Is Killstar Ethical or Fast Fashion Brand?

In today’s fashion world, where ethical practices are prioritized over quality or brand, the question that bugs the mind of many concerned customers is whether or not their favorite brands adhere to ethical and sustainable practices. 

One of the brands that has caught the attention of many and has society wondering if they are ethical or a fast-fashion brand is Killstar. Killstar is a brand known for its alternative and gothic-inspired fashion. 

Although the brand has successfully carved a niche in the alternative fashion realm with a large customer base, one may wonder if they are ethical or fast fashion. By definition, Killstar can easily be classified as a fast fashion brand. 

Read: Is Free People Ethical, Sustainable, or Fast Fashion?

What is Killstar?

Killstar is a designer lifestyle brand that provides alternative fashion items for both men and women in gothic style. These items range from clothing to shoes, bags, sunglasses, wristwatches, makeup, cosmetics, and more. These items range from clothes to shoes, bags, sunglasses, wristwatches, makeup, cosmetics, and more. Clothes and shoes are produced in extended sizes for all genders.

Killstar was founded in 2010 in the United Kingdom and has become a global brand. It caters to both men and women and produces size-inclusive wear. Some of its product categories include clothes, cosmetics, home decor, accessories, etc. 

However, the brand is not just about fashion and physical appearance. It is a lifestyle cult that edges its audience to think beyond the conventional dress codes and socially accepted looks. 

Killstar has successfully connected the twenty-first-century person with the fifteenth-century gothic style of dressing, enabling its customers to embrace their dark but unique side. 

And thanks to the media and the internet, the brand and the style have gained lots of recognition over the years. 

When Was Killstar Founded?

Killstar is a UK fashion brand established in 2010 by Traci Inglis. It has since grown into a well-recognized brand with a unique ideology behind its branding that says “with a twist of darkness, channelling emotional power and raw energy into every thread.” 

Where is Killstar Located?

KILLSTAR is a registered trademark of Draco Distribution Ltd, located at 3/2, 89 Hill Street, Glasgow, G3 6NZ, United Kingdom. However, it is an online retail store with no physical shop. It caters to customers in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Europe.

The distributors for each region have a physical address on their website. For the United Kingdom, the distributor is located at Unit 9 Boundary Road Rutherglen Glasgow G44 5NR. The European distributor is located at Säntisstr. 89, 12277 Berlin Germany. And that of the United States is located at 6600 Bandini Blvd, City of Commerce, CA, USA.


ls Killstar Ethical? 

As impressive as this brand may seem, Killstar is not ethical when it comes to production. Although they claim to only use vegan leather and manufacture environmentally safe products under a conducive working environment.

In reality, this claim is far from being true. While expecting its wholesalers to adhere to an ethical code of conduct, Killstar has no track record to prove that it does the same. 

Most of its products come from China with no certification showing that they were produced in a standard factory and not sweatshops with underpaid and child labor. On top of that, Killstar has no clear statement on its website stating its ethical practices, making it even more suspicious. 

Environmental Impact 

Killstar is a top clothing brand that promotes the goth culture and aims to give its customers a sense of belonging with alternative styles and a cult for people of like mind.

While this is laudable, Killstar’s manufacturing practices are quite disappointing. When you take a look at their production materials, you will find that the company uses non-degradable and non-recyclable materials such as polyester, nylon, conventional cotton, and more. 

The continuous usage of low-quality production materials can cause soil pollution and water pollution, which are not good for the environment. 

In addition, Killstar releases new trendy designs very quickly and for a cheap price. This means these clothes go out of style fast and end up in the bin. Making is a fast-fashion brand.

It could also be an indication that they cheap fuel during production which releases a lot of carbon into the air. Overall, Killstar’s production ethics are very poor, leaving a negative environmental impact. On the other hand, there are more environmentally friendly brands. 

Labor Condition

As mentioned earlier, Killstar churns out products fast and does not disclose its manufacturing sites or any certificate to back up its ethical claims. That said, there is a possibility that Killstar is in partnership with factories that use child or underpaid labor. 

Not to mention that considering how cheap some of its products are, the labor conditions in the manufacturing site may not be conducive. Also, since most manufacturers are in Asia or third-world countries, many of them have poor working conditions and capitalize on the situation of the countries to exploit their workers. 

