Is Zaful fast fashion? How sustainable are they? Let’s dive in.

is Zaful fast fashion?

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With the explosion of fast fashion in recent years, we have witnessed the rise of ultra-fast fashion giants in the global market, like the unstoppable Chinese company Shein. The fashion world has seen an accelerated growth of companies that directly compete with Shein, not only with massive sales all around the globe, but with the huge environmental impact that the production of thousands of clothing pieces makes to the planet.

One of these fast fashion companies is Zaful, an e-commerce platform founded in 2014 and based in Hong-Kong. Zaful specializes in affordable clothing, swimwear, footwear, and accessories for men and women, but mostly targets the younger generations. According to its official website, Zaful has a clear vision: to provide the latest fashion trends, satisfy the needs of every fashionista and offer fast fashion worldwide.

Is Zaful fast fashion? 

fast fashion clothing brand

We did not even have to look too far, and they could not have made the answer clearer. Yes. Zaful is fast fashion, and shockingly they pride themselves on it.

So little information is shared from or about Zaful across the web. However, the countless styles of clothing that you can find on their website at ridiculously low prices are very similar to their direct, and not very kind to the planet competitor, Shein, which makes us think that their practices are not very different either.

One thing is clear, and supported by the fashion brand itself: Zaful ticks all the boxes to be a fast fashion retailer. This means the rapid production of cheap clothes, which makes us suspect the quality of their products. At the same time, the lack of information about Zaful’s supply chain raises suspicions about possible unethical labor practices and a disastrous environmental impact.

Is Zaful sustainable? 

sustainable and ethical clothing

Zaful’s effort to become a sustainable brand seems more like a poor attempt to fit into the fashion industry’s actions towards a more ethical business. While the company may implement some sustainable initiatives such as offering an eco-friendly clothing line (which consists of three swimming suits made with “recycled fabric”), and promoting recycling programs, its overall sustainability record remains uncertain. 

In 2019, Zaful held a sustainable fashion panel in New York City with the theme of “Greener Fashion”. The event consisted of a panel discussion and a charity sale. Despite the fact that the brand claimed it was researching and developing environmentally-friendly materials and launching environmentally-themed products, no clear specifications were described in the reports or in the official website. 

With the little amount of information that can be found on the web about Zaful, it makes it very difficult to measure the real impact of their alleged sustainable initiatives or, on the opposite side, the human and environmental consequences of their unethical practices.

What materials does Zaful use?

sustainable materials and fabrics

Zaful offers a variety of clothing and accessories, and the materials they use can vary depending on the item. However, like many fast fashion retailers, Zaful uses a combination of synthetic and natural fibers in their products like polyester, cotton, elastane, viscose, among others, that can be resource-intensive to produce and can contribute to microplastic pollution.

In the official website, the fast fashion brand claims to aim to reduce their environmental footprint by using water-based screen-printing inks, a method that is normally used on baby clothing. There is hardly any information about this issue and even their eco-friendly materials lack details about their origin and composition.

In fact, an investigation carried out by Marketplace found that a clear tote purchased from Zaful contained enough phthalates that experts suggested reviewing the product as a health risk. After being notified of the results, Zaful recalled the clear tote bag and sent the customers who purchased it a refund.

Is Zaful carbon neutral?

water pollution carbon footprint

Carbon neutrality typically involves reducing carbon emissions as much as possible and then offsetting the remaining emissions through measures such as investing in renewable energy projects or carbon offsetting programs.

While some companies in the fashion industry have made commitments to reduce their carbon footprint and work towards carbon neutrality, Zaful’s statements or policies about the issue are nowhere to be found, which makes us think that they are either not available to the public or simply they are inexistent.

Does Zaful have a clothing recycling program?

While many fashion retailers have been increasingly exploring sustainability initiatives, including recycling and garment take-back programs, as part of their efforts to address environmental concerns, Zaful seems to be falling behind. To date, there is no information about Zaful introducing a recycling program or anything similar.

Is Zaful ethical?

ethical labor conditions

Despite the official claims on the Zaful’s website, where they reassure that they are “serious about making sure every single person in that supply chain is safe at work, respected and earns a living wage,” we still have serious concerns.

If they thought that we would settle for that statement, they were very wrong. Concerns have been raised about labor conditions in the factories that produce Zaful’s clothing, as well as environmental impacts associated with the production and disposal of fast fashion items. Additionally, there are many questions about the transparency of Zaful’s supply chain and whether the company adequately addresses issues such as worker rights and fair wages.

Where are Zaful clothes made?

Zaful has stated on its official website that they have 128 suppliers around the world as partners, which allows them to own “excellent garment and fashion resources in order to deliver more high quality and varied products”. However, they have not disclosed any specific locations of their manufacturing facilities.

It’s important to note that fast fashion brands like Zaful typically outsource their production to factories in different countries to take advantage of cost efficiencies. However, this globalized supply chain can raise concerns about labor conditions, environmental impact, and social responsibility.

Is Zaful vegan and cruelty-free?

vegan and cruelty free practices

Zaful clothing is not accurately described as vegan or cruelty free. While this fast fashion brand may offer some items that are made from synthetic materials, they also sell products made from animal-derived materials such as wool, leather, silk, and fur.

