Someone wearing a black top and white fanny pack with the word Missguided and a sad face highlighted.
24 Aug
Someone wearing a black top and white fanny pack with the word Missguided and a sad face highlighted.

How Ethical Is Missguided?

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Missguided in every sense of the word, here’s why the global fast fashion retailer gets our lowest score of “We Avoid” overall. This article is based on the Missguided rating published in August 2020.

Truly 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 ‘Not Good enough’. 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, or exotic animal skin or hair. It does use leather and down, 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

Afends

Rated: Good
two images of people in tops, shirts and trousers

Offers

People in tops, bottoms and accessories by Afends.

Afends – Site-wide

Say hi to the new season with 20% off at AFENDS. Born in 2006 in Byron Bay, it leads the way in hemp fashion with 100% sustainable fabrics. Exclusive 20% off off with code AFENDSGOOD20. (Ends: 7 JUN)

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Born in Byron Bay, 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.

Plant Faced Clothing

Rated: Good

Streetwear without the sweatshops, that's the motto of this British 100% vegan and cruelty-free streetwear apparel brand that is all about promoting a new wave of consciousness that supports the non-harming or exploitation of any beings in fashion production.

Buy Plant Faced Clothing in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Plant Faced Clothing.

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.

Armedangels

Rated: Great

Innovative, responsible, and on-trend. Germany’s Armedangels gets a top score overall from us. The brand covers all the basics in womenswear, menswear, and kidswear. Armedangels' quality and long-lasting pieces are made from lower-impact 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 @ Earthkind.

Shop Armedangels @ Veneka.

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good

Whimsy + Row is a US-based lifestyle brand born out of a love for quality goods and responsible practices. Since 2014, its mission has been to provide ease and elegance for the modern woman. Whimsy + Row utilises deadstock fabric, and by limiting each garment to short runs, the brand also reduces packaging waste and takes care of precious water resources.

Find most products in XS-XL, with an extended sizing range up to 3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Whimsy + Row.

Shop Whimsy + Row @ Earthkind.

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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