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High Street Clothes Shops

In this guide, we investigate, score and rank the ethical and environmental record of 52 high street brands.

We also look at the problem with fast fashion, workers' rights, shine a light on the ethics of Boohoo, Shein, and Temu, look at sustainable fabrics, delve into greenwashing, and give some recommended buys.

About Ethical Consumer

This is a shopping guide from Ethical Consumer, the UK's leading alternative consumer organisation. Since 1989 we've been researching and recording the social and environmental records of companies, and making the results available to you in a simple format.

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What to buy

What to look for when buying clothing:

  • Buy fewer clothes. Clothing production can be highly polluting and involve workers’ rights abuses. The fast fashion throwaway model of buying new outfits and wearing them only a handful of times has severe consequences for not only the environment but also human rights. Choose fewer good quality clothes and keep them for life.

  • Secondhand. Buying used clothes from charity shops and other sources is a way of avoiding some of the impacts of the clothing sector. 

  • Organic and Fairtrade. There are many problems associated with cotton production in particular, from the use of forced labour to the widespread use of toxic pesticides. Look for 100% organic and Fairtrade-certified cotton, as well as other more sustainable fibres such as linen.

Subscribe to see which companies we recommend as Best Buys and why 

What not to buy

What to avoid when buying clothing:

  • Synthetic fossil fuel-based fibres. Materials such as polyester are widespread in the fashion sector. These plastic materials are derived from fossil fuels and can shed microfibres, which pollute our bodies, ecosystems, and other animals. Choose fibres such as cotton, linen, and hemp.

  • Animal-based fibres. Millions of animals are killed every year for what is on their bodies. Avoid clothes containing animals used as materials. Unfortunately, often ‘faux’ animal-based fabrics that are made from synthetic materials are not much more ethical.

  • Anything from fast fashion companies. Businesses that are built on a fast turnover of styles all but guarantee a race to the bottom on workers’ rights and the climate

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Score table

Updated live from our research database

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Brand Score(out of 100) Ratings Categories

Our Analysis

One of the first department stores selling ‘mass-produced’ ready-to-wear clothing items opened in the mid-nineteenth century.

Fast-forward to today, and brands such as Shein are reportedly adding 6,000 new styles of clothing to their website every day.

Our previous high street clothing guide (in 2021) zeroed in on fast fashion, and depressingly since then we have seen the emergence of an even more troubling version: ultra-fast fashion. The ‘ultra’ prefix rarely signifies something pleasant these days (ultra-processed, ultra-conservative, etc.), and it's alarming that some industry players looked at fast fashion’s mounting environmental and social costs and thought ‘let’s make it faster’.

Yet here we are, with a further ethical gulf having opened up between ‘traditional’ high street behemoths, which largely remain steadfast in their inaction on the climate and workers’ rights, and ‘ultra-fast’ outlets like Shein and Temu, which appear to be locked into a moral race to the bottom on every imaginable issue (an ultra-marathon perhaps?).

Who's in this guide on ethical and sustainable high street fashion brands?

This guide covers some of the big high street brands with shops you can go in, as well as online brands and some supermarket brands like George at Asda. We cover popular and more established clothing brands like H&M and Marks & Spencer, along with the newer brands like Boohoo, Shein, Temu. We also include some smaller brands like Seasalt and Patagonia.

And with a maximum of 100 points available, it's disappointing to see so many brands in the fashion world scoring between 0 and 5 points, and over half the brands we rated failed to even get 25 points. 

Read on to find out how ethical and sustainable high street clothing brands are (or are not).

Who owns which high street brands?

Many of the brands in this guide share the same company owner. Throughout this guide, reference to these companies encompasses all their brands, unless otherwise stated.

