Is Motel a Fast Fashion Brand?

Screenshot of Motel website

Yes, Motel is a fast fashion brand.

Motel (also known as Motel Rocks) is an online clothing retailer focusing on ‘vintage and printed’ styles of clothing. It is predominantly aimed at teenagers. As of 2020, the brand is worth around £2 million.

On the brand’s site, they have surprisingly little to say on who founded the brand, other than “Motel was created after the brand founders set out on a road trip of freedom, discovery and fun across the west coast of America”.

I wonder if Motel’s hidden garment workers enjoy that same freedom, discovery, and fun? Sadly there’s not a single mention of them on the site, nor Motel’s Code of Conduct, or sustainability principles.

In reality, Motel was founded in 1999 as a wholesaler for cheap clothing by white British businessmen William and Peter Giles. The brand has since evolved into an online fast fashion brand.

On Peter Giles’ LinkedIn, he boasts that “new Motel lines are available on a weekly basis“, which places them at the forefront of fast fashion.

In fact, here’s a video where Peter Giles says they create 11 seasons per year, and that it’s their speed of their production that sets the brand apart. Not the designs, not the quality… the speed.

Fast fashion, pure and simple.

If you’re going to shop for vintage style clothing, why not check out my guides to vintage fashion and second-hand shopping?

Transparency Rating: N/A
Sustainability Rating: 1/5

This snippet is part of a larger guide to UK fast fashion brands, which goes into more detail about the issues with fast fashion, why it will never be sustainable, and how to make your wardrobe more sustainable.

Data for this review is taken from the brand’s website, corporate website, and Wikipedia. The Transparency Rating is from Fashion Transparency Index 2020. The Sustainability Rating is from Good On You.


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