07 Jun

How Ethical Is UNIF?

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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 at the brand’s “Not Good Enough” rating. This article is based on the UNIF rating published in April 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.

Secrecy is not in fashion

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. But it’s worth taking a closer look.

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 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 one of our lowest possible scores, “Not Good Enough”. 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 more ethical and sustainable fashion and is the first step towards reducing a businesses’ impact.

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.

Good swaps

For that trendy look minus the secrecy, we tracked down some “Good” and “Great” alternatives to UNIF.

Afends

Rated: Good
two images of people in tops, shirts and trousers

Offers

People in jackets by Afends.

Afends – Jackets

Expect workwear touches with a redesigned modern vibe. ⁠Exclusives featuring relaxed denims, anoraks, and puffers, designed for you to wear it well.   Exclusive 25% off Jackets with code GOODWINTER25. (Ends: 4 JUL)

Checkout code: GOODWINTER25
Shop now
People in hoodies by Afends.

Afends – New Season Hoods & Crew necks

Pieces to keep you warm through the cooler weather. From the Vintage-inspired, to graphic knits and basics in hemp, organic cotton & recycled fabrics.   Exclusive 25% off New Season Hoods & Crew necks with code GOODWINTER25. (Ends: 4 JUL)

Checkout code: GOODWINTER25
Shop now
People embracing wearing long-sleeved tops by Afends.

Afends – Long-sleeve tops

Timeless staples and hand-drawn motifs. Crafted from combinations of soft-feel recycled fabrics, hemp and blends, for those who like it loud, to the minimal. Exclusive 25% off Long-sleeve tops with code GOODWINTER25. (Ends: 4 JUL)

Checkout code: GOODWINTER25
Shop now
People in white tops and jeans by Afends.

Afends – Pants

Straight from the streets and built to keep your dry and warm during heavy weather. Your pick of on-trend, relaxed, and hugging fits to suit you. Exclusive 25% off Pants with code GOODWINTER25. (Ends: 4 JUL)

Checkout code: GOODWINTER25
Shop now
People in tops, bottoms and accessories by Afends.

Afends – Site-wide

Say hi to the new season with 20% off at AFENDS. Born in 2006 in Byron Bay, it leads the way in hemp fashion with 100% sustainable fabrics. Exclusive 20% off off with code AFENDSGOOD20. (Ends: 7 JUN)

Checkout code: AFENDSGOOD20
Shop now

Born in Byron Bay, Afends is a responsible brand leading the way in hemp fashion. Drawing inspiration from the environment, streetwear, and surf culture, Afends’ mission is to create more sustainable clothing through innovation, action, and positive change. As true hemp advocates, they purchased 100 acres of farmland called Sleepy Hollow to grow their own hemp crops and ignite the hemp revolution.

Find most of the range in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Afends.

Unrecorded

Rated: Good
image of person in shirt, cardigan and trousers by Unrecorded

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 more responsible 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 responsible fashion has to sacrifice style, quality, fit, colour, comfort, or price. With this US-based brand you can actually have it all, and more: it is certified organic, lower-impact dyed, and more ethically made.

You can find most items in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Yes And.

Plant Faced Clothing

Rated: Good

Streetwear without the sweatshops, that's the motto of this British 100% vegan and cruelty-free streetwear apparel brand that is all about promoting a new wave of consciousness that supports the non-harming or exploitation of any beings in fashion production.

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 @ Cerqular.

NAE

Rated: Good

NAE is a Portuguese footwear, bags, and accessories brand using innovative materials to create goods with “No Animal Exploitation”. Its lower-impact 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 36-46.

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 thousands of rated brands.

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