Is old navy ethical? Old Navy is one of the leading global apparel brands founded in 1994. The brand, named after a bar in Paris, is owned by Gap Inc, an American fashion company.
Old Navy prides itself on being a less expensive version of the mother company, offering casual clothes for men, women, and children.
The brand runs more than 1000 stores making it one of the largest brands in the world. Most of the clothes made by Old Navy are relatively low-priced, with basic long-sleeved t-shirts sold at an average of $10 and jeans starting off at around $30.
Buyers can also find trendy pieces such as scarves, boots, and sunglasses by spending as less as $10-$15. The production and buyers’ demand meet to the fullest.
However, these affordable deals can come at the expense of the environment and company employees. Most of us can’t help but wonder if the brand is sustainable and eco-friendly. So, is Old Navy ethical?
How To Tell If a Company is Ethical
We wear various types of clothes, including varieties of brands, but most are the time, we fail or forget to check if they are ethical or not.
There are many factors that buyers can consider to determine if something is ethical. There are also a few questions that they can ask about various items and the company that makes them.
Is the apparel built to last? Can you trace the origin of the materials used in production? What are the brand’s working conditions? Are the clothes reasonably priced to accommodate a fair wage for employees?
If the brand doesn’t readily provide answers to such questions, chances are buyers are shopping for unethical items. Customers can also use the checkpoints below to determine if a brand is ethical.
• Environment: for pieces of clothes and any other item to be ethical, they need to be environmentally friendly. If there is too much waste during production and no proper waste management, then the brand is unethical.
• Animals: brands using fur, skin, wool, angora, and leather for earrings and clothes are considered unethical as not only is it animal harassment, but illegal as well.
• Workers: if the brand fails to pay its hard-working employees enough for their services, it is unethical.
While Old Navy uses eco-friendly materials, including recycled materials during production, it cannot control the production of greenhouse gas emissions generated during operation. There lacks enough evidence showing the brand is on track to meet its target.
However, we must commend the company for receiving an ‘A’ in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) water security questionnaire. The brand has displayed leadership in water management in its supply chain, and as far as big corporates go, Old Navy is taking steps to be more environmentally conscious.
Unfortunately, Old Navy’s labor rating is not good enough. The brand has none of its supply chain certified by labor standards that ensure all labor rights in health, safety, and living wages are followed.
Additionally, Old Navy has also made little progress towards ensuring payment of a living wage or formulation of adequate policies protecting its suppliers and employees from the impacts of COVID-19.
It is also shocking that such a famous brand received approximately 45% in the Fashion Transparency Index. Old Navy recently published a detailed list of suppliers in the final production stage but none on its supplier policies, audits, forced labor, gender equality, and remediation processes.
Old Navy’s animal welfare rating also went down to not good enough. The brand uses leather, exotic animal hair, and wool in production. Its policies on animal welfare protection are also basic.
While the brand doesn’t use fur, angora, down, or exotic animal skin, it is unethical when it comes to animal welfare.
So, is Old Navy ethical? Based on the above research, Old Navy is anything but ethical. While the brand has sustainable smaller sub-brands operating under it, customers are better off supporting brands with a transparent supply chain for all their products.
Gap inc. is not transparent enough to provide reports indicating the actual source of materials used in production. Therefore, we can conclude that Old Navy is at the starting point of being ethical as it uses animal materials from uncertified sources, underpays its workers, and has failed to meet ethical environmental aspects.
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