Is Skims Eco-Conscious? Is Skims Fast Fashion? Let’s Discuss.

Is Skims Eco-Conscious? Is Skims Fast Fashion?

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In recent years we have seen multiple products and services, including fashion brands, launched by celebrities and social media influencers begin to thrive. The success that traditional media and especially digital platforms has brought to these public figures seems to be at times unmeasurable. With millions of followers all over the world that would do anything for their idols, it seems that the creation of a personal fashion brand promises to extend financial profits beyond the bounds of social media.

One of these celebrities, and dare we say one of the most influential figures in the last few years, is Kim Kardashian. The successful influencer and entrepreneur has built a million dollar empire in the business world through her personal brand.

Skims is a shapewear and loungewear brand launched in 2019. It promises to offer inclusive and diverse undergarments and loungewear for women of all shapes, sizes, and skin tones. With the slogan “solutions for every body,” the brand has become a huge trend, especially on social media due to their viral garments and striking marketing in which the biggest celebrities of the moment are hired to show off their products.

Is Skims Fast Fashion?

Honestly, Skims does not offer much material that can be used to assess the brand. However, the fact that they have kept all the information about their business and product supply chain to themselves, only disclosing very generic claims, makes us suspect the practices that are behind their viral products. 

This dodgy behavior can only mean one thing; Skims is joining other brands like Shein, Fashion Nova and Missguided as one more in the atrocious list of fast fashion.

Is Skims Eco-Conscious?

factory polluting the environment

As far as we can see, Kim Kardashian’s brand does not really seem to care a lot about sustainability. Despite a weak statement on their website, where they claim to have a commitment to sustainability and work only with partners who share the same commitment, there is not a single piece of evidence across their site to support this.

The reduction of plastic and non-recyclable materials, incorporation of sustainable fabrics and dyes, energy-efficient manufacturing processes, and textile waste reduction initiatives are important aspects of ethical and sustainable fashion. However, other than the inclusion of recycled nylon in the making of Skims clothing, there is no other proof of their commitment to sustainability.

In fact, more than a genuine concern for the climate crisis, it seems to be a joke for them. During the recent introduction of a new bra with a built-in nipple, Kim Kardashian came up with the controversial statement “no matter how hot it is, you’ll always look cold”. Environmental organizations took the marketing campaign for this nipple bra as a mockery towards the alarming situation of the planet.

What Materials Does Skims Use?

Due to the nature of its clothing, focused on comfort, stretch, and support, the most common materials used by Skims are nylon, spandex, cotton, and polyester. The materials used specifically to add elasticity to underwear and shapewear release excessive amounts of microfibers, which causes serious damage to the environment and people’s health.

The brand includes modal, which is made from beech tree pulp, and could be considered an eco-friendlier alternative to cotton. A few pieces of clothing also contain a percentage of recycled nylon. However, it is hard to know for sure if the use of these alternatives is making any difference, since they have not officially reported any positive or negative environmental impact.

yarn and fabrics

Skims has also been accused of greenwashing over its packaging claims. The film packaging that is used to deliver Skims products reads “I am not plastic”, “I am compostable made from plants”, and “I will biodegrade in your home compost and in an industrial facility.” These claims have been considered environmentally unsupported since no evidence of it has been found according to an investigation carried by the Changing Markets Foundation. “While this packaging might decompose in practice, as claimed, it is completely misleading to say that it is not plastic,” the foundation said.

Is Skims Carbon Neutral?

Being carbon neutral entails reducing emissions as much as possible and compensating the remaining carbon emissions through initiatives such as investing in renewable energy and improving energy efficiency in their supply chain.

Many fashion companies have been increasingly making efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and offset their emissions in recent years. However, to this day, Skims has not made public any announcements regarding carbon neutrality aims or statistics, hence, it is challenging to confirm whether the brand has achieved any goals in this regard.

Does Skims Have a Clothing Recycling Program?

