As Boohoo has another ethical controversy, so why not support a non-fast fashion brand that’s transparent and ethically made?
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Boohoo, the fast fashion giant is a household name that doesn’t need an introduction. But, its ultra-affordable clothing recently came under fire for an ethical controversy. Clothing made in Pakistan was labeled as ‘Made in the U.K.’ This raises questions about the brand’s commitment to ethical manufacturing practices and has left customers feeling deceived.
As consumers can hold companies responsible by educating ourselves about these situations while also supporting brands whose ethics are aligned with transparency and accountability.
Breaking Promises of Ethical Manufacturing
BBC was one of the first news outlets to break the story that potentially thousands of garments made in South Asia had been relabeled. One incident occurred between January and October 2023 at Boohoo’s flagship Thurmaston Lane factory in Leicester, England where workers removed original labels affecting one in every 250 garments. BBC Panorama’s investigation discovered that Boohoo has been placing ‘Made in the U.K’ labels on clothes manufactured in Pakistan. This misleading labeling practice has led to a significant breach of trust between the brand and its customers.
Boohoo’s management responded to the allegations claiming that the incorrect labeling was a result of a misinterpretation of labelling rules due to “human error.” Critics argue that such a widespread and consistent labeling practice cannot be attributed solely to human error. The brand’s credibility has been further questioned as it declined to provide price figures following the investigation.
Boohoo previously faced criticism in 2017 and 2021 for using suppliers linked to poor working conditions. This recent scandal is another in a string of ethical manufacturing investigations highlighting the retailer’s failure to fulfill its promises of ethical manufacturing. These controversies have had financial repercussions for the brand. Despite being endorsed by celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian and Megan Fox, Boohoo saw its revenue drop by 17% in just six months into 2023. In the UK, the brand’s revenue was down by 19%, and shares dropped by 10% compared to the previous year. Sales projections for 2024 indicate a further decline of between 12% and 17%.
The Importance of Transparency and Sustainability
The Boohoo scandal underscores the importance of transparency and sustainability in the fashion industry. We as consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental and social impact of their purchases, and brands that fail to prioritize ethical manufacturing practices risk losing their trust and loyalty. It is crucial for fashion brands to adopt transparent supply chains, promote fair working conditions, and embrace sustainable production methods to meet the evolving demands of conscious consumers.
How Consumers Drive Change By Supporting Non-Fast Fashion Brands
As consumers, we hold the power to drive change in the fashion industry. By making conscious purchasing decisions and supporting brands that prioritize ethics and sustainability, we can send a clear message to the industry that unethical practices are unacceptable. Additionally, we can raise awareness about these issues and demand greater transparency from fashion brands. Here are four brands The Wellness Feed supports.
Women’s Nile Rib Pant
Women’s Fuzzy V-neck Sweater
Women’s Fine Knit Skirt
Kotn is one of those non fast fashion brands that is on a social mission. Since the launch of their cotton essentials like ribbed tops and polos, Kotn has partnered with organizations that improve the communities where Kotn cotton is sourced from. That means that they partner with a loca NGO based in Egypt to ensure that children of cotton farmers have the opportunity to go to school.
Environmental Impact: Family-run farms in the Nile Delta directly provide the cotton for Kotn’s cozy essentials. Wages are set by the workers and are above fair pay allowing the workers to build careers. Cotton from this region is known for being softer and stronger than elsewhere throughout the world.
Kimberly Trench Coat
Dali Open Oval Ring
Bryce Shoulder Bag
This U.S-based sustainable fashion brand is on a mission to eradicating poverty through providing economic opportunities for women. The company works with entrepreneurs in Ethiopia, Mexico, Peru, and Brazil to manufacture effortless, feminine and timeless leather bags, clothes, shoes and jewelry. ABLE represents all styles, the bold, the chic, and the elegant, bringing something for everyone.
Environmental Impact: ABLE makes its products by hand to reduce its climate impact. Its jewelry is made in Nashville, TN. Some of the materials it uses for its apparel include cotton, viscose, silk, lyocell and much more. However, there is no evidence it minimizes waste and it tries to reduce its use of hazardous chemicals.
Price Range: $34 for a ring, $188 for a bag
Staycation Sleep Pant
Stretch French Terry Curved Hem Short
Daily Twill Pant
Sustainable fashion for the whole family is one of the taglines for this organic cotton and Fair Trade brand. With a mission to become the world’s favorite clothing company, Pact makes packs of socks, underwear and everyday clothing pieces for everyone in your household to wear and love.
Environmental Impact: When you buy organic cotton, you can save 33.3 gallons of water. Pact carefully chooses the farms they partner with to ensure that all of their products are Certified Organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The other seal on their closing is Fair Trade Certified to represent that their factories are improving lives instead of exploiting them and protecting the soil and waterways around them.
Price Range: $14 for briefs, $120 for a sweater dress
Twist Back Dress
EcoWoven Crepe Blouse
Knit Rib Skirt
Treefleece Oversized Zip Hoodie
Comfy basics like crop hoodies and joggers are made with minimal environmental impact. That means that water use, CO2 emissions and textile waste are taken into account. An item like TenTree’s fleece might be made with a combination of organic cotton and recycled polyester to reduce its environmental impact.
Environmental Impact: As the name suggests, with every purchase 10 trees are planted. To date the brand has planted 52 million+ trees. Broken down by region you can see the species of trees planted and the nonprofit that they collaborate with on reforestation proejcts. For instance in Sengal they’ve partner with Trees for the Future to plant 3,500,000 million trees. As a certified B Corporation TenTree has also been honored for their dedication to improving communities.
Price Range: $35 for a t-shirt, $88 for a jumpsuit
The controversy surrounding Boohoo’s unethical labeling practices serves as a wake-up call for the fashion industry. It highlights the need for greater transparency, accountability, and sustainability in the manufacturing and supply chain processes. As consumers, we have the power to influence change by supporting brands that align with our values and advocating for a more responsible fashion industry. Let us strive for a future where fashion is not only stylish but also ethical and environmentally conscious.