Introduction – American Eagle, Fast Fashion Or Not?
Is American Eagle Fast Fashion? There are reasons for this question that makes many people curious. As we work to lessen our carbon footprints and make the transition to shopping more sustainable, we must be able to distinguish between brands that engage in greenwashing and those that are genuinely sustainable businesses.
Fast fashion is a term used to describe clothing designs that move quickly from the catwalk to stores in order to capture current fashion trends. It is a term used to describe clothing collections that are based on the most recent fashion trends presented at Fashion Week in both ready-to-wear and haute couture fashion shows. Fast fashion clothing collections are based on the latest trends presented at fashion shows, but are designed and manufactured more quickly and cheaply than traditional fashion. famous fast fashion brands include Zara, H&M, and Forever21.
Yes and No
One could say yes, American Eagle is considered a fast fashion brand. They design, manufacture, and release new clothing collections on a regular basis, often inspired by current trends. On the other hand, a counterargument to American Eagle being fast fashion is that they often create timeless, classic pieces that are not necessarily based on current trends. They may also focus on higher quality materials and fabrics than many other fast fashion brands, which may make their clothing last longer.
The inherent problem of fast fashion is that there’s no uniform definition and then it becomes a lot of arguing without being able to ground any argument in fact.
Let’s discuss the ethical stance of the brand, the fabrics it uses, and the locations of its manufacturing facilities.
What Is The American Eagle Brand?
American Eagle is an American-based clothing and accessories retailer. The company primarily sells casual apparel for men, women, and children. It also sells footwear, lingerie, activewear, swimwear, and accessories. It has stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Middle East, China, Hong Kong, and India.
The company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol AEO.
In terms of its ethical stance – American Eagle has a sustainability program called It’s Our Nature which focuses on improving social responsibility within the company’s supply chain as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its stores and transportation operations. They have made commitments to use more sustainable materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester and to use more sustainable manufacturing techniques.
American Eagle’s Self-Reports: Highly Positive
American Eagle has released information about their sustainability efforts. From their we gain insight into their business thinking as to becoming a sustainable fashion brand.
As part of their sustainability goals, they have developed a comprehensive plan aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030. This plan includes reducing their water and energy usage, using more sustainable raw materials, and implementing a reduce and reuse strategy.
In 2020, AEO carried out a Materiality Assessment to rank and prioritize a total of 21 topics as part of their sustainability program. These rankings were based on inputs from associates, customers, non-profit organizations, and peers. AEO views this document as a dynamic tool, subject to periodic reassessment to ensure the company continues to move in the right direction.
One of AEO’s major initiatives is the “REAL Good” program. This badge is used to identify products from their American Eagle and Aerie brands that are made from sustainable raw materials like recycled fibers, or manufactured using sustainable techniques. This includes products made in factories that meet the standards of AEO’s Water Leadership Program, an initiative that emphasizes water reduction, management, recycling, and the reduction of wastewater that contains restricted or hazardous chemicals.
American Eagle’s Real Good Jeans are produced in factories and fabric mills that meet the aforementioned standards of AEO’s Water Leadership Program. Other apparel items bearing the Real Good label are made with a majority of sustainably sourced materials such as:
- Better Cotton: Sourced from cotton communities dedicated to responsible cotton production, focusing on environmental protection and restoration.
- Recycled Cotton: This is a way to reduce waste, extend the lifespan of fibers and prevent them from ending up in landfills. This choice also reduces water and chemical usage that would have been required for virgin cotton production.
- Recycled Polyester and Nylon: These materials reduce dependency on chemicals sourced from fossil fuels and keep polyester and nylon waste out of landfills.
- Organic Cotton: This cotton is grown using nature-based solutions for pest management and soil health, avoiding synthetic pesticides, herbicides, defoliants, fertilizers, or GMO seeds.
- Sustainably Sourced Man-Made Cellulosics: These are fibers produced from wood pulp. AEO collaborates with the non-profit organization Canopy to ensure the wood is sustainably sourced from managed forests.
- Solution Dying: A technique that directly adds color to synthetic fibers, reducing color fading, water usage, and processing time compared to traditional methods.
In all, these are the right steps to take. The question of course is to what extent this can be sustained as part of the business model and the level of impact it will have on all lines of clothing. Restricting these efforts to a single line means that AE is testing the waters.
Is American Eagle Fast Fashion?
