For consumers For business
woman wearing brown sweatshirt by newlook
03 Nov
woman wearing brown sweatshirt by newlook

How Ethical Is New Look?

Our editors curate highly rated brands that are first assessed by our rigorous ratings system. Buying through our links may earn us a commission—supporting the work we do. Learn more.


Let’s 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? NOTE: This brand’s rating is under review and subject to change. The article will be updated soon to reflect any changes in scoring.

How ethical is New Look?

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?

Environmental impact

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.

Labour conditions

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.

Animal welfare

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.

See the rating.

Luckily, the Good On You team racked their brains and found some ethical alternatives to New Look. Have a look below.

Good swaps

Ethical alternatives to New Look

People Tree

Rated: Great

Conscious fashion pioneer and leader People Tree is a seriously more responsible brand. It uses lower-impact materials and addresses labour risks by adopting the Fairtrade International - Small Producers Organisations Code of Conduct.

Find most products in UK sizes 6-18.

See the rating.

Shop People Tree EU.

Shop People Tree @ Wearwell.


Rated: Good
A man with a tan-coloured hooded coat looks at the camera.

Thanks to recycled materials like rescued ocean plastic, Ecoalf creates more sustainable fashion with the same quality, design, and technical properties as the best non-recycled ones.

Find the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Ecoalf @ Farfetch.

Shop Ecoalf.


Rated: Great
Asian woman wearing red sleeveless skivvy dress by A.BCH.

A.BCH is a Melbourne-based, Australian-made fashion label for individuals who care about garment provenance. It utilises renewable, organic, and recycled materials.

Find the range in sizes XS-XL, or customise to fit you.

See the rating.

Shop A.BCH.

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.


Rated: Good
Someone in blue collared shirt, beige chinos and vest by ISTO.

Portuguese brand ISTO.’s mandate is simple: create clothes to transcend the seasons and work as staple items in your wardrobe all year round. It has one single collection and pursues quality over quantity to try and make its items permanently available. It uses organic materials and is incredibly transparent in showing you the true cost of your clothes when you go to purchase a piece for your wardrobe.

The range is available in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop ISTO..

Christy Dawn

Rated: Great

Christy Dawn is a minimalist showroom for vintage-inspired women's clothing and footwear, locally made with surplus fabric. The US brand rates "Great", making it a fabulous option for your wardrobe.

Find the clothes in standard sizes XS-XL, or shop the Extended and Petite collections.

See the rating.

Shop Christy Dawn.

Editor's note

Feature image via New Look, 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.

Ethical brand ratings. There’s an app for that.

Wear the change you want to see. Download our app to discover ethical brands and see how your favourites measure up.