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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical is ASOS?

ASOS is a British online Fashion Retailer of clothing and cosmetics. The brand is owned by ASOS PLC and is one of The Good Shopping Guide’s poorly-rated brands. ASOS just misses our Ethical Benchmark. The brand receives a low Good Shopping Guide Ethical Score in our Ethical Fashion Retailers Ratings Table and therefore does not meet our Ethical Benchmark, and cannot currently be counted as a good ethical or sustainable fashion brand.

We encourage other companies in the Fashion Retailer sector to keep striving for sustainability and adopt more ethical policies and practices.

In which criteria does ASOS score poorly for its ethics and sustainability?

Though ASOS is a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative, the brand has been accused of endangering its employees. Staff at ASOS have criticised the company for how it handled safety issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers claimed that the company had not provided enough protective equipment, such as gloves and hand sanitiser, and that they were concerned that sick coworkers would report to work because they could only receive the statutory sick pay of £94.25 per week, which was insufficient to cover their expenses.

Another criticism of ASOS comes from the Tailored Wages 2019 report by the Clean Clothes Campaign. This report examines comments from 32 renowned clothing companies regarding their progress in instituting a livable wage for the people who make their clothes. The audit gave ASOS the lowest possible rating since the brand failed to provide any proof that any of the people who made its products were paid a decent wage anywhere in the world.

For our Human Rights criteria, ASOS is given only a low rating.

In what areas does ASOS perform well?

ASOS performs well in some areas, but must dramatically improve in others. ASOS received a range of high, medium and low scores for our criteria concerning the Environment, Animals, and People.

For its Environmental Report, ASOS has been given a high score. As well as a basic group of targets and actions to achieve those targets, ASOS also has signed up to the Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Economy Commitments, which encourages companies to take steps to get rid of any harmful or unneeded plastic packaging by 2025. These Commitments also stipulate that by 2025, all plastic packaging will be compostable, recyclable, or reused.

The GOTS label can be seen on some Organic products sold by ASOS. ASOS assures some of its products are 95-100 % organic. ASOS has also released a statement on its cotton sourcing and boycotting of Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan, because of child labour allegations. A further note on ASOS and its cotton initiatives: though ASOS is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, subsidiaries of ASOS PLC, such as Topshop and Miss Selfridge are not (now both sold exclusively online after a buy-out by ASOS PLC).

When it comes to Animal Welfare, ASOS also scores well; the brand has a robust Animal Welfare Policy. ASOS also don’t sell own-brand cosmetics, so there are no public criticisms about animal testing for cosmetic purposes or cruelty. ASOS is adamant that it is unacceptable for animals to endure pain for the sake of fashion or beauty products. No animals should be killed especially for the purpose of making goods sold on any of ASOS’ websites. All animal products from the meat business must be used instead. To ensure strong environmental compliance and traceability, ASOS is a member of the Leather Working Group and is working toward purchasing all skins from LWG-rated tanneries.

To find out more about ASOS’s sustainability and ethics, see its website.

If your fashion brand values ethics and sustainability, why not check out The Good Shopping Guide‘s Ethical Accreditation? Increase customer and investor confidence and stand out from the greenwash.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Better Cotton Initiative


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare



  • Armaments


  • Code of Conduct


  • Political Donations


  • Ethical Trading Schemes


  • Human Rights



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Other Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating