Is Pull & Bear Ethical and Sustainable?

Is it really for the 'environmentally engaged'?

Last Updated on September 18, 2021

Pull & Bear says it’s a brand that caters to ‘young, environmentally engaged and dynamic fashion lovers.’ Is it as ethical and sustainable as it appears on paper?

The brand, which has been around since 1991, sees ‘young people who have a casual dress sense, who shun stereotypes and who want to feel good in whatever they are wearing’ as its target customer. It sounds a lot like Gen Z to us. 

According to a study, Gen Z shoppers prefer buying from sustainable brands and they’re willing to spend 10% more if the product is truly sustainable. Will Pull & Bear pass their standards?

READ MORE: Is Nasty Gal ethical and sustainable?

Is Pull & Bear sustainable?

The brand launched its first ‘Join Life’ collection in 2018 as part of its parent brand Inditex’s sustainability movement. Under Join Life, it offers products made with eco-friendly fabrics such as organic cotton, Tencel, recycled polyester, and more. 

Not all of its offerings are under the Join Life collection though, so it would be safe to assume that those products don’t use environmentally friendly materials.

As part of the Join Life program, Pull & Bear also accepts clothes customers no longer wear and gives them new life — whether it’s by donating them to non-profit organisations, mending them for reselling, or recycling them.

It did share that along with its sister brands, it aims to offer products with 100% sustainable materials by 2025. The brand also has a target of 30% reduction of emissions by 2030. The ultimate goal by the brand is to become carbon neutral by 2050. While these are all great targets, the brand doesn’t have a lot of projects being implemented to achieve these right now.

Like its sister brands Zara, Bershka and Stradivarius, it operates with a fast fashion model — much like SHEIN, Boohoo and Nasty Gal. It releases new collections and products constantly to keep up with the trends. 

Pull & Bear, together with other Inditex brands, produced an estimated 1.6 billion items in 2019. In 2021, its parent company saw pre-pandemic sales and netted €850 million in profit in the second quarter. We won’t be surprised if a big chunk of the clothes sold during these periods ended up in landfill — that’s sadly how fast fashion works.

READ MORE: Is Stradivarius ethical and sustainable?

Is Pull & Bear ethical?

Pull & Bear, along with other Inditex brands, scored 51-60% in the Fashion Transparency Index. It details its policies for environmental welfare, animal welfare, and social development

The brand says it has projects that promote employment in Spain as well as community development in Bangladesh and Cambodia. 

Pull & Bear also launched a ‘for&from’ store in Ferrol, Spain, which employs people with disabilities. It’s worth noting that the brand currently has 73 stores. 

The brand also says it works only with suppliers that meet its ‘stringent demands,’ which include the upholding of good and safe working conditions. However, it reportedly doesn’t show proof that pays its workers living wages.

READ MORE: Is Bershka ethical and sustainable?

Pull & Bear’s Animal Welfare Policy

Under Inditex’s agreement with the Fur Free Alliance, Pull & Bear doesn’t sell products that contain any type of animal fur — mink, coyote, fox, sable, rabbit, muskrat, and more. 

It also claims that the wool and leather it uses are sustained through stringent compliance with its standards for ‘ethical treatment of animals.’

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.