Some of the big fashion groups are listed here with their brands (along with some of their other brands so you can see the extent of their control):

  • ASOS Group: ASOS, Miss Selfridge, Topshop, Topman.
  • Boohoo Group: Boohoo, BoohooMAN, Burton, Coast, Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, Karen Millen, Maine New England, MissPap, Nasty Gal, Oasis, Pretty Little Thing, Wallis, Warehouse.
  • Frasers Group: Agent Provocateur, Everlast, Flannels, Gelert, House of Fraser, Jack Wills, I Saw It First, Karrimor, Lonsdale London, Slazenger, Sports Direct, USA Pro, and Yeomans Outdoors. 
  • H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) Group: ARKET, & Other Stories, COS, H&M, Monki.
  • Inditex Group: Berksha, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Zara

Since we last reviewed high street clothes in 2021, Next Plc has been busy. It bought a number of brands in the last couple of years including a majority stake in Gap UK, JoJo Maman Bébé, Joules, Reiss, and Victoria’s Secret. It also recently bought FatFace.

Shein’s company owner appears to have changed from Zoetop Business Co. Ltd to a mysterious company in the Cayman Islands called Elite Depot Limited. Shein Group also bought Missguided from Frasers Group. 

More positively, Patagonia changed its company ownership, in 2022, to Patagonia Purpose Trust with the aim of funding climate action, after its founder’s children did not want to inherit the business. 

What is ultra-fast fashion?

In short, ultra-fast fashion came about when today’s digital hyper-efficiency met the cheap fashion trends of the last decade.

Outlets like Shein rapidly introduce new items, monitor consumer trends through digital analytics, and swiftly escalate production on popular pieces. The numbers are staggering. In 2022, Shein added 300,000 new garments in the U.S. In the same year, Boohoo added some 18,000 new styles. Zara and H&M didn’t even surpass the 10-thousand-mark.

In essence, Shein could be described as ‘throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks’, but it's able to do so cost effectively due to a sprawling network of some 5000+ suppliers, alongside an allegedly cavalier approach towards intellectual property rights, workers’ rights and resource consumption. It's an approach that has been generously described as ‘agile’, but this feels an ill-fitting description for the mountains of textile waste that it leaves in its wake.  

Temu, Shein’s main competitor in the ultra-fast space, claims to be a mere marketplace, a digital interface that allows consumers to buy directly from its producers – more analogous to eBay than, say, Next. We do not agree that means they can avoid responsibility for what is sold there and have rated them accordingly.

Like Shein, Temu uses a “Next-Gen Manufacturing model" which, in its own words, “enables merchandise partners to adjust their product development and manufacturing processes according to market insights channelled through Temu”. Crucially, Temu retains control of its prices – it is not just a marketplace so we have not treated it as such in this guide. The absence of a Temu logo on an item should not absolve the company of its responsibility to ensure that the item was not made through, say, forced labour. 

And there’s certainly no shortage of forced labour allegations against these brands. Both Shein and Temu were accused by a US House committee in 2023 of using forced labour from the autonomous region of Xinjiang in China, and, according to the congressional report, items on Temu’s website actually included “Xinjiang Cotton” in the description.

What is fast-fashion and what's wrong with it?

Fast-fashion brands are almost exclusively online-only brands, but many of the following features that define fast-fashion are also found in more traditional high-street brands, though usually to a lesser extent.

Fast production
Clothes are produced and ready for sale in a very short time span. This has been driven largely by social media and influencer culture. A celebrity wears an outfit on Instagram and then companies rush to sell the consumer a cheap imitation as quickly as possible, often within a few weeks.

The drive to produce garments rapidly has led many fast-fashion companies to use suppliers in the UK. Leicester has become a central hub for clothing production and many of the scandals associated with workers’ rights have been found in factories in the city.

