Rating: It's a start
Price: $ $ $ $
Balenciaga, owned by Kering, has been rated “Good” in terms of their environmental policies and practices. Their commitment to sustainability is reflected in several factors that have influenced their score.
One commendable aspect is their use of lower-impact materials, including recycled materials. This shows their efforts to minimize the environmental footprint associated with their production processes. Additionally, Balenciaga has set science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions not only in their direct operations but also throughout their entire supply chain. They claim to be on track in achieving these targets, demonstrating their commitment to combating climate change.
Another positive aspect of Balenciaga’s environmental policies is their focus on protecting biodiversity. They have implemented measures throughout their supply chain to ensure that biodiversity is preserved and not negatively impacted by their operations. This holistic approach demonstrates their recognition of the interconnectedness of ecosystems and the importance of preserving natural habitats.
While Balenciaga does offer the resale of second-hand products, there is currently no evidence to suggest that they are taking further action to address textile waste in their supply chain. This area presents an opportunity for them to further enhance their sustainability efforts and minimize their contribution to the waste problem in the fashion industry.
Balenciaga’s commitment to workers’ rights is assessed through our “People” rating, which evaluates brands’ policies and practices related to labor rights, including issues such as child labor, living wages, and gender equality. Balenciaga has been rated as “It’s a Start” in this area, indicating that there is room for improvement.
One positive aspect is that a majority of Balenciaga’s final production stage occurs in the European Union, which is considered a low-to-medium risk region for labor abuse. This reduces the likelihood of exploitation and ensures that workers are protected to a certain extent.
In the 2022 Fashion Transparency Index, Balenciaga received a score of 41-50%, indicating a moderate level of transparency in their operations. While this is a positive step, there is still room for improvement in terms of disclosing more information about their supply chain practices.
Balenciaga has implemented a comprehensive policy to support diversity and inclusion within their direct operations. However, this policy does not extend to their supply chain. Increasing diversity and ensuring equal opportunities for all workers throughout the supply chain would contribute to a more inclusive and equitable fashion industry.
There is also a claim from Balenciaga that they have a program to improve wages. However, there is no evidence to suggest that workers in most of their supply chain are paid living wages. Ensuring fair and livable wages for workers at all stages of the supply chain is crucial for achieving social sustainability.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Balenciaga disclosed adequate policies to protect workers in their supply chain from the virus. This demonstrates their commitment to the well-being and safety of their workers, especially during challenging times.
Our “Animals” rating focuses on brands’ animal welfare policies and their traceability of animal-derived products. Balenciaga has been rated as “Not Good Enough” in this area, suggesting that there is significant room for improvement.
Balenciaga does have a formal policy aligned with the Five Domains of animal welfare, indicating their recognition of the importance of animal welfare. However, they still use materials such as leather, shearling, exotic animal hair, and silk, which are often associated with ethical concerns. It is important for the brand to explore alternative materials and production methods that do not harm animals.
On a positive note, Balenciaga sources some of its wool from suppliers certified by the Responsible Wool Standard. This certification ensures that the wool is sourced from farms that adhere to high standards of animal welfare. However, there is no information available regarding their use of down, fur, angora, or exotic animal skin. Transparency in this area would help consumers make informed choices about the brand’s animal-derived products.
Balenciaga traces most of its animal-derived materials back to the first production stage. This traceability helps ensure accountability and can potentially prevent the use of materials from unethical sources. However, there is still room for improvement in terms of tracing all animal-derived materials throughout the entire supply chain.
Based on the information available, Balenciaga has been rated as “It’s a Start” overall. While they have made commendable efforts in some areas, there are still areas where improvement is needed. Balenciaga should focus on addressing textile waste, enhancing workers’ rights throughout the supply chain, and improving their animal welfare practices. By taking these steps, they can further solidify their commitment to sustainability and contribute to a more responsible and ethical fashion industry.