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Tu at Sainsbury’s

Is Tu an ethical and sustainable fashion brand?

The Good Shopping Guide gives Tu, a fashion brand owned by the supermarket, Sainsbury’s, a low Ethical Rating. Unfortunately, this brand receives a low score in our Ethical Fashion Retailers Ratings Table and has therefore not yet met our minimum Ethical Benchmark. This brand has several areas to improve upon before it would likely qualify for our Ethical Accreditation.

In what areas does Tu perform poorly?

Partly owing to the brand being a subsidiary of Sainsbury’s, Tu performs poorly for our Animal Welfare criteria. In industrial farms that supply Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Lidl, poor treatment of chickens were discovered through an undercover study by Open Cages. These chickens were deformed by selective breeding and suffered because of these deformities. (You can see more information in this article, but please be aware that these images may be upsetting for some.)

Tu also gets a poor score from us for its Organic products; whilst the brand has products made with organic cotton and is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, there is no mention of any Organic certification.

Sainsbury’s Tu also scores very poorly across all of our criteria for Human Rights. Whilst the cases against them are too multiple to write about in lots of detail, here are some examples of a few unethical business practices relating to workers in Sainsbury’s supply chain.

Global clothing companies, including Tu, are connected to forced labour in spinning mills in Tamil Nadu, India, according to a report by SOMO. According to the research, the working circumstances in Tamil Nadu are “appalling,” with employees being harassed, pressured, and required to put in a lot of overtime. Since the Corona crisis, things have only got worse for many of those workers; there is more forced overtime, less pay, and more mass firings. SOMO discovered connections between ten multinational corporations, including GAP, NEXT, Sainsbury’s, and Tesco, and the 29 spinning mills that are the subject of the study.

According to a Business and Human Rights report titled “Wage Theft and Pandemic Profits,” due to order cancellations and non-payment during the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of vulnerable garment workers have been deprived of the entire salaries that are legally owed to them. According to the survey, brands’ failure to pay suppliers or demands for reductions has an influence on the suppliers’ capacity to pay their employees. The employees were putting out goods for 16 foreign companies, including Lidl and Sainsbury’s.

In what areas does Tu perform well?

More positively for Sainsbury’s, numerous goals are included in its Environmental Report, in regard to the company’s sourcing, waste management and carbon emissions. Read the full Sainsbury’s Environmental Report here.

Some highlights from this report include a detailed roadmap of how Sainsbury’s plans to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050, Sustainable Sourcing information and monitoring of internal People-related equality and diversity data.

How can the Tu brand improve its Ethical Rating?

The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Scores result from 15 ethical criteria in relation to Tu. To reach our Ethical Benchmark and qualify for our Ethical Accreditation, Tu has several issues to deal with, including its Human Rights infringements and poor Animal Welfare standards.

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


  • Human Rights+



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Other Criticisms


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