Women's wear, lingerie and beauty products
Founded in 1977, this company became USA's largest retailer of lingerie. Victoria's Secret became an independent, public company in August 2021 after being spun off from L Brands. Ahead of the spinoff the company announced a significant change of tack in its marketing methods - Angels are out, activists are in.
|Victoria's Secret & Co||USA||website|
|Victoria's Secret & Co|
In 2021 the Mind the Store campaign ranked 50 of the largest retailers in North America on their efforts to eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products. This company received a grade of B-.
Source: Mind the Store (2021)
In 2021 KnowTheChain benchmarked 37 apparel and footwear companies on their efforts to identify and tackle forced labour risks in their supply chains. This company received a score of 52/100. The average score was 41/100 and the highest score was 89/100.
Source: KnowTheChain (2021)
The 2019 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assessed 200 of the largest publicly traded companies in the world from the Agricultural Products, Apparel, Extractives and ICT Manufacturing sectors on 100 human rights indicators. This company's score was in the 10-20 band range. The overall average score was a disappointing 24%.
Source: World Benchmarking Alliance (2019)
The Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including brands owned by this company. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute's 2020 report estimates (somewhat conservatively) that more than 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang to work in factories across China between 2017 and 2019, and some of them were sent directly from detention camps.
Source: ASPI (2020)
This company appears on PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, USA) 'Companies That Do Test On Animals' list, signifying that they manufacture products that are tested on animals at some stage of development.
Source: PETA (2022)
In 2022 the median pay for a worker at this company was US$13,365. The CEO was paid 937 times this amount. Exorbitant CEO pay is a major contributor to rising inequality. CEOs are getting more because of their power to set pay, not because they are increasing productivity or possess specific, high-demand skills. The economy would suffer no harm if CEOs were paid less (or taxed more). In contrast, the CEO-to-typical-worker compensation ratio was 20-to-1 in 1965 and 58-to-1 in 1989.
Source: AFL-CIO (2023)
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 14/100 in the Retailing category of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices (last updated 21 Oct 2022). The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.
Source: S&P Global (2022)
JUST Capital polls Americans every year to identify the issues that matter most in defining just business behaviour. For their 2023 rankings JUST Capital asked a representative sample of 3,002 Americans to compare 20 different business Issues on a head-to-head basis, producing a reliable hierarchy of Issues ranked in order of priority. Issues are organised under the headings Workers, Customers, Communities, the Environment, or Shareholders & Governance. JUST Capital then define metrics that map to those issues and track and analyse the largest, publicly traded U.S. companies. This analysis powers their rankings, in which this company ranked 793rd of 951 companies, and 26th of 40 Retail companies.
Source: JUST Capital (2023)
The Green Supply Chain Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) evaluates consumer-facing companies that have a sizeable supply chain in China. The evaluation uses government supervision data and public information to assess the environmental management of their supply chains in China. This company received a score of 11.74/100 (retrieved 24 Nov 2023).
Source: IPE (2023)
In 2020 Baptist World Aid Australia released The COVID Fashion Report, a special edition of their Ethical Fashion Report. The report is framed around six COVID Fashion Commitments that ask companies to demonstrate the steps and measures they are taking to protect and support the most vulnerable workers in their supply chains. This company showed no evidence of actions that it covered any of the COVID Fashion Commitments.
Source: Baptist World Aid Australia (2020)
The 2020 Sustainable Cotton Ranking, published by WWF, Solidaridad and the Pesticide Action Network UK analysed the 77 largest cotton users among international apparel brands and retailers, reviewing their policies, actual uptake of more sustainable cotton and transparency in their supply chains. According to the report, this company is "not yet started" with a score of 0.5%. The average score was 18.2% and the highest score was 79.2%.
Source: Sustainable Cotton Ranking (2020)
In 2021 this company agreed to a settlement that promises workplace reforms, including a US$90 million investment in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. The company agreed to "a suite of corporate governance and management measures" which include strengthening policies against sexual harassment and hiring a consultant. According to a New York Times investigation, female models and executives were bullied and harassed for decades at Victoria's Secret, which was evidence of an "entrenched culture of misogyny".
Source: news article (2021)
In August 2021 Victoria's Secret was spun off from L Brands. Assessment items related to apparel have been moved from L Brands to Victoria's Secret, since L Brands remaining business segment only sells personal care products. Many of the remaining assessment items for L Brands in the Shop Ethical database are also at least in part attributable to their Victoria's Secret operations. L Brands (since renamed Bath & Body Works) has an overall Shop Ethical rating of D.
Source: Shop Ethical (2021)
The 2023 Fashion Transparency Index reviewed 250 of the world's largest fashion brands and retailers and ranked them according to how much they disclose about their human rights and environmental policies, practices and impacts. Brands owned by this company scored 19%, signifying it is doing a bit more than the others when it comes to having policies and commitments in place and auditing and reporting activities, but could be doing more. The average score was 26% and the highest score was 83%.
Source: Fashion Revolution (2023)
The 2021 Gender Benchmark ranks 35 companies from the apparel sector on their efforts to drive gender equality and women's empowerment across their entire value chain. This company ranked #27/35, with a total score of 17/100.
