Is Aritzia Fast Fashion? Brand Breakdown + 6 Alternatives

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You may be a fan of Aritzia’s on-trend collections at affordable prices, but you’ve seen through the brands sustainability claims and now you want to know Is Aritzia Fast Fashion?

Well, you’re in the right place as we ask the questions ‘Is Aritzia Fast Fashion?’ and Is Aritzia ethical? Join us while we discuss the ethics and sustainability behind the brand to see if Aritzia really is ethical.

About Aritzia

Aritzia is a Canadian fashion brand founded by Brian Hill in Vancouver in 1984. The clothing brand focuses on creating affordable ‘Everyday Luxury’ collections for women, including on-trend dresses, workwear, outerwear, and activewear.

The brand has 101 high street boutiques across Canada and the US, and this number is growing year upon year.

Is Aritzia Fast Fashion?

Yes, we would consider Aritzia a fast-fashion brand. The brand creates hundreds of different pieces which follow rapidly changing trends, many of which end up ultimately on sale for a cheaper price point.

What Materials Does Aritzia Use?

Aritzia uses materials on mass, including cotton, polyester, and nylon.

The brand has started incorporating some sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, recycled materials, or responsibly sourced, into its collections, but they only made up 40% of their total SS21 collection. This means the other 60% of its fabrics were sourced from non sustainable methods and materials – not great, in our opinion.

Only 40% of Aritzia SS21 collection consists of sustainable materials.

Cotton is one of the most used fabrics by Aritzia. The brand has migrated toward using more sustainable and responsibly sourced cotton.

So far, the percentage of more sustainably sourced cotton used by Aritzia is 57%, and this consists of Better Cotton (50%), organic cotton (7%), and recycled cotton (<1%). While this is a step in the right direction, Aritzia still uses 43% cotton from non sustainable sources.

Is Aritzia Carbon Neutral?

Aritzia states that it’s operationally carbon-neutral by purchasing renewable energy credits across Canada and the US.

However, this doesn’t negate the fact that the brand still produces large amounts of CO2 in its supply chain overseas. In addition, the brand has not given any information on plans to reduce its carbon emission through its supply chain practices.

Is Aritzia Ethical?

Aritzia states that before it works with a partner factory, it conducts a country risk assessment. Then, Aritzia must review factories to ensure they adhere to the Aritzia code of conduct.

If the supplier meets the code of conduct, the brand will partner with the factory and continue to monitor the factory against its ethical standards.

The problem here, however, is that the brand does partner with factories in countries where poor work conditions, unfair wages, and forced labor are often the case, so how is the brand ensuring that its code of conduct is adhered to at all times?

Furthermore, Aritzia scored a poor score of 23% in the Transparency Materials Index 2021 report. This low score is reflected by the lack of information given by Aritzia regarding the factories it works with and the treatment of workers in its supply chain.

An improvement would be for the brand to publish a transparent list of its partner factories, along with the wages employees are paid and the results of audit scores across these factories.

Where are Aritzia Clothes Made?

Aritzia partners with factories and fabric suppliers worldwide, including in China, India, Indonesia, Canada, and more.

Is Aritzia fast fashion? Map showing were are Aritzia clothes made
[Source]

While Aritzia gives the countries its suppliers are based, the brand does not disclose a list of specific factories.

Withholding information about the factories it works with leads consumers to ask the question, is Aritzia ethical? There is no actual information given about the real-life working conditions, whether there are any non-conformances to the code of conduct or the actual wages of its garment workers.

Is Aritzia Cruelty-Free?

Aritzia doesn’t use fur or angora based on animal welfare. However, the brand does use Down and Wool.

The goose down sourced by Aritzia meets the Responsible Down Standard certification (RDS).

In addition, the brand sources its wool from Responsible Wool Standard farms, ensuring sheep have been treated responsibly.

Aritzia doesn’t use leather in its collection and instead uses plastic-based vegan leather.

Does Aritzia have a recycling program?

No, while the brand states it wants to improve the solutions across a product’s life cycle, the brand does not operate an easily accessible clothing recycling program.

The lack of a garment recycling initiative is disappointing as the brand knows that the primary waste generation source comes from end-of-life products, as shown by the infographics taken from Aritzia’s website.

Is Aritzia fast fashion
[Source]

An improvement would be for the brand to implement a take-back program, where it could recycle old garments into new garments.

Ecothes Opinion: Is Aritzia Ethical?

Is Aritzia Fast Fashion
We rate Aritzia a poor overall sustainability score of 1.5/5.

What we liked

✔ The brand is transitioning to using some responsible fabrics such as organic cotton, BCI cotton, and recycled polyester; however, this still makes up less than half of its overall fabric usage.

✔ We liked that the brand only sourced down and wool from RDS and RSW certified farms.

What we didn’t like

❌ We didn’t like the lack of transparency around where its clothes are made and which factories make them. In addition, no clear information is given about workers’ wages or working conditions.

❌ There is no information about plans to reduce carbon emissions in its supply chain.

6 Sustainable Alternatives to Aritzia

While it’s clear that Aritzia is slowly making steps to improve its sustainable materials, the brand still has a long way to go in terms of transparency.

Fear not, though. Many great sustainable clothing brands are already ensuring ethical production, are fully climate-neutral certified, or are prioritizing the use of sustainable materials.
Check out a few of the best Aritzia alternatives below.

1. Reformation

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Sustainability: Ethical production using audited factories and in-house production. Carbon-neutral brand using sustainable materials, including organic cotton, natural fibers, and recycled materials.

Best for: Dresses, Tops, denim

Ships to: Worldwide

Reformation sleveless top

2. Kotn

Kotn ethical alternatives to Aritzia

Sustainability: Certified B Corp creates clothing ethically using responsibly sourced cotton and natural fibers.

Best for: Affordable, sustainable basics

Ships to: Worldwide

Kotn alternative to Is Aritzia fast fashion

3. Sézane

Sezane

Sustainability: Certified B Corporation creates clothing ethically

Best for: Dresses, blouses, outerwear

Ships to: Worldwide

Brand Rating: 4/5

Sezane sustainable fashion

4. Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective sustainable activewear alternatives to Aritzia

Sustainability: Ethically made activewear from recycled plastic bottles

Best for: Sustainable activewear

Ships to: Worldwide

Girlfriend collective ethical alternative to Aritzia

5. Tentree

Tentree

Sustainability: Carbon-neutral certified & responsible clothing brand planting trees for every order.

Best for: T-shirts, sweaters, outerwear

Ships to: Canada & the US

Tentree

6. United By Blue

United By Blue

Sustainability: Certified B Corp and carbon-neutral clothing brand removing trash from oceans

Best for: Sweaters, casualwear

Ships to: the US & Canada

UBB

Related Posts: Is Aritzia Fast Fashion?

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and now have all the information to make your own decision on whether to support Aritzia.
Make sure you check out our other brand ratings like Aerie, Madewell, Nasty Gal, and more.

Bethany
Bethany

Bethany Worthington BSc (Hons) (she/her) is the Sustainable Fashion Editor and Co-founder of Ecothes. She has a passion for the environment, and a long love of all things clothing, and combines those two interests with Ecothes. In her free time she loves dancing, hiking in the countryside, and laughing with friends.

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