Athleta is an American clothing and accessories retailer founded in 1998 in Petaluma, California. The multinational clothing-retail company creates versatile premium performance apparel for women and girls.

Athleta makes clothing, accessories, shoes, swimwear, and underwear. American clothing and accessories retailer Gap Inc. owns Athleta and other fashion brands such as Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy.

Athleta products are available worldwide through company-operated stores, franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. Gap Inc. operates more than 3,300 stores and has over 110,000 employees in stores, factories, logistics, brands, and subsidiaries across the world.

Athleta is building a more sustainable future for its business, global community, people, and the planet. It aims to create a thriving business and a better world and is committed to protecting natural resources and ensuring healthy communities for generations to come.

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Sustainability Rating: 4/10

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Category: Clothing, accessories, shoes, bags

For: Women, girls

Type: Basics, dresses, loungewear, swimwear, underwear, sportswear, outerwear, nightwear, sneakers

Style: Casual

Quality: Medium

Prices: $$

Sizes: petite, 2XS-3XL, 0-16 (US), 2-18 (UK), 32-46 (EU), 4-20 (AU), plus

Fabrics: Cotton, linen, lyocell, modal, viscose, cupro, acetate, polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic, neoprene, polyurethane, rubber, leather, wool, silk, down

100% Organic: No

100% Vegan: No

Ethical & Fair: No

Recycling: Yes

Producing countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Jordan, South Korea, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Turkey, United States, Vietnam

Certifications: BCI, RDS, RWS, Oeko-Tex, B Corp

Sustainability Practices

Athleta takes wide-ranging measures to protect biodiversity, reduce its consumption of water, energy, and other resources, avoid waste, and combat climate change.

It wants to be better and more efficient by looking at every aspect of its value chain to ensure the healthy functioning of our planet. However, the majority of its business remains detrimental to the environment.

Athleta only uses a tiny proportion of organic materials such as organic cotton or recycled materials such as recycled polyester and regenerated nylon.

Most of the fabrics it uses are either natural without relevant certifications, such as regular cotton or linen, or synthetic petroleum-based fibers such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, and more.

Athleta also uses a small proportion of semi-synthetic fibers or regenerated cellulosic fabrics such as Tencel lyocell, modal, acetate, and viscose.

Tencel is an eco-friendly fiber made with wood pulp from certified sustainable forests. But only a tiny proportion of the materials used by Athleta are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Athleta publishes a list of all its manufacturers but not its processing facilities on its corporate website. It aims to ensure the people who make its clothes work in safe, fair conditions and are treated with dignity and respect.

Athleta manufactures its clothes in many East Asian countries, where human rights and labor law violations happen every day.

The American clothing retailer doesn't show any labor certification standard that would ensure good working conditions, decent living wages, health, safety, and other crucial rights for workers in its supply chain.

Athleta has a code of conduct that applies to all its suppliers and subcontractors based on the regulations set by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Athleta assesses compliance with its Code of Conduct by informal visits or third-party audits with or without notice. It works with international and local unions and NGOs to improve the working conditions in its factories.

Athleta doesn't use exotic animal skin, hair, fur, or angora. But it uses leather, wool, silk, and down feathers to manufacture many of its clothing pieces.

These animal-derived materials are cruel and unethical. They also harm the environment by producing greenhouse gases and waste. More sustainable alternatives exist.

Sustainability Goals

Athleta has committed to selecting fibers that have a lower carbon footprint, using less water, creating less waste, and supporting efforts to protect biodiversity.

Athleta will source 100% of cotton from more sustainable sources by 2025, defined as Better Cotton (formerly BCI), verified US-grown cotton (USCTP), organic, in-conversion (to verified organic), recycled, and regenerative.

Athleta has already eliminated the use of wood-derived fibers sourced from ancient and endangered forests since 2022. And by 2025, all of its brands will source at least 45% of polyester from recycled sources (rPET).

By 2030, Athleta will eliminate unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging.

Athleta plans to reduce its GHG emissions by 90% in Scope 1 and 2 and 30% in scope 3 (in the Purchased Goods category), by 2030 compared to 2017 to achieve net-zero emissions in 2050.

100% of Athleta Tier 1 facilities will participate in industry-wide efforts, including SLCP and/or ILO Better Work by 2023, and 100% of Tier 2 strategic mills will participate by 2025. And by 2025, 80% of Athleta sourcing will be allocated to green-rated factories.

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