Unlike other brands, Killstar has no documented undertaking to show it cares about the safety of its workers. And no insurance in place in case anything goes wrong. 

Animal Welfare

Killstar claims to embrace vegan-derived materials in order to reduce animal cruelty. However, they also use cotton, polyester, and acrylics. And in many cases, sourcing these materials can put animals in harm’s way. For instance, the body hair of Angora is extracted and made into wool. 

Although the brand is in collaboration with organizations that preach against animal cruelty like PETA and Greenpeace, it has no certification to prove that it adheres to cruelty-free practices.

Plus, it doesn’t indicate the level of veganism in its products. Thus, the claim of only using vegan leather could be misleading. 

Sustainability practices 

Killstar has no sustainability practices in place with no certification to prove otherwise. It uses conventional conventional cotton and non-biodegradable materials like nylon and polyester. These materials are harmful to the environment as they become a pile of waste in the long run. 

Almost none of Killstar’s products are environmentally friendly because they all have at least a small portion of the petroleum-based fiber. And are hardly completely organic. 

While Killstar does not use skin and fur from exotic animals, it uses leather, wool, silk, and angora hair as production materials. Getting these materials something involves animal cruelty or unethical practices. 

On top of that, the brand is not transparent with its code of conduct and has refused to disclose its production site or partners. Neither have they made any public declaration of what they stand for. At this point, it is safe to say that Killstar is nonchalant about ethical and sustainable practices. 

Ethical Considerations

When assessing Killstar’s ethical stance, you should consider the brand’s approach to production, labor conditions, and sourcing of materials.

Production Practices

Killstar is known for its alternative fashion, often featuring dark, gothic themes. You should explore how they create their distinctive products by reviewing their production methods. Transparency in manufacturing processes is key to understanding their ethical practices.

Fair Labor and Working Conditions

Ensuring that workers are treated fairly and operate in safe conditions is fundamental. Investigate if Killstar provides a living wage and adheres to ethical labor standards. This involves looking into whether they have any certifications or if they are part of any initiatives aimed at protecting workers’ rights.

Sourcing of Materials

The raw materials used in Killstar products also reflect their ethical values. Evaluate their choices in fabrics and materials; this can include whether they use organic, recycled, or vegan materials and how they impact the environment. Traceability and sustainability of these materials are significant markers of their ethical engagement.

Environmental Impact

In evaluating Killstar’s ethical stance, your focus on their environmental impact is crucial. This investigation reveals insights into their sustainability initiatives and packaging choices.

Sustainability Efforts

Killstar has made efforts to incorporate sustainable practices into its production processes. For example, they have begun to use organic cotton in some of their clothing lines, which reduces the environmental toll of pesticides used in conventional cotton farming. They’ve also implemented a program for recycling garments to minimize waste.

Eco-Friendly Packaging

When it comes to packaging, Killstar has taken steps to ensure that your purchases have a lesser environmental footprint. They use recycled paper and biodegradable plastic bags for their product packaging. Additionally, they encourage customers to recycle these materials after unboxing their items.

Certifications and Compliance

In examining Killstar’s ethical practices, it’s crucial to look at its involvement in ethical trade initiatives and adherence to labor laws.

Ethical Trade Initiatives

Your inquiry into Killstar’s commitment to ethical trade may reveal whether they participate in any recognized initiatives. Certification from organizations like the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) serves as an indication of a brand’s commitment to improving working conditions and compliance with ethical standards.

  • Initiatives: Check for Killstar’s association with programs like the Fair Wear Foundation or certification like Fair Trade.
  • Collaboration: Look into any partnerships with NGOs or compliance with international standards (e.g., ILO conventions).

Compliance with Labor Laws

When you’re assessing a brand’s ethicality, it’s critical that you dig into its compliance with labor laws. Strict adherence to labor laws ensures protection of workers’ rights and fair treatment.

  • Local Labor Laws: Verify Killstar’s adherence to the labor laws of the countries in which they operate, including minimum wage compliance and working hours regulation.
  • International Standards: Investigate Killstar’s alignment with global labor standards to prevent forced labor, child labor, and workplace discrimination.

