Are Princess Polly's Low Prices Too Good to Be True? A Look Into the Fast Fashion Brand's Ethics


Dec. 15 2022, Updated 6:13 p.m. ET

It's become incredibly difficult to find clothing online that is good quality, fits well, is in style, and is also ethically sourced. Clothing items are either too pricey, have wonky sizing, or have a massive environmental footprint that won't make you feel good about the purchase.

Princess Polly has become a favorite among influencers, touting cute styles and reasonable prices — but are the fast fashion brand's clothes high quality and ethically made?

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Is Princess Polly an ethical company to shop at?

For starters, Princess Polly claims in its Instagram bio that 20 percent of its range is currently "made with lower impact materials." According to the clothing company's website, 99 percent of the clothing produced for the brand can be traced to 59 different factories across China. Throughout the past couple of years, Princess Polly has been attempting to map all of the tiers of its supply chain, from the factories that manufacture its products to where the fibers its fabric is crafted with come from.

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At this time, Princess Polly has only managed to source where all of its "Tier 1" factories are, though it claims to have a comprehensive understanding of its complete supply chain by the end of 2025.

All of its factories are allegedly registered with the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX) and undergo an independent audit of their practices.

Despite all of these claims by the company, though, Good On You, a poplar blog that ranks fashion companies based on ethics, sustainability, and animal welfare policies, does not rate the company well. Overall, Princess Polly received a rating of "Not good enough," with extremely low marks for its impact on the planet and people.

While the company may have a lengthy statement about its ethics, Good On You ultimately writes that Princess Polly "sources its final stage of production from countries with extreme risk of labor abuse," and does nothing to ensure a living wage for all of its workers.

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"It uses some eco-friendly materials including recycled materials. There is no evidence it reduces its carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain. There is no evidence it minimizes textile waste when manufacturing its products. There is no evidence that it has taken meaningful action to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals," Good On You's evaluation reads.

Princess Polly does receive a "good" rating for its animal welfare policies, as the brand doesn't use angora, fur, or exotic animal skins, though it does use leather.

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While the ethics outline on Princess Polly's website may seem like enough to prove it's making an effort, overall the company does not have enough evidence to back up its claims to be considered an ethical brand.

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Are Princess Polly's clothes good quality?

According to reviews online, it seems the quality of Princess Polly's products is hit or miss. The fast fashion brand doesn't have many options for larger consumers, and sizing can be a bit finicky.

As a 5'8" mid-sized (size 10-12) person who has personally ordered from the company, I found their clothing didn't fit very well. A pair of size 12 pants were too short (and further shrunk), fitting well in the thighs, but loose in the hips. The corset top fit snugly across the bust, but the straps drooped awkwardly.

Admittedly, I do not wear the items I purchased from Princess Polly often, nor have I purchased from them again. Should you choose to order from the company, it would be best to follow the size chart on the website closely before ordering — or better yet, look for the brand's pieces on secondhand websites, or for similar garments made with better quality by sustainable fashion companies.

This article, originally published on March 21, 2022, has been updated.

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