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Someone in a white silky top with the word Witchery overlaid in white above a row of emoji faces with the sad face highlighted.
30 Apr
Someone in a white silky top with the word Witchery overlaid in white above a row of emoji faces with the sad face highlighted.

How Ethical Is Witchery?

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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.

Environmental impact

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.

Labour conditions

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.

Animal welfare

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.

See the rating.

Good swaps

“Good” and “Great” alternatives to Witchery that might meet your style, budget, or location needs.

Neu Nomads

Rated: Good
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Neu Nomads is a Brooklyn-based more sustainable women’s fashion brand, offering loungewear and travel essentials. It is female owned and operated, and works every day to create beautiful, wearable clothing that leaves a lighter footprint on the environment.

Find the clothes in sizes XS-L.

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Armedangels

Rated: Great

Innovative, responsible, and on-trend. Germany’s Armedangels gets a top score overall from us. The brand covers all the basics in womenswear, menswear, and kidswear. Armedangels' quality and long-lasting pieces are made from lower-impact and certified materials, like Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. The brand also adopted the Fair Wear Foundation Code of Conduct to protect its workers abroad.

Its products are available in sizes XS-XL.

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Boody

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Founded in Australia by two best friends, Boody is a clothing brand with comfort, style, and health at its core. It creates comfortable, thoughtfully-made everyday essentials made from organically grown bamboo. It reduces waste through lower-waste cutting techniques and using a closed-loop system in its supply chain, supporting the green and ethical movement.

Find the range in sizes XS-4XL.

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People Tree

Rated: Great

Conscious fashion pioneer and leader People Tree is a seriously more responsible brand. It uses lower-impact materials and addresses labour risks by adopting the Fairtrade International - Small Producers Organisations Code of Conduct.

Find most products in UK sizes 6-18.

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Dawn Denim

Rated: Great

Dawn Denim is a German denim brand that features jeans that fit our times. The brand strives to empower women to change the way clothes are made, sold and worn. Making your butt look good in jeans is a welcomed side-effect.

Find the jeans in XS-3XL.

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Whimsy + Row

Rated: Good

Whimsy + Row is a US-based lifestyle brand born out of a love for quality goods and responsible practices. Since 2014, its mission has been to provide ease and elegance for the modern woman. Whimsy + Row utilises deadstock fabric, and by limiting each garment to short runs, the brand also reduces packaging waste and takes care of precious water resources.

Find most products in XS-XL, with an extended sizing range up to 3XL.

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Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash, 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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