Is Banana Republic A Fast Fashion Brand?

Banana Republic flag outside shop in New York

Yes, Banana Republic is a fast fashion brand.

Banana Republic is an American fashion retailer with over 400 stores in the U.S., Canada, and around the world. It is owned by Gap Inc., a retail conglomerate that also owns Athleta, Baby GAP, GAP, Hill City, Intermix, Janie & Jack, Old Navy, and Yeezy GAP.

GAP Inc. was founded by husband and wife duo, Donald Fisher and Doris Fisher (worth over $5 billion collectively), and sells high street fashion across its worldwide network of stores, as well as its international websites. As a group, it made over $13 billion in revenue in 2021.

Banana Republic is a fast fashion brand due to the speed of its production and number of clothes that it sells.

Fashion Revolution Transparency Rating: 49/100
Good On You Sustainability Rating: 3/5
Remake Fashion Accountability Report Rating: 6/150

Additional Reasons Why Banana Republic Is A Fast Fashion Brand

  • Banana Republic was started as a travel fashion brand, but was bought out by Gap Inc. in 1983 and was quickly rebranded as a ‘masstige’ – a marketing term combining the words mass and prestige, aiming to sell clothes en masse while elevating the brand overall. This strategy lends itself to a fast fashion model, cutting corners to ensure prices are low enough to appeal ‘to the masses’ while designs look more elevated than they actually are.
  • On Gap Inc.’s corporate website, it uses greenwashing to describe the Banana Republic brand, for example: “Each season we travel the globe in search of the finest materials and sustainability partners to ensure our products deliver style and substance.” What does ‘sustainability partners’ even mean?!
  • In reality, Banana Republic is ‘toeing the line’ when it comes to its environmental policies, according to Remake, by publishing its Tier 1 supply chain and similar activities.
  • Conversely, in 2022, Banana Republic, as part of Gap Inc., did not sign the next iteration of the Bangladesh Agreement, putting its garment workers lives at risk.
  • Despite being a proud American brand, Banana Republic also “allowed its trade group associations to lobby against California’s Garment Worker Protection Act”, attempting to block better worker protections for California-based garment workers.

Sustainable Alternatives To Banana Republic

If you’re looking to stop shopping at Banana Republic, I recommend checking out brands with similar styles and better ethical and sustainable credentials such as Boyish Jeans*, Francis Stories, Mara Hoffman*, Mother of Pearl*, Sézane.

You could also check out my guide to 150+ sustainable fashion brands to find more, or consider searching for second-hand Banana Republic garments 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.


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