24 Nov

How Ethical Is UNIF?

UNIF is an LA-based online family-owned fashion brand founded in 2010. But, how exactly does UNIF impact the planet, people, and animals? How ethical is UNIF? Let’s take a look.

 

UNIF (an acronym for “Ur Not In Fashion”) is an LA-based online fashion brand founded in 2010 by designers Eric Espinoza and Christine Lai.

UNIF has a bold aesthetic, taking inspiration from the ’90s grunge and punk scenes, with a dash of Y2K and vintage vibes.

On its Instagram page (boasting 1 million followers), the brand proudly states it is family owned and operated and does not mass produce, which sounds impressive and right up our alley.

So, how exactly does UNIF impact the planet, people, and animals? How ethical is UNIF?

How sustainable is UNIF?

Usually, in our “How Ethical Is…?” articles, we take a look at the brand’s rating and break it down so that you know more about how a brand is performing across the three key areas of Environmental Impact, Labour Conditions, and Animal Welfare.

Browsing the brand’s website, we found cotton t-shirts “made in LA”, as well as “imported” polyester and rayon dresses, faux fur jackets, and leather shoes. Otherwise, we couldn’t find any relevant information about the brand’s products or how it produces its items.

There’s not much to say or dissect about UNIF’s ethical and sustainable practices. We found nothing, zero, nada. UNIF provides insufficient relevant information about how it reduces its impact on our three key areas of the Planet, People, and Animals.

As a result, we gave UNIF our lowest possible score, “We Avoid”. As a shopper, you have the right to know how UNIF production practices impact the planet, people, and animals.

UNIF might be family owned and operated, and it might not mass produce, but it needs to start disclosing more information about how, where, and by whom its items are made, as well as the materials used. Transparency is crucial to ethical and sustainable fashion and is the first step towards reducing a businesses’ impact.

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.

See the rating.

Good swaps

For that trendy look minus the secrecy, we tracked down some ethical alternatives to UNIF:

Afends

Rated: Good

Afends is an Australia-based fashion brand leading the way in organic hemp fashion, using renewable energy in its supply chain to reduce its climate impact. You can find the full range in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Afends.

Unrecorded

Rated: Good

Unrecorded is an independent clothing brand from the Netherlands that represents a new wave of unisex brands that are rebelling against the nature of fast fashion. Unrecorded is passionate about style, and produces apparel using eco-friendly materials. Its range includes items that are all year round essentials suitable for any wardrobe, available in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Unrecorded.

Yes And

Rated: Good
two women wearing yes and sustainable clothing

YES AND aims to banish the stigma that sustainable fashion has to sacrifice style, quality, fit, color, comfort or price. With this US-based brand you can actually have it all, and more: it is certified organic, low-impact dyed, and ethically made! You can find most items in sizes XS to XL.

See the rating.

Shop Yes And.

Plant Faced Clothing

Rated: Good

Streetwear without sweatshops, that's the motto of this British 100% plant-based, ethical, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free streetwear apparel brand. Buy Plant Faced Clothing in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Plant Faced Clothing.

Nube

Rated: Great

Nube turns recycled plastic into responsible and fashionable activewear, designed and made in the US. The brand partners with artists and designers around the world to create prints motivated by the environmental crisis that inspire connection and action. This fully woman-owned business uses a closed-loop manufacturing process by recycling all off-cuts created during the manufacturing process. Find Nube products in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Nube.

Shop Nube @ Curate.

NAE

Rated: Good

NAE is a Portuguese footwear, bags, and accessories brand using innovative materials to create goods with “No Animal Exploitation”. Its sustainable materials include recycled PET from bottles, OEKO-TEX® certified microfibres, recycled car tyres, natural cork, recycled thermoplastic, and even pineapple leaf fibre! Find most of the shoes in sizes 36 to 46.

See the rating.

Shop NAE.

Shop NAE @ Staiy.

Shop NAE @ Urbankissed.

Editor's note

Feature image via UNIF, 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 more than 3,000 brands. We may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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