Since launching in 1984, Mango has become a popular go-to for affordable, chic and stylish high street fashion – but is it ethical in 2021?
Despite many believing that Inditex, the company behind Zara, Bershka and Pull and Bear, are also responsible for Mango, it was founded in Barcelona, Spain by Isak Andic and Nahman Andic and is privately owned.
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Since the 80s, the company has grown and now has over 16,000 employees and over 1,200 stores worldwide.
Here, we take a look at Mango’s ethics and sustainability.
Is Mango sustainable?
You can read Mango’s sustainability report for 2020 here, while their 2021 report is available to read in Spanish here.
In February 2020, Mango joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), which aims to promote good practices in the supply chain and measure the environmental and social impact of brands. As part of its ‘commitment to progress towards more sustainable fashion,’ Mango is also a member of the Fashion Pact global coalition and the Better Cotton Initiative.
Mango has pledged to increase the proportion of sustainable fibres in its collections, working towards a goal of using 100% sustainably-sourced cotton in its garments by 2025.
The brand claims that 79% of their garments were made using ‘sustainable properties,’ and by 2022 this will be 100%.
It also plans to increase the use of recycled polyester in its garments to 50% by 2025 and for 100% of the cellulose fibres it uses to be of controlled origin by 2030, while it announced plans to eliminate the use of plastic bags in its supply chain last year.
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However Mango provides no evidence of attempting to reduce its carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and hazardous chemicals in its supply chain on the whole.
Having said that, Mango did release a denim collection for SS21, which was produced using 30million fewer litres of water, fewer chemicals and less energy – but this is only a small percentage of Mango’s clothing lines.
Like many fast fashion brands, a list of which can be found here, Mango’s business model can never be environmentally friendly as manufacturing so many new garments creates huge amounts of waste every year. This goes some way to explain why the average American is estimated to throw away 37kg of clothes each year, 85% of which will end up in landfill or be burned.
Products made using ‘sustainable properties’ is unclear too. This could mean that 1% of a product is made using recycled fabric, but the rest could still be environmentally damaging.
Read Mango’s latest sustainability report here.
Is Mango ethical?
Mango was amongst the retailers whose clothes were being manufactured at the Rana Plaza factory when it collapsed in April 2013, killing at least 1,127 people.
Later that year meetings were held to agree a proposal on compensations for the victims, but Mango failed to attend.
Since then, it has failed to improve when it comes to its labour rights. Some of its supply chain is certified by Business Social Compliance Initiative Code of Conduct – BSCI and Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit – SMETA Best Practice Guidance in the final stage of production, but notably Mango scored a very low 21-30% in the Fashion Transparency Index in 2020.
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It comes as no surprise then, that Mango fails to publish a full list of suppliers and no information about forced labour, gender equality and freedom of association.
As a result, Mango are unable to provide evidence it pays a living wage in its supply chain or that it has policies in place to protect suppliers and garment workers in its supply chain when it comes to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As well as failing to ensure the equality, health and safety of its garment workers, Mango was also embroiled in a lawsuit against Anne-Cécile Couétil, the owner of the brand Velvetine in 2010. She claimed the retailer copied two handbag designs, but lost the lawsuit and was forced to pay Mango €6,000 to Mango over excessive procedure.
Mango Animal Welfare Policy
In 2011, Mango banned the use of exotic skins and fur and it has also banned the use of mohair and angora.
It continues to use wool, leather, exotic animal hair and down.
Unfortunately we can’t find an Animal Rights Policy to share with you on Mango’s website.
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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.
We encourage our readers to shop mindfully and purposefully, ditching impulse purchases as a way to start shopping sustainably. If you want to learn more about fast fashion, we recommend books from this reading list.