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Is Sezane Sustainable?
Sézane is a French fashion brand founded in 2013 by Morgane Sézalory.
The brand designs chic Parisian-inspired clothing for women and releases four seasonal collections per year, along with small-batch monthly capsule drops.
The brand also creates stylish accessories, including shoes, sandals, bags, and jewelry.
Sézanes collections may look dreamy, but is the reality behind the brand all it seems? We look into the brand and ask, is Sézane ethical and sustainable?
What Materials Does Sézane Use?
Sézane has improved its use of eco-friendly fabrics; at least 75% of its materials are from sustainable sources.
The main fabrics Sézane uses are; Organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Viscose EcoveroTM.
Organic cotton is a better alternative to conventional cotton as it uses up to 90% less water to irrigate, and is grown without harmful pesticides.
In addition to using sustainable fabrics, a percentage of Sézane’s clothes carry certifications, including:
- GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard Certification ensures materials that carry the certification must have been grown organically, without any toxic chemicals, and in compliance with fair trade labor principles. The most common example is GOTS Certified Organic Cotton.
- Oeko-Tex Certified – The Oeko-Tex certification ensures clothing has been created without harmful or toxic chemicals and is therefore safe for use.
However, it is essential to note that while some of Sézane’s clothing carries certifications, including GOTS and Oeko-tex, not all of its clothes do. For example, as of 2020, only 85% of the cotton Sézane sourced was organic, and only 82% of silk was Oeko-Tex 100 certified.
An improvement for the brand would be to ensure that 100% of the fabrics used are sourced from sustainable sources.
Is Sézane Carbon Neutral?
No, Sézane is not a carbon-neutral brand. The brand conducted a carbon assessment in 2019. However, the results of the evaluation are not available to read.
Sézane stated in its 2020 sustainability update that it had lowered the average carbon footprint of a Sézane garment by 22%. The brand hoped to reduce this by a further 10% in 2021. However, Sézane has not yet published its 2021 report.
The brand has implemented initiatives to reduce its carbon emissions, including reducing packaging, implementing a recycling program, and switching to green energy.
We would like to see the 2021 results in relation to its targets.
Is Sézane Ethical?
While Sézane ensures that 100% of its suppliers are audited to check compliance with its code of ethical conduct (BSCI, SMETA, ICS, and WCA audits), the brand does not make the code of ethics public to read.
In the 2020 sustainability report, Sézane gave results of audits in which 0% of its suppliers failed to comply with its code of ethics.
In 2021, the brand was found to have exploited an Indigenous woman in Mexico. Footage showed the brand conducting a photo shoot with the woman, stopping her work in a small craft shop, and having her change outfits and dance for video footage.
Ultimately Sézane did not reimburse the woman for her time or the photographs. In response to the allegations, we feel Sezane didn’t accept responsibility for this and failed to investigate this issue further.
Where are Sézane’s Clothes Made?
Sézane creates its clothing predominantly in Europe, including France, Portugal, Italy, and Bulgaria. The brand also partners with factories in India and China.
The brand has 100% supply chain traceability in its tier 1 suppliers – however it does not disclose a complete list of its partner factories. The brand only achieved 90% and 30% for its Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers but plans to improve this by 2021.
Is Sézane Cruelty-Free?
Sézane doesn’t use animal fur or skins from exotic animals; however, the brand uses leather to create its shoes and accessories.
When looking at the leather, Sézane uses, at least 1/3 of Sézanes’ leather was sourced from LWG-certified tanneries in 2021. However, the other 2/3 are from non-LWG sources.
The brand states that they do not condone animal cruelty; however, we cannot validate that the brand is 100% cruelty-free. Plus, it would be an improvement if the brand used 100% LWG-certified leather.
Ecothes Opinion: Sézane Sustainability Rating
What we like
✔ Sézane prioritizes the use of eco-friendly materials over non-sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, recycled materials (including recycled polyester), and FSC-approved viscose. In addition, At least 50% of the brands’ collection is certified by either GOTS, Oeko-Tex, FSC, or other sustainable certifications.
✔ We also liked that Sezane has 100% traceability over its Tier 1 suppliers.
✔ Another thing we liked was that the brand achieved B Corporation status in 2021, which means it is taking steps to improve its environmental and sustainable production practices and social responsibility.
What we didn’t like
❌ In 2021 the brand exploited an Indigenous woman in Mexico by conducting a photoshoot with her, which she was never paid for. Sezane didn’t accept responsibility around this, and failed to investigate this issue further.
❌ Sézane could improve by ensuring all information is up to date and publishing the latest sustainability report.
❌ We also didn’t like the lack of transparency around its factory list. The brand has 100% Tier 1 traceability, so an improvement would be to publish the list of suppliers for everyone to read.
❌ We would also like the brand to make its Code of Ethics public, so we can see what its partner factories are audited against.
Where to shop Sézane?
Sézane has a nuber of brick and mortar shops located in the following countries:
France – Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Lille, and Bordeaux
USA – New York
UK – London
Spain – Madrid
If you’re not in any of these locations, you can shop Sezane online. Plus, you can always shop pre-loved Sézane pieces for an affordable price at Vestaire.
Sustainable Brands Like Sézane
If you’re looking for similar sustainable and ethical fashion brands, check out a few of our favorites below.
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