Is Hollister Fast Fashion? Sustainability and Ethics

by jacky chou
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To remain relevant and sustainable as businesses, many clothing brands have adopted a business model that leans more toward fast fashion. From producing trendy clothes to involving social media influencers and producing fashion for the short-lived contemporary fashion needs, brands engage in cutthroat competitive selling. Is Hollister fast fashion, and is it one of the brands in the thick of it when it comes to fast fashion?

From how Hollister has been running its brand, it is clearly a fast fashion brand. In this article, we are taking a deeper look at why Hollister is one of the fast fashion retailers, their sustainability practices, where they manufacture their clothes, and whether they are ethical. We will use the different fast fashion indicators to probe Hollister and see why it falls in the same category as fast fashion brands like Adika, Fashion Nova, or Zara.

What is Hollister?

What is Hollister

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Hollister is an American clothing retailer founded in Ohio in 2000. The brand has had 23 years of success so far in the fashion industry by designing clothes for young guys and girls. Hollister is known as a teen clothing brand but has clothes for almost every age group, including men and women. Abercrombie and Fitch own the international fast fashion retailer and other brands, including Gilly Hicks and Abercrombie Kids.

The Hollister brand has grown over time, having close to 430 stores in the United States today. You can find over 70 Hollister locations in California alone, making Hollister one of the most successful brands selling fast fashion.

Hollister produces accessories, clothing, jewellery, shoes, fragrances, and swimwear. There is a lot more that Hollister has to offer on its shelves to keep up with the dynamic, fast fashion world.

Is Hollister a Fast Fashion Brand?

Is Hollister Fast Fashion

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To know whether a brand is a fast fashion or not, there are certain general characteristics we look at. We will compare Hollister against these characteristics to see whether they are fast fashion or not.

1) Price

Hollister is a clothing line well known for providing trendy clothing for teenagers and young adults. To achieve this, the American fashion retailer has to work with lower prices on its clothes. This is a typical characteristic of a fast fashion store and is one of the things that make the business model work out.

2) Materials

Hollister uses polyester, which does not result sustainably, but gets used by most leading companies in the fast fashion industry. While there is good quality, sustainable alternatives, polyester makes it easier to keep production running as it is cheaper.

3) Labor

Hollister gets most of its apparel made in countries that may have poor quality working conditions, which is something a fast fashion company is likely to do. Low ethical ratings are not limited to cheap brands as expensive brands like Louis Vuitton have questionable ethics.

4) Trendy Clothes

Since Hollister has its main customer base is young adults and teenagers, they have to stay trendy by providing stylish outfits for women and men. Having the latest, fashionable clothes in a store is what has kept Hollister alive for more than 20 years.

Using these indicators, we can conclude that Hollister is a fast fashion brand.

Is Hollister Ethical?

Is Hollister Ethical

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Hollister is not an ethical brand.

Hollister does not include exotic animal skin, fur, or hair in its manufacturing process. However, the brand uses leather, down feathers, silk, and wool to manufacture some of its clothing. This makes Hollister unethical, just like many other fast fashion brands that do not pass for ethical clothing brands. There is no guarantee that the production of these materials does not cause any harm to animals.

Besides animal welfare, Hollister does not improve its environmental footprint as clothes made from animal products do not have eco-friendly materials.

To remain in business and keep up with current trends, fast fashion brands use cheap materials, resulting in cheap clothing. Furthermore, the dyes used on cheap clothes are likely to be low-quality dyes as well, which backsteps the efforts to eliminate hazardous chemicals from the manufacturing process. The materials used by fast fashion brands are non-biodegradable and do not result in sustainable clothes.

Hollister clothes are manufactured in certain Asian countries where labor is arguably cheaper, with low wages and longer working hours. This allows the brand to keep up with any fast fashion trend while providing affordable clothing for its users. The churning out of clothes in bulk leads to more clothes ending up in landfills, which is an environmental problem.

Hollister Sustainability Practices

Hollister puts a lot of its effort in trying to align its activities with the,UN sustainable development goals which are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and any other negative environmental impact. Additionally, Hollister lists all its manufacturers on its website to take the transparency step, ensuring their manufacturing process is ethical.

Hollister Sustainability Practices

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While Hollister itself might be putting in measures to stay sustainable, is it achieving the goals it has set in place? According to Fashion Transparency Index, Hollister is not doing so well, with only a score of 20% to its name. Regardless of its success, the brand is not doing too well in providing sustainable clothing to its users, who are many going by how fast the brand has grown.

While cheap and trendy is the main selling point in the fast fashion industry today, at what cost do brands like Hollister achieve it? Hollister manufactures its clothes in countries like Turkey and other East Asian countries, which are known to have grey areas when it comes to labor laws. Having such countries in your supply chain is a red flag, which most fast fashion brands do not mind having.

it is harder to make a good case for Hollister as they do not show labor certification standards that guarantee decent wages, good working conditions, safety, and other human rights needs in the work environment. However, Hollister requires its suppliers to adhere to a code of conduct that adheres to the labor laws set by the International Labor Organization. Hollister allows informal third-party visits without needing a notice to its factories and stores to ensure everything they do is legal.

Hollister Sustainability Goals

Hollister Sustainability Goals

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Hollister has set certain sustainability goals to cut its waste by 50% by 2025 and is looking at using renewable electricity for its corporate facilities by the end of 2023. Hollister further plans to reduce GHG emissions by 47% by 2030 and is working on water reduction initiatives in denim production. Hollister is pushing towards getting 25% of its polyester from recycled materials by 2025.

Bottom Line

To be able to avoid fast fashion brands, one has to be able to identify them. Fast fashion brands are on the rise today, and it is hard to find companies that avoid textile waste using more sustainable materials. Unfortunately, Hollister is one such company that sells clothing for trend’s sake, using materials like polyester instead of more sustainable ones like organic cotton.

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jacky chou


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