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How ethical is Topshop?

Topshop is an online fashion retail brand based in the United Kingdom. The company, which was formerly a part of the contentious Philip Green-run Arcadia Group, went into administration in late 2020. The brand is now owned by ASOS PLC and is one of The Good Shopping Guide’s low-ranking brands. The brand receives a poor Good Shopping Guide score in our Ethical Fashion Retailers Ratings Table. Although Topman has not yet met our Ethical Benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future.

In what areas does Topshop perform poorly? 

Despite Topshop’s sustainability progress, there is still room for improvement. The brand was marked down for its history of Human Rights violations.

Topshop participates in the Ethical Trading Initiative (through parent company ASOS). However, the parent business has been charged with putting its workers in danger. During the COVID-19 outbreak, ASOS employees criticised the corporation for how it handled safety-related issues. Workers complained that the company did not provide them with enough safety supplies, such as gloves and hand sanitiser, and that they were concerned that sick coworkers might 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/Topshop comes from the Tailored Wages 2019 report by the Clean Clothes Campaign. This study examines 32 well-known clothing companies to see if they are paying their employees a living wage for the work they do. The audit gave ASOS/Topman the lowest possible score since it provided no proof that any of the people who made its products were paid a decent wage anywhere in the globe.

 In what areas does Topshop perform well? 

Topshop performs satisfactorily in some areas of our research and receives a good rating for its Environmental Report based on our criteria.

Topshop received high marks on its Environmental Report. In the lack of a publicly accessible sustainability document from its subsidiary, Topshop, consumers should be aware that parent firm ASOS PLC’s sustainability documents have been graded instead. (Topshop is now only available on ASOS and other online retailers.)

Its parent company, ASOS, has committed to the Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Economy Commitments, which calls on businesses to take action to eliminate all hazardous or unnecessary plastic packaging by 2025, in addition to a basic set of goals and measures to reach those goals. By the year 2025, according to these Commitments, all plastic packaging must be compostable, recyclable, or reusable.

Some organic products offered by parent company ASOS do have the GOTS mark. In response to allegations of child labour, ASOS has also issued a statement announcing its decision to boycott cotton from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Many other Environmental codes, rules, and declarations are available on the ASOS site.

How can Topshop brand improve its Ethical Rating?

The Good Shopping Guide score results from multiple ethical criteria. (See our ‘How We Rate’ page to find out more about our research methodology.) To reach our minimum Ethical Benchmark and qualify for Ethical Accreditation, Topshop has some issues to resolve, including its Human Rights violations.

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