Is Fashion Nova Ethical, Sustainable or Fast Fashion?

is fashion nova fast fashion
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Fashion Nova is renowned for delivering the hottest styles of the season for men and women. As a leading quick-to-market apparel brand, it quotes its merchandise to be “Unapologetically Sexy”. With 22 million followers on Instagram, it is a favorite of celebrities, Instagram elites and fashion-forward youth. But Is Fashion Nova ethical, sustainable or fast fashion?

Fashion Nova has been blind to ethics and environmental duties since its very start. Over the years, it has been tangled in controversies for engaging in sweatshops. Of course, it didn’t bother to address these rumors. Instead, it carried on filling its pocket by selling cheap-quality clothes at even cheaper prices. But how? Let’s break down Fashion Nova to know it inside out!

is fashion nova fast fashion

Is Fashion Nova Fast Fashion?

Yes, Fashion Nova is fast fashion, just by looking at the 600-900 styles it drops weekly. Just a simple denim jacket can be found with 50 different flairs. In fact, it is considered an ultra-fast fashion brand where most of its products are retailed below $45, with crop tops and lingerie sold even cheaper. 

Established in 2006, Fashion Nova is a hit amongst the youth for its ‘in-vogue’ collections. The label keeps up with the hottest trends, churning out 26 seasons annually. It focuses on creating runway styles that make you look like a BOMB on a budget.

For production, new designs are stitched within 24 hours and launched after a quick photoshoot. Later these styles are manufactured in huge volumes and flooded in the market. This business model of rapidly made cheap clothes just promotes the throwaway culture.

is fashion nova fast fashion

Is Fashion Nova Ethical?

No, Fashion Nova is not ethical. It doesn’t publish the list of its manufacturers and benefits from sweatshop production. For concealing its supply chain, the retailer scored between 0-10% on the Fashion Transparency Index.

Labor Practices

Fashion Nova’s partnered factories have pathetic labor conditions. The brand lacks a Supplier Code of Conduct and has been regularly reported for modern slavery. None of its factories are certified for standard working conditions, living wages, and workplace safety. And it doesn’t even conduct audits, or employ policies related to forced labor and freedom of association.

With no guidelines to abide by, suppliers get the liberty to exploit garment makers. These workers are illegally forced to work without pay or receive meager wages. This form of business operation is simply extortion and a violation of labor rights.

Sourcing Practices

Fashion Nova sources its collection from thousands of low-grade factories in Los Angeles. Workers’ exploitation is a norm in these factories where fair trade practices remain compromised. They are made to work under unsafe conditions for long hours without even receiving fair wages.

Fashion Nova clearly lacks a transparent supply chain, leaving consumers unaware of its practices.

Child Labor

Use of child labor in fast fashion has always been a hot topic of discussion and there is a chance that Fashion Nova is no exception. But again, there is no concrete proof. Its clothes are produced in a network of LA sweatshops, where the majority of workers are undocumented, and most probably underage children are a part of it.

Is Fashion Nova Cruelty Free?

Fashion Nova doesn’t have a formal animal welfare policy. A good number of its garments are made from leather, feathers, and wool. But the company steers clear of exotic animal skin or fur. The concerning point is that it doesn’t disclose the origins of the materials it uses. So, there is no guarantee that these textiles are sourced ethically.

Overall Rating: 1

is fashion nova fast fashion

Is Fashion Nova Sustainable?

No, Fashion Nova is not at all sustainable. Majority of its garments are made of synthetic materials like virgin polyester, nylon, and acrylic. Semi-synthetic fabrics like viscose, acetate, and rayon are also part of its collection. All these textiles are known to be resource-intensive and have a severe environmental impact.

Only a small section of Fashion Nova’s clothing uses sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp, Tencel, linen, etc. However, the sources or certifications of these “sustainable” materials are unknown.

The LA-based retailer doesn’t even have a sustainability roadmap. So there’s no information on how it controls its water consumption levels, and greenhouse gas emissions. Also, it doesn’t execute steps to control chemical release or wastage of resources across its supply chain.

When seeking why fast fashion is bad, consumers deserve to know a brand’s production practices in the context of the environmental impact of fast fashion. But Fashion Nova just introduces a few so-called eco-friendly garments and feels done with it.

Overall Rating: 1

Sustainable Alternatives to Fashion Nova

Similar to other fast fashion brands like Emmiol, Fashion Nova also is a ‘BIG NO’ for every shopper, sustainable or otherwise. Show some love instead, to the amazing sustainable alternatives to Fashion Nova. The brands mentioned below not only build you a conscious wardrobe but also help you make a statement. Let’s see what we’ve got.


is fashion nova fast fashion

CHNGE is a sustainable brand that uses 100% certified organic cotton in its collection. Their streetwear range is superior quality cool statement pieces that would last decades. And you can actually shop from their ‘Cause’ category that supports Reproductive Rights, Deforestation, etc. The best thing? They just don’t preach but actually donate to worthy causes. We love CHNGE because, through a transparent supply chain, it celebrates every size sustainably. Plus, it is certified as Climate Neutral.

2. Quince

is fashion nova fast fashion

Quince believes in affordable sustainability and offers high-quality pieces at radically low prices. The Bluesign® brand offers chic and classic designs that you can use repeatedly. And majority of their garments are made from certified natural fabrics like organic cotton, linen, cashmere, etc. Quince maintains a transparent supply chain and has a capsule section to ease your picks.

3. Whimsy + Row

is fashion nova fast fashion

Whimsy+Row is home to elegant, slow fashion pieces that are made responsibly. The US-based label crafts premium clothing that combines comfort and sophistication for modern women. By utilizing natural materials, including deadstock fabric, each garment is produced locally in limited runs. This approach not only helps to avoid overproduction but also helps to reduce textile waste. Moreover, Whimsy+Row also strive to reduce packaging waste.

4. Made Trade

is fashion nova fast fashion

Made Trade is a one-stop destination for elegantly designed sustainable clothing, accessories, and home textiles. This woman-owned brand offers products sourced from 150 small businesses and artisan cooperatives worldwide. You can also shop from BIPOC-owned, Vegan, Handcrafted categories and more, under their “Shop By Value” section. Every item is verified and vetted for sustainability and transparency before going up on its site. So you’re guaranteed a mindful shopping experience. Oh! They are also Climate Neutral-certified.

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