Is Cider Fast Fashion?

Is Cider Fast Fashion? | Debunking Cider’s Greenwashing Claims

Is Cider Fast Fashion? Fast fashion is a term used to describe a business model employed by retailers who frequently update their collections to reflect the latest fashion trends.  These garments are typically sold at low prices and are often of low quality. 

In this article we analyse Cider sustainability claims to help you make informed choices.

The Conscious Insider is reader-supported. When you buy something we recommend, we might earn an affiliate commission at no extra charge for you.

Read also our articles about 48 Fast Fashion FactsClean Beauty Statistics, and Sustainable Fashion Certifications & Labels You Can Trust.


CIDER – The Brand & The Claims

Cider is a Hong Kong based fashion brand that creates a huge variety of women’s clothing at low prices. 

The company makes several claims regarding sustainability, which include:

Responsible Supply Chain: Greenwashing N1

Is Cider Fast Fashion?
  1. SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit): SMETA is an audit methodology. SMETA is not a certification. Therefore, simply being registered for SMETA does not imply a particular standard of ethical practice.
  1. Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange): Sedex is a global membership organization dedicated to driving improvements in ethical and responsible business practices in global supply chains. It’s a platform. Like SMETA, Sedex is not a certification program.

Just because a brand’s on the SMETA list or part of Sedex doesn’t mean they have a verified high standard of ethical practices.

Now, about Cider. They have not joined any  agreements that focus on making factories safer. You know, like the Pakistan Accord or the International Accord. Even big names in fast fashion like Zara and Asos have signed up for the International Accord.

Digging a bit deeper, it turns out Cider is not certified under standards such as SA8000, which focuses on workers’ rights and workplace conditions, or ISO 45001, which sets international requirements for occupational health and safety management systems.

So, what does all this mean? Well, brands that are really into sustainable and ethical practices usually shout it from the rooftops – they’re proud of it and they let everyone know. 

The lack of such certifications means that Cider supply chain practices are probably far from responsible and ethical.

Smart Fashion: Greenwashing N2

Is Cider Fast Fashion?

Cider’s have this thing they call “smart fashion.” It’s about making clothes that people actually want. Sounds pretty neat, right? Less waste, ’cause they’re not creating clothing nobody’s gonna buy.

But here’s where it gets a bit iffy. Turns out, a lot of customers aren’t exactly thrilled with what they get. Makes you wonder, what’s happening to all these unwanted clothes? Are they just stacking up in a corner somewhere? And does this whole “smart fashion” thing really cut down on waste if people are sending stuff back?

Now, let’s talk about how quick Cider gets these clothes out. They’re not exactly winning any speed records because of their so-called “smart fashion.” It’s more about the super low labor costs. That’s the real secret sauce behind their lightning-fast delivery. It’s not some high-tech, super-efficient process – it’s about saving bucks on the making part. 

Eco-Friendly Packaging: Greenwashing N3

D2W is a type of plastic produced by Symphony Environmental Limited, a British company. Note that the base material for D2W film is conventional petroleum-based plastic granules. Not so green right?

At the end of the process, it is no longer a plastic, and has changed into a material which is biodegradable (by bacteria and fungi) in the open environment.” 

That means that if the bags are released into the ocean, they are likely to persist indefinitely in the marine environment.

Our Clean Water Process: Greenwashing N4

Is Cider Fast Fashion?

Cider talks about their “Clean Water Process,” which is all about teaming up with their suppliers. They’re doing checks to make sure that any chemicals getting released fit with their environmental standards. Sounds pretty responsible, right?

But here’s the catch – they’re very vague about what these “environmental standards” actually are. It’s like saying, “We’re doing good things,” without really spelling out what those good things are. 

And, to add to the mystery, there’s no solid proof or some kind of third-party stamp of approval backing up their claims. Without evidence, it’s hard to take their word for it. 

Recycled Fabric: Made With Mother Earth In Mind : Greenwashing N5

We’ll debunk this one further below.

5 Reasons Why Cider is Fast Fashion

Here are 5 reasons why Cider is Fast Fashion.

First of all, Cider has a similar business model to other fast fashion brands such as Shein, Boohoo, Forever 21. But let’s dig a bit more.

1. Environmentally Harmful Materials

Here’s a little challenge for you: try finding an item made of cotton on Cider’s website. Spoiler alert – you might not find any. Instead, Cider predominantly uses materials like polyester, acrylic, and nylon, which are all derivatives of plastic. These materials are often chosen because they are cheaper and easier to produce than natural fibers like cotton.

For instance, consider some of their products:

  • Faux Shearling Collar Button Shacket is made from 50% polyester and 50% PU.
  • Fleece Solid Pocket Duffle Jacket consists of 100% polyester.
  • Wool-blend Collar Solid Zipper Knitted Sweater is a mix of 3% nylon, 13% acrylic, 37% polyester, 5% wool, and 42% recycled polyester.

These materials, including polyester, rayon, viscose, and modal, are synthetic fibers made from petroleum-based materials and often involve toxic chemicals in their production. 

Not only are these fibers non-biodegradable, but they also require high energy for production and are known to release microplastics into the oceans, contributing to environmental pollution.

For more insight into the impact of these materials on the environment, and why they pose a problem for the fashion industry, you can read this article: Sustainability in Fashion: Why Polyester is a Problem for the Industry.