Some of the most popular forms of recycling programs are allowing customers to return used garments in good conditions for re-selling them in their own website, taking them for recycling and using the resulting materials in new products, or partnering with third-party organizations to facilitate recycling and textile reuse. Skims does not have any public program of this nature currently running nor have they announced that they could be introduced in the near future.

Is Skims Ethical? 

garment workers making clothing for brands

Despite the official claims on the Skims website, where they guarantee that they are fully “committed to the highest ethical standards and legal compliance in all aspects of their business and supply chain”, the complete absence of information to support this statement raises suspicion about the actual details of their manufacturing processes.

They have also claimed that they only collaborate with suppliers and vendors who share their commitment to sustainability, accountability, and transparency, which to be honest does not seem to be a very strong statement, and if they are partnering with organizations with the same lack of transparency and responsibility we are in for some serious problems.

Where are Skims Clothes Made?

As stated before, Skims has not revealed any details about its supply chain at all. This includes the locations of their factories or the names of their business partners. Information about their suppliers and manufacturing facilities is crucial for assessing the brand’s ethical practices, but their lack of transparency generates serious worries about the entire supply chain.

It’s worth mentioning that fast fashion brands like Skims typically outsource their production to factories in different countries to take advantage of cost efficiencies. This way of production raises concerns about labor practices, environmental impact, and social responsibility.

Is Skims Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

Skims mainly produces underwear, loungewear, and shapewear, which normally do not involve the use of animal-derived materials. Instead, synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon, as well as other natural ones like cotton, are used to manufacture clothing.

Based on this, we could assume that Skims products are not directly involving animal testing or the use of animal-derived materials, but with the absence of information about the production of the clothing, we cannot assure that they are completely cruelty-free or vegan.

How Sustainable is Skims? Full Brand Rating

skims sustainability rating

There is practically nothing to support Skims’ claimed efforts of any contributions to sustainability in the fashion business. At Eco-Stylist we have evaluated the brand based on our criteria of transparency, fair labor, and sustainable making. Find out more about the criteria we follow to rate fashion brands on our website.

Transparency: 0/14

In the fashion industry, transparency typically involves providing detailed information about sourcing, production methods, labor practices, and social and environmental initiatives. Skims lacks all of the above. 

Skims is definitely falling short in transparency. There are such minimal pieces of information on the official website that they barely give us a glimpse of the business operations. It is pretty much impossible to know the overall impact and ethical standards of the brand. Skims got no points in this category.

Fair Labor: 0/33

Skims has declared on its official website that all their warehouse and factory workers are ensured a living wage, a safe environment, and healthy working conditions. However, this statement does not give any details about the standards and regulations followed by the company.

Without specific information from Skims about their labor practices, it is difficult to determine the extent to which the brand ensures fair working conditions for garment workers involved in the production of their clothing items, or if any health and safety regulations are applied in the workplace.

However, with the past allegations against Kardashian, where seven former staff members accused Kim of withholding wages, refusing to pay overtime, and not giving them meal breaks, we cannot help but worry about the treatment of Skims workers abroad. For this reason, Skims is scoring zero points in this category.

Sustainably Made: 0/49

Unfortunately, we did not find any conclusive information about the making process of Skims clothing since the company has not disclosed any details about it. The inclusion of recycled materials in their garments can be a well-intentioned effort towards sustainability, but there are still many aspects to be considered in order to generate a substantial impact on the environment.

From what we can see, Skims does not seem to have a strong commitment to environmental justice, and they have not demonstrated awareness of the impact of the production of their clothing. There is no information available about their efforts to become carbon neutral either. We have no access to know their water consumption or if they are working on recycling processes.

Information about other aspects like their actions to promote fair labor conditions, avoid overconsumption or reduce waste, other than the supposed eco-friendly packaging, are simply not existent.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: 0/4

Although Skims has been acknowledged as a brand that promotes inclusivity, diversity, and body positivity by including inclusive sizing and representation, there is no information about how the management team has been made up.

