You're Welcome!

$20 off at Garmentory

What I'm Wearing Now

Current Closet

Ethical Fashion: 20 Brands to Avoid

Karin Rambo of shares 20 Brands to Avoid

Last week I shared with you a list of brands that are doing a good job in the world of ethical fashion.

But I know that not everyone is at a point where they are ready to fully embrace shopping from ethical brands. I get it. Really I do!

It took me a long time to get to a point where I was ready… and then all of a sudden it just clicked and I knew I wanted to dive in headfirst and think later (sometimes the best decisions are made that way yes?).

So I don’t judge you if you’re not there. NOW, that’s not to say that I don’t want encourage you to take steps towards shopping more ethically.

That’s where today’s post comes in. I thought I would share with you some brands that really aren’t doing all that well.

I figure if you aren’t totally ready to shop from ethical brands, then at least you can have a bit more information on what brands to avoid.

Start with this list, and then maybe just see where it takes you!

So without further ado (brands are listed alphabetically and not by ranking).

  1. Abercrombie and Fitch
  2. Aeropostale
  3. American Eagle
  4. Anthropologie
  5. Bebe
  6. Diesel
  7. Forever 21
  8. Free People
  9. Guess
  10. Hollister
  11. J.Crew
  12. Kohls
  13. Loft
  14. Lucky
  15. Madewell
  16. Quicksilver
  17. Roxy
  18. Topshop
  19. Urban Outfitters
  20. White House Black Market

So why did I pick these brands? Well, let me introduce you to a website that has been super helpful as I dive into ethical fashion: The Good Guide.

They have a list of 182 brands and they rank them based on their environmental and societal impact. All of the brands listed above had a score of less than 5 (on a 1-10 scale).

Check them out because they’ve basically done all of the investigative work for you which makes it super simple.

The only three brands that haven’t been ranked yet by the Good Guide are Urban Outfitters (although they are owned by the same group as Anthropologie and Free People), Forever 21, and Topshop.

I found information on Forever 21 and Topshop here and Urban Outfitters here.

There are many others that could be added to this list unfortunately, so I chose 20 that I’ve either shopped at or I see when I walk through the mall.

What do you think? Any other brands we should be aware of?

Until next time,


Shares 0
Previous Post Next Post

You may also like


  • Reply Erin @ A Welder's Wife

    Thank you for sharing this! I’ve really enjoyed you sharing this information on ethical clothing brands! I’m not ready to take the plunge just yet, but more than half of my wardrobe wasn’t on this list, so I feel hopeful about getting to that point a little quicker.

    Erin |

    March 4, 2016 at 7:14 am
    • Reply Karin

      You’re welcome Erin! I’m glad you’ve found them useful! I think you’ll be surprised to find that it’s really not that difficult. It just takes a little bit of a mindset shift!

      March 7, 2016 at 3:42 pm
  • Reply linda spiker

    Gah! Anthro and Madewell made the list! I guess I will be naked from here on out 🙂

    March 4, 2016 at 10:14 am
    • Reply Karin

      I know Linda!! They’re my favorites too. 🙁 The nice thing is that you can consign those brands pretty easy!

      March 7, 2016 at 3:43 pm
  • Reply CM

    I am surprised Gap and Old Navy are not on your list as they are pretty notorious for their Unethical habits.

    March 4, 2016 at 10:18 am
    • Reply Karin

      I only included brands that had a score of 5 or below! Although, they might not be perfect they’re simply not as bad as these brands… and actually since they got such a bad rap a few years ago, they have been attempting to get better. I’m still not comfortable shopping with them, but they have made improvements.

      March 7, 2016 at 3:46 pm
  • Reply Charlotte

    So disheartening to see many of these brands on this list (and I expected a lot more from Free People!). I’ll have to keep this in mind next time I go shopping; thankfully, it’s not often that I do, but I hope these bigger retailers see that it’s time to make some changes. Thanks for sharing!

    March 4, 2016 at 10:20 am
    • Reply Karin

      I felt the same way Charlotte! Hopefully the more of us decide to avoid brands with unethical practices, the more they will move in a better direction. 🙂

      March 7, 2016 at 3:46 pm
  • Reply Taylor

    I’m so sad that some of my favorites are on this list! Guess they’re not my favorites anymore!

    March 4, 2016 at 11:15 am
    • Reply Karin

      I know Taylor! Madewell is my go to. But you can find a lot of their stuff second hand on eBay, so I guess I’ll survive. 🙂

      March 7, 2016 at 3:47 pm
  • Reply Jihane

    Oh I love this post! I blog about ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly products too and I didnt know some of these brands were part of the good boys and girls gang, thanks for sharing. Have you tried Econscious and Synergy Clothing? Both amazing products and companies with high ethical standards!

    March 4, 2016 at 11:29 am
    • Reply Karin

      I’ll have to check your blog out Jihane! We’re on the same page. 🙂 I haven’t tried them, but I’ll look into them!

      March 7, 2016 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply Jihane

    Oh I love this post! I blog about ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly products too and I didn’t know some of these brands were part of the bad boys and girls gang, thanks for sharing. Have you tried Econscious and Synergy Clothing? Both amazing products and companies with high ethical standards!

    March 4, 2016 at 11:29 am
  • Reply christina rambo

    It’s something I knew and now seeing it in writing makes it real. I have to admit, I will be in mourning for some of these.

    March 4, 2016 at 12:30 pm
    • Reply Karin

      I know Chris. I felt the same way! In fact, I had a bad dream a couple of nights ago that I was in a Madewell and I was so tempted to buy something haha!

      March 7, 2016 at 3:49 pm
  • Reply Ana

    It’s so good to know! But I feel so sad because I absolutely adore Urban Outfitters & TopShop 🙁
    I’m definitely into this as well as cruelty free makeup! Such an informative post! xx

    March 6, 2016 at 1:15 pm
    • Reply Karin

      Me too Ana! I loved Urban Outfitters as well!

      March 14, 2016 at 10:44 pm
  • Reply Kryptos

    I just checked out the full list. Was surprised that Old Navy/Banana Republic and H&M made the cut. I guess I don’t have to cut them out of my life. What a relief.

    March 26, 2016 at 7:06 pm
    • Reply Karin

      Well they aren’t the worst, but they definitely aren’t the best either! I would still proceed with caution with those stores. 🙂

      April 4, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Leave a Reply