27 May

How Ethical Is French Connection?

French Connection was founded in 1972 by Stephen Marks, who wanted to create “well-designed fashionable clothing that appealed to a broad market”. French Connection is known for its 1990s controversial “FCUK fashion” ad campaign and collection, which the brand plans to re-launch at Urban Outfitters this year.

Founded in the UK, but now sold globally, French Connection makes clothes and accessories for women and men, as well as homewares. But how does the company impact the planet, people and animals? How ethical is French Connection?

Environmental Impact

French Connection’s environment rating is ‘Very Poor’. The brand does not publish sufficient relevant information about its environmental policies to give a higher rating. As a shopper you have the right to know how its production practices impact on the environment.

Labour Conditions

We rated French Connection’s labour policies ‘Not Good Enough’. There is no evidence that the brand investigates and reports on safety incidents. It does not disclose where its final stage of production occurs and does not mention payment of a living wage. Plus, there is no evidence of listing countries for any of its suppliers. It does audit some of its supply chain but does not state which part and what percentage.

Animal Welfare

Its animal welfare rating is ‘Not Good Enough’. French Connection does not use fur, down, exotic animal skin and angora, but it still uses wool and leather without specifying sources.

Overall Rating

Based on information from our own research and Shop Ethical, we rated French Connection ‘Not Good Enough’. The brand needs to improve significantly, particularly on environmental and labour issues and needs to be more transparent.

See the rating.

Luckily, we’ve found 5 alternatives to French Connection so you can have a positive impact on the people, planet and animals!


Rated: Great

Affordable, ethical, and on-trend. Germany’s Armedangels gets a ‘Great’ rating overall from us. The brand covers all the basics for women, men, and kids. Armedangels' quality and long-lasting pieces are made from eco-friendly and certified materials, like Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. The brand also adopted the Fair Wear Foundation Code of Conduct to protect its workers abroad. Its products are available in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Armedangels.

Shop Armedangels @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Armedangels @ OASEAS.

Shop Armedangels @ Earthkind.


Rated: Good

UK brand Komodo puts people and the planet first with its ethically-sourced and eco-friendly range of menswear and womenswear. The label uses some eco-friendly materials including GOTS-certified cotton and hemp, and ensures that most of its suppliers pay a living wage to their workers. Find most of the range in UK sizes 8-16.

See the rating.

Shop Komodo @ Staiy.

Shop Komodo @ Immaculate Vegan.

Shop Komodo.


Rated: Good

“Love Fashion, Think Organic, Be Responsible” are the maxims of LANIUS. The German brand uses eco-friendly materials, like GOTS certified cotton. All LANIUS facilities are SA8000 certified and it is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. LANIUS' clothes are available in EU sizes 34-44.

See the rating.


Shop LANIUS @ Curate.

People Tree

Rated: Great

Sustainable fashion pioneer and leader People Tree is a ‘Great’ ethical brand and one of our favourites. The brand uses eco-friendly materials and addresses labour risks by adopting the Fairtrade International - Small Producers Organisations Code of Conduct. Find most products in UK sizes 6 to 18.

See the rating.

Shop People Tree.

Shop People Tree @ thegreenlabels.


Rated: Good

Birdsong is a boutique label producing gorgeous womenswear. Its clothes are handmade in London by knitters and seamstresses earning above the London living wage. The business is built on a philosophy of fairness and authenticity, promising customers “no sweatshop, no photoshop”. Birdsong's products are inclusively sized from 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Birdsong.

Editor's note

Feature image via French Connection. 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 the Directory to search more than 2,500 brands. To support our work, we may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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