Is Farm Rio Fast Fashion? Ethical & Sustainability Rating

is farm rio ethical
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Born on the vibrant streets of Brazil, Farm Rio has emerged as a global fashion house celebrated for its colorful and captivating designs. With over 25 years in business, the brand’s exotic collections have gained recognition in Brazil and beyond. But while it creates statement styles that capture everyone’s attention, is it being fair to its garment makers? Is it implementing sustainable production practices? Or is Farm Rio a fast fashion brand disguised as ethical?

Calling itself a conscious fashion label, Farm Rio claims to safeguard nature and its inhabitants. It has embraced several Earth-friendly initiatives to lower its ecological footprint. Does that mean Farm Rio is sustainable? Let’s explore the brand’s ethical and sustainable practices to get a clear picture.

is farm rio ethical

Is Farm Rio Fast Fashion?

No, Farm Rio cannot be labelled as fast fashion because it doesn’t operate at a wasteful level. Farm Rio is home to hundreds of styles inspired by tropical prints and bright colors. It introduces seasonal collections and launches new designs periodically. So, you’ll regularly come across fresh pieces on its website that are influenced by current trends. But the brand always stays true to its design process, which sets it apart from fast fashion companies.

Farm Rio’s production doesn’t happen at breakneck speed. It uses a good selection of natural and recycled materials in its clothing line. Plus, it has collaborated with several organizations to give back to Brazil’s cultural movements.

Regarding pricing, Farm Rio’s products are positioned across different price segments. Some items fall within the mid-range price category, and others have a premium cost. With the cheapest product (t-shirt) priced at $70, the brand is not for those looking for fashionable pieces at a super-low cost. Its target customers consist of women from a diversified age group who appreciate bold and dramatic fashion and are affixed to Brazilian culture.

Of course, Farm Rio needs to work on improving its supply chain. And with the scale of its efforts to become more accountable, we are hopeful that it will close all the loopholes in the near future. 

is farm rio ethical

Is Farm Rio Ethical?

Yes, Farm Rio is ethical, but there is ample scope for improvement. It is a member of the Brazilian Association of Textile Retail (ABVTEX) and has taken several measures to maintain a transparent and fair supply chain.

Labor Practices

Farm Rio has a Supplier’s Code Of Conduct that each of its manufacturers is required to follow. The company also mentions conducting regular audits in all of its production units. Its Tier 1 suppliers are audited by a third-party organization following the SMETA labor standards.

Moreover, Farm Rio ensures its products undergo testing by certified labs, following its established SOP FARM. This procedure aligns with international regulations such as REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals) in Europe and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) standards in the United States. This commitment aims to safeguard human health and the environment from potential risks linked to chemical use in factories.

Additionally, Farm Rio strongly advocates for women’s empowerment along with diversity and inclusion. Today, 50% of its official team consists of Black or Indigenous people. And 92% of its overall internal official employees are women.

Now, these endeavors to maintain transparency with consumers are commendable. The only concerning factor is, while Farm Rio traces all of the final stages of production, it doesn’t keep track of its entire supply chain. 

Sourcing Practices

Farm Rio sources its products from multiple production units scattered across Brazil and overseas. Many of its Tier 1 partner factories are based in China. While Farm Rio inspects them regularly to ensure fair labor standards, there is no evidence that it checks its Tier 2 or Tier 3 factories located in that region.

China has a reputation for violating labor rights in broad daylight. Since Farm Rio’s intentions to maintain a fair supply chain are genuine, it should try to trace its factories at every stage of production.

is farm rio ethical

Child Labor

Farm Rio has never been in the headlines for engaging in child labor. But the disappointing factor is, Farm Rio’s Code Of Conduct doesn’t address measures against child labor. That’s why there’s no way of understanding its stand on employing underage workers. 

When use of child labor in the fashion industry is always under scanner, it is only practical for the brand to declare its minimum age criteria. It should also lay out policies to protect minors from getting tangled in its supply chain.

Overall Rating: 3.5

Is Farm Rio Cruelty Free?

Farm Rio doesn’t have a formal animal welfare policy. Upon thoroughly examining its product range, it was found that the brand doesn’t use angora, fur, mohair, exotic animal skin or hair. But it uses wool in some of its knitwear without specifying the source of origin. Without sufficient information regarding its wool-sourcing practices and a lack of animal welfare policies, it becomes challenging to determine its stand towards animal protection. 

Overall Rating: 3

is farm rio ethical

Is Farm Rio Sustainable?

Yes, Farm Rio is sustainable as it is making genuine efforts to operate responsibly.  The company’s website has a dedicated page on sustainability, covering vital features like circularity, green materials, and protecting nature.

Majority of Farm Rio’s garments are made from natural materials, such as organic cotton, EcoVero, Tencel lyocell, and more. It also uses a good proportion of upcycled materials like recycled polyester and nylon. Utilizing recycled materials is a great way to keep existing synthetic textiles in circularity.

Farm Rio’s circularity program believes that everything is valuable. It has been utilizing leftover fabric stock and making products with a reduced ecological footprint. Alongside donating textiles, unsold finished products, and recycling scraps, it circulates products to its employees and customers through the RE-FARM fair.

Notably, in 2019, Farm Rio collaborated with the environmental non-profit One Tree Planted and started planting trees for each purchase made on its site. This project aids reforestation efforts in the Amazon rainforest, along with the Atlantic Forest, Caatinga, Cerrado, Pampa & Pantanal. So far, they have planted over 1,000,000 trees, which is really appreciated.

Furthermore, as a 100% carbon-neutral company, Farm Rio follows the guidelines of the GHG protocol to manage its Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 CO2 emissions. It is actively associated with various Circular Economy programs across Brazil, namely Rede Asta, Oficina Muda, Re-roupa, and Enjoei. These organizations are social businesses that are focused on reducing textile waste and keeping garments out of landfills.

In addition, Farm Rio uses recyclable packaging. It aims to make positive transformations with the goal of becoming a zero-landfill waste company by 2030. And the best thing it publishes an annual sustainability report stating its progress on set goals.

Overall Rating: 4

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