Marks & Spencer

Rating: It's a start

Price: $ $ $ $

Location: United Kingdom

Official brand website: Visit

Marks & Spencer is a brand that is committed to sustainability and taking steps towards a greener future. The brand’s overall environment rating is ‘it’s a start’, indicating that they have made some progress in their sustainability efforts. They have implemented the use of eco-friendly materials, including recycled materials, in their products. This is a positive step towards reducing their environmental impact and promoting a circular economy.

One of the key initiatives that Marks & Spencer has undertaken is setting a science-based target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This means that they have committed to reducing the amount of greenhouse gases generated from their own operations and supply chain. They are on track to meet their target, which is a positive indication of their dedication to reducing their carbon footprint.

Another area where the brand is making progress is in water reduction initiatives. Water is a precious resource, and the fashion industry is often criticized for its wasteful water practices. Marks & Spencer has recognized this issue and has implemented initiatives to reduce their water usage. This is a commendable step towards becoming a more sustainable brand.

However, there are areas where Marks & Spencer still has room for improvement. Their labour rating is ‘it’s a start’, indicating that they have taken some steps towards ensuring fair and ethical labor practices in their supply chain. They have received a score of 41-50% in the Fashion Transparency Index, which suggests that they likely publish detailed information about their supplier policies, audits, and remediation processes. They also disclose a detailed list of suppliers in the final stage of production, which is a positive step towards transparency.

While Marks & Spencer may be publishing some information about forced labor, gender equality, and freedom of association, there is no evidence that they ensure payment of a living wage in their supply chain. Ensuring fair and livable wages for workers is an important aspect of ethical sourcing, and it is an area where the brand could work towards improvement.

Marks & Spencer’s animal rating is also ‘it’s a start’. They have a formal animal welfare policy aligned with the Five Freedoms, which demonstrates their commitment to ensuring the well-being of animals. They do not use fur, exotic animal skin, or angora in their products, which is a positive step towards cruelty-free fashion. They also trace some animal products to the first stage of production, which provides transparency and accountability.

However, there are still areas where Marks & Spencer can make improvements in their animal welfare practices. While they use leather and exotic animal hair, it is important for them to ensure that these materials are sourced responsibly and sustainably. They state that they source wool from non-mulesed sheep and use down certified by the Responsible Down Standard, which are positive steps towards more ethical sourcing.

In conclusion, Marks & Spencer is taking steps towards becoming a more sustainable brand. Their efforts in using eco-friendly materials, setting science-based targets for greenhouse gas emissions, and implementing water reduction initiatives are commendable. However, there are areas where they still have room for improvement, such as ensuring fair wages in their supply chain and sourcing animal products responsibly. By continuing to prioritize sustainability and ethical practices, Marks & Spencer can strive towards a greener future and set an example for other brands in the industry.

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