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Australian womenswear fashion label Witchery is lacking action across the board. How ethical is Witchery? In this article, we dive into the brand’s “Not Good Enough” rating, which was published in May 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.
Witchery practices cast a bleak spell
Witchery is an Australian womenswear company and part of the Country Road Group. Its clothing is elegant and sophisticated boasting classic colours and cuts. Witchery is known for its White Shirt Campaign, which has raised AU$15m so far for ovarian cancer research. The brand may be investing in important issues in the public sphere, but do its ethics continue behind the scenes? Read on to find out how Witchery treats its workers, the planet, and animals.
Our planet rating evaluates brands based on the environmental policies in their supply chains, from carbon emissions and wastewater to business models and product circularity. Here we rate Witchery “Not Good Enough”.
The brand uses few lower-impact materials, and while it uses renewable energy in its direct operations (such as stores or offices), its greater supply chain gets left behind. There’s also no evidence Witchery is taking meaningful action to reduce water use, nor is it minimising textile waste in its supply chain.
The brand has a long way to go to improve its impact on the environment, including re-evaluating the kinds of materials it uses and the amount of new products it puts out each season.
Workers’ rights are central to our people rating, which assess brands’ policies and practices on everything from child labour to living wages and gender equality. Here Witchery also comes out with a score of “Not Good Enough” based on a few factors.
More than half of Witchery’s final production stage is certified by Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit – SMETA Best Practice Guidance, and during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it disclosed adequate policies to protect workers in its supply chain from the virus. However, the good news ends there. Witchery received a score of only 21-30% in the 2022 Fashion Transparency Index, there’s no evidence it supports diversity and inclusion in its supply chain, and most disappointingly, it doesn’t appear to pay the workers in its supply chain a living wage. Do better, Witchery.
Brands’ animal welfare policies and, where applicable, how well they trace their animal-derived products are the focus of our animals rating. Unfortunately, Witchery also scores “Not Good Enough” for our animal friends.
While the brand has a formal policy aligned with the Five Freedoms of animal welfare, there are no clear implementation mechanisms in place. It appears to use leather, wool, exotic animal hair, and silk. And while it doesn’t appear to use down, fur, angora, or exotic animal skin and traces some animal-derived materials to the first production stage, the brand can certainly improve its transparency here to guarantee the welfare of the animals in its supply chain.
Overall rating: Not Good Enough
We’ve given Witchery a rating of “Not Good Enough” overall based on information from our own research.
Witchery needs to do much more to improve its practices in all areas. While Witchery is making some good efforts with charity in the public-facing aspect of its business, what’s going on behind the scenes is disappointing from an ethics and sustainability point of view.
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.
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