Prada was founded in Milan in 1913 by Mario Prada as a luxury leather goods brand. But it’s only in 1978 when Mario Prada’s granddaughter, Muccia, took charge that the label really took off. Since then, Prada has become one of the most iconic fashion brands out there—it’s often associated with cutting edge style and traditional yet modern sophistication. It’s no wonder the Devil wears Prada!
Buuut, Prada has also recently been slammed for designing and selling accessories that the Internet has described as having a “resemblance to racist caricatures historically used to dehumanise black people.” Yikes.
The brand has since said it’s committed “to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the company and the fashion industry as a whole“, but what about Prada’s sustainability initiatives? How is Prada impacting the planet, people, and animals?
You know the drill:
How ethical and sustainable is Prada?
Prada’s environmental rating is ‘Not Good Enough’. First, it uses few eco-friendly materials. Second, we found no evidence it minimises textile waste or that it implements water reduction initiatives. And finally, while Prada complies with its own Restricted Substances List, there is no evidence it has taken meaningful action to eliminate hazardous chemicals. Whoops.
Unfortunately, Prada is also ‘Not Good Enough’ when it comes to labour conditions. Most of Prada’s final stage of production is undertaken in Italy, a medium risk country for labour abuse. Still, the brand lacks transparency as it does not publish a list of suppliers or information about forced labour, gender equality, or freedom of association. More importantly, we found no evidence that Prada ensures payment of a living wage in its supply chain, nor has adequate policies or safeguards to protect suppliers and workers in its supply chain from the impacts of COVID-19. So much for that ‘equity’!
Prada uses leather, wool, down, angora, exotic animal skin and hair, AND we found no evidence the brand has a policy to minimise the suffering of animals. Prada did commit to eliminating fur, but that’s not enough for us to give Prada a rating higher than ‘Very Poor’ for animal welfare.
Overall Rating: Not Good Enough
So, how ethical is Prada? We rate Prada ‘Not Good Enough’ based on our own research. The Italian brand has still a long way to go before we can consider it ethical and sustainable. Prada needs to use more eco-friendly materials and reduce its use of hazardous chemicals and water. It also needs to start disclosing more information about its practices and start paying its workers a living wage!
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.
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