More than a fashion retailer, ARKET positions itself as a lifestyle brand — it also has a home section and a vegetarian cafe. With all these on its plate, does it have time to prioritise being ethical and sustainable?
The brand started in 2017 and now has 22 stores in 8 different markets, while its head office and design studio is situated in Stockholm.
If you didn’t already know, you may have guessed by the location of its head office that the brand is under the biggest Swedish fashion retailer (and one of the biggest in the world), H&M.
How does it fare when it comes to sustainability and ethics compared to its sister brands COS, & Other Stories, and more? Let’s find out.
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Is ARKET sustainable?
ARKET says it wants to ‘inspire people to live a more sustainable lifestyle.’
It says that 76% of its products in 2020 were made with sustainably sourced materials and that it’s looking to reach 100% by 2030. It uses eco-friendly materials in its products such as organic cotton, Tencel, and recycled linen.
The brand also says that it aims to be 100% ‘climate-positive’ by 2040, ‘by reducing and removing more greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere than what we emit’.
Those are quite lofty goals and they do sound like they want to make a positive impact. The catch is, according to Good On You, there’s no proof that the brand really is on track to meet its target.
At its core, it’s still a fast-fashion brand that overproduces products.
Read ARKET’s Sustainability Fact Sheet here.
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Is ARKET ethical?
The H&M Group scored 71-80% in the Fashion Transparency Index.
ARKET itself has been quite transparent when it comes to its suppliers. You can check out its updated list here.
Despite the transparency in numbers, ARKET and other H&M brands fail to make good on their promise to provide living wages to their 850,000+ workers.
H&M employees in New Zealand also recently held a protest against ‘low pay and unfair work conditions.’
Read H&M Group’s human rights policy here.
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ARKET’s Animal Welfare Policy
While it uses eco-friendly materials for some of its products and has an animal welfare policy aligned with Five Freedoms, ARKET still also uses leather and exotic animal hair.
Read H&M Group’s Animal Welfare Policy 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.