There are no statistics either about diversity, public reports about incidents of discrimination, actions taken to promote inclusivity or correct aggravating behaviours. Zero points earned in this category.

Our Principles: -45

woman searching for clothing

Sadly, the evaluation did not go very well for Skims. But the bad news does not end there. Although Skims does not seem to be the conventional fast fashion brand, the opacity in the disclosure of information, the misleading marketing they use to present the brand as environmentally sustainable, and other suspicious practices, make us categorize Skims as a fast fashion brand, which takes away 25 more points from the score.

With a brand that is not willing to share the most basic information about their supply chain and business in general, we absolutely cannot trust them. For that, 10 more points have been reduced from the score.

And finally, their poor efforts to seem inclusive or ethical are simply not enough to inspire us in any way. Unfortunately, 10 more points have been subtracted from the final score.

Skims Overall Sustainability Score

The fashion brand owned by the TV and social media icon, Kim Kardashian, has obtained a disgraceful final score of -45 points, the lowest possible score.

Skims joins the shameful list of fast fashion brands earning our lowest rating. Their practices inspire no trust at all and at this point we would not recommend it to you. Hopefully, they decide to start being more transparent and putting into practice more eco-conscious and ethical initiatives on top of their glamorous marketing and viral pieces of clothing.

3 Ethical Alternatives to Skims

But we are not only bearers of bad news. After doing a very arduous evaluation of numerous fashion brands, we have found some incredible options that are doing great at implementing sustainable practices and guaranteeing ethical labor conditions. We have put together a list of extraordinary alternatives that will help you to get over the disappointment that is Skims.

1) Girlfriend Collective

ethical alternative to skims: girlfriend collective

On top of creating inclusive and ethically made activewear and loungewear, Girlfriend Collective promotes body positivity by offering a wide range of sizes and colors, for all the different shapes and styles. Surely you will find the one that fits you best!

They use recycled materials to produce a certified fabric with the Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, which assures you that the materials used to make your clothes are free of harmful substances. They have also found a way to optimize the fabrics they use to facilitate the breaking down, recycling and re-weaving  of brand new fibers.

Girlfriend Collective holds a SA8000 certification, which promises they adhere to strict production regulations. They are a company that keeps factory employees well-paid, safe, and living healthy lives thanks to the implementation of well-being programs across their factories.

2) Kotn

ethical brand kotn

Kotn is a clothing brand that offers the most comfortable but stylish organic basics. They source their fabric directly from Egyptian cotton farmers, which helps the brand to build a closer relationship with these communities. Getting the raw material directly from the farmers also guarantees fair prices and the highest quality in your clothing, as well as ethical business practices, fair wages and wellbeing for the farmers.

Besides supporting the fashion industry with fair practices, Kotn also donates a portion of their profits to build and fund primary schools in the Nile Delta and Faiyum, Egypt. Now you know, the next time you want to complement your wardrobe with some versatile and timeless outfits, Kotn’s got your back, and you will be helping them to contribute to a better community and environment.

3) Wolven

sustainable alternative to skims: wolven

Wolven is proof that you do not have to sacrifice your sexy style to be friendly with the environment. They offer an extensive variety of sustainable sportswear and loungewear in bright solid colors and beautiful prints that will boost your confidence and sensuality.

This brand is very conscious of  the impact their decisions have on the planet with every action they take in their supply chain. They are completely transparent about  how they impact the environment. They have also received multiple certifications including GRS, Oeko-Tex Standard 100, and Climate Neutral.

All Wolven’ items are produced from 84% recycled PET, and they use sustainable packaging by wrapping garments in a minimal piece of hemp twine and shipping in a reusable and recycled mailer. They also promote circular fashion by selling used Wolven clothes on their website.

Discover More Sustainable Alternatives to Skims

If you love our suggestions and want to explore more eco-friendly alternatives, check out our full list of sustainable fashion brands that we have rated and meet the highest standards of ethics and sustainability. You will not regret leaving behind the fast fashion brands that were stopping you from giving a green twist to your wardrobe and building your sustainable style.

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