Is Zaful Ethical?

What is Zaful? Zaful is a women’s and men’s online fashion retailer, specializing in cheap, low-cost, low-quality clothing that changes daily to keep up with consumer demands and constantly changing trends. You can find virtually any style you could dream of on their online website, and they are constantly expanding.

Zaful is an e-commerce website so though their headquarters are based in Hong Kong, the sellers themselves are worldwide.

Zaful is basically just a platform for other sellers to market their products and thus there is a wide variety of quality of Zaful, meaning consumers never really know what they are going to get. Because Zaful sells such easily accessible and cheap clothing, they are incredibly popular and have an undeniably huge online following of loyal fans.

The cost of the products might be low but is the ethical cost of creating these mass-produced cheap clothing too high for you?

What Is An Ethical Company?

There are many different interpretations of what an ethical company is. To be a successful ethical company you must both make profits and do good.

Being an ethical company is about considering the impact of one’s actions, products, and services on people, animals, and the wider environment.

In basic terms, an ethical company does not cause damage to the environment through waste or production, doesn’t break child labor laws, makes an effort not to exploit its workforce or produce products that are dangerous to either the consumer or the worker.

Unfortunately, being an ethical company costs money. It requires a business to invest in ways to reduce their environmental impact, create a transparent supply chain and pay garment workers a fair and sustainable wage.

All these things dip into profit margins that many companies are unwilling to sacrifice, especially when many consumers would rather just have cheap clothing than fairly priced items.   

Is Zaful Good Quality?

The reviews for Zaful quality are very mixed. Some buyers are incredibly happy with their purchases, saying they are great value for money and the items are great for the price.

Others however say you get what you pay for-and with many items like dresses and coats being only a few dollars, it’s not a positive statement.

Many buyers suggest scrolling through to look at the reviews for each item as sizing and quality of the material varies wildly- as an online retailer it’s also very hard to see what kind of material you are buying until you’ve made your purchase.

Their returns policy is also not great, making consumers pay for return shipping and limiting what items you are allowed to return, though on an environmental note it is important to remember that even when brands accept returns, very rarely do these items go back into circulation.

More likely, they get thrown straight into landfills so be wary when buying just for the sake of it. 

Does Zaful Pay Their Workers A Fair Wage?

There is very little information about Zaful’s supply chain or where their clothing is made or sourced from. But, just looking at the clothes cost it’s easy to see that there is no way workers are being paid a fair wage to create these garments.

An easy way to think about this is to take a 15 dollar coat for example. Once we take away the cost of material, shipping, and money made by the company (as they have to make a profit after all to be a successful company) there’s no space to pay a garment worker almost anything, let alone a fair wage. 

Is Zaful The Same As Shein And Romwe?

Though their websites look basically identical, Zaful is owned by a different entity than Shein and Romwe who are both US-based companies.

However, on many reviews of all three companies, many consumers have said bags or clothing items are packaged the same and often with each other’s logos or branding on packaging suggesting they have the same retail packaging and supply chains.

They are all 3rd party hosting sites that seem to sell very similar items and in some cases the same stock. All three companies use aggressive social media marketing to attract young consumers and upload thousands of new products to their websites every day. 

Should You Buy From Zaful?

From what we know about their company and the quality of clothing, absolutely not. If you are searching whether Zaful is ethical, chances are you are interested in changing your shopping habits and have an interest in making a positive impact with your purchases.

Zaful is the epitome of fast fashion, churning out thousands of low-quality low-cost designs every day. Stop and think about what happens to those clothes that don’t sell.

That 3 dollar bikini probably isn’t going to be taking up space in the warehouse for long and if it doesn’t sell guess where it’s going? Straight to the landfill.

Now imagine that there are thousands of new products arriving daily, only a fraction of them are going to be best-sellers and the rest just get trashed. That’s not even taking into account the dubious origins of items or the lack of fair wages for workers.

Final Thoughts

The final verdict is to avoid it at all costs. Not only is it a game of roulette to see whether you’ll actually get the item you want, but Zaful is also a company that steals designs from other designers and makes cheap tacky replicas that will probably just end up in the trash.

Why pay designers for original creations when you could just steal them? In fact why pay photographers or models when you could just steal those photos too.

As the consumer can never really know what they are buying, if there’s something from Zaful you’ve had your eye on, wait a bit because chances are someone’s disappointing purchase will be in a charity shop near you soon enough.