When looking into the Amadi Knit Midi Dress from Anthropologie, I was shocked by how little information I could find. Not only was there virtually no information on the specific product, there was zero information regarding Anthropologie’s sustainability as a company. There was no information on labor practices, sourcing, or production either. The blatant lack of transparency suggests unethical practices in every step of production. Thus, the $148 price tag is absurd.
The product description offers little information as to what it is made of. It merely states “polyester” as a bullet point for product details. Given that no other material is listed, I assume it is 100% polyester. Polyester is a plastic derived from petroleum, which is a non-renewable natural resource that requires extreme harm to the planet in order to extract and transport it. Polyester requires vast amounts of energy to produce and is entirely unsustainable. In addition, the dyes used to color polyester are unique to synthetic materials and are toxic. They do not degrade quickly and are often insoluble in water. As a result, when water used in the production process is released, it contaminates the waterways, causing environmental harm. During use, when polyester is washed, it releases microfibers into the water which adds to the plastic content in water sources. Additionally, polyester is not biodegradable, meaning it will take decades if not centuries to decompose. Once the garment is discarded, it will join the ever expanding landfill. A dress such as this could be made from recycled polyester or other more sustainable fabrics. Choosing to use polyester is one of the least sustainable choices the brand could have made.
There is no information as to how the product is made. The website for the brand, Amadi (who Anthropologie buys the dress from), states that their products are made in Los Angeles. The L.A. garment industry has been widely reported as having poor, unhealthy working conditions and unethical practices. Therefore, stating that it is made in L.A. means very little. This potentially cuts down on emissions from transportation costs, but the factories could still be highly unsustainable. Other than being made in L.A., I could find zero information on the product. There is no information on where the materials are sourced from, what factory is used, or any sustainability initiatives from the brand. This is not at all transparent and suggests unethical sourcing and production. At least they are not lying and saying they are sustainable...
This dress is from the brand Amadi but is sold at Anthropologie. Looking into both of these companies, I did not find any mention of sustainability on either. This was surprising to me, since generally larger companies, such as Anthropologie, have a sustainability page. However, I could not find a sustainability report or anything similar anywhere from them. The parent company of Anthropologie, URBN, has a page on sustainability, but this refers to all of its companies, such as Urban Outfitters, and has little specific information on Anthropologie. The statements are fairly vague and do not suggest much of an effort to genuinely introduce sustainable practices. Anthropologie packaging is often made from some recycled products, but that is more or less as far as the sustainability initiatives go. However, Anthropologie has demonstrated some commitment to social issues. They have donated to Morris Home which supports transgender and non-binary individuals, and She’s the First and the United Negro College Fund as well. Furthermore, they donated over a million dollars in total to the Innocence Project, the Antiracist Research and Policy Center, the Equal Justice Initiative, and Year Up. They have worked with many other organizations in the past as well, but these were all within the last one to two years. Additionally, in 2020, they had diversity and inclusion trainings throughout the company and had a third party review their practices. This all demonstrates support for equity, although there is still much to be done. For example, they state that they have pledged to work with more Black influencers, models, and brand partners. However, they did not state that they would hire more Black people in higher up positions at the company. Perhaps they are hiring more people of color, but making the pledge to work with public Black figures rather than people within the company seems rather strange. It almost suggests that they are putting on a bit of a publicity front, as though they want Black peoples’ business and money without supporting them within the company. Nonetheless, donating to organizations that help move toward equity is a good thing. Amadi, the brand that produces the dress, has very little information on their website. It is a women owned company which is great, but other than that I could find little to suggest a positive social impact. Overall, it seems like Anthropologie has no desire to positively impact the environment. It’s nice that they choose to donate and support organizations with positive social impacts, but as a company that had a revenue of over $800 million, there donations seem more for show than for actual impact. This is not a brand that I believe will improve its practices and not a brand I will support.