13 May

How Ethical is Old Navy?

Founded in 1994, Old Navy is an American fashion company owned by Gap Inc. The brand, named after a bar in Paris, prides itself in being a less expensive version of Gap, offering “fashion essentials” for all the family. It’s become one of the largest brands in the world, with more than 1000 stores.

But with “prices you can’t believe”, one could not help but wonder how does the brand impact on the environment, people and animals? How ethical is Old Navy?

Environmental Impact

Old Navy is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, but it doesn’t use any eco-friendly materials. Plus, there is no evidence it minimises packaging. It has set an absolute target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2020 but it has not set a supply chain target. The brand has also set a target to eliminate hazardous chemicals by 2020 and it implements water reduction initiatives and publicly reports these targets. For all these reasons we rated its environmental impact ‘It’s A Start’.

Labour Conditions

Based on the 2018 Ethical Fashion Report, Old Navy’s labour rating is also ‘It’s A Start’. It has a Code of Conduct that covers all of the ILO principles however very few of its facilities have worker empowerment initiatives such as collective bargaining or rights to make a complaint. Although the brand traces most of its supply chain and audits some of its traced facilities, it has made little progress towards ensuring payment of a living wage in its supply chain.

Animal Welfare

Old Navy doesn’t use angora or exotic animal skin or hair and states that it uses wool from non-mulesed sheep. But it still uses leather and down without specifying its sources, which is why we rated the brand ‘It’s A Start’ for animal welfare.

Overall Rating: It's A Start

Rated: It's A Start

Based on information from our own research, Old Navy is rated 'It's A Start’. In order to get a better rating, the brand needs to improve its environmental policies by setting proper targets for all its supply chain and by starting to use eco-friendly materials. Old Navy also needs to ensure the payment of a living wage in all its supply chain.

 

Luckily, we’ve found some ‘Good’ and ‘Great’ alternatives to Old Navy!

Editor's note: feature image via Old Navy. All other images via brands mentioned. Good On You has big plans for ethical fashion in 2019! To support our work, we may earn a commission on sales made using our offers code or affiliate links.

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