Fashion Nova was started in 2006, and today, this quick-to-market apparel and lifestyle brand has more than 25 million followers on social media. The company’s clothing is worn by stars like Cardi B and Kylie Jenner. In 2018, it was even the most-searched fashion brand on Google, according to its website.

In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Richard Saghian — the company’s founder and CEO — stated that Fashion Nova works with over 1,000 manufacturers, including those based in Los Angeles, which results in samples of designs being ready within just 24 hours. Then, 48 hours later, the 600 new products that are released each week are photographed. These are shared online one to two weeks after conception, and the items tend to sell out in days or even hours.

With such a huge following, celebrity endorsements, and a quick designing and selling process, how are Fashion Nova’s clothes so cheap?

Fashion Nova is under investigation, after reportedly underpaying employees

A recent article from Vox reports that “Activists question the true cost of such low prices, which are almost always the result of worker exploitation.” And when it comes to Fashion Nova, it owes workers $3.8 million in back pay.

Good On You, which rates brands based on their environmental and social performance, suggests avoiding this fast fashion company for a few reasons. Their site states that none of Fashion Nova’s supply chain is certified by labor standards, that there is not much information on its supplier policies, gender equality, or freedom of association, and that it is not clear if the company pays its employees enough on which to live.

All of these claims were further backed up by The New York Times in 2019, in an article which reported that Fashion Nova was apparently underpaying workers and that its factories were under investigation by the U.S. Labor Department.

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