Matalan is a British fashion retailer founded in 1985 in the City of Preston, United Kingdom, by John Hargreaves. The multinational clothing-retail company sells fast fashion for men, women, and children.

Matalan offers clothing, accessories, shoes, swimwear, underwear, beauty, and perfumes. Matalan owns other brands and stores, such as sports retailer Sporting Pro.

Matalan operates more than 230 stores in the UK with 30 international franchise stores within Europe and the Middle East and has 13,000 employees in stores, factories, logistics, brands, and subsidiaries.

Matalan is committed to conduct its business in an honest and ethical manner and ensures close supply chain monitoring and transparency.

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Sustainability Rating: 3/10

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Category: Clothing, accessories, shoes, bags, jewelry

For: Women, men, children

Type: Basics, denim, knitwear, activewear, underwear, loungewear, swimwear, outerwear, sleepwear, maternity, flats, sandals, heels, boots

Style: Casual

Quality: Low

Prices: $

Sizes: petite, XS-3XL, 2-16 (US), 4-18 (UK), 34-46 (EU), 4-18 (AU), plus

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

100% Organic: No

100% Vegan: No

Ethical & Fair: No

Recycling: Yes

Producing countries: not transparent enough

Certifications: BCI, GRS, FSC, SEDEX

Sustainability Practices

Matalan only uses a tiny proportion of organic materials such as organic cotton and hemp, 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.

Matalan 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 Matalan are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Matalan doesn't publish a list of all its manufacturers and processing facilities on its corporate website. It doesn't disclose how it chooses its network of suppliers.

The 2022 Fashion Transparency Index gave Matalan a score of only 25% based on how much the group discloses about its social and environmental policies, practices, and impacts.

The British 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.

Matalan has a code of conduct that applies to all its suppliers and subcontractors to ensure all products supplied to Matalan are manufactured in compliance to Matalan Ethical Sourcing Policy.

Matalan assesses compliance with its Code of Conduct by informal visits or third-party audits with or without notice. It has a development tool to improve the working conditions in its factories.

Matalan 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

Matalan is committed to sourcing 50% of its cotton as Better Cotton by 2022 and is currently on track to surpass this target.

By 2025, Matalan is committing to only source viscose (and other cellulosic fibres–MMCF) from manufacturers that use high sustainability standards in producing Viscose & other MMCF Fibres.

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