08 Oct

How Ethical Is Victoria’s Secret?

Victoria’s Secret was founded by Roy Raymond, and his wife Gaye Raymond, in San Francisco in 1977, as a response to packaged underwear, which Raymond considered to be “ugly, floral-print nylon nightgowns”. Four decades later, Victoria’s Secret has become the largest American retailer of women’s lingerie, sold in more than 1,600 stores worldwide thanks to its celebrated supermodels and a world-famous runway show. But how does the iconic brand impact the Planet, People and Animals? We wonder, how ethical is Victoria’s Secret?

Planet

Victoria’s Secret’s does not use eco-friendly materials in its collection, which is why its rating is ‘Not Good Enough’. What’s more, we found no evidence it has set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. It has, however, set a deadline for the elimination of hazardous chemicals by 2020 and it complies with a Restricted Substances List. The brand also has water reduction initiatives but has not set a specific reduction target. Finally, it reports to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

People

Based on the 2018 Ethical Fashion Report, we also gave the brand’s labour conditions a ‘Not Good Enough’ rating. In fact, it has no worker empowerment initiatives such as collective bargaining or rights to make a complaint. It traces some of its supply chain including a proportion of the final stage of production, which is good, but it audits only a small proportion of its traced facilities. It has a Code of Conduct that covers some of the [ILO] principles however it has made little to no progress towards ensuring payment of a living wage.

Overall Rating: Not Good Enough

Rated: Not Good Enough

Victoria’s Secret’s overall rating is ‘Not Good Enough’, based on its environmental impact and labour conditions. As the brand makes products that are generally free of animal materials, we did not rate its impact on animals.

To improve its score, Victoria’s Secret needs to incorporate more environmentally friendly materials in its designs, set specific reduction targets for water and gas emissions reduction as well as ensure its workers are paid a living wage!

But if you are looking for new and cool underwear or loungewear, do not fear, we found ‘Good’ and ‘Great’ alternatives to Victoria’s Secret, have a look below:

Editor's note: All images via brands mentioned

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