Owners: The Arcadia Group and Leonard Green and Partners
About the Brand: Founded in 1964, Topshop is a British brand catering to young women and men (Topman). The brand offers a wide variety of styles of clothing ranging from hipster to romantic. The brand has 300 stores in the UK and is now expanding into the US with four stores.
Materials: A collaboration with Izzy Lane and Topshop ensures their wool is humanly gathered from sheep who were saved from the slaughterhouse. They also have began TOPSHOP Reclaim to Wear, saving materials which would have been considered pre-production waste.
Production: Arcadia group claims that Topshop has a "made in the UK" policy and continues to claim that 60% of their products are made in the UK. I have three products made fairly recently and two were produced in Turkey and the other in Mauritius. This all may be to cover up what happened in 2007. Topshop was exposed to using third-world sweatshops to produce the majority of their clothing. The company claimed the workers made more money than they actually earned. They've also been shown to use sweatshops in the UK. They also claim that their hand-knitted items have been coming from Scotland since 2012. Topshop failed to sign the Ethical Trade Initiative, making them the largest production company to do so.
Personal Opinion: Aesthetically, Topshop is my favorite brand right now. However, it is hard to ignore these controversies and while they are trying to change their approaches to production, the company still seems pretty shady. I'll still be buying from the company.
I'll be continuing this series, looking into brands fashion bloggers seem to love. Feel free to leave suggestions!