American Eagle has been described by some as a fast fashion retailer. This means that it uses the same model as other fast fashion brands where it churns out new designs quickly to keep up with ever-changing trends. However, based on what we read, the company does make efforts to reduce waste and increase sustainability in its supply chain which sets it apart from many other fast fashion retailers.
At least some of the fabrics used by American Eagle are sourced from sustainable farms and made using eco-friendly processes such as low-impact dyes and natural fibers. The company also ensures that its factories meet all safety standards and uphold worker rights. In addition, most of their products are manufactured in the United States and Mexico.
Overall, it is difficult to definitively label American Eagle as a fast fashion retailer. While the company does use some of the same practices as other fast fashion brands, it also has taken steps to reduce waste and increase sustainability in its supply chain. This means that customers can shop at American Eagle with confidence knowing that their purchases are helping to support sustainable business practices.
Materials Used By American Eagle
Organic and recycled cotton and BCI cotton are some of the sustainable materials that have been incorporated into American Eagle’s collections since the company began using these materials. Additionally, the company has begun to distribute some recycled polyester in some of its products.
Although it is encouraging to see that some environmentally friendly materials have been incorporated into AEO’s products, the company still has room for further development.
By the year 2023, AEO plans to obtain all of its kinds of cotton from environmentally responsible sources. The brand only got 26% of its total from sustainable sources in 2020, and 2021 data hadn’t been released yet. We’d need a brand update on its 2023 aims.
On the other hand, a significant amount of polyester is still utilized in producing the brand’s clothing. The company has vowed to use 50% more recycled polyester. But this nonbiodegradable plastic will linger on the planet for hundreds of years even if it accomplishes its objective.
Is American Eagle Neutral In Carbon?
American Eagle has taken steps to become a more sustainable company. The corporation committed to decreasing CO2 emissions by 15% by 2025 and accomplished 8% in 2020.
American Eagle solely publishes its direct emissions, which are less than 10% of its entire carbon impact. To be genuinely carbon neutral, it must handle indirect emissions from raw material production and transportation as well as waste from manufacturing, retailers, and customers.
American Eagle uses some sustainable materials, but a lot of plastic synthetic materials contribute to its carbon footprint.
American Eagle has taken steps to reduce carbon emissions and use more sustainable materials, but it’s not yet a sustainable corporation.
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How Ethical Is American Eagle?
American Eagle is the go-to retailer for young people looking for inexpensive, on-trend casual clothes and jeans. Here we consider the company’s environmental, labor, and animal impacts.
American Eagle does make some efforts to reduce their environmental impact. They have committed to using more sustainable materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 15% by 2025, and aiming for 100% sustainable cotton sourcing by 2023.
The company has made an effort to ensure its factory employees are treated fairly and paid living wages. It also audits the factories regularly to ensure that they meet safety standards and uphold worker rights.
In terms of animal welfare, American Eagle states that it has a strict policy against animal testing or any form of animal cruelty in the production of its products. The brand is also PETA-approved for not using angora wool or down feathers in its products.
American Eagle is making progress in sustainability but has a long way to go before it’s an ethical fashion company. The company could focus more on reducing its carbon footprint and using only sustainable materials in all of its products. It would also be beneficial for the company to provide more transparency regarding its environmental policies, factory conditions, and animal welfare practices. With further developments in these areas, American Eagle may one day become a leader ethically.
Is Torrid Fast Fashion?
No, Torrid is not considered fast fashion. While the company does produce fashionable clothing, they focus more on quality than producing the latest trends quickly, which sets them apart from other fast fashion brands like H&M and Forever 21.
Is Hot Topic Fast Fashion?
No, Hot Topic is not considered fast fashion. The company focuses on creating quality apparel and accessories that are designed to last, unlike most fast fashion retailers.
Is Rue21 Fast Fashion?
No, Rue21 is not considered fast fashion. The company focuses on creating affordable and stylish clothing for teens and young adults but does not churn out new designs quickly to keep up with ever-changing trends like many other fast fashion retailers.
To answer the question, “Is American Eagle Fast Fashion?”, it is difficult to definitively label the company as such. While the company uses rapid fashion, it also reduces waste and promotes sustainability in its supply chain. American Eagle is working to become more sustainable by reducing carbon emissions and using only sustainable materials in its goods. With further developments in these areas, American Eagle may one day become a leader ethically.
Overall, customers can shop at American Eagle with confidence knowing that their purchases are helping to support sustainable business practices. However, for those looking for truly ethical fashion brands, there are many other options available.