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Is ASOS fast fashion?

Is ASOS considered to be fast fashion and is it ethical?

ASOS stocks over 850 brands and ships to 196, making it one of the easiest places to shop online – but is ASOS fast fashion?

When the retailer launched in 2000, its primary aim was to recreate the clothes seen in film and TV, which explains their name.

ASOS stood for As Seen On Screen, but as the brand grew in popularity, the tagline ‘Buy what you see on film and TV’ disappeared. Now it seems the brand are becoming more like Boohoo, offering trend-led pieces at affordable prices.

READ MORE: Is Zara ethical and sustainable?

Is ASOS fast fashion?

In short, yes.

ASOS rely on a quick turnaround of designs, from the moment a garment is seen on a catwalk or celebrity, to when a garment is released for sale on ASOS’ website.

Fast fashion can never be sustainable as it encourages consumers to buy an item to wear just a few times and then dispose of it. This may be donating to charity or literally throwing it in the bin, but the majority of the time it ends up in landfill.

Read more about fast fashion here, or if you’re thinking of shopping more sustainably, read more about sustainable fashion here.

Is ASOS ethical?

According to good on you, there’s also a serious lack of transparency when it comes to ensuring living wages are paid in its supply chain. While they likely publish information about supplier policies, audits and remediation process, the Fashion Transparency Index showed that they may be publishing information about forced labour, gender equality or freedom of association – but there’s no guarantee.

The retailer did introduce a new supply chain transparency initiative this year however, which requires all brands sold on ASOS to sign up to four ethical manufacturing pledges. These including signing a transparency pledge, mapping their UK-based supply chains, providing evidence of visibility of their UK-based facilities, and joining Fast Forward – a UK-focussed labour standards audit and improvement programme.

However in 2020, ASOS received a score of 55% in the Fashion Transparency Index.

They publish a detailed list of suppliers in the final stage of production and a little information about the second stage of production on their website.

They also publish policies in place to protect suppliers and workers in its supply chain from the impacts of COVID-19, despite originally refusing to pay workers at the start of 2020 regardless of the written contracts they had signed for the work and legally owing payment. Eventually they committed to paying their workers after growing external pressure to do so.

Unfortunately almost none of ASOS’ supply chain is certified by labour stands that ensure worker health and safety, living wages and other rights.

READ MORE: Is ASOS ethical and sustainable?

What brands are fast fashion?

Other brands that are considered to be fast fashion include Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, Primark, Zara, Nasty Gal and H&M among many, many more.

Read our exhaustive list of fast fashion brands here.

What brands are not fast fashion?

Brands considered sustainable include People Tree, House of Sunny, Lucy & Yak and LF Markey among many more.

Read our list of sustainable and plus-size fashion brands here.

Is ASOS considered a good brand?

While ASOS have made an effort to do better when it comes to sustainability and ethics, they still have a long way to go.

Read more about ASOS practises here.

Wear Next Opinion

Wear Next believes it’s important to highlight the negative and unjust practises taking place in the fashion industry. We believe ethics and sustainability are an important talking point to bring about change and we encourage you to contact fashion brands to demand this.

However we understand that sustainable fashion isn’t accessible for every body due to various factors, such as budget and the ability to find confidence-boosting clothes that fit. We will continue to offer you fashion inspiration and guidance to suit every body and budget, while also highlighting the unjust systems at play in the fashion industry.

Would you still shop at ASOS? Let us know in the comments below.

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