Synthetic fibres
The rise of fast fashion is heavily dependent on synthetic fibres, which are derived from fossil fuels. These plastic fibres such as polyester are far cheaper to produce than cotton and therefore allow companies to keep producing clothes cheaply, though with a high environmental price tag.
Worker exploitation
The pressure put on suppliers by brands to produce clothing as quickly and cheaply as possible acts as a strong driver for worker exploitation. Numerous exposés have found workers for companies such as Boohoo being paid well under minimum wage. While some would argue that this is not, in theory, an essential feature of fast-fashion, in practice it appears a common feature.

Fast sale and delivery
Clothing is cheap, but even if you are out-of-pocket you can buy items using Klarna and other easy credit services. Most companies offer cheap deals for quick delivery. 

Fast use
Clothing is not built to last. Due to super-fast production, designs are generally not well stress-tested before sale, and cheap synthetic fabrics are used in order to keep costs low. Much of it will end up in landfill after only being worn a handful of times.

Greenwashing in the fashion industry

It’s difficult to trust almost anything that fast fashion companies promise, since broken promises in the sector appear to be the norm. Some of its latest distraction tactics include celebrity ‘sustainability ambassadors’ and getting in on the secondhand market, while doing nothing to address the scale of its overall production output and model of disposable clothing. 

Cashing in on secondhand and repair markets

Fast fashion has followed the rise of the secondhand market. In the last few years, companies including ASOS, Boohoo, H&M, PrettyLittleThing (owned by Boohoo), Primark, Shein, and Zara have launched their own resale marketplaces and secondhand schemes. 

PrettyLittleThing’s platform, reGAIN, is described as “the app that allows you to turn your unwanted clothes into discounts to get cash off your next PrettyLittleThing purchase”. This acts as an incentive to buy more clothes, rather than slow down, and signals to consumers that they shouldn’t feel bad about disposing of unwanted clothes because there’s an app where you can sell it on and it’s all secondhand and ethical don’t-you-know.    

Some fast fashion companies have also been drawing attention to repair services. Whilst repairing clothes is a brilliant principle, the reality is that the actual scale it’s being done on is minuscule compared to the production and waste caused by companies overall. For example, Fast Retailing Co.’s Re.Uniqlo repair service is currently only operating in six out of it 2,394 global shops

In a sense, moves by companies into reuse and repair should be applauded because they can make important contributions to the rapid carbon reductions human societies need to make (see our Climate Gap report). However, we need to see scale and ambition here with detailed targets for it to move beyond giving the appearance of tokenism and therefore greenwash

Using marketing to greenwash

The fast-fashion sector is enormously powerful and influential in not only sums of money but also the culture it creates. As well as small armies of influencers and celebrity brand ambassadors who infiltrate all the corners of social media, some brands have adopted the use of celebrity ‘sustainability ambassadors’, such as Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams for H&M, Kourtney Kardashian Barker for Boohoo, and Love Island contestant Indiya Polack as PrettyLittleThing’s resale platform ambassador. 

Although increasing awareness around the environmental impacts of clothing production through high-profile people could be a good thing in principle, using this to ultimately increase a company’s profits and sell more products, whilst not fundamentally addressing overproduction and the impact that companies have, is just a shiny distraction. 

Similarly, Hannah Uguru writing for gal-dem highlights how 

“Seemingly diverse and inclusive branding is being used to divert our attention away from unethical and unsustainable business practices and shopping habits.” 

In what they describe as "racialised greenwashing", images of diversity and representation in fast fashion branding can be starkly contrasted with the continued exploitation of workers in Global South.  

Two mean wearing bright coloured clothes standing facing each other

Who is benefitting from fast fashion?

All of the companies we rated, with the exception of New Look, Nobody’s Child, River Island, Seasalt, and White Stuff, had multi-billion-pound revenues. 

We looked at how many of the companies have (white) male CEOs, and who ‘fashion’ and ‘self-expression’ is really benefitting. 

Out of 24 companies, nearly all of their CEOs were white and male. Only 3 had female CEOs (who were all white).

We also looked at their pay cheques, which, given the amount that garment workers are paid, is shocking. 