Due to the lack of information about origin of fabrics and production of garments, they do not have any publicly disclosed policies to ensure that all materials are sourced ethically and sustainably,  or include considerations of animal welfare.

Zaful’s sustainability rating

If there is still any doubt about the opacity of Zaful, here are  the results of the evaluation that Eco-stylist has made based on our criteria of transparency, fair labor, and sustainably made. If you want to learn more about how we rate fashion brands, you can read more about our criteria.

Transparency brand rating

ethical working conditions

Score: 0/14

Zaful shares no information about their partners or the locations of the factories where their products are made, therefore, there are no details about the conditions within the premises or the workers who make their products.

The company has not disclosed any information about their supply chain or any efforts to achieve related goals. There is also no information about Zaful’s environmental impact, or any programs intended to promote human rights or sustainability.

Fair labor brand rating

Score: 0/33

Zaful has not made public a conduct code or any sort of standard for assessing the conditions of their factories to make sure they are safe for workers at any stage of the supply chain. They have not disclosed any policies or programs that encourage the well-being of their employees, nor do they seem to be paying them living wages or working to reach this goal.

Sustainably made brand rating

sustainably made clothing

Score: 0/49

Environmental sustainability does not seem to be a priority for Zaful since they have not demonstrated any clear commitment to the climate crisis. They have not revealed any information about their CO2 emissions or about any environmental impact at all, and there are no implemented actions or specific strategies to mitigate their carbon footprint throughout their supply chain.

Although Zaul has said they use recycled materials and water-based inks in some of their clothing pieces, there is not enough proof to support these claims. There is no data about the amount of water they use, how they dispose of wastage or the kind of materials and technology they utilize in the making of their products.

The brand does not have a recycling program, they do not seem to be actively looking to reduce waste and their policies about use of raw materials or materials derived from animals are inexistant. Zaful does not encourage ethical production and consumption either.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

diversity and inclusion in fashion industry

Score: 0/4

There is simply no information about diversity in the integration of Zaful’s management team. Their hiring and recruitment process and their diversity statistics have not been shared publicly either.

The company has not disclosed any commitment to diversity and inclusion. There are no public reports of the incidents of discrimination and the actions that are taken in these situations.

Our principles

Score: -45

If you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Zaful, we have some bad news. As it has been stated before, Zaful has done very little to contribute in the establishment of a sustainable and ethical fashion industry and has been clearly identified as a fast fashion brand. This fact gives Zaful -25 points in our score. 

The lack of commitment to sustainability, the opacity in the disclosure of information, and the poor actions to promote ethical work conditions, have made Zaful a clothing brand that we do not trust, which deducts 10 more points to the score. 

A brand like Zaful has definitely nothing that matches our principles and none of their practices inspire us at all. For that, the brand has obtained -10 points in the score. 

Zaful’s overall sustainability score

Overall score: -45

The self-declared fast fashion brand, Zaful, has obtained the shameful overall score of -45 in our score. A round of boos for them, please.

Unfortunately, Zaful is a brand that does not inspire us, and we do not trust it, hence, we would not recommend it to you. There is definitely a long, long way to go for Zaful, but it is never too late to redirect their path. They just need to hurry.

Ethical alternatives to Zaful

To get over the disappointment that Zaful has caused us, we have put together a list of alternative clothing brands that are working very hard to ensure that they provide fair labor conditions to their workers and have demonstrated that environmental sustainability is a core value for them.

Pact

pact sustainable women clothing

This is an eco-conscious brand that makes its clothes out of certified organic cotton and is committed to making affordable clothes with a clean and transparent supply chain. With a wide variety of underwear, tops, pants, sleepwear, home items and more, Pact offers an alternative to those who look for a more durable, comfortable, and a kinder option for the environment.

Pact’s clothing does not use any toxic dyes or chemicals, and they also calculate the CO2 emissions of every single Pact product. Additionally, they manufacture with Fair Trade-certified factories, which means that their employees work in dignified labor conditions.

Outerknown

outerknown sustainable swimwear clothing

This brand is known for its surf-inspired, eco-friendly apparel. They use organic, recycled and/or regenerated materials throughout their entire product line. Their commitment is reflected in tangible actions to protect the environment and support fair labor practices.

You can buy from a vast selection of jeans, pants, dresses, swimwear, activewear, and other high-quality items with the certainty that you will be supporting a brand that aims to make 100% of their product circular by 2030 and keep protecting more workers in their supply chain.

Taylor Stitch

taylor stitch sustainable man clothing

If you are into the rugged style this is the brand to look for. They use regenerative and recycled fabrics where possible, and develop their own materials when necessary. They also repair and resell your pre-loved Taylor Stich products through their program Re-Stitch.

Taylor Stitch relies heavily on crowdfunding for their collections, which helps to eliminate waste from their supply chain by preventing overproduction. They share their list of manufacturers and ensure their workers’ well being by providing fair and safe working conditions.

Discover more sustainable alternatives to fast fashion

Whether you want to find more sustainable and ethical options to splash out your wardrobe with some greener options or want to go full on eco-friendly with your fashion style, we’ve got your back. Check out the full list of sustainable fashion brands that we have rated and meet the highest standards of ethics and sustainability.

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