2. Lack of Eco-Friendly Practices or Certifications

Surprisingly or not, Cider does not appear to hold any of the well-known sustainability certifications or eco-friendly labels. Let’s take a quick look at some of these certifications:

  • Textile Certifications: These include GOTS (Organic Textile Certification), GOLS (Organic Latex Certification), GRS and RCS (Labels for Recycled Materials), RWS (Responsible Wool Standard), the Better Cotton Initiative, and Bluesign.
  • Chemical Safety: Certifications like OEKO-TEX (Non-Toxic Textile), EWG, and Made Safe ensure products are safe for human health and the environment.
  • Animal Welfare: Vegan Certified guarantees the absence of animal products.
  • Ethical Practices: B Corporation and Fair Trade certifications focus on social and environmental performance and equitable trade.
  • Environmentally Friendly Practices: Certifications like the Forest Stewardship Council, Climate Neutral, and 1% For The Planet endorse sustainable forest management, carbon neutrality, and environmental philanthropy.

Brands that possess these labels or certifications typically showcase them prominently on their websites.

Cider claims that their “Recycled Fabric Collection” features garments made from materials certified by the Global Recycled Standard (GRS), which is great for sustainability. 

However, this collection isn’t even displayed on their website. If you’re curious and want to take a peek at this collection, you might need to do a bit of online sleuthing, like typing “CIDER Recycled Fabric Collection” into a search engine. 

3. Low Prices, Poor Labor Conditions and High Volumes

$6 T-shirt from Cider


Ever wondered how a brand can sell a T-shirt for just $6, especially when they’re trying to keep up with the latest trends and produce high volumes? Well, here’s the not-so-fun fact: it’s pretty tough to do that ethically and sustainably. Spoiler alert: usually, they don’t.

If you’re curious about what it really costs to make a T-shirt responsibly, check out this cool breakdown by The Green Tee here. They explain that even before you start counting the marketing and salary costs, a sustainable T-shirt can set you back about $10. So, how do some brands manage to sell them for so much less?

Well, the secret (which isn’t really a secret) is using super cheap materials that aren’t exactly friends of the environment. And then there’s the labor part – these shirts are often made in countries where labor costs are rock bottom, leading to what some might call ‘modern slavery’.

Workers in these places get paid peanuts and often work in not-so-great conditions. So, when you see a T-shirt with a price tag that seems too good to be true, it just might be – at least from an ethical and sustainable standpoint.

4. Quality and Durability

You don’t have to look too hard or dig too deep to get the scoop on CIDER’s quality – just swing by customer review sites like Trustpilot, and you’ll get the picture. Here’s a taste of what folks are saying:

“Several of the straps were uneven and sewed wrong, making the fabric bigger in the wrong areas. Sizing was also off.” – Brenda, Nov 21, 2023

“This company is a scam. I ordered $200 worth of clothing, the quality was really poor so I sent the items back after trying on some of them and not even removing some from the package.” – Rebecca, Nov 13, 2023

“I watched many videos of Cider clothing from Instagram, TikTok etc., and people were raving about the wide-leg trousers. I bought three pairs for my holiday, and I am so upset with what has been sent to me. The elastic in the waist on the trousers fold within hours of wearing them. Leaving them very uncomfortable and have to readjust them every few minutes. Extremely unhappy and I will ensure I tell my friends and family not to fall for the clever marketing scheme.” – Chantelle, Oct 29, 2023

“10/10 for the marketing team, but to say I am unhappy with the items I ordered is an understatement. The length on the 2 pairs of ‘trousers’ I ordered is an absolute joke. The material is incredibly cheap.” – Savannah, Oct 30, 2023

“Scam business that is selling cheaply made Chinese clothing and drop shipping it directly from some poor manufacturer. Quality is extremely poor, sizing is all over the place, and returns are near impossible. I’d avoid at all costs.” – AD, Oct 3, 2023

And these are just a few recent nuggets.

On top of the issues with quality, durability, and make, there’s more concerning stuff to chew on. A Marketplace investigation found that 20% of 38 tested Shein clothes samples contained high levels of harmful chemicals, like lead, PFAS, and phthalates – stuff you definitely don’t want in your clothes. While no tests have been conducted on Cider specifically, given the similarities in fast fashion methods, it’s not a stretch to wonder if similar issues could be lurking there too.

5. Trendy Designs & Design Theft Allegations

So, let’s talk about how these super trendy designs pop up so fast in the world of fast fashion. The secret? Well, it’s not so much a secret but more of an open whisper – a lot of these designs might just be, you know, ‘borrowed’ from other designers. It’s like the fast fashion playbook – Zara’s been called out for it before, and it looks like others are following suit.

Is Cider Fast Fashion?
How Fast Fashion Brands Steal Design

Take this example: this black jack with white pipping from Cider is also a black jacket listed on this fast fashion site The Commense. Now, doesn’t that look eerily similar to something from the original jacket from Toteme? Check out Toteme’s version and tell me if you spot the resemblance.

And it’s not just a one-off thing. If you take a stroll through their best-seller items, it’s like déjà vu. You’ll probably find a bunch of stuff that looks awfully familiar – like pieces you’ve seen in Zara or Revolve.

Civer vs Revolve

Key Takeaways

  • Cider is a fast fashion brand
  • Cider greenwashes. Big time. 


Let’s sum up the key points about Cider. 

First off, Cider falls under the umbrella of fast fashion. 

But here’s a kicker – Cider’s been caught up in some serious greenwashing. The fact that they’ve got a whole section on their website labeled “sustainability”? Kinda indecent, if you ask me. 

What’s more, when you dive into what they’re actually doing for sustainability, things start to look a bit murky. There’s a lot of talk, sure, but when it comes to real, concrete actions and changes? Not so much. It’s like having a glossy brochure about healthy eating at a fast-food joint. Looks good on paper, but the reality is a whole different story.

So, the takeaway? Cider’s a classic case of fast fashion with a side of greenwashing. They’re in the game of quick trends and quick bucks, and the sustainability part? Well, it is more like a trendy accessory than a genuine commitment.

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