15 Dec

How Do the Biggest Luxury Streetwear Brands Rate?

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How ethical are the major luxury streetwear brands? Sadly, most of them aren’t doing enough to lower their impact on the Earth and its inhabitants. Read the article to find out how each of the most famous streetwear brands score.

As usual, the biggest brands are doing the least

Streetwear is all the rage at the moment. And while streetwear is often associated with logo-heavy sweatshirts, graphic tees, and grandpa sneakers, in reality, it’s a blend of a variety of styles, from informal leisurewear to the more tailored workwear, and can often include thrifted pieces (yay, sustainability). In the last few years, streetwear has been gaining ground, and many luxury houses jumped on the streetwear bandwagon, looking to innovate and attract new audiences. Luxury streetwear was born.

But while these big streetwear brands (think popular brands like Supreme, Demna Gvasalia’s Vetements, or OFF-WHITE) know how to produce inspiring and trendy designs for the luxury market, how are they impacting people, the planet, and animals?

Today, we’re diving a little deeper to help you see what’s really happening with these major luxury streetwear brands. And while a few brands rate “Good” overall, sadly, the biggest and most well-known brands aren’t doing enough to lower their impact on the Earth and its inhabitants.

Keep reading to find out how the major luxury streetwear brands rate for people, the planet, and animals.

How the major luxury streetwear brands rate for people, the planet, and animals

The “Good” streetwear brands we recommend

RÆBURN

Rated: Good

British streetwear brand RÆBURN makes an art out of upcycling. This is a fashion-forward brand that creates sharp looks from military surplus, with materials that include 1950s Airforce silk maps, and Danish military wool blankets. It also offers free repairs so you can take care of your precious investment pieces.

Find most of the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop RÆBURN @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop RÆBURN @ Farfetch.

Shop RÆBURN.

Stella McCartney

Rated: Good

Stella McCartney has set some excellent environmental standards across the luxury fashion industry. While it might not be the first brand that comes to mind when thinking about streetwear, Stella McCartney has released a few streetwear inspired collections in the past, including its unisex Stella McCartney Shared line, or its Spring Summer 2023 capsule with Japanese designer Yoshitomo Nara. The brand uses some more eco-friendly materials, including recycled polyester and organic cotton, and has a strategy in place to reduce waste across its entire supply chain. It has also adopted the ETI Code of Conduct that includes a living wage definition.

Find most items in sizes 2XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Stella McCartney @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Stella McCartney Kids Pre-Owned @ Retykle.

Shop Stella McCartney Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Stella McCartney.

Balenciaga

Rated: Good

Similarly to Stella McCartney, Balenciaga’s main focus isn’t streetwear. But the brand has been making moves in this direction, introducing streetwear codes into its luxury collections, especially since the arrival of Demna Gvasalia, co-founder of Vetements. The French Kering-owned brand has been making some good efforts to reduce its environmental impact over the years, setting targets to reduce its direct and indirect emissions, and implementing initiatives to reduce water use. It has also recently paid more attention to its labour conditions and animal welfare policies by phasing out harmful animal materials and encouraging diversity and inclusion in its direct operations.

Find the range in 2XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Balenciaga.

The streetwear brands “We Avoid”

As consumers, we have the right to know how the products we buy (and queue for hours to get in some cases) affect the issues we care about. The brands listed below do not communicate sufficient information about their environmental and labour policies, which is why we gave these brands the overall rating “We Avoid”.

Heron Preston

Rated: We Avoid

Heron Preston is an eponymous label launched in 2017 by artist, creative director, content creator, clothing designer, and DJ, Heron Preston. Unfortunately, the brand rates “Very Poor”, our lowest rating, for people and planet, and “Not Good Enough” for animals, due to the fact it doesn’t use fur, angora, or exotic animal skin. This means Heron Preston’s overall rating is “We Avoid” due to its lack of transparency and initiatives to reduce its impact on people, the planet, and animals.

See the rating.

OFF-WHITE

Rated: We Avoid

OFF-WHITE was created by Virgil Abloh in 2012, and soon skyrocketed the hip hop style into the world of couture at an unprecedented rate. The brand is known for collaborating with other famous labels like Nike, Levi, Jimmy Choo, and even IKEA, and is now worn by the likes of Jay-Z, Gigi Hadid, Beyonce, and Rihanna. It seemingly filled the niche for exclusive streetwear targeted at younger consumers and boasts almost 11 million Instagram followers, earning itself cult-status as one of the world’s most popular luxury brands. So, how ethical is OFF-WHITE? We rated the brand “We Avoid” overall. The brand is not transparent enough and provides no evidence it is providing fair labour conditions for its workers.

See the rating.

Vetements

Rated: We Avoid

Founded in 2014 by Guram Gvasalia and Demna Gvasalia, now creative director of Balenciaga, Vetements quickly became one of the most talked-about labels in fashion. The brand is known for its untraditional approach to high fashion: the big hit from the brand’s Spring Summer 2016 collection was a modified yellow DHL t-shirt. Unfortunately, Vetements’ lack of transparency is very much in line with fashion’s traditional opacity. “We Avoid”.

See the rating.

Stüssy

Rated: We Avoid

Stüssy is a Californian surfwear-inspired fashion house founded in the early 1980s. Sadly, the brand provides insufficient relevant information about how it reduces its impact on people, the planet, or animals, which is why it’s rated “We Avoid”. You have a right to know how the products you buy affect the issues you care about.

See the rating.

Supreme

Rated: We Avoid

Founded in 1994, Supreme has grown to embody downtown culture. Working with generations of artists from various backgrounds, Supreme has established itself as an institution, known for its quality, style, and authenticity. Unfortunately, Supreme does not provide sufficient information about reducing its impact, which is why it rates “Very Poor” on environmental impact, labour conditions, and animal welfare. As consumers, we have the right to know how the products we buy (and queue for hours to get) affect the issues we care about. Because Supreme is very opaque, we gave the brand the overall rating “We Avoid”.

See the rating.

Check out our favourite “Good” and “Great” brands to achieve the streetwear look

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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