Is Killstar Legit?

Without any doubt, Killstar is a legitimate fashion brand. It has an impressionable collection of Gothic fashion and beauty products that appeal to its customers. Over the years, Killstar has made a name for itself and has become the go-to choice for goth lovers.

We can attribute this to the uniqueness it offers in terms of energy and style and the various clothing sizes for customers of different sizes and shapes.

But, if you are worried about its almost non-existent ethical and sustainable practices, there are other environmentally friendly brands out there. 

5 Best Killstar Alternatives Worth Trying

1. Foxblood

Source: Foxblood website

Foxblood is an alternative clothing brand that produces limited-edition and minimalist outfits that keep you in touch with your dark side. It is a female-owned brand and only produces women’s clothes. 

The brand was brought to life in 2017 and is now located in Melrose, Los Angeles. But, it now operates majorly as an online boutique. Unlike Killstar, Foxblood creates vegan and cruelty-free pieces without compromising on quality. 

Pricing ranges between $3 – $98. 

2. Disturbia 

Source: Disturbia

Disturbia is an alternative lifestyle brand from the UK founded in 2003 and built on a desire to disturb the suburbs. They work towards achieving this goal by creating a plethora of products for lovers of strange and unusual fashion. The brand has something for men and women in extended sizes. 

One of the factors that makes Disturbia a great alternative to Killstar is its transparency in business conduct and sustainability practices. The brand prioritizes sustainability and aims to eliminate single-use plastics by the end of 2023.

Plus, they only use animal-friendly materials, meaning all leather and fur products are faux and recyclable. Product prices range from $9 to $110. 

3. Ovate 

Source: Ovate 

Ovate is a clothing brand like Killstar that creates unique hand-made clothes for women. All items are made from high-quality natural fibers like linen and hemp.

The brand is based in Montreal, Canada, and was founded in 2009. The founder practices waste management and does everything within her power to minimize waste.  Ovate is an online retail brand with product prices ranging between $40 – $250. 

Read: What is Slow Fashion and How Can It Help the Planet?

4. Church of Sanctus 

Source: Church of Sanctus

Church of Sanctus is another great alternative to Killstar because it is ethical and follows some sustainable practices. For instance, the brand uses organic or deadstock materials, minimizes waste during production, and does not over-produce. 

Church of Sanctus is a small brand in London that produces all clothing by hand in a personal studio and not a sweatshop. Product prices range from £8 to £295. 

5. Jawbreaker 

Source: Jawbreaker

Jawbreaker is a London-based gothic-inspired designer brand that creates alternative fashion products for men and women. Almost all products are size-inclusive. It uses animal-friendly materials to craft a collection of awesome designs for people who love to make a statement with their looks. 

Jawbreaker has a rule of conduct to only use organic resources and faux leather for production. The brand has gained recognition across the world and now operates as an online boutique. Product price ranges between £11 – £59.50. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What sparked the controversy around Killstar?

Controversy surrounding Killstar often arises from discussions about whether the brand adheres to ethical labor practices and materials sourcing. Inquiries into transparency and fair working conditions have been central to these debates.

How does Killstar address sustainability in its business practices?

Killstar claims to focus on sustainability by implementing eco-friendly packaging and has taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Their exact strategies for sustainable manufacturing, however, may not be publicly detailed.

Are there any ethical alternatives to Killstar that consumers can consider?

Yes, consumers interested in ethical shopping have alternatives to Killstar, such as Everlane or Patagonia, which are known for their commitment to transparency and sustainable production methods.

What are the details behind Killstar’s ownership and background?

Killstar was founded in 2010 in the UK. The brand has a gothic aesthetic and is known for its alternative fashion. Details on the ownership are typically available on the brand’s website or through business registries.

Can customers purchase Killstar products at brick-and-mortar locations?

You have the option of purchasing Killstar products at select physical stores. The brand’s retail presence includes pop-up shops and authorized stockists, though the majority of sales are online.

What can consumers expect in terms of shipping times when ordering from Killstar?

When ordering from Killstar, shipping times can vary based on location. Generally, UK customers can expect their orders within a few days, while international shipping may take several weeks.

Share on:

About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.