Is Nordstrom fast fashion? Is the brand sustainable? Is it ethical? Is it advisable to purchase from them? Read on to learn everything about the Nordstrom clothing brand and its sustainability ethics.
Before we get on to the question about Nordstrom, let me clarify what fast fashion is and why it is considered bad.

What is fast fashion? Why is fast fashion bad?

Fast fashion can be defined as the manufacture and selling of clothing products that are of the latest trends and styles, copying designs hot off catwalks and celebrity culture. Through the influence of social media, everyone wants to look their trendiest. Fast fashion chains allow people cheaper and faster access to fashionable clothing.

So, one may ask why being fashionable is so bad. There is nothing wrong with following the latest fashion trends. However, if they come at the cost of labor exploitation, overconsumption and pollution, then it is a questionable issue.

These fast factory chains are characterized by mass production lines that work at breakneck speed. No sooner than a new fashion piece is showcased on the runway, these designs hit the shelves.

Fast fashion clothes are usually made of cheap and synthetic material, so people wear them only and few times before they are discarded. This is suitable for manufacturers because they want people to keep coming back for more pieces of the latest designs. Fashion styles keep evolving as fast as their garments are sold.

This leads to a toxic cycle of overproduction, overconsumption and, worst of all, pollution of the environment. Fast fashion chains are one of the biggest contributors to the planet’s global warming. Discarded clothes are ending up in massive landfills or polluting the sea. The synthetic fibers do not decompose.

This must stop because the global warming issue is fast becoming an international emergency. More and more cities are underwater. Floods, droughts, and acid rain are a daily occurrence. We must be sustainable in our choices if we are to preserve any resources for the next generation.

Consider this, “Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year.” This has been reported by the Global Health Observatory. So, considering such an alarming prediction, if we follow fast fashion, we are well on the road to our own destruction!


Is Nordstrom fast fashion?

Nordstrom is an upscale fashion retailer that is one of the most popular in the United States. They offer garments at low prices, especially on their e-commerce website called ‘Nordstrom Rack.’
Nordstrom operates both in-store and online. Nordstrom their physical stores sell mostly luxury women’s clothing and accessories. And Nordstrom Rack sells discounted clothing at cheap prices.
This company is based in Seattle and has been in operation since 1901. It has a reputation for selling unique and high-quality pieces at affordable rates.

So, is Nordstrom fast fashion? Yes, the brand has a reputation for being one of the leaders in the industry. They are everything you would classify a fast fashion brand as. They are trendy; they are cheap; they have mass-manufacturing production lines and questionable sustainability practices. And like all fast fashion chains, their labor ethics aren’t entirely transparent, too.

Is Nordstrom sustainable?

Nordstrom is taking some responsible steps in the direction of sustainability, but it still has a long way to get there.
They do have a “Sustainable Style” section on their website that caters to more eco-conscious consumers. Yet, most of their practices are in question. Not all their clothing products are made of natural or bio-degradable material, and they don’t seem to be taking any steps towards minimizing textile waste.
Nordstrom is a high-energy consuming company that also produces no evidence of protecting the environment against the harmful, toxic chemicals they produce.

is nordstrom fast fashion
Nordstrom is a member of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an organization that encourages companies to show their emission data. They are also a member of the American Apparel and Footwear Association’s Restricted Substance List (RSL), which allows clothing brands to use restricted substances on their products without having to mention them on their labels.

The Nordstrom website does say that they are ‘committed to reducing their environmental impact through energy conservation and waste reduction.’ Is this a lame attempt to greenwash their products? Let’s just say that their sustainability goals are still underway.

The sustainability goals of Nordstrom by the year 2030 include a cleaner carbon footprint by recycling materials, reusing and reducing waste. They also intend to create more local job opportunities and help consumers make more sustainable choices through education.
The key takeaway for consumers is that, as yet, Nordstrom’s sustainability ratings are quite low.

Is Nordstrom ethical?

Nordstrom’s ethics are not entirely transparent. They do not seem to have proper labor policies in place. None of their supply chains are certified by labor standards, which ensure worker health or safety. There is nothing to prove that they pay living wages for their laborers.

With regard to animal welfare, they do have some good practices in place. They have banned the use of angora, fur and the skin of exotic animals in their products. However, it does use the ‘wool from non-muleseld sheep’ without enough evidential transparency.

Most of the ethics of Nordstrom’s practices are vague and non-transparent. This is actually common to most fast fashion brands. They do not source their products or trace them even to the first line of production. Overall, their ratings on ethics are quite low.

Is Nordstrom fast fashion? The Bottom Line

Yes, Nordstrom is a fast fashion chain that offers people trendy clothing at affordable rates. Like all fast fashion brands, their labor ethics, animal welfare policies and sustainability practices are highly questionable. If you want to make eco-conscious purchasing choices, Nordstrom is not your best alternative.

Also read: Is Cotton on Fast fashion?
*All pics are courtesy of


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