Oxfam has estimated that it takes a CEO from top high street fashion brands a mere four days to earn what the average Bangladeshi garment worker will earn in her entire lifetime

The majority of companies paid their CEOs between £1m and £10m, including ASOS, Boohoo, Frasers Group, H&M, Inditex, M&S, Next, Primark, River Island, and White Stuff

New Look and Seasalt paid under £1m, while at the top of the pile, at a staggering $212,701,169, was Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, and Gap at $43,162,022, followed by TJX Companies at $20,525,368. 

The rest did not disclose salaries.

Slowing fashion down 

Whilst some researchers have put forward ideas for slowing down the fast fashion industry and what remodelling may look like, for individuals, solidarity can sometimes take the form of small collective acts of resistance

As always, the focus should not just be on consumer choice, as problems in this sector include structural issues which ideally require government intervention. There are currently ideas in the UK to tax fast fashion companies for things like virgin plastic use in textiles, though regulating such a destructive industry is likely to need a lot more than that. We’re currently reading and would recommend the Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy E. Hoskins.  

Focus on Boohoo, Shein and Temu

We take a closer look at Boohoo, Shein and Temu which have become symbols representing all that is wrong with fast fashion.

How ethical is Boohoo?

Boohoo Group Plc owns thirteen brands, including the nauseatingly named Pretty Little Thing and Nasty Gal. Its other brands include Boohoo, BoohooMAN, Wallis, Karen Millen, Oasis, Dorothy Perkins, Warehouse, Coast, Debenhams, MissPap, and Burton. 

We can all take a sigh of relief that Boohoo’s sustainability agenda is in good hands, though, in the form of Kourtney Kardashian as Boohoo's sustainability ambassador. Perhaps this is why Boohoo have modelled for different climate warming scenarios in a “multi-peril analysis” up to four degrees warming.

The company is facing growing pressure over its decision to shut its flagship manufacturing site in Leicester. Boohoo had made a big deal of reforming its image following a well-publicised pandemic-era scandal over poor working conditions and modern slavery accusations. However, in early January 2024 it emerged that the company was using the site to put "Made in the UK" labels on potentially thousands of clothes that were actually made in South Asia. A few days later, the company announced that it would likely shut the site, once again proving that concern for workers’ pay and rights remains secondary to cost-cutting and greed. 

How ethical is Shein?

Shein was founded in 2008 by Chris Xu, now one of China’s richest men. At first glance he is a potentially unlikely face of a global fast fashion superbrand considering he was a search engine optimisation specialist. However, given Shein’s growth strategy, this makes perfect sense. 

Shein has been a heavy user of advertising through influencers and celebrities on social media platforms to sell its image and is now making sales of around £18.5bn per year. Its UK accounts say that its parent is Roadget Business Pte Limited, which is ultimately controlled by Elite Depot Limited, a company registered in the Cayman Islands and headquartered in China. 

We found no information about Elite Depot Limited other than its address.

How ethical is Temu?

Temu is ultimately owned by Chinese firm PDD Holdings Inc., which is headquartered in the Cayman Islands via another subsidiary in Hong Kong – both known tax havens

PDD owns another e-commerce app in China called Pinduoduo, which was suspended from Google’s Play Store after suspected ‘malware’ was found that allegedly violated Google’s security policies. 

Temu appears engaged in a race-to-the-bottom on ethics with Shein. We came across some strange, apparently AI-produced sustainability ‘news’ articles about Temu whilst conducting our research which you can read about in a separate article on Temu and potential AI greenwashing.

Should we boycott Boohoo?

Short video by Ethical Consumer looking into the ethics of Boohoo.

How do fashion brands rate for the materials used?

We looked at the materials used by high street fashion brands. 

As well as plastics, you can also sometimes find phthalates, brominated flame retardants, PFAS, and lead in high-street clothing; all highly toxic substances with poor (and at times practically zero) biodegradability. Shein is one brand named by a recent Canadian investigation for using toxic substances. 

