GAP Social Impact: Are they ethical? Is GAP fast fashion? Let’s discuss.

Is GAP fast fashion? An image of GAP store. Image by Ian Deng from Unsplash.

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GAP is yet another American giant that has been acclaimed worldwide for their style. But the style itself isn’t enough to determine the sustainability of a brand. Let’s investigate what would make the brand a yay—or nay, from us. 

Using our criteria, we will determine whether a brand is trustworthy for being sustainable. Not only that, but we will also rate them for transparency, fair labor, and much more. A brand needs to score at least 50 points to be deemed sustainable. Let’s dig in.

Is GAP Fast Fashion?

Undoubtedly, yes.

GAP has not taken action to address any concerns regarding overproduction and hyperconsumption.  They are also not committed to promoting slow fashion.

An image of a huge factory polluting the air. Image by Andreas Felske from Unsplash
Image by Andreas Felske from Unsplash

Sustainability and Impact on the Environment: Is GAP Sustainable?

Bad news for you: No.

GAP did address some problems regarding their sustainability and create an eco-conscious initiative on their website, but these don’t cover their flaws enough nor are they effective.

Despite all of those, GAP has no clear commitment to sustainability. GAP still doesn’t disclose the amount of water they use for their production and their hazardous chemical policy doesn’t eliminate all dangerous materials.

Fashion Transparency: What Materials Does GAP Use?

GAP claims to use around 50% of responsible materials like organic cotton and recycled materials, but they still need to ramp up higher than that. They have a glossary of materials that they used and while there are few new sustainable materials, they don’t disclose the chain supply. 

Is GAP Inc Carbon Neutral?

GAP discloses their emission rates on their website and the rate is still rather unsatisfactory as of now, emitting over 5 million metric tons of CO2E. They have a goal to use 100% renewable energy by 2030, but their progress has been slow. They claimed that their facilities,since 2021., have only progressed to using 37% renewable energy.

Moreover, they still need to reduce more scope of 3 GHG since they only cut them by 25% in 2021. GAP needs to step their game up.

Does GAP Have A Clothing/Shoe Recycling Program?

Only partially. GAP teamed up with ThredUp to help customers to send their used clothing and accessories. Sadly, GAP doesn’t have any repair service or other programs that could assist with broken products or durability.

An image of threads in manufacturing facility. Image by Janko Ferlic from Unsplash
Image by Janko Ferlic from Unsplash

GAP Social Impact: Is GAP Ethical? Who Are Their Suppliers?

No. We have tea coming in this section.

GAP has mediocre ethical records when it comes to fair labor. On their website, all the details given are sketchy or with very minimum follow-ups. The only good deed shown is addressing labor risks in the supply chain. No more information other than this.

Working Conditions: Where are GAP Clothes and Shoes Made?

Sadly, our research yielded no details about their factories or facilities that cooperate with them. Hopefully, GAP will take this into account and show us where their facilities are and who they work with.

Is GAP Vegan and Cruelty-Free?


While GAP has an animal welfare policy and publicly prohibits the usage of fur, they won’t disclose anything about their usage of other animal products, such as leather. 

GAP Social Impact. Clothing makers in China.

GAP Brand Rating: How Ethical and Sustainable is GAP?

Now that we’ve explored the sustainability of GAP, let’s dig into how we rated them…

Transparency Score

We rate them 0 out of 14 for transparency.

Why? They disclose basically no information about their textile supply chain and the factories where their clothes are made. It’s not transparent at all.

Fair Labor Score

We’re giving them only 2 out of 33.

Again, they only share that they remediate human rights issues found in their supply chain. Other than that, we don’t get any more information about how they treat their workers, how much they pay them, or how safe their facilities are.

Sustainably Made Score

Surprisingly, they scored 18 out of 49 in this section, better but with a lot of room for improvement to be a sustainable fashion company.

GAP earned points for things like having sustainability goals, partnering with Thredup to take back old clothes, and taking action to reduce GHG emissions. They fell short in areas like not using at least more than 50% more sustainable materials, not sharing their water footprint, and not taking action to reduce waste in their supply chain.

Our Principles

For us, GAP smells like a fast fashion brand, from the way they dismiss slow fashion to how their production leads to overproduction.

GAP doesn’t inspire us since they’re not sustainably better or more transparent than other big brands like Zara or H&M

For these performances and principals alone, GAP got -45 points, it’s crystal clear that we don’t trust them.

Want to learn more about fast fashion? You can check out our article about fast fashion

GAP Overall Score

Overall, we give them -21, safe to say that’s a nay. This brand’s sustainability isn’t inspiring and they cater too much to the fast fashion market.

We hope in the future GAP will do better. But for now, this brand failed our certification to be ethical and sustainable.

Is GAP the Same as Banana Republic and Old Navy?

Is GAP the Same as Banana Republic? BR store.

It’s worth nothing that GAP Inc. owns Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta. This means you can expect similar sustainabilty performance across all 4 brands.

Not Just Trendy Apparel: 5 Ethical Alternatives to GAP

Looking for sustainable and stylish alternatives to GAP? Take a look at our 5 handpicked brands for you:

1) Colorful Standard

Sustainable alternative to GAP Colorful Standard

Forget about GAP, Colorful Standard offers you better hoodies and casualwear collections. Moreover, their dye is 100% natural and eco-friendly! Being colorful doesn’t have to be harmful!

2) Kotn

A model showcasing Kotn's white sweater

Kotn serves you with cool organic casual wear. They use certified cotton to ensure your comfort too! From the Nile River, with love!

3) Tentree

A model showcasing Tentree's dark gray shirt

Other brands give you a rad shirt, but Tentree offers it tenfold. Besides that, they use organic cotton and hemp, and you can recycle their clothes too.

4) Vustra

A model showcasing Vustra's floral shirt

Stop fussing about your choice of shirts and try Vustra. All of their menswear is made from 100% natural materials to keep them breathable. Keep yourself effortlessly stylish with their new floral pattern shirts!

5) Outerknown

ethical alternative to GAP Outerknown

Out with it with Outerknown! Outerknown offers you comfortable casual clothing made from natural materials like organic cotton! You can switch out your Outerknown by reselling it back and buying preloved Outerknown right on their site!

Looking for More Top Ethical Brands?

Looking for better brands than GAP? Then look no further than Eco-Stylist! We offer over 100 great sustainable brands with clothes and shoes that are all responsibly sourced, with ethical and sustainable materials!

From shiny shoes to stylish suits, it’s all made from safe natural materials with the planet in mind. Check out our shop to get started and start making a difference with each purchase.


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