options first. And if you want to buy new, check out the brands below.

Good swaps

“Good” and “Great” alternatives to FILA

COG

Rated: Good
Close view of someone in shoes by COG.

Based in France, COG is a footwear label that creates more sustainable, vegan shoes from 100% recycled materials, including natural corks, used cotton scraps, end-of-life rubber, and plastic bottles fished out of the sea.

Offered in sizes EU 35-46.

See the rating.

Shop COG.

Shop COG @ Immaculate Vegan.

Afends

Rated: Good
Someone on roof wearing clothes by Afends.

Born in Byron Bay, Australia, Afends is a responsible brand leading the way in hemp fashion. Drawing inspiration from the environment, streetwear, and surf culture, Afends’ mission is to create more sustainable clothing through innovation, action, and positive change. As true hemp advocates, they purchased 100 acres of farmland called Sleepy Hollow to grow their own hemp crops and ignite the hemp revolution.

Find most of the range in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Afends.

REER3

Rated: Good
two images of people in clothing by REER3

Founded by a Brazilian-born fashion designer and artist based in Germany, REER3 stands for slow fashion streetwear in a reduced design, produced more sustainably. It uses lower-impact dyes and materials such as organically grown, GOTS certified cotton and recycled polyester, and it's 100% vegan.

Find the range in XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop REER3.

Ambiletics

Rated: Good
Someone wearing dark blue animal print activewear by Ambiletics.

Ambiletics is a more sustainable sports and yoga label from Munich. The brand is convinced that every (purchase) decision makes a difference. In the fashion sector in particular, far too little attention is paid to origin and production. Ambiletics wants to change this, so its motto is: MAKE IT MATTER.

Find most items in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Ambiletics.

CARIUMA

Rated: Good
yellow sustainable skate shoes by Cariuma brand

Offers

A pair of white low-cut adult sneakers by CARIUMA.

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Step into your favourite high and low styles by cult favourite sneaker brand CARIUMA. Perfect for any occasion. Exclusive 25% off adult sneakers with code GOODCARIUMA25. (Ends: 13 FEB)

Checkout code: GOODCARIUMA25
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CARIUMA is a more sustainable Brazilian sneaker brand that wants you to feel super comfortable while providing effortless style in organic canvas, leather, and suede styles.

Find CARIUMA's shoes in US sizes 5-13.

See the rating.

Shop CARIUMA.

Shop CARIUMA @ Good.

dk active

Rated: Great

Offers

People wearing activewear and swimwear by dk active.

dk active – Site-wide

More sustainable swim and lifestyle pieces for everybody and every body. Buy two, get 20% off. Buy three or more, get 30% off. (Ends: 15 FEB)

Shop now

dk active is an Australian high-performance brand supporting everybody seeking an authentic edge in life. It uses renewable energy in its supply chain to reduce its climate impact, and reuses all of its offcuts to minimise textile waste. It is also a PETA approved 100% vegan brand.

Find the products in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop dk active.

ID.EIGHT

Rated: Good

ID.EIGHT is an Italian brand that was born from the meeting between Dong Seon Lee and Giuliana Borzillo, both come from the world of footwear, where they worked and met. Together they have created a more ethical and sustainable collection of sneakers with a refined design. The shoes are made in Italy with lower-impact materials from food industry waste such as apple peels, grape stalks and seeds, and pineapple leaves, as well as recycled cotton and polyester.

Find the shoes in EU sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Shop ID.EIGHT.

Colorful Standard

Rated: Good

Colorful Standard is a Danish clothing brand that makes organic fashion essentials for men and women. The brand doesn't care much for seasons or trends, instead, it creates timeless and long-lasting products to avoid the downward spiral that is over-consumption.

Find most items in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Colorful Standard.

Veja

Rated: Good

Veja is a French brand designing ecological and fair trade footwear, and is also a responsible fashion pioneer. The brand uses lower-impact materials, like GOTS certified cotton and vegetable-tanned leather. Veja pays its co-operative cotton growers and rubber tappers between 30% and 100% above the world market price. By not advertising, Veja is able to invest more money into strengthening its practices.

You can find Veja shoes in women's EU sizes 35-46, and men's 35-47.

See the rating.

Shop Veja.

Shop Veja @ Cerqular.

Shop Veja @ LVRSustainable.

Shop Veja @ Outerknown.

Shop Veja @ Threads 4 Thought.

Shop Veja Kids second hand @ Retykle.

Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash, 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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