We awarded marks for companies who were signatories of Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC), a multi-stakeholder programme for responsible chemicals management in the fashion sector. It was set up in response to Greenpeace's Detox Fashion campaign and includes a set of guidelines and commitments. Current signatories include ASOS, Fast Retailing, H&M, Inditex, M&S, Mango, Next, Primark, and River Island

To understand what the most-used materials are in high-street clothes, we looked at materials use by weight in some key brands that disclosed figures. Often, companies had a category for “other” without describing what it had counted, so we have only provided figures for what was publicly disclosed. 

Marks were awarded for either more than 95% or over 50% more sustainable fibres, including secondhand, recycled natural fibres (not synthetics), organic fibres including cotton, hemp and linen, conventional hemp or linen, Fairtrade cotton, and closed-loop processed plant-based fabrics such as Tencel. Fewer marks went to companies with less sustainable materials including recycled synthetics or Better Cotton. 

Sample of fashion brands and the fabrics they use, listed by A to Z of brand
Company Polyester Other petroleum-based fabrics Cotton Animal-based Recycled/upcycled origin Organic fibres
Boohoo 85%* Not disclosed Not disclosed Not disclosed Not disclosed 1.65% cotton
H&M 21% 3% 61% 1% 24% total Not disclosed**
Inditex 27% Not disclosed 41% Not disclosed Not disclosed 4.2% cotton
Mango 54%*** Not disclosed 46%**** 6% 11% total Not disclosed
Next Plc 31.2% 4.4% 52.1% 1.1% 13% polyester Not disclosed
Patagonia 18% Not disclosed 15% 1% 33% cotton, 98% total  100% cotton
Shein 64% 6% 10% Not disclosed <1% polyester Not disclosed

*Combined figure for polyester and cotton, it did not separate these. It has been reported that 49% of Boohoo’s materials are made from petrochemicals

**H&M says that it is “the world’s largest user of organic cotton”. It did not say how much it used. 

***It did not provide a separate figure for polyester, and combined fibres of “synthetic origin”.

****It did not provide a separate figure for cotton, and combined fibres of “natural origin” including cotton, wool, and linen, “among others”.  

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The ethics of cotton production

Our separate article on cotton discusses the ethics of cotton production, including forced labour, accreditation schemes for ethical and sustainable cotton sourcing, organic cotton, and the environmental impact of cotton. 

Cotton is the most widely used fabric in our clothing after polyester, and makes up around a quarter of all fibres in clothing worldwide. Alongside being extremely water and pesticide intensive, cotton production is often entangled with human rights violations. 20% of the world's cotton hails from China, predominantly sourced from Xinjiang, where the government is accused of employing forced labour as a method of social control. In this cotton-rich region, Uyghur Muslims and other minorities are coerced into cotton cultivation or processing after undergoing "re-education." Similar scenarios unfold in Turkmenistan, where the government forces public sector employees to meet cotton picking quotas during each harvest season.

Our rating of brands for cotton awards marks to companies that prioritise certified organic cotton, in particular GOTS. Be careful though, as vague statements are commonplace.

Primark, for example, told us that 46% of its clothing “contained cotton” that was recycled, organic or sourced according to its own sustainable cotton programme. It did not, however, state what its minimum content thresholds were. Should we really consider a t-shirt that contains, say, 2% organic cotton to be a sustainable alternative? This is at least a step up from TK Maxx, which simply stated that “some of our clothing is produced with 100% GOTS certified cotton”.

Companies also received marks if they prohibited sourcing cotton from Xinjiang (China) and Turkmenistan. Intriguingly, Inditex (which owns Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Pull & Bear, and Stradivarius) removed a statement on its website which had previously outlined the company’s zero-tolerance policy for forced labour and had stated that it did not have relationships with any factories in Xinjiang. This occurred after it, H&M, Nike, and Adidas had faced social media criticism and consumer boycotts from within China over their public statements singling out Xinjiang forced labour. Inditex brands were singled out in Tailoring Responsibilities, a report from Uyghur Rights Monitor at Sheffield Hallam, for collaborating with companies that it deemed very high risk for forced labour.

