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?
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).
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.