NOTE: This brand’s rating is under review and subject to change. The article will be updated soon to reflect any changes in scoring.
New Look is one of the fast fashion giants. Opened in 1969 in the UK, initially as a single fashion store, the brand rapidly grew to become the global chain we know today, boasting 6 million social media followers, 800 stores worldwide, and shipping to 70 countries.
In 2018, the brand experienced some financial troubles and announced it would be cutting down its prices even more. But as we all know: “Fast fashion isn’t free. Someone, somewhere is paying.” So, who or what is paying for New Look’s low-cost strategy? Today we take a look at this British brand’s impact on people, the planet, and animals and ask that burning question: how ethical is New Look?
New Look’s environment rating is “Not Good Enough”. It has fast fashion traits such as on-trend styles and regular new arrivals, and uses few eco-friendly materials. It has a policy approved by CanopyStyle to prevent deforestation of ancient and endangered forests in its supply chain, which is one positive. Still, there is no evidence it reduces carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain. All in all, New Look has a long way to go to prioritise the planet.
New Look’s labour rating is also “Not Good Enough”. It received a score of 31-40% in the Fashion Transparency Index, a drop since the last report. Disappointingly, none of its supply chain is certified by labour standards which ensure worker health and safety, living wages, or other labour rights. While it publishes some information about suppliers, there is no evidence it is on track to pay a living wage, nor did it disclose policies or safeguards to protect suppliers and workers in its supply chain from the impacts of COVID-19. Do better for your people, New Look.
The British brand uses wool from non-mulesed sheep and doesn’t use fur, angora, or exotic animal skin, but it still uses leather, down, and exotic animal hair. It has a formal animal welfare policy aligned with Five Freedoms and has committed to reducing the use of animal products, which is why its animal rating is “It’s A Start”.
Overall rating: Not good enough
Based on information from our research, we rated New Look “Not Good Enough” overall. The brand needs to reduce its environmental impact by producing less, eliminating hazardous chemicals, and setting water usage reduction targets. It also needs to implement its project to improve living wages, be more transparent with its customers about its practices, and source alternative eco and animal-friendly fabrics for its production line. 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.
Luckily, the Good On You team racked their brains and found some ethical alternatives to New Look. Have a look below.
Ethical alternatives to New Look