Is Hollister Ethical? Brand Breakdown and 4 Alternatives

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Hollister Co is a Californian-inspired clothing brand, creating jeans, tops, and shirts for teens and young adults.

American retail giant Abercrombie and Fitch own the brand. Its parent company also owns Abercrombie and Fitch, Gilly Hicks, and Social Tourist.

The brand is famous for its dark-lit stores and casual, carefree clothes; however, is Hollister a fast fashion brand? We answer the question, and more in our article is Hollister ethical.

Ecothes Opinion: Overall Brand Rating

Is Hollister ethical?
Ecothes rates Hollister a 1.5 out of 5 sustainability score.

This rating is due to the lack of supply chain transparency around working conditions and the lack of low-impact and sustainable materials in its collections.

You can read more information below about why we’ve given Hollister this rating.

Is Hollister Fast Fashion?

Hollister produces large quantities of rapidly rotating seasonal stock from unsustainable materials. As a result, much of this stock ends up discounted in the end-of-season sales.

We would therefore classify Hollister as a fast-fashion brand.

What Materials Does Hollister Use?

The majority of Hollister garments are made from cotton, polyester, and viscose.

To try and introduce more sustainable materials into its clothing range, Hollister states its partnering with the Better Cotton Initiative.

This program educates and supports farmers and cotton suppliers to use less water and harmful chemicals and promote workers’ safety and wellbeing.

Hollister aims to source 25% of all of its cotton by 2025. Introducing more sustainable materials is a step in the right direction; however, this is still a tiny percentage of overall cotton in its supply chain.

We would expect the brand to commit to a more stretching target to drive real change.

Hollister recognizes the importance of shifting to sustainably sourced materials; in a statement on its website, Hollisters spin-off brand Gilly Hicks will be making more styles with eco-friendly materials like recycled fabrics & organic cotton. Again a step in the right direction; however, this is currently just an empty statement until we see real change in its product lines.

Is Hollister Cruelty-Free?


Hollister uses wool, leather, and down in its collections.

Hollister has transitioned to using 100% Responsible Down Standard in its coats.

Is Hollister Carbon Neutral?


Hollister’s parent company, Abercrombie and Fitch, aims to reduce carbon emissions. However, there is no mention that Hollister is striving for a carbon-neutral supply chain in the future.

Does Hollister Use Sweatshops?

Hollister doesn’t disclose information on the suppliers on its website. However, its parent company, Abercrombie and Fitch Co, publishes a list of suppliers and factories but provides no further information around the working conditions, environments, or wages paid to garment workers in its factories.

Most A&F Co. suppliers are based in Vietnam, China and India. You can read the complete list of active factories here.

Abercrombie and Fitch Co. states it audits 100% of its Tier 1 cut & sew factories; however, there is no public information on the factory audit scores. In addition, A&F Co. doesn’t disclose the percentage of Tier 2 suppliers it audits.

Without proof of the working conditions in each of these factories, we can’t say that Hollister doesn’t use sweatshops, has ethical practices, or has an ethical supply chain.

4 Sustainable Alternatives to Hollister

There are many ethical and sustainable alternatives to Hollister, who are doing good for both people and the environment.

Here are a few of our favorites who already prioritize the use of natural and sustainable fabrics and have eco-friendly and ethical supply chains.

If you want to discover more sustainable clothing brands you’ll love our article on the 17 best affordable brands.

1. Pact

Pact organic cotton sweatshirt

Best for: Organic cotton relaxed basic t-shirts, sweaters, and hoodies.

Sustainability: Ethical clothing produced with Fair Trade, organic cotton.

Pact is a sustainable clothing brand focused on creating good quality basics ethically from organic materials.

The brand partners with Fair Trade to ensure workers in its supply chain have safe working conditions and are supported to build sustainable livelihoods and provide additional money to empower and uplift their communities.

Pact uses 81% less water than non-organic cotton by choosing organic cotton. In addition, organic cotton doesn’t use harmful chemicals or pesticides, which means happier, healthier soil.

Pact an example of an ethical alternative to Hollister

2. For Days

For Days sustainable alternative to Hollister

Best for: On-trend t-shirts, dresses, sweatshirts, and more.

Sustainability: Circular design model, 100% of products are recyclable. Beam partnership donates 1% of every purchase to a nonprofit.

For Days creates practical, recyclable clothing from organic and recycled cotton and nontoxic dyes.

The brand has launched a closed-loop system, where you send back your old For Days clothes in return for store credit. Your old clothes are then given a new lease of life and recycled into new garments – this allows a move towards zero waste fashion.

For Days clothes have a laid-back, carefree design and are the perfect alternative to Hollister.

3. Mate The Label

Best for: Organic essentials, from cozy tanks, tees, joggers, and sweats.

Sustainability: A Climate Neutral Certified and 1% for the planet organization, creating sustainable clothes from natural, eco-friendly materials.

Mate is a Los Angeles-based sustainable fashion brand, creating its pieces ethically and sustainably in its LA studio.

Mate is committed to keeping its organic essentials natural and free from any toxic or harmful dyes or chemicals. To do this, Mat uses organic materials and nontoxic dyes to keep their products clean and safe for even sensitive skin.

The brand is plastic-free and has launched a recycling program to take back your old garments and give them new life as another MATE product.

4. Kitty & Vibe Swimwear

Kitty and Vibe ethical alternative to Hollisters swimwear range

Best for: Eco-friendly swimwear for all shapes and sizes.

Sustainability: Recycled materials, ethical labor, and inclusive sizing.

If you’re looking for an ethical alternative to Hollister’s swimwear range, look no further than Kitty and Vibe.

This inclusive brand is changing the way swimwear should fit, saying goodbye to saggy bottoms and poor fitting bathing suits, and hello to a new swimwear range; you can even take their unique quiz here to see your Kitty and Vibe size.

Kitty and Vibes’ unique, fun designs are made ethically from recycled and sustainable materials.

Wrapping Up: Is Hollister Ethical?

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the article, and now have the information to make your own decision on Hollister’s ethics.

Take a look at our other brand ratings of brands like Shein, Zara, Blushmark, and Banana Republic.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy reading our guides on sustainable sneakers and sustainable sandals.

Thanks for reading.


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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