How Ethical Is Missguided? - Good On You
24 Aug

How Ethical Is Missguided?

Founded in 2009 by Nitin Passi, Missguided is a global fast fashion retailer. The UK-based brand is a prime example of ultra fast fashion as it prides itself in creating “not just fast fashion” but “rapid” fashion, by dropping up to 1000 new products every week for its “babes”.

Missguided is heavily influenced by social media and streetwear, sometimes a bit too much, as the brand was sued by Kim Kardashian last year for copying her outfits. It has also come under fire in August 2020 for glorifying fast fashion in its series Inside Missguided that has been labelled as “propaganda”, “flimsy”, and “a PR disaster”.

While you might already be aware of fast fashion’s harmful impact on the environment and on the workers in the industry, but you might also be wondering about how exactly Missguided is doing, especially in light of this controversy. So, exactly how ethical is Missguided? Read on to find out.

Environmental Impact

Missguided’s environment rating is ‘Very Poor’. The brand doesn’t publish sufficient relevant information about its environmental policies to give a higher rating. What’s more, as a fast fashion brand and by dropping up to 1000 new products every week, Missguided clearly promotes over-consumption and as a result, creates a lot of waste. In fact, the brand was found to be lagging behind other UK retailers in terms of sustainable practices and is said to be among the worst sustainability offenders.

Labour Conditions

Missguided’s mission is to “is to empower young women to look and feel confident for every occasion”. The majority of garment workers in the fashion industry are female, yet Missguided’s mission doesn’t seem to apply to its supply chain. While it traces some of its supply chain, there is no evidence of worker empowerment initiatives or payment of a living wage. With 11.4 million women and girls working for the textile industry, the effective protection of women’s rights is imperative. The brand also does not disclose any policies or safeguards to protect suppliers and workers in its supply chain from the impacts of COVID-19!

Even in its head offices and stores, Missguided in 2019 reported a 46% median average gap, favouring men. According to the brand, this is because they “have more women than men in [their] lower paid roles and fewer in higher paid ones”.

Missguided does audit some of its supply chain including the final stage of production, but its lack of transparency regarding its labour practices and living wages means we rated the brand’s labour conditions ‘Very Poor’.

Animal Welfare

For the animals, Missguided gets a rating of ‘It’s A Start’. It has a formal animal welfare policy aligned with Five Freedoms, which is a good first step. It states that it sources wool from non-mulesed sheep, and doesn;t use angora, fur, down, or exotic animal skin. It does use leather and exotic animal hair, however, and there is no evidence it traces any animal product to the first stage of production. In addition to this, in 2017, Missguided was found to be selling a pair of shoes advertised as having faux fur pom pom trims, which in fact contained real fur. Passing real fur as faux fur to unknowing shoppers is, in fact, a disturbing and increasingly common trend in the fashion industry.

Overall Rating: We Avoid

Based on information from our own research, we rated Missguided our lowest possible score of ‘We Avoid’ overall. 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.

The brand doesn’t communicate sufficient information about its policies. As a shopper you have the right to know how its production practices impact on the planet, people and animals. Missguided 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.

So, if you’re looking to ditch fast fashion, we’ve found 3 ‘Good’ and ‘Great’ ethical alternatives to Missguided. Have a look below!

Good Swaps

Ethical alternatives to Missguided

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 utilises deadstock fabric, reduces packaging waste, and takes care of precious water resources.

See the rating.

Shop Whimsy + Row.

Mayamiko

Rated: Great
woman wearing mayamiko colourful top

Lovingly crafted in Malawi, Mayamiko takes ethical to the next level with their unique and beautiful fair trade fashion and accessories. With a stunning mix of modern and traditional textiles and cuts from Africa, Asia and Italy, this 100% PETA-certified vegan brand should be high on your list for colourful clothes. A leading advocate for better labour rights, the brand have also created the Mayamiko Trust, a charity working in the community to train and empower disadvantaged women.

See the rating.

Shop Mayamiko.

bleed

Rated: Great
woman wearing bleed clothing

bleed was founded in 2008 by German skateboarder Michael Spitzbarth who had worked for a few years as a freelancer for various clothing companies after finishing his studies. bleed's mission is to inspire a sustainable lifestyle that excites and easily integrates into our daily life, by creating ecological, vegan and fairly produced sports and streetwear.

See the rating.

Shop bleed.

Editor's note

This article was updated in August 2020. Images via Missguided and 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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