I’m back with an update to my big Fast Fashion Brands Guide! Last year I researched over 70 fast fashion brands and listed out their problems, starting with sheer overproduction, and spilling the tea on more specific exploitative practices.
This year, I’m back with my detective magnifying glass, and have updates on these brands, as well as new brands to add to the list. Scroll on to find out which other brands count as fast fashion, and why it’s worth avoiding them as well…
A Reminder: Fast Fashion Will Never Be Sustainable
The mainstream fashion industry is not sustainable, and never will be. I say this because of how broken the fashion system is – its scale of production and promotion of consumption is huge. It relies on the exploitation of workers, whether they are unprotected by weak laws and policies in the Global South, or experience pay below the minimum wage here in the UK. Fashion tends to operate without transparency to avoid responsibility. Its impact on the environment is huge. And it follows on a linear system, rather than a circular one.
As Greta Thunberg pointedly stated for Vogue Scandinavia in August: “Many are making it look as if the fashion industry are starting to take responsibility, by spending fantasy amounts on campaigns where they portray themselves as ”sustainable”, ”ethical”, ”green”, ”climate neutral” and ”fair”. But let’s be clear: This is almost never anything but pure green washing.”
How To Make Your Approach To Fashion More Sustainable
Fashion is something we’re all part of – we all wear clothes. Whether you love fashion or not, there are a number of ways we can change our behaviour towards fashion to make it more sustainable:
- Reduce your own purchases – bookmark items, wait for a while before purchasing, and ask yourself if you’ll wear the item 30 ways or more.
- Suss out your style, so you feel comfortable and confident in your clothes, and can curate a wardrobe that is cohesive and timeless, avoiding than one-off trend-led purchases you may not wear as much.
- Switch to second-hand sites as your first place to start shopping, and if you can’t find it second-hand, go for small, sustainable brands instead.
(…And it goes without saying, but please try to avoid the following brands!)
42 More Fast Fashion Brands To Avoid In 2021
So, let’s get into the new list of fast fashion brands. These are in addition to the existing fast fashion brands I researched last year, and I’ve also updated that list if you prefer to look through all the brands there.
Within this list, you can click on each brand to find out why I class this brand as fast fashion, as well as details on the brands’ founders, worth, scandals, and ratings:
Methodology & Useful Links
To ensure the facts included in the posts about each brand are accurate, I used the following sites for information:
- The brands’ own websites
- The brands’ corporate websites and reports
- Companies House for British businesses’ accounts and filings
- Transparency Rating: Fashion Transparency Index 2021
- Sustainability Rating: Good On You directory
I’ve also gone further this year, consulting the following resources for these new brands, and I will be periodically updating the previous posts with information from these services too:
- Clean Clothes Campaign’s Brand Checker
- Ethical Consumer‘s Brand Ratings & Research
- Remake / PayUp’s Brand Tracker
- UK Government’s Gender Pay Gap Service
Brands I Considered, But Didn’t Add To The List (Yet)
I wanted to round off this post by noting that there are a few brands that have entered the sphere of marketing themselves as sustainable fashion (or with similar green claims), so I’m planning on investigating these more deeply in future posts. These brands include:
- Happy Socks
If you have any others you’d like me to look into, drop them in the comments and I’ll be sure to add them to the list!
I own a new clothing rental company based out of Los Angeles and I’d love to talk more about a number of issues and topics, specifically, going through our existing brand list, as none of them we’re on this list. Love your content, appreciate the work you’re doing.
Thanks Heather – I’d love to learn more about your fashion rental company! Pop me an email or DM sometime.
Really interesting read, and shocking read. Do you have a list of those brands that aren’t green washing I can support?
Thanks Saz – it’s never fun to find out some of the atrocities that these brands have done. Here’s a list of more sustainable brands that I recommend: https://www.curiouslyconscious.com/2020/12/best-sustainable-fashion-brands-uk.html/
Great read & will be sharing, John Lewis & Waitrose? I need to know more…how about Sweaty Betty & Free People?
Thanks Lisa! If you click on either John Lewis or Waitrose, it’ll take you through as to why they’re on the list, but put briefly they came out with a fast fashion collection just a few weeks ago! Free People are also on my master list here: https://www.curiouslyconscious.com/2020/07/fast-fashion-brands-uk.html/
+ I’ll add Sweaty Betty as one to look into in my next update!