Our Rating: 3 Stars - It's a start

Price: $ $ $ $

Country of origin: United States

Official brand website: Visit

Is Dickies Sustainable and Ethical? 

Key Takeaways

  • Dickies shows commitment to sustainability and ethics but falls short in some areas. Hence, it receives an “It’s a Start” rating. The brand has room for growth to meet evolving consumer expectations in sustainability and ethics, particularly in environmental impact.
  • Dickies, established in 1922, has evolved into an international clothing brand under VF Corporation. Known for classic designs and quality at reasonable prices, it’s expanding into luxury fashion collaborations.
  • Dickies primarily uses conventional materials, raising concerns about its environmental impact. Despite this, the brand is working towards sustainability goals, aiming to lead eco-friendly fashion by 2030.
  • Initiatives include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adopting circular business models, and improving supply chain sustainability.
  • Dickies ensures fair wages and compliance with health and safety regulations, with disclosed COVID-19 policies for worker protection.
  • Enhancements in traceability and transparency efforts are underway, reflecting a commitment to human rights.
  • While not using exotic animal skins or fur, Dickies utilizes animal-derived materials like leather and wool.
  • Opportunities exist for exploring alternatives to improve animal welfare practices.

Brand Background

Dickies has positioned itself as a practical workwear staple since 1922. The well-known brand became a part of VF Corporation, bringing it under the umbrella of one of the world’s largest apparel companies, which also owns big names like The North Face, Vans, JanSport, and Kipling, among others.

Over nearly a century, Dickies has evolved into an international clothing brand, offering a wide range of garments beyond its traditional workwear line. It is also stepping into luxury fashion, working with elite brands like Gucci and Mastermind.

The secret to Dickies’ success? Classic designs, quality materials, and reasonable prices. However, the world is changing. People are asking for fashion that’s kind to the planet. So, the big question is, can Dickies keep up?

We’re diving into Dickies’ sustainability efforts in this brand rating. Can a company known for durable workwear also be a leader in eco-friendly fashion? Let’s find out.

Environmental Impact

Dickies isn’t exactly known for using sustainable materials in its garments, including cotton, nylon, leather, rubber, viscose, spandex, and wool. Such choices of materials have raised eyebrows among those who prioritize eco-friendly fashion. The brand’s carbon footprint also remains considerable, which means its process of making and delivering clothes to customers dramatically impacts the environment. 

Despite earlier concerns, Dickies is actively working to become more sustainable. The brand has set ambitious goals, looking to lead the way in eco-friendly fashion by 2030. It’s working on adopting circular business models, where products are designed to be reused and recycled, reducing waste and environmental impact.

Dickies has committed to significantly reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. By 2030, it aims to cut its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 55% and significantly reduce its Scope 3 emissions. These steps came about after careful planning with the Carbon Trust, a global consultancy that helped Dickies understand its environmental footprint better.

The brand isn’t stopping there. It plans to reduce the environmental impact of its entire supply chain by half by 2050. It’s also focused on improving the lives of 2 million workers and their communities within the next few years.

When it comes to its supply chain, Dickies shares it with its parent company, VF Corporation. This relationship allows for a level of transparency and responsibility towards how their products are made. 

On its corporate website, Dickies openly publishes a list of manufacturing and processing locations for anyone to see. It also has a robust system for monitoring its supply chain, focusing on all its major production sites and ensuring they comply with social and labor standards. 

In 2020, Dickies launched a campaign called ‘Yours to Make’. This initiative celebrates creativity and sustainable living. It encourages people to upcycle their clothing and learn new skills like baking and gardening. By offering DIY fashion tutorials, Dickies opens up a conversation about sustainability. It’s a move that might seem unusual for a clothing brand. However, Dickies sees it as an opportunity to engage with consumers in a meaningful way, promote creativity, and support eco-friendly practices.

Workers’ Rights 

Dickies’ stance on workers’ rights appears to align with industry standards. The brand ensures its workers receive fair wages and operates in compliance with health and safety regulations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dickies disclosed adequate policies to protect workers in its supply chain from the virus, reflecting a commitment to employee well-being.

Likewise, Dickies is increasing its efforts in traceability and transparency. It engages with various partners, from human rights experts to international organizations. It is also actively seeking collaborations that enhance its diligence in respecting human rights.

Animal Welfare

In terms of animal welfare, Dickies predominantly utilizes animal-derived materials like leather and wool. While it doesn’t appear to use exotic animal skins or fur, the use of wool and leather raises concerns for those advocating cruelty-free practices. Dickies could improve in this area by exploring alternatives to animal-derived materials.

Overall Rating

Dickies demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and ethical practices but falls short in certain areas. Its environmental impact, while acknowledged, needs further improvement, particularly in reducing reliance on materials with high environmental costs. Workers’ rights and animal welfare policies align with industry standards but could benefit from enhanced transparency and traceability efforts. With all that in consideration, we are giving Dickies a three-star rating (It’s a Start).

Overall, Dickies presents itself as a brand striving to balance profitability with ethical considerations. However, consumers seeking brands with a stronger focus on sustainability and animal welfare might find Dickies’ efforts insufficient. As the fashion industry continues to prioritize sustainability and ethics, Dickies must adapt and innovate to meet evolving consumer expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Dickies’ sustainability rating?

Dickies received a sustainability rating score of 61-70. They have a formal policy aligned with sustainability practices and have set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their direct operations and supply chain.

Are there any certifications that Dickies holds?

While Dickies does not publicly disclose any certifications, they do provide information on their manufacturing and processing facilities, showing a commitment to transparency.

How does Dickies aim to reduce its environmental impact?

Dickies has set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their direct operations and supply chain. They also ensure that their environmental policies are aligned with sustainable practices.

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