Yes, & Other Stories is a fast fashion brand.
& Other Stories is multinational clothing retailer, with 76 stores in 24 markets around the world. It is part of the H&M Group, who has more than 120,000 employees, and over 2,000 factories worldwide. H&M Group was founded by white Swedish businessman Erling Persson, and now predominantly owned by his son, Stefan Persson (worth £18.5 billion).
& Other Stories is a fast fashion brand due to the speed of production and scale of clothes that it sells.
Fashion Revolution Transparency Rating: 66/100
Good On You Sustainability Rating: 3/5
Remake Fashion Accountability Report Rating: 39/150
Additional Reasons Why & Other Stories Is A Fast Fashion Brand
Over the past few years, & Other Stories, and its parent company H&M Group, have repeatedly demonstrated that they do not care for their staff, garment workers, or impact on the planet:
- Good On You reports that “almost none of [& Other Stories’] supply chain is certified by labour standards which ensure worker health and safety, living wages or other labour rights.”
- H&M Group’s transparency rating has slowly declined, ranking at 73/100 in 2020, 68/100 in 2021, and now 66/100 in 2022, according to Fashion Revolution’s Fashion Transparency Index.
- In 2022, H&M Group was found to have multiple links to JBS, a Brazilian firm responsible for much of the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest through cattle rearing and leather production.
- In the same year, the Changing Markets Foundation found that 96% of H&M’s green claims were greenwashed.
- In the UK, H&M stores reported a gender pay gap of 43% in 2021, meaning that women earn 57p for every £1 that men earn when comparing median hourly pay.
- In Remake’s Fashion Accountability Report 2021, they question H&M Group’s ideals of “sustainability for all,” which “greenwashes its existing business model of churning out increasing volumes of clothes made with slightly less damaging materials”.
- Between 2020 and 2021, the brand removed their Supplier Compliance data from their Supplier List, meaning it is no longer possible to see whether all comply (or in the case of previous years, do not comply).
- In 2020, H&M announced aims to “reach net zero by 2040“, 10 years after the impending climate crisis based on UN predictions.
- In the same year, H&M stopped paying its contracted garment factories using covid-19 as an excuse. After external pressure, they promised to pay their garment factories – but the incident should never have happened in the first place.
- In 2019, H&M was caught suspending employees in New Zealand who were campaigning for a living wage. Conversely, in 2013, H&M’s Global Head of Sustainability committed to paying their garment workers a living wage by 2018 but it still doesn’t pay them a living wage either.
- In 2017, clothes sold in H&M stores (and its sister brands, such as & Other Stories) were found to have been made by 14 year old children in Myanmar for as little as 13p per hour.
- In 2016, H&M Group allegedly tried to overshadow Fashion Revolution Week and the Rana Plaza Disaster by launching ‘World Recycling Week’ across the same week.
Sustainable Alternatives To & Other Stories
If you’re looking to stop shopping at & Other Stories, I recommend similar designs at Arkitaip, Before July*, Clementine, Meadows*, Ninety Percent*, as well as more general options in my guide to 150+ sustainable fashion brands, and of course, shopping on 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. All information is assumed correct at date of publication. Last updated: September 2022.