Yes, Amazon is a fast fashion brand.
Amazon is a global e-commerce website that sells its own products alongside third-party brands and retailers. Amazon Fashion is a subsection of the Amazon site, promoting its own Amazon Essentials brand alongside others. Amazon was founded by white American businessman Jeff Bezos (worth $199.6 billion) and is owned by shareholders. The company made $386 billion in revenue in 2020.
Amazon is a fast fashion brand due to the speed and sheer scale of the clothes it sells.
Fashion Revolution Transparency Rating: 27/100
Ethical Consumer Score: 0/15
Good On You Sustainability Rating: 2/5
Additional Reasons Why Amazon Is A Fast Fashion Brand
Since its inception, Amazon has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not care for its staff, garment workers, or impact on the planet:
- Amazon is America’s #1 fashion retailer, with an estimated 12% market share for all apparel sold in the US, and 35% share of all fashion sold online.
- Amazon is also the world’s biggest offender for tax avoidance, reducing its paid tax by £75 billion globally.
- In 2021, Amazon was accused of union-busting, continuing its poor working conditions and denial of union rights.
- In the same year, Jeff Bezos’ announced philanthropic efforts to support the planet through a $10 billion commitment via the Earth Fund, yet Amazon itself emits 44.4 million tonnes of CO2 per year and this commitment wouldn’t even cover the cost of the UK transitioning away from fossil fuels.
- The main operating arm of Amazon in the UK, Amazon UK Services Ltd, has a gender pay gap of 1.6%, meaning women earn 98p for every £1 that men earn when comparing median hourly pay, but its sister businesses report gender pay gaps ranging up to 16%.
- Greenpeace estimates that in just one week in one UK warehouse Amazon sends around 130,000 products to be destroyed. Amazon has 21 warehouses in the UK, meaning that figure could be up to 2,730,000 products every week. (Sign their petition to end this waste)
- In 2020, Amazon stopped paying their garment factories using the excuse of covid-19 to flout existing contracts. After external pressure they agreed to Pay Up, it did not go on to agree to keeping its own-label garment workers safe or sign the Transparency Pledge.
- In the same year, Amazon failed to sign the new International Accord for garment workers, putting their garment workers lives at risk.
- In 2019, Amazon was found to fund climate denial groups.
- In the same year, 1,800 Amazon employees participated in a walkout as part of the Global Climate Strike, protesting Amazon’s environmental impact and inaction to climate change.
- Amazon has been accused of copying successful brands and products that are listed on their site, making these available for less than the original and killing off small brands who use Amazon for its wide customer reach. It has been found to do this in India, but has been accused in other regions too.
…Do I need to go on?
Sustainable Alternatives To Amazon
If you’re looking to stop shopping at Amazon, I recommend following Ethical Consumer’s guide on shopping without Amazon, as well as my guide to 150+ sustainable fashion brands and my favourite second-hand fashion sites.
This post 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, Wikipedia, and sites linked throughout. The Transparency Rating is from Fashion Transparency Index 2021. All information is assumed correct at date of publication.