Although urban outfitters may have a large following worldwide, the question arises here is that is urban outfitters a fast fashion? We’ll talk about the fabrics the company uses, the factories that make its clothing, and if Urban Outfitters practices ethical business.
Is Urban Outfitters Fast Fashion?
Undoubtedly, we’d steer clear of Urban Outfitters as a quick fashion retailer. The company creates tens of thousands of fashions that are sold at a discount. When doing our investigation, we saw fashions in the UO sale for as little as $4.99; if a company offers apparel at such a low price, we wonder if garment workers are paid a decent wage. Additionally, offering clothing at a discount encourages over consumption, which adds to the rising issue of textile pollution by having the majority of the apparel go to landfills.
How Does Urban Outfitters Choose Their Materials?
Although the parent business, URBN, provides some information on the materials used by its brands, Urban Outfitters as a brand does not provide enough specific information about its materials. According to URBN, by 2023, 50% of its direct-sourced raw materials will be obtained ethically, either through recycled materials or virgin fibers supplied from sustainably managed forests. However, just 16% of the URBN group’s raw materials were supplied sustainably as of February 2020. While this may be a positive move, we think this target is inadequate because retail leaders should aim for 100% sustainably or ethically sourced products. Additionally, we don’t believe this goal sets the standard for a major brand that is genuinely dedicated to sustainability.
How moral is Urban Outfitters?
Regarding ethical standards at its stores and factories, Urban Outfitters has a dismal track record. There have been rumors that a Swedish retailer fired its staff and then hired them back through an agency.
The firm provides minimal information regarding the factories it collaborates with or where clothing is created, in addition to the unethical treatment of retail employees. According to the information provided, Urban Outfitters doesn’t now partner with certified factories, such as Fair Trade companies, and it doesn’t say whether these factories have undergone audits or how well they performed in those audits. The company also doesn’t support paying garment employees a decent wage because it simply requires that suppliers pay garment workers the minimum rate.
The Fashion Transparency Index 2021, a study that ranks the biggest global fashion firms on their transparency on supply chain procedures, human rights policies, and environmental policies, also gave Urban Outfitters a subpar total score of 16%.
How is Urban Outfitters behaving?
Urban Outfitters scored the lowest of the ultra-fast fashion firms, with a score of 3 out of 100, according to the Good On You index. On the website, there is essentially no information about its sustainability. Even if it is, it is very difficult to locate and offers no information about how the retailer operates.
Furthermore, Urban Outfitters achieved a score of 11-20% on the Fashion Transparency Index in 2022, along with companies like Versace, Miu Miu, Aritzia, and Prada. Consumers on the street may rely on this reliable rating. 250 of the largest fashion brands and retailers globally are evaluated and ranked based on their transparency by the Fashion Transparency Index. The impact of their corporate operations, supplier chain ethics, and social and environmental policies are all examined.
In light of this, the low ranking in the index demonstrates that Urban Outfitters withholds any information regarding the origin of their clothing, the manufacturers, and how this affects their employees and customers. With a market share of 1.73% as of 2023, Urban Outfitters represents a significant participant in the sector; therefore, this is concerning.
The Final Conclusion
Consumers opt to ignore or, in the worst case, embrace Urban Outfitters’ many underlying problems in order to consume the company’s products, seek novelty, and disregard the evident wrongdoings.
Is it a name in rapid fashion? Yes, but the problems are considerably more complex than the term suggests. One of the most contentious brands on the market because of its blatant cultural commercialization, lack of transparency, misleading “green” promises, and overproduction.
Except for the fact that they employ eco-friendly packaging and semi-natural textiles, there aren’t many positive things to say about Urban Outfitters. These latter materials include modal, cupro, and semi-synthetic or regenerated cellulosic viscose. Overall, though, there are no noteworthy advantages.
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