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Fast Fashion Tested: Which Eco Collection Is the Best?


Moincoins content creator Rena with two piles of tested eco-friendly clothes on the table

Fast fashion brands often make promises about sustainability. This is why we tested eco collections of H&M, Guess, Pull&Bear and Zara. See the results for the winning eco line!

Big fast fashion brands continually release new collections with trends that come and go at the speed of light. This creates a lot of pressure on farmers to cultivate more cotton, manufacturers to produce faster, retailers to sell more and eventually on consumers to replace their clothes more frequently. The result is obvious: huge exploitation of natural and human resources as well as a gigantic problem of textile waste. Nevertheless, we continuously buy fast fashion, don’t we? 

We are here to remind you that breaking the fast fashion cycle doesn’t mean we have to stop buying clothes, nor give up comfort. Mass brands know about their destructive impact on the planet and they also know about the emerging eco trends among consumers. This is how eco collections evolved.

We at Moincoins, stand for sustainable choices and try to help our users navigate to better shopping decisions. This is how the idea to test eco collections was born. We wanted to see if those sustainability claims are proven by the items our favorite brands produce.

Is this eco clothing worth buying?
Is it made to last?
Is there any greenwashing involved?

To answer these questions we ordered and tested T-shirts, sweaters, jeans and dresses from the H&M Conscious Choice, Pull&Bear Join Life, Zara Join Life and Guess Eco collections. We attempted to give you valuable insights about the garments’ sustainability, textile certifications, transparency, durability and overall quality. These results surprised us more than once, in both good and bad ways. Check them out!

Watch our video to see the results: Whose eco collection won?

We documented our testing not only in words but also in videos. We recorded the whole process and created a YouTube series with our findings from testing the T-shirts, sweaters, jeans and dresses. 

In this video, we’ve put together our final and the most interesting research results. Find out the winning products of each category and of course the unexpected best eco collection. We will also share some valuable insights from our testing experience, “hate to love” items and our favorite eco-friendly outfit. Watch the video to find out more about sustainable fashion from your beloved brands!

The Best Eco Collection

TOP

Pull & Bear
Join Life

4.0

H&M
Conscious Choice

3.5

Guess
Eco

2.9

Zara
Join Life

2.9

The Best Scores for Our Criteria

Materials

Pull&Bear
Join Life

17/20

Certifications

Zara
Join Life

10/20

Product information

Pull&Bear
Join Life

19/20

Durability

H&M
Conscious Choice

19/20

Quality

Guess
Eco

18/20

The Worst Scores for Our Criteria

Materials

Guess
Eco

8/20

Certifications

H&M
Conscious Choice

0/20

Product information

Guess
Eco

5/20

Durability

Zara
Join Life

11/20

Quality

Zara
Join Life

11/20

The Most Affordable Eco Line

 

H&M
Conscious Choice

$105.96
 

Pull&Bear
Join Life

$139.60
 

Zara
Join Life

$155.60
 

Guess
Eco

$300.00

The Most Eco-Friendly Packaging

 

Zara Join Life &
Pull&Bear Join Life

paper box without additional plastic
 

H&M
Conscious Choice

paper bag and every item is wrapped in recyclable plastic
 

Guess
Eco

paper box and every item is wrapped in plastic bags

The Best Eco-Friendly Outfit

Pull&Bear Basic Round Neck T-shirt
Pull&Bear Basic Mom Jeans

Pull&Bear Basic Round Neck T-shirt

Pull&Bear Basic Mom Jeans

Fast Fashion Is Indeed Really Fast

81.3% of the tested items are not available in an online shop 6 months after purchase (Moincoins fast fashion research May 2022)

of the tested items are not available in an online shop 6 months after purchase

Our “Hate To Love” Items

Pull&Bear Basic Mom Jeans

the shape was not flattering

BUT

the quality was good

Pull&Bear Basic Mom Jeans

Pull&Bear V-neck Crepe Mini Dress

Pull&Bear V-neck Crepe Mini Dress

the fabric quality was bad

BUT

the beach style turned it all around

Zara Short Dress

the style wasn’t ours

BUT

but we saved so much time on ironing

Zara Short Dress

Zara Soft Knit Sweater

Zara Soft Knit Sweater

not really sustainable

BUT

very trendy

Our Key Test Findings

We can definitely see the progress - fast fashion brands are making changes to make their operations and produced items more sustainable. This includes using more eco-friendly fabrics, providing transparent information and ensuring high quality.

Most of the tested brands have set big eco goals which is a good start. But overall we have to agree there is still a lot to implement:

  • lack of third-party certifications
  • often bad quality of the garments
  • vague product descriptions
  • small size of the eco collections.

The above are all strong indicators that the fast fashion industry is just trend-hopping on the sustainability wagon instead of reinventing itself in favor of the environment. With that said:

  • We noticed that lack of certifications did not necessarily mean that the tested products were of worse quality or durability than the certified ones.
  • Our test showed that you do have to invest more money for clothing of higher quality.
  • Only one out of four brands gives the information of where the item is made on the website.

Fast Fashion Tested

Check out the performance and test results of the four product categories.

Methodology 

Weighing each criterion equally allowed us to give eco collections a maximum score of five points. Data collecting and scoring were conducted by the Moincoins team. Our testers were responsible for measuring the performance of every garment for over three months. It's interesting to highlight that none of the eco collections or products achieved the ultimate score and in many cases the differences were minor (sometimes in a range of 0.2 points). 

  1. The winning eco collection was determined by calculating the average scores of every product. Every brand received a score on each sample product from its eco line, (T-shirt, sweater, jeans and dress) from zero to five points. Then we calculated the average of these scores to indicate the winning eco collection. 
  2. The best and worst scores of our criteria were calculated according to the total points of the five different testing criteria (with a maximum score of 20 points). 
  3. The most affordable eco collection comes from the total spend on the garments that we ordered from each brand.
  4. The most eco-friendly packaging was determined by whether the brand delivered the items packed exclusively in paper or if plastic was involved. In case when the plastic wrapping was recyclable, we ensured a bit higher position in comparison to regular plastic packaging. 
  5. The most eco-friendly outfit is made of two items (one T-shirt and one pair of jeans) that received the highest scores after our testing. 
  6. The availability of the items was depicted by checking how many of the tested items were still available online at the end of May 2022. 
  7. There are additional findings such as the “hate to love” items that were picked based purely on our testers’ subjective opinions.