ASOS

overall rating:

0

planets

Tash Doole
8/7/2021
No items found.

ASOS is a British online fashion and cosmetics retailer, selling over 850 different brands along with its own products. Since it was founded in 2000, ASOS has grown massively, with profits totaling a massive £1.2 billion in the 2020 financial year. Despite this mass popularity, ASOS can be clearly seen greenwashing its consumers with pages and pages of new sustainable aims and goals, but not a single plan on how any will be achieved nor any kind of progress tracker. Other Voiz reviews of individual ASOS products have shown how ASOS clearly demonstrates a good and solid understanding of the sustainability sector due to the wording used in reports and articles. However, their actions go totally against what any educated person would say is thought of as being sustainable. ASOS has got to change. 

What it's made of:

0

Under their corporate social responsibility page, the ASOS Sustainable Sourcing Programme is the biggest area discussed regarding raw materials. Three main points are talked about and I was disappointed by all of them. Cotton is the primary material used for most garments, and ASOS discusses their link to the Better Cotton Initiative, a company that helps to improve cotton production for the people that make it as well as the environment. This is a good partnership to be affiliated with. However, after reviewing several other apparel companies, partnering with the BCI is, to me, almost like the bare minimum nowadays. Other than the BCI, nothing else has been said regarding cotton, and, although they have pledged “to source 100% more sustainable cotton by 2025” using the Sustainable Cotton Challenge, an initiative started to encourage the use of sustainable cotton, there has been no indication of how this increase will be achieved. Cellulosic fibre, fibre obtained primarily from wood-pulp, is now becoming more common within garments, and ASOS has partnered with the NGO Canopy, a group committed to the protection of ancient and endangered forests, to help them improve the transparency of their supply chains as well as put in place some policies to help their transition to cellulosic fibre. This is a good start but definitely not good enough from a well-established company like ASOS. Finally, they briefly discussed the use of recycled fibre, and by briefly I mean one sentence, simply stating that they’re “working on it.” This is certainly not good enough from ASOS, considering that some companies have already put in place entire programmes to recycle, repair, and resell their own products. 

How it's made:

0.25

ASOS has lots within their sustainability reports on their ethical trade programme as well as their supply chain. The information they give sounds pretty good. It is broken down into three pillars: customer transparency, social impacts, and supply chain monitoring. To increase transparency, ASOS contributes to Fashion Revolution’s Transparency Index which ranks retailers on how much information they provide on supplies and supply chains as well as social and environmental impacts. This all sounds good, but further research showed that only information from the ASOS website is used for the index and nothing is independently verified, meaning it would be very easy to get away with lying and not disclosing the whole truth. There are many subcategories within the social impacts pillar, and ASOS has worked with several creditable groups to create multiple programmes involving social rights such us the Action Collaboration Transformation who ensure the living wage is met, as well as a local NGO in Turkey who has helped ASOS develop a training programme covering gender equality, discrimination, and harassment. Lastly, the supply chain is covered well by ASOS and links are given to full factory lists around the world. Factories are monitored and factory assessments are carried out, but none of these things are done independently; they are completed and reported on by solely ASOS, so the trustworthiness of the results is questionable. Additionally, many of the policies surrounding supply chains and ASOS’ ethical trade standards are set by ASOS themselves, again meaning that the trustworthiness is questionable. 

Who makes it:

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ASOS is a massive company loved by Gen Z for its enormous range of clothing, accessories, and everything in between. Unfortunately, it is one of the largest fast fashion companies out in the world today. But, by using clever marketing techniques and choosing to omit information, ASOS has been able to sell itself as a company that is making strides to become more sustainable, something which really couldn’t be further from the truth. As people won’t just stop buying from companies like ASOS due to the discourse surrounding things like “trends,” it comes down to ASOS itself making changes to become more sustainable, especially since at the moment they are greenwashing their consumers. I believe they can do it, and ultimately, they should. However, whether they will or not, is another question.