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French brand Sezane is known for its romantic designs. But how is it impacting our planet and its inhabitants? How ethical is Sezane? Let’s dive into the brand’s “Not Good Enough” rating, which was published in March 2023 and may not reflect claims the brand has made since then. Our ratings analysts are constantly rerating the thousands of brands you can check on our directory.
Behind Sezane’s Parisian chic facade
Founded in 2013 by Morgane Sézalory, Sezane has quickly gained recognition as a trendy French fashion brand renowned for its timeless elegance. With its romantic designs and Parisian charm, Sezane has captured the hearts of almost 3 million fashion enthusiasts on Instagram.
But what lies behind Sezane’s chic facade? How is Sezane impacting people, the planet, and animals? In short, how ethical is Sezane?
We rate Sezane”Not Good Enough” for its impact on the planet. The brand has implemented some positive initiatives, such as incorporating lower-impact materials like organic cotton.
Sezane’s commitment to better materials is commendable but not enough.
We found no evidence that suggests Sezane has set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, which limits the brand’s ability to address its carbon footprint effectively.
While Sezane has made some progress in eliminating certain hazardous chemicals from its manufacturing processes, it has yet to formally commit to eliminating all hazardous chemicals. Taking comprehensive action to remove these harmful substances is crucial for
ensuring a safer and more sustainable production chain.
Finally, we found no evidence Sezane is actively taking measures to protect biodiversity within its supply chain. Preserving biodiversity is a critical aspect of environmental responsibility, and brands should prioritise its conservation.
On the labour side, sadly, Sezane isn’t doing any better. While some of the brand’s final production stages are certified by the Business Social Compliance Initiative Code of Conduct (BSCI) and the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) Best Practice Guidance, this represents only a portion of its supply chain.
There’s also no evidence the brand actively supports diversity and inclusion within its supply chain or that it provides financial security to its suppliers, which can result in poor working conditions and wages, posing significant challenges to workers’ well being and livelihoods.
More importantly, we couldn’t find evidence that Sezane ensures workers in its supply chain receive a living wage. Workers in all industries deserve to be paid enough to ensure they and their loved ones can live a life of safety, health, and dignity. Fashion, in particular, is notorious for unfair wages, problematic “piece rate” payments, and even forced and child labour.
While there is no globally agreed-upon definition of a living wage, organisations like The Asia Floor Wage Alliance and the Global Living Wage Coalition are two widely accepted methodologies used to calculate minimum living wages.
Finally, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sezane did not disclose adequate policies or safeguards to protect workers in its supply chain from the virus and its impacts.
We also rate Sezane “Not Good Enough” for its impact on animals. While the brand has published a general statement about minimising animal suffering, it does not have a formal animal welfare policy.
Sezane doesn’t use down, fur, angora, or exotic animal skin, which is a good first step, but it still uses wool (some of it certified by the Responsible Wool Standard), leather, shearling, exotic animal hair, and silk, with no guarantee these animal-derived materials are traced even to the first production stage.
Overall rating: Not Good Enough
Sezane has taken some encouraging first steps in a better and more sustainable direction, like using more responsible materials, reducing its use of animal-derived ones, and certifying some of its supply chain. But unfortunately, this is not enough for us to give Sezane a rating higher than “Not Good Enough”. Sezane has a lot of work to do, such as setting clear targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, intensifying its commitment to eliminating hazardous chemicals, ensuring its workers are paid a living wage, and eliminating harmful animal-derived materials from its collections.
Note that Good On You ratings consider hundreds 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.
If you love Sezane’s French aesthetic, we’ve found some better alternatives to help out. Also be sure to check out our articles on responsible Parisian brands, French brands, and how to get the Parisienne look more sustainably.
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