28 Jan

How Ethical Is Off-White?

It’s the brand on everyone’s lips: founded in 2013 by Virgil Abloh, Off-White has grown to become one of the most talked about luxury streetwear brands on the market.

The Milan-based label is rooted in the current culture, aiming to be “a young brand embracing the now in a sophisticated manner”.

Abloh, who was appointed as Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of menswear in 2018, has shaken up the fashion industry. The American designer/DJ/stylist, rose to prominence as Kanye West’s creative director. His popular brand is worn by the likes of Jay-Z, A$AP Rocky, Beyonce and Rihanna. But how does it impact the planet, people and animals? How ethical is Off-White?

Environmental Impact: Very Poor

Off-White rating is very poor. The brand fails to publish sufficient relevant information about its environmental policies. Transparency is the first step towards sustainability, and as shoppers, we have the right to know how a brand’s production and practices impact on the environment.

Labour Conditions: Not Good Enough

The brand manufactures in Milan, a low to medium risk region for labour rights. However, there is no evidence of a Code of Conduct and of a living wage. We also didn’t find evidence of listing of names or addresses of any suppliers, or of auditing any parts of the supply chain, which is why we rated Off-White’s labour conditions ‘Not Good Enough’.

Animal Welfare: Not Good Enough

Abloh’s label still uses leather, wool and exotic animal hair, although it doesn’t use fur, down, exotic animal skin or angora.

Overall Rating: Not Good Enough

Rated: Not Good Enough

We rated Off-White ‘Not Good Enough’ based on information from our own research. The brand is not transparent enough and provides no evidence it is providing fair labour conditions for its workers.

To get a better rating, Off-White needs to communicate more on its practices, reduce its use of animal materials and implement a Code of Conduct, ensuring its workers a living wage and safe working conditions.

Luckily, the Good On You team has found some equally trendy and cool alternatives to Off-White, so you can bring your best luxury streetwear game while doing good for the planet, people and animals.

Editor's note: feature image via Off-White, other images via brands mentioned.

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.