Source: World Benchmarking Alliance (2021)
In 2015 the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) released a report documenting the results of decades of irresponsible fabric sourcing including land grabbing, forest destruction and human rights abuse to forest-dependent communities caused by deforestation from tree-based fabric production companies. This company was one of the "Fashion Fifteen" implicated in the report for irresponsibly sourcing tree-based fabrics such as rayon and viscose.
Source: RAN (2015)
Greenpeace launched its "Detox My Fashion" campaign in 2011 to expose the direct links between global clothing brands, their suppliers and toxic water pollution around the world. As a result, many companies, including this one, committed to Greenpeace's Detox Program. The 2016 Detox Catwalk report focused on implementation, assessing the steps taken by fashion brands to fulfil their commitments using three criteria: Detox 2020 plan, PFC elimination and Transparency. This company "originally made a Detox commitment but is currently heading in the wrong direction, failing to take individual responsibility for its supply chain's hazardous chemical pollution."
Source: Greenpeace (2016)
This 2007 investigative report into a sewing factory in Jordan reveals how workers are: paid well below living wage, illegally forced to work overtime, denied necessary residency permits, housed in freezing unheated dorms, and set impossible production goals. Their customers include Victoria's Secret. [Listed under information due to age of report]
Source: Institute for Global Labour & Human Rights (2007)
This 2011 report by the International Textile Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF) examined working conditions in 83 factories in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Investigations found that widespread violations and abuses of workers' rights continue to be the norm, such as underpaying workers, long hours, forced overtime, and repression of the freedom of association. This company's brands were found to be made in one or more of the 83 factories covered in the research. [Listed under Information due to age of report]
Source: ITGLWF (2011)
This 2011 report by the Clean Clothes Campaign grades companies on their efforts to ensure workers in its supply chain receive a living wage. It states "This company has a sourcing and labour standards policy which it displays on its website, but it is not developed enough to have considered living wages." [Listed under Information due to age of report]
Source: Clean Clothes Campaign (2011)
Major corporations, including this one, use prison labour in the USA, where prisoners are paid slave wages as low as 23 cents an hour doing work which is often dangerous, toxic and unprotected. While much of the work done by prisoners is for the military, other major corporations are taking advantage of the cheap labour in both federal and state US prisons.
Source: Global Research (2013)
'Nice' rating on the 2009 Naughty/Nice List, the Scorecard on the Catalog and Direct Mail Industry by Forest Ethics. [Listed under information due to age of report]
Source: Forest Ethics (2009)
In 2011, a group of major apparel and footwear brands and retailers, including this company, made a shared commitment to help lead the industry towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020. It includes specific commitments and timelines to realize this shared goal.
Source: ZDHC (2019)
This company has taken angora items off the shelves and promised not to use angora again, following a PETA campaign launched in Dec 2013 which revealed the cruelty inflicted on angora rabbits in Chinese factory farms, where 90% of the world's angora is produced.
Source: PETA (2018)
This company has announced that they don't sell animal fur or are phasing in a fur-free policy.
Source: Humane Society (2019)
Brands owned by this company are listed in Human Society International Australia's Better Wool Guide as using 100% non-mulesed wool from a robust certification scheme, or has a time-bound commitment to do so. Mulesing is the controversial practice of removing strips of the skin of a lamb's rear and is often done without pain relief. In Australia, the only country where mulesing still occurs, an estimated 10 million merino lambs are subjected to mulesing each year - equivalent to 19 lambs per minute.
Source: HSI Australia (2023)
This company is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a multi-stakeholder initiative launched in March 2011 by a group of global apparel and footwear companies and non-profit organizations (representing nearly one third of the global market share for apparel and footwear). The Coalition's goals are to reduce the apparel industry's environmental and social impact, and to develop a universal index to measure environmental and social performance of apparel products.
Source: Sustainable Apparel Coalition (2023)
California, the UK and Australia have all enacted legislation requiring companies operating within their borders to disclose their efforts to eradicate modern slavery from their operations and supply chains. Follow the link to see this company's disclosure statement.
Source: company website (2021)
Baptist World Aid Australia's '2022 Ethical Fashion Report' assessed 120 companies on their efforts to mitigate against the risks of forced labour, child labour and worker exploitation in their supply chains, as well as protect the environment from the harmful impacts of the fashion industry. Assessment criteria fall into five main categories: policy & governance, tracing & risk, auditing and supplier relationships, worker empowerment and environmental sustainability. This company received a score of 38/100.
Source: Baptist World Aid Australia (2022)
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre digital platform presents news and allegations relating to the human rights impact of over 20,000 companies. Their enhanced Company Dashboards also include financial information, key data points based on corporate policies, and scores from prominent civil society benchmarks. Follow the link and use the search function to view this company's dashboard.
Source: BHRRC (2022)
Call to boycott by BDS due to involvement in Israel. [This assessment has not been used in calculation of ratings]. Most of Victoria's Secret's bras are produced by Delta Galil (Israel's largest textiles manufacturer).
Source: BDS (2009)
|Revenue||7.5 billion USD (2019)|
|Address||Columbus, Ohio, USA|