Fabletics is an American brand that is popular for selling what is known as ‘athleisure’, including sportswear, footwear, and other accessories. The household name of Hollywood actress Kate Hudson, a co-founder of Fabletics, contributes to their brand’s reputation. They make clothes out of the best raw materials, and though they are athleisure, they are designed for the utmost comfort. Imagine a pair of leggings being so comfortable that you can wear them to the gym and then chill on the couch later – that’s Fabletics. But, can one buy from Fabletics guilt-free? Is Fabletics Ethical?
Is Fabletics An Ethical Brand?
Saying that a brand is ethical means that they are sustainable, environmentally friendly, and have reasonably good working conditions for their employees.
Fabletics comes under the category of what is called fast fashion. This means rolling out trendy new collections often at inexpensive prices. The problem with such a system is that consumers have to keep new clothes and throw out their old ones. All the clothes they throw out end up in landfills, which are terrible for the environment.
The only positive thing Fabletics does for the environment is to use renewable energy in some parts of its manufacturing process. This reduces its carbon footprint and impact on climate change to some extent.
When it comes to working conditions for employees, Fabletics has a Code of Conduct they supposedly follow, and they audit a part of their supply line. Except this, there is no proof that they treat their employees well, no proof that they even get a living wage.
With this, Fabletics cannot be called ethical. They need to do better.
Ethics At Fabletics
There are some basic questions to be answered to consider a brand ethical;
- How are their raw materials sourced? Are they environmentally friendly?
- What are the working conditions of their employees? (Keep in mind that we are not talking about people who work in the shiny offices at Fabletics going by titles such as social media managers. We are talking about those who make these clothes – the ones who work in factories and have a history of being mistreated)
- Is child labor involved?
- Are the workers being paid a living wage?
- Are any animals harmed in the process? (This question does not apply to Fabletics, as the products they use are not related to animals)
If we look at Fabletics’ official policy regarding this, there is one page on their website that talks about the environment. They do not explain in detail or explain at all, how exactly they are contributing to this effort. They say that climate change is bad, and the environment needs us to do better. This is a very vague, general thing to say, especially coming from a big brand that will make an impact if they choose to do so.
This is the summary of ethics and Fabletics; vagueness. They keep their entire manufacturing process a total secret. Numerous questions by different people have gotten nowhere. Keeping everything under the wraps could mean they are ethical and don’t bother to show it, or they are worse than what we assume.
Let’s be real here; it is far more likely that they want to hide how unethical they are because that would affect their profit margins, reputation, stock value, etc. Some companies such as Nike and Reebok are known to be unethical; they use child labor, but they are still very big brands.
Consumers need to understand how a pair of leggings or the comfiest hoodie ends up in that spotless mall where they get a 10% discount and think it’s a steal. It may have been the product of child labor, animal cruelty, have the worst environmental impact, and we would never know.
Alternatives to Fabletics
If you feel guilty for buying at Fabletics but love the brand’s clothes, don’t be. We’re all in the same boat, trying to figure this out. Here are some alternative brands that are ethical, but in the same line as Fabletics. You can check these out, and if none of them interest you, a simple Google search for ethical and sustainable brands should help you.
Make sure that the websites you are looking at are third-party organizations that have no direct relation to the brand they are certifying.
- Elle Evans
- Girlfriend Collective
- Conscious Step
If you read this article and are disappointed by Fabletics, so is everyone else. They have a great marketing strategy and good quality clothes. Knowing that they do not choose to be ethical is very unfortunate. It can make a lot of their consumers uncomfortable, as anyone who cares about ethics will feel bad. Fabletics uses Kate Hudson and Demi Lovato as their celebrity faces, and they carry on being opaque about their ethics. We hope this article answered your questions about Fabletics, and they try to make changes and improve. Happy Ethical Shopping!