I think we’ve all seen Urban Outfitters storefronts, with their ironic advertisements, pop culture references, and unique fashions.
But what do you know about the company itself?
Is Urban Outfitters fast fashion?
And are they eco-friendly?
I am not here to comment on the fashion of the brand or the messages that their advertising sends to their target audience, but rather to shed light on the ethical practices employed by this brand from conception to completion.
Is Urban a fast fashion brand?
Urban Outfitters is a popular fast fashion brand. This means it sells multiple collections of clothing per year. The brand also has a high turnover rate in its stores, meaning that by the time you get to the store to buy something, it may be sold out.
The clothes are inexpensive and trendy, with an emphasis on vintage-inspired pieces that can be worn season after season.
Modern fashion brands don’t just come out with a new collection once a year. It’s much more affordable for a clothing manufacturer to put out multiple collections per year. That way they don’t have to spend money on developing new designs and can still make profit of each collection.
Stores like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 do this on a regular basis. Urban Outfitters has been accused of having too many styles in its stores, even though these brands require a ton of styles to maintain sales volume.
Is Urban Outfitters cruelty free?
Urban Outfitters is not cruelty-free.
Urban Outfitters sells a variety of clothing, accessories and home goods. Like many other retailers, Urban Outfitters uses leather, fur, silk and hide in its products.
It does not mention its position on using animal products on their website or social media pages, but it does specify that their vendors can use products derived from animals if required.
Is it ethical?
Urban Outfitters is a popular American clothing brand that sells a variety of clothing, shoes, accessories and home goods.
With a little digging, I was able to find out some information about their manufacturing process.
The first thing I found was that they do not disclose any information about their suppliers or manufacturers.
This makes it very hard for consumers to know if and how their clothes were produced.
They also do not disclose any information about their materials and where they come from either.
This also makes it difficult for consumers to know if their clothes are made ethically or not.
The company has received criticism over its lack of transparency when it comes to sourcing materials, making products and treating their employees.
While Urban Outfitters does have a code of conduct, there are several red flags that indicate they may not be doing enough to ensure fair labor practices and environmental sustainability.
Where does it get their clothes?
Urban Outfitters was founded by Richard Hayne in 1970 and is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Besides the United States and Canada, the company operates a number of stores around the globe.
Since Urban Outfitters does not specify where their clothes are manufactured, it is difficult to tell where the clothes are made.
Does Urban Outfitters use sweatshop labor?
Urban Outfitters has been in business since 1970 and has grown to become one of the largest clothing retailers in the United States.
Richard Hayne, who owns Urban Outfitters, has a net worth of $1.1 billion.
Mr. Hayne is not shy about his wealth, he is often seen flying his private jet around the country and attending high-end fashion shows.
It’s interesting that Mr. Hayne doesn’t seem to care about the well-being of his employees or their wages because at Urban Outfitters, workers are paid minimum wage or below minimum wage for their hard work.
Employees at Urban don’t have any programs or benefits from their employer either like healthcare or retirement savings plans so many employees have to find other jobs just so they can pay for these things on their own.
As part of their Code of Conduct, Urban Outfitters outlines how they expect third-party vendors to treat workers producing products for them.
This includes paying them fairly, providing workplace safety equipment and maintaining cleanliness in the facilities where they work.
However, there are no specifics about how these expectations are enforced or whether or not they are actually met. In fact, there is no mention at all about any audits or other ways that Urban Outfitters checks up on these factories.
Is Urban Outfitters Sustainable?
Urban Outfitters has a fairly low sustainability rating on Good On You. It’s rated 2/5 stars. Neither the company works to reduce waste or to produce conscious products.
They also do not measure their emission rates. The company does use some recyclable materials.
Urban Outfitters has 11-20% in the Fashion Transparency Index.
Urban Outfitters does not promote intersectional sustainability because they do not make any conscious products that are fair trade or vegan.
They also sell clothing made from animal fur and leather, which is cruel to animals.
The line between fast fashion and cheap chic is becoming increasingly blurred. Some companies have a tendency to sacrifice quality for speedy deliveries. Urban Outfitters and other fast fashion retailers could be next to receive the same treatment as H&M and Zara for their unethical practices. However, Urban Outfitters should set the standard for how a “good company” acts by making their supply chain transparent and open.