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Fashion retailers ranked by ethical index score in the United Kingdom (UK) 2020

In the fashion industry, ethical consumption has been a much-discussed topic recently. In February 2019, the UK Parliament released a report on ethical consuption and sustainability in fashion, urging retailers to take into consideration the ethical and social cost of clothing items.

Ethical companies in fashion

According to the rating table compiled by Ethical Company Organization, the leading three retailers to score the highest ethical score in the United Kingdom were People Tree, Fundamentals, and Whistles. As displayed in this statistic, while fair trade brand People Tree topped the list with its ethical company score, fast-fashion retailers such as H&M and New Look received a score of 75. This score indicates absence of criticism or negative records when it comes to sustainability and environmental practices of relevant companies.

Consumer interest in ethical fashion

In the meantime, the ethical clothing market is expanding in the UK, which is good news indicating an increase of consumer interest in buying from ethical brands. According to the results of a 2018 survey, about a quarter of UK consumers said they cared about the environmental impact of the clothing items before they buy them. This share was considerably higher in other European countries, particularly in Italy where more than half of the interviewed consumers said the environmental impact of clothing items was something they thought of a great deal.

Ranking of the leading 10 fashion retailers in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2020, based on ethical company index score*

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Release date

September 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* The ethical company index score is used to represent the level of criticism of retailers and brands by environmental and human rights organizations across the world. Information has been compiled multiple sources, including government agencies and NGOs.

In this ranking, retailers' scores are broken down as following:
Scores above 70 indicate the top rating; retailers for which the source has found no criticisms or negative records in this category.
Scores between 51 and 70 indicate the middle rating; retailers with some criticisms or negative records in this category.
Scores below 50 indicate the bottom rating; retailers with the highest level of criticism and negative records in this category.

The source does not give a date of release for the data used in this statistic. The date provided here is the date of access.

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