Urban Outfitters is proud of its UO Community Cares initiative, where employees and customers are encouraged to give back to their environmental and animal testing policies. But looking further into the company, it appears it isn’t as friendly with giving back through its supply chain as they lead on. Urban Outfitters describes some of its labor policies in its response to the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, including its third-party auditing methods and commitment to not using child or slave labor. However, none of these claims is backed up by any proof.
Furthermore, there is no evidence that Urban Outfitters pays a living wage to its suppliers or that the company has any policies or controls in place to protect suppliers and workers against COVID-19’s consequences. Despite having a policy that states it “… does not knowingly carry products that use cotton originating from Uzbekistan,” Urban Outfitter received the lowest possible score in a survey conducted by the Responsible Sourcing Network in 2014 that measured brands’ actions to ensure cotton originating from Uzbekistan was not used in their products.
In 2015, Urban Outfitters was caught up in a labor rights scandal where employees were asked to work for free over the weekend in the guise of a “training day”. Unsurprisingly, Urban Outfitters was also rated ‘Not Good Enough’ by people. Its animal rating was also rated as ‘not good enough. It does not appear to have an animal welfare policy. Leather, wool, and exotic animal hair are used. Fur, down, angora, and exotic animal skins are not used. There is no indication that it traces any animal products back to the beginning of the manufacturing process.