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Urban Outfitters is a global retailer renowned for creating on-trend clothing, accessories, lifestyle, and homeware products.
The brand has headquarters in Pennsylvania, USA, and is owned by parent company URBN, which also parents sister companies Free People, Anthropologie, and FP Movement.
While Urban Outfitters might have a global fan base, we ask, Is Urban Outfitters Fast Fashion? We’ll discuss what materials the brand uses, where its clothes are made, and whether Urban Outfitters is ethical.
- Is Urban Outfitters Fast Fashion?
- What Materials Does Urban Outfitters Use?
- Is Urban Outfitters Carbon Neutral?
- Is Urban Outfitters Ethical?
- Where are Urban Outfitters Clothes Made?
- Is Urban Outfitters Cruelty-Free and Vegan?
- Does Brand Have A Clothing Recycling Program?
- Ecothes Opinion: Is Urban Outfitters Fast Fashion?
- Sustainable Alternatives to Brand
- Related Posts: Is Urban Outfitters Fast Fashion?
Is Urban Outfitters Fast Fashion?
Yes, we would consider Urban Outfitters a fast fashion brand we’d avoid. The brand produces thousands of styles that are sold for discounted prices.
When researching, we found styles in the UO sale for as little as $4.99; we would question whether garment workers were paid a living wage if a brand sells clothing at this small price.
Plus, selling clothing for a low price promotes the overconsumption of clothing, most of which ends up in landfills contributing to the ever-growing problem of textile pollution.
What Materials Does Urban Outfitters Use?
While Urban Outfitters as a brand doesn’t disclose enough detailed information about its materials, parent company URBN gives some information regarding the materials used by its brands.
URBN states that by 2023, 50% of its direct-sourced raw material will be sourced responsibly, either through sustainably sourced virgin fibers or recycled sources. However, as of February 2020, the URBN group had sustainably sourced only 16% of its raw materials.
While this may be a step in the right direction, we believe this target is poor as retail leaders should strive to achieve 100% sustainable or responsibly sourced materials. Furthermore, we don’t think this target sets the example we expect from a large brand actually committed to sustainability.
Looking at the ‘responsible materials’ section of the Urban Outfitters website, we see only 142 products compared to thousands of non-responsibly sourced articles.
However, the URBAN renewal initiative by Urban Outfitters uses recycled materials in its collection, repurposing old textiles into clothing. So far, the Urban renewal program has saved 6 million garments from landfills.
Is Urban Outfitters Carbon Neutral?
No Urban Outfitters is not a carbon-neutral brand.
Is Urban Outfitters Ethical?
As far as Urban Outfitters go, the brand has a poor track record of ethical standards in its stores and factories.
Reports of the brand firing employees of a Stockholm store to them rehire under an agency.
In addition to the unethical treatment of workers in stores, the brand gives little information about the factories it works with or where garments are made.
Regarding the information given, Urban Outfitters doesn’t currently work with certified factories such as Fair Trade factories and provides no indication of whether audits are conducted and the audit scores of these factories.
The brand also isn’t championing a living wage for its garment workers, as it only specifies that suppliers must pay only a minimum wage to garment workers.
Plus, Urban Outfitters scored a poor overall score of 16% in the Fashion Transparency Index 2021, a report ranking the largest global fashion brands on their transparency around supply chain practices, human rights policies, and environmental policies.
Where are Urban Outfitters Clothes Made?
While we couldn’t find detailed information on the Urban Outfitters site, parent company URBN lists its Tier 1 and 2 suppliers here. URBN works with suppliers with the majority based in India, China, Turkey, and Vietnam.
The company gives no information on its Tier 3 suppliers.
Is Urban Outfitters Cruelty-Free and Vegan?
No Urban Outfitters is not a fully vegan brand as it uses wool and leather in its collections.
We couldn’t find any information from Urban Outfitters regarding an Animal Welfare policy – we’ve reached out to the brand for more details. Still, they failed to provide us with any information.
Does Brand Have A Clothing Recycling Program?
While the brand doesn’t have a take-back program in store, Urban Outfitters renewal and Urban Outfitters Vintage recycles pre-loved garments such as vintage jeans and textiles into new products.
Ecothes Opinion: Is Urban Outfitters Fast Fashion?
What we liked:
✔We like the urban renewal program and vintage options.
What we didn’t like:
❌The lack of transparency around the conditions of its supplier factories.
❌The fact the brand doesn’t champion a living wage in its factories.
❌The lack of animal welfare policy.
❌The little use of responsible materials in its collection.
Sustainable Alternatives to Brand
Sustainability: Ethical production, trees planted, sustainable fibers
Best for: Dresses, tops, shirts
Ships to: the US and International
Sustainability: Certified B Corp creating ethically made clothing using responsibly sourced Egyptian cotton.
Best for: Cargo pants, tops, dresses
Ships to: Worldwide
Sustainability: Ethically sourced homeware
Best for: Homeware
Ships to: the US
4. Made Trade
Sustainability: Women-led online marketplace showcasing sustainable and ethical products
Best for: Sustainable clothing, ethical homewares
Ships to: Worldwide
Sustainability: Consciously curated clothing from the best sustainable European brands
Best for: Sustainable clothing, accessories
Ships to: Worldwide
Sustainability: Organic and natural fibers, including hemp and organic cotton.
Best for: Dresses, t-shirts, tops.
Ships to: Worldwide
Related Posts: Is Urban Outfitters Fast Fashion?
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