Move over SHEIN – Cider is here. As another hyper trendy super cute online fashion brand with small price tags, of course, it’s gotten popular online. As I scroll through TikTok, I’m not surprised or shocked when I come across a “Cider haul,” just like I would a “SHEIN haul.” But an in-and-out trendsetting (and somehow affordable) brand like this makes you wonder how sustainable it is. Or if it’s just another fast fashion brand ready to litter our landfills with statement pieces that will be out of style in two months flat. Is Cider fast fashion? Or is this brand somehow sustainable? We dive in.
What is Cider?
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When looking at the Cider About page on their website, you really don’t learn much about the company. This lack of communication and transparency is an instant red flag. This page doesn’t mention who started the company, where it is based out of, how it began or really any information that can actually help us learn about its beginnings. Instead, there is a ton of jargon about community, aesthetics and what they call “smart-fashion.” Doing an online search, this information is also not easily or readily available.
Their “Smart-Fashion” Claims
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On their About page, they claim that because of their “smart-fashion” production, Cider will only produce clothing that they know will sell, and know what their customers want. Though, it does not explicitly state that their clothing is made-to-order or even explain how their “smart-fashion” production even works. Though – it’s also pretty interesting that they attribute this not to environmental efforts but instead “That way, we don’t have to raise our prices to cover for the losses of unsold stock. It also means we don’t have to sacrifice on quality to save costs because we already saved those costs elsewhere.” This is literally jargon and until actual stats and real notions are provided, this means absolutely nothing. I have no doubt in my mind that they still overproduce – just like any other fast fashion website.
On their #RecycledFiber page, they have a little more insight about their sustainability efforts. But only a little. On this page, they once again discuss their “Smart-Fashion” production, which still really isn’t explained. Next, they explain that they will be using only d₂w biodegradable bags by the end of 2022, which is a good step but begs the question as to why they have to use plastic at all. Biodegradable bags eventually will decompose, but will still take up room in landfills or the ocean for months. This is definitely a good step but plastic-less packaging is definitely still better, such as using recyclable packaging like paper bags. For their #Recycledfiber program, I’m not sure about the validity of the way these items are produced, but it does seem that the “Global Recycled Standard (GRS)” certification is “voluntary,” meaning that they didn’t have to go through any testing or regulations in order to claim it.
Trendsetters, or trend pushers?
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As soon as you click on their website, you are hit with “Flash Sale” items and different (currently trending) aesthetics to choose from. First of all, these sale items are too cheap to be made sustainably. Also, pushing trendy clothing that will soon be out of style is the blueprint for fast fashion. Fast fashion thrives on currently changing trends that cycle through people’s closets. This fast, flashy marketing is one of the major ways that you can tell a fast fashion website from a sustainable company.
Poorly Made Products
Beyond the design, it also seems that their products are poorly made. A ton of the items they sell are made of 100% polyester, seem thin and poorly made and are overall very low quality. These pieces of clothing are not made to last, meaning that no matter what this is fast fashion. Sustainable brands (although more expensive, but rightfully so) make clothing that can last for years. It seems that the clothing produced through Cider is not made to last at all, and will most likely rip, pill or otherwise become unwearable within a few years (meaning it will head straight to the landfill).
If you have never heard of dropshipping, let me explain. Basically, a company that dropships takes products from other fast fashion retailers (such as Amazon or AliExpress), slaps their own tag on them and up prices them, selling them on their own website. Many people have accused Cider of dropshipping from AliExpress and Amazon, since there is absolutely no information on where their clothing is made, and who it is made by. On this Reddit board, it was also discussed that most Cider companies get an email about a “mistake” that had happened during shipping which will cause their shipment to arrive late, which people attribute to the time it takes for them to dropship from another website. There is absolutely no information ANYWHERE online about where Cider produces its clothing, who runs the company or how is was created. While these allegations may be untrue, this transparency is concerning.
When websites like this have absolutely no transparency on information around their company, it is safe to say they are not a sustainable or even an ethical company. Without any information on where the products are made, where they come from, their labor laws, their animal testing and cruelty-free regulations, who created the company, who runs the company or where they are based, it should leave you concerned. Do not spend your money on companies that are shady and are not transparent – Cider is fast fashion, and beyond that, seems to be a very dishonest company in general. Choose wisely where you put your money. We understand that shopping sustainably can be very expensive but knowing how your clothing is sourced is always ideal. If you cannot afford to shop from a sustainable clothing store – we highly recommend thrifting.
What do you think about this lack of transparency? Is Cider fast fashion? Let us know in the comments below!