Yes, New Look is a fast fashion brand.
New Look is a British high street fashion retailer, founded in 1969 by British Indian businessman Tom Singh (worth £340 million). It has over 900 stores internationally, and brings in around £1.2 billion in revenue (making £19.8 million profit in 2019).
New Look’s clothes are cheap, and notably ‘short-lived’ products according to Good On You. I grew up wearing New Look clothes (as the only modern retail store at my local shopping centre) and can agree with this statement.
When it comes to sustainability, the brand is actively working to improve its transparency, and this is reflected in its Fashion Transparency Index score below. I appreciated the clarity with which New Look lists its 572 Tier 1 factory partners (page now hidden) and the supply chain graphic they share on their corporate site:
However, there’s more to be done – New Look’s approximate 360 lesser tier factories were simply dumped into a spreadsheet without any analysis at all.
And it’s still hard to tell whether Tier 1 suppliers are compliant with their Ethical Aims, and even within this they consider child labour to be under 15 years of age – so yes, children make their clothes.
One thing I did appreciate is that New Look have openly declared their awareness of climate change, and what they’re doing to reduce their impact (if only across their direct operations, and not the 900+ factories they source from). Now, if only they could see how their cheap clothes are contributing to climate change…
In late 2022, New Look was found to be sourcing polyester from a manufacturer using Russian oil despite the illegal war on Ukraine.
Transparency Rating: 43/100
Sustainability Rating: 2/5
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.