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Is forever 21 ethical? – know more interesting facts

Forever 21 is one of those brands that are highly popular among the age groups 13-22. This brand has a huge range of items that they offer. From scarves to every kind of accessory: it always has a number of things for its customers to choose from. One of the reasons why this brand was popular in 2014/2015 was that it is cheap and affordable for most of the population in the United States. But now, people are aware that the only reason this brand sold its clothes for cheap is that it was an example of “fast fashion”.

First things first: what is forever 21? Forever 21 is a fast-fashion retail store that was started in the united states with its headquarters stated in California. Even though it declared bankruptcy in the year 2020, the brand continues to live on.  let’s find Is forever 21 ethical?

The second question that we find ourselves asking is what does “ethical” in terms of a clothing brand mean?

 Ethics in clothing brands (also known as business ethics) means that there are correct and sound policies that are followed in the production, selling, and marketing of the items. 

A brand is ethical when it doesn’t harm the environment, people and animals and also contributes to our society in a positive, healthy, and sustainable way. 

Coming back to the main question, is forever 21 an ethical brand?

The answer is no: forever 21 isn’t even close to being ethical in any way: it’s fast fashion. Fast fashion is a term used to describe the mass production of trending or high fashion designs that are produced at a very low cost and are sold at a higher price in retail stores like forever 21, H&M, Zara, etc. 

Let us look at the brand in separate categories and see why it doesn’t check the ethical box. 

  1. Impact on the environment: Although the brand talks about it “helping the planet’, it doesn’t talk about it in detail and how it benefits the environment. In today’s day and age, the young population cares about the environment and is very conscious in terms of buying things compared to the older generations. We strongly believe that the buyer has the right to know and must know such things. Therefore, many young consumers look down on forever 21 for not stating the ways it helps the environment. 
  2. Labor conditions: One thing we must keep in mind: fast fashion always means that the labor conditions are very poor. Forever 21 in terms of this received a score of 0-10% in the fashion transparency index. Although on paper it states that it meets the labor standards that are required, they do not ensure worker health and safety, living wages, or other important things. The brand also doesn’t publish anything regarding the same. even during the pandemic, the brand failed to disclose any policies or safeguards to protect supplies and workers in this chain of stores from the virus. It is one of the only fast fashion brands that still refuses to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety which is a legally binding agreement that requires brands to ensure safe working conditions in supplier factories. Unlike many of the company’s competitors, Forever 21 never joined the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety or the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, two groups that vowed to improve working standards in the country.
  3. Animal welfare: Forever 21 in numerous articles has spoken about “minimalizing animal suffering” in making their products, but it doesn’t have a definite policy that states the same. Apart from that, it doesn’t use things like fur, leather, or any kind of animal skin, but it does use wool and exotic animal fur and was threatened by PETA to remove these kinds of clothing from all its stores. 

To conclude, consumers should avoid this brand as a whole. Forever 21 will be remembered as a big part of fashion in the early 2000s, but not in a positive way since people care about ethical practices more so now than ever before. 

Question 1) is forever 21 size-inclusive?

answer) yes, forever 21 is size very size-inclusive. Even when they released “plus-size” demons, they did not fit women who come under that category, proving to us that their line of denim is not every inclusive compared to plus sizes of other brands. 

Question 2) is forever 21 going through bankruptcy?

answer) yes, in 2020, the brand declared bankruptcy and filed for bankruptcy protection. The company then proceeded to close 178 stores in the US.

Question 3) what are the alternatives to forever 21?

answer) Stores such as CHNGE, afends, honest basics, Elle Evans and PACT are some brands that are not only size exclusive but are also sustainable.

Question 4) where are forever 21’s clothes manufactured?

answer) Clothes of this brand are made domestically in California and well as offshores in china.  

William James

I help consumers answer their nagging queries about products, services, and companies. We aim to provide in-depth, well-researched, and accurate information in easy-to-follow guides and articles. Learn more here.

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