Which brands scored best for cotton policies?

The higher scoring brands for cotton (80/100) were:

New Look and Nobody's Child both scored 70/100. 

Disappointingly, many brands scored zero including all the Boohoo brands, I Saw It First, Jack Wills, Primark, Shein, Temu, TK Maxx, Uniqlo, and Zara and the Inditex group.

Woman wearing head scarf working in a garment factory
Selem works at the Marn-Tex Textile garment factory in Tunisia. Image from

Workers' rights in the clothing supply chain

Workers’ rights violations in the garment manufacturing industry are rife and have been well-documented by many organisations. 

In December 2023 the Guardian reported  that some of the women who make clothes for UK companies need to do dangerous and risky sex work in order to survive, earning as little at £15 a week from their garment work. 

One worker said, 

“just know it’s workers like me who make those clothes that bring you such joy … But all we get in return is a life of endless misery. We are real people, we are not machines – don’t we deserve a little joy too?”

We awarded marks for companies who had worker-driven monitoring in their supply chains, meaning that workers’ rights were monitored by independent organisations such as local worker-led organisations, unions, or local civil society partners who have an understanding of local conditions and are trusted by workers. The International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry is a key example of such an organisation in the clothing industry, with programmes in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and plans to potentially expand to Sri Lanka, Morocco, and India.

The highest scoring brand for workers' rights was Nobody's Child with 60/100 and several scoring 50. But many of the fast fashion brands scored zero.

Are any high street clothing brands vegan?

None of the companies in this ethical fashion guide were vegan. 

What animal products are in clothing?

Clothing can include wool, angora, mohair, cashmere, silk, leather, suede, fur and down. All of these are from animals. Use of animal products is likely to involve animal welfare issues, even if there are some welfare standards in some countries. 

For our animal rating for this guide, we looked at what brands said about their use of animal products and if they had policies on what they used.

In 2022 and 2023, Frasers Group banned the use of fur and angora (rabbit fur), respectively. Aside from this it was one of the only companies in the guide that did not publish an animal welfare policy.

Boohoo made headlines twice for labelling real fur as faux fur and then for labelling real feathers as faux feathers. Aside from this it was making some steps towards better sourcing, with commitments to only use wool from the Responsible Wool Standard, cashmere from the Good Cashmere Standard and down from the Responsible Down Standard by 2025.

Some companies, including Boohoo and Patagonia, had explicit policies that leather and other animal-based skin products should only come as a by-product from the meat industry. However, in practice, products like leather are profitable and sustain the meat industry, making it a co-product rather than a ‘leftover’.

As well as a feature article on animal products in clothing and certification schemes, we have separate articles on leather, fur, and down.

Woman wearing coat and carrying lots of fashion shopping bags

High street clothing brands and tax 

With multi-billion-pound sums flying around the fast fashion sector it’s unsurprising that companies might dabble in dodgy company structures to hide some of that cash. 

As well as the more obvious criticisms of Shein’s ethics in terms of the environment and workers’ rights, Shein, along with Temu, has also been criticised for avoiding tax. Shein is apparently free from Chinese VAT and subject to lower corporation taxes there. And, while its HQ is in China, its legal address is in the Cayman Islands (which is on our list of tax havens). 

Tax avoidance can also allow huge companies to become monstrous mega-giants. Look no further than Amazon whose avoidance of paying billions in taxes, is the main reason for Ethical Consumer's ongoing boycott call.

Other companies who received a score of zero (out of 100) for tax practices include ASDA, Boohoo, Frasers Group, Inditex, New Look, Primark, and River Island

How do high street clothing brands rate on climate?

