13 Famous Clothing Brands To Stay Away From Buying

13 Famous Clothing Brands To Stay Away From Buying
Two young women choosing dresses in a luxury fashion store.

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No matter what hits the runway in New York, Paris, Los Angeles or Milan, just because a designer piece of clothing comes with a hefty price tag, doesn’t make it worth your money. Name brand recognition is a leading reason people will buy certain garments, but if you take a peak behind the cashmere curtains, you may be surprised as to how little value goes into every stitch. 

Read: 6 Genius Things All Wealthy People Do With Their Money

6 Famous Clothing Brands You Should Avoid

Famous clothing brands run the gamut from cheap fast fashion to high-end luxