Is Billabong Fast Fashion? All You Need to Know About It

by jacky chou
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Is Billabong fast fashion? Yes, it is a fast fashion clothing brand. Billabong is a clothing retailer that deals in wetsuits, snow outerwear, board shorts, other beach outfits, and an entire line of lifestyle clothes for men and women.

If you are a fan of splashing in the water, especially for leisure, you have probably heard about this brand and others like Cupshe, which is also fast fashion. A pair of swimsuits, like what you already own from Billabong, needs the best water shoes to make you ready for the water.

Want to know more about Billabong and whether or not it is fast fashion, join us for the details.

If you are interested in knowing more about Billabong and whether or not it is fast fashion, join us for the details.

History of Billabong

Billabong is a surfboard and lifestyle wear brand. It is an Australian company that was founded in 1973 by Gordon Merchant. He was known to produce and design homemade board shorts and then sell them to nearby stores.

Merchant had a unique technique known as triple-stitching on his shorts, making them durable. So, because of this feature, his surfer customers preferred his shorts.

Due to the high demand, he wanted to establish his company more firmly. Gordon Merchant used the company’s positive reputation in planning events tailored to surfing, which led to Billabong’s creation.

The company took over Australia in the 80s as it became more popular and prominent. By the late 1980s, the company was already exporting its products from Asia, Africa, and Oceania, as it had factories in these areas.

When Gordon realized how the different seasons would impact his brand, he branched out to all board sports to meet the needs and wants of his customers. Billabong later bought other brands like Elements and Von Zipper in 2001 and Palmers Surf and Kustom Footwear in 2004. Other examples include Xcel, a wetsuit brand in 2006, and Tigerlily, a girls’ swimwear brand.

Is Billabong Fast Fashion?

Fast fashion companies prioritize quickly manufacturing a large volume of products and generating revenue. They go for fast sales, low prices, and quick manufacturing of goods.

Billabong is considered a fast-fashion brand as it uses unsustainable materials to manufacture clothes and accessories.

What Makes Billabong Fast Fashion?

a) Unsustainability

An ethical brand does not leave a huge carbon footprint on the environment. It minimizes the negative impacts of its activities on the environment.

International conventions expect companies to lower their greenhouse emissions and also manage their waste products in a way that does not harm the environment. After all, efficient management and tracking of waste from industries are important in ensuring that the environment is protected from pollution.

b) Unethical

Billabong doesn’t give enough details about the welfare and safety of its employees. Companies are expected by international agreements to always treat employees fairly. The employees should also be paid a reasonable and fair living wage.

fast fashion brands don't consider their workers' wellbeing

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Other rights include being given the freedom to associate with each other in a safe workplace. Child labor, underpaid and unpaid labor, and forced labor are all frowned upon to ensure workers’ rights are not violated.

sweatshop workers

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Although this Australian fashion retailer states its acceptance of the given conventions, it does not reveal the location of its factories. This makes it impossible for them to be inspected.

This Australian clothes retailer doesn’t display any labor certification standards that would guarantee fair working conditions, living wages, worker health, safety, or other essential rights. However, the company manufactures clothes in many East Asian countries where labor law and human rights are frequently violated. Also, there is no labor rights group endorsing or backing up the company.

c) Animal Protection

Billabong’s manufacturing practices have banned the use of fur in creating their products. However, it uses other animal products like leather, down, and exotic animal skins.

fast fashion brands harm animals

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It lacks a comprehensive statement, policy, or plan to guarantee its commitment to minimizing animalcruelty by stopping the use of animal-derived materials in its supply chain.

Some animal-derived materials Billabong uses include leather, down, and exotic animal skin. Animal rights groups cannot judge them as cruelty-free due to their lack of proper information from them.

d) Products Quality

Like any other fast fashion brand, Billabong’s clothes are made with low-quality materials. Also, not enough attention is paid to the quality of their products. Billabong manufactures its clothes at high speed, which guarantees water and fabric wastage.

Billabong Sustainability Practices

Billabong employs a variety of strategies to safeguard biodiversity, lower resource usage (including water and electricity), prevent waste, and fight climate change. It’s trying to improve itself and be more efficient by looking at all aspects of its value chain to minimize its negative environmental impacts. Despite this, it still has detrimental effects on the environment.


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This surfwear company does not publish a list of its processing facilities and manufacturers on its corporate website. It also does not disclose how it chooses its suppliers.

According to the 2022 Fashion Transparency Index, Billabong scored only 7% based on how much it discloses concerning its social and environmental policies, impacts, and practices. Over the years, Billabong had tried to use recycled materials since 2007, when it started with recycler boardshorts to generate high-performance fabric from pet plastics.

They went ahead to make outerwear fabric from recycled pet plastics that marked the beginning of their recycler snow. Another product that Billabong came up with is the recycler wetsuits made from upcycled fishing nets.

In 2020, the company introduced Ciclo technology that aims at minimizing plastic pollution from landfills and oceans. The company also ensures that all of its packaging is recyclable and made with recyclable and sustainable materials.

Billabong hosted its first athletes summit to encourage sustainability

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In an effort to go greener, the Billabong clothing brand also hosted its first Athlete Sustainability Summit. In this summit, Billabong revealed that it also uses water-based adhesives and Arch and Hook Blue recycled plastic hangers from the oceans.

It’s also making noticeable progress in the production process, like using solar-powered factories to manufacture its products. This, in turn, leads to a reduction of its negative impacts on the environment. The summit was to inspire athletes and other customers to make sustainable lifestyle choices.

What Materials Does Billabong Use in Production?

Billabong uses a modest amount of recycled materials, such as cotton, polyester, and nylon, as well as organic materials, like organic cotton and hemp.

does billabong use sustainable materials in the production of its products?

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Another material used is neoprene, which looks good and also does good for the environment. It is recycled; hence, instead of ending up in landfills, the material gets another chance at life. The company has not yet found a way of producing its own biodegradable neoprene.

braided women's sandals

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Billabong also uses a small amount of semi-synthetic fibers like acetate, viscose, Tencel lyocell, and modal. Tencel is an eco-friendly fiber and is made with wood pulp from certified sustainable forests.

Billabong Sustainability Goals

Billabong women's swim wear

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Billabong plans to have all its products made from fabrics certified as organic, recycled, or responsibly sourced by the end of 2023. It also plans to have 50% of its accessories and clothing created from certified and recycled biodegradable, organic, and ethically sourced materials before the end of 2025.

Also read: is Bonobos fast fashion or an upscale brand?

Frequently Asked Questions on Billabong Clothing Brand

1. Is Billabong ethical?

None of the suppliers of Billabong is certified by labor standards that ensure workers’ living wages, health,and safety are considered. In Billabong’s supply chain, there is no fur, angora, exotic animal skin, or hair. However, it does use wool and leather, which are both animal-derived materials, attracting questions about its ethics.

2. What Australian brands are fast fashion?

Besides Billabong, other Australian fast fashion brands include Ping Pong, Jeanswest, Quick Silver, Bardot, DC shoes, Kacheal, and ValleyGirl.

3. What led to Billabong’s failure?

Billabong has been around for over 40 years, and for the past year, the company has been on the low. Some of the causes of this problem include wrong trends and a confusing assortment, and poor pricing strategies.

4. What is the importance of sustainable development in the fashion industry?

Sustainable development in the fashion industry involves promoting the well-being of the environment, people, and communities.

5. What does Billabong do?

Billabong is an international company focused on manufacturing surfing attires. It is primarily a clothing retailer which produces accessories like backpacks, watches, skateboards, and snowboard products under different brand names.

6. What are the pros and cons of sustainable fashion?


    • Durable and comfortable

    • No exploitation or child labor

    • Resource recycling hence environmentally friendly


    • More expensive

    • Not as trendy as fast fashion

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jacky chou


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