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24 May

How Ethical Is Sezane?

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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?

Environmental impact

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.

Labour conditions

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.

Animal welfare

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.

See the rating.

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.

Good swaps

“Good” and “Great” alternatives to Sezane

Olistic the Label

Rated: Good

Olistic the Label is a French brand that respects people and the environment, creating pieces from 100% natural fibres including silk and wood. Founded in 2018, this luxury brand was born out of a desire to create fashion that is both durable and elegant. Its collections are versatile and distinguish themselves with timeless, seasonless beauty.

Find most items in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Olistic the Label.

Marcia

Rated: Good
two women wearing french brand marcia dresses

Marcia wants to make clothes that rhyme comfy with sexy. All its pieces are carefully studied for multiple purposes: to dress you up during the day and make you twist at night by adding sheer stockings, lipstick traces, or just a dash of perfume. At Marcia, everything is 100% more sustainably made in France.

Items are available in sizes 32-42.

See the rating.

Shop Marcia.

Les Récupérables

Rated: Good

Les Récupérables is a young more responsible fashion brand, made in France. The driving force behind the business is not creating new waste, but rather reusing what has already been produced, hence the name - “The Recoverables”. By embodying this “circular economy”, the brand’s environmental impact is greatly reduced.

Find the collection in sizes S-L.

See the rating.

Shop Les Récupérables.

Dressarte Paris

Rated: Good
custom sustainable design studio, Dressarte Paris.

Dressarte Paris is a custom-made clothing label that curates unique pieces for a worldwide clientele. It sources luxurious surplus and lower-impact fabrics to create a wonderfully chic, more sustainable wardrobe.

Its products are made-to-order, and you can choose from existing sizes or enter in your own measurements for a custom order that not only minimises textile waste but celebrates all sizes.

See the rating.

Shop Dressarte Paris.

Les Sublimes

Rated: Good

Les Sublimes is a modern Parisian brand for women who are environmentally focused. The brand designs easy-to-wear, high-quality pieces, that will make you feel good and confident, any time, anywhere.

Find most items in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Les Sublimes.

LANIUS

Rated: Good
Someone wearing a pink tailored suit jacket and trousers, and someone wearing a colourful sweatshirt and bottoms by LANIUS.

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Woman wearing Lanius denim

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“Love fashion, think organic, be responsible” are the maxims of LANIUS. The German brand uses lower-impact materials, like GOTS certified cotton. All LANIUS facilities are SA8000 certified and it is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation.

LANIUS' clothes are available in EU sizes 34-44.

See the rating.

Shop LANIUS.

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.

Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good

Whimsy + Row is a US-based lifestyle brand born out of a love for quality goods and responsible practices. Since 2014, its mission has been to provide ease and elegance for the modern woman. Whimsy + Row utilises deadstock fabric, and by limiting each garment to short runs, the brand also reduces packaging waste and takes care of precious water resources.

Find most products in XS-XL, with an extended sizing range up to 3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Whimsy + Row.

Shop Whimsy + Row @ Earthkind.

Mother of Pearl

Rated: Good
Someone in maxi dress by Mother of Pearl.

Mother of Pearl is a more sustainable and ethical luxury womenswear and accessories designer brand from the UK that celebrates individuality and authenticity. The brand uses a high proportion of more responsible materials including organic cotton and ensures the payment of a living wage across some of its supply chain.

Find most products in UK sizes 6-16.

See the rating.

Shop Mother of Pearl.

Shop Mother of Pearl @ Rêve en Vert.

Shop Mother of Pearl Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

ABLE

Rated: Good

ABLE is a US-based clothing and accessories brand that works with communities all over the world to make a meaningful impact, producing slow fashion that pays a living wage to women who have faced extraordinary circumstances. It uses lower-impact materials, and reuses water and materials to minimise waste. With thoughtful design and a level of quality that guarantees its products for life, its pieces aren't just an investment for your wardrobe, they are an investment in women around the world.

Find the range in sizes 2XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop ABLE.

Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash, 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.

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