Our climate rating focuses on carbon emissions and assesses the actions companies have taken, and have pledged to take, to reduce their impacts. 

Many of the lower-scoring companies still produced lengthy decarbonisation plans, but these were often focused on the company’s direct emissions – for example, switching to renewable energy or installing solar panels at a head office. Such moves are all well and good, but the vast majority of carbon emissions in clothing occur in the supply chain, in facilities that are not directly owned by the major companies. 

The fashion industry is responsible for between 8-10% of worldwide carbon emissions – a company switching to LEDs in its UK office isn’t really going to make a dent in that. 

As such, we only rewarded companies that provided a detailed discussion about how they were reducing emissions beyond their direct operations. The highest scoring brand for the climate rating was Seasalt with 100 points, followed by Marks and Spencer on 90/100, and several on 70.

Amazon, ASDA, Boohoo Group, Temu and Uniqlo all received zero marks (out of 100) for climate.

Supermarkets and clothing

Supermarkets continue to play a key role in the UK fashion market. 

M&S was the second-most popular retailer in the UK in terms of sales last year, with Tesco and ASDA both in the top 10, whilst Sainsbury's ‘Tu clothing’ became a billion-pound business. 

In terms of ethics, M&S stands out above the rest, having sourced 100% of the cotton in its clothing responsibly since 2019 (although it includes Better Cotton Initiative cotton in its definition, which is far less stringent than GOTS organic certification). 

Notably, all of the supermarkets received 0/100 for their approaches to animal welfare, as dairy and meat remain key focuses of their business.  

What is the company ethos of high street clothing brands?

No companies scored particularly well in our company ethos rating. However, a few companies have some credentials:

  • Seasalt gained marks for being Living Wage accredited
  • Patagonia gained marks for its B-corp certification. 
  • New Look and Nobody’s Child received 10 marks for not appearing to pay over £1 million to their directors. 

All other companies scored zero.

Further reading and resources 

Fast fashion is a monster, but its monstrous tendencies are increasingly under scrutiny from a wealth of NGOs and activist researchers. 

These reports are crucial resources in driving greater accountability and fuelling consumer activism and we recommend exploring them for a more in-depth look at specific issues in the sector.  

  • The 2023 Fossil Free Fashion Scorecard analyses and rates the climate action of 42 major fashion companies. 
  •  Fast Fashion's Plastic Problem 2023 report assessed 10,000 items of clothing from across some of the UK’s leading online fast fashion brands, to shed some light on what goes into the clothes we wear. 
  • 2023 saw the fifth fashion-focused Corporate Human Rights Benchmark release, which assessed 55 of the largest apparel companies in the world against its well established human rights methodology. 
  • Sustainable Cotton Hub ranks retailers and brands on their efforts to source certified cotton. 
  • The Fashion Transparency Index spotlights how much information the world’s largest fashion brands disclose about their supply chain practices and impacts. 
  • KnowTheChain’s benchmarks aim to incentivise companies and investors to address forced labour in global supply chains, and their annual reports show how companies have performed over time.  

Additional research by Ruairidh Fraser.

This ethical shopping guide appears in the print and digital versions of Ethical Consumer Magazine 207.

Companies behind the brands

We found barely any policies for Frasers Group, which lacked any significant detail about key areas such as workers’ rights and animal welfare in its supply chain. 

The Frasers Group owns brands including House of Fraser, Sports Direct, Flannels, Everlast, Jack Wills, I Saw It First, and Slazenger.

It had no information about its cotton sourcing, did not publish its supplier code of conduct, and did not publish a list of its suppliers. The company has featured in the news mainly for the working conditions in its Sports Direct warehouse in Shirebrook, where it has appeared to operate under similarly atrocious principles as Amazon's treatment of its workers.

Want to know more?

If you want to find out detailed information about a company and more about its ethical rating, then click on a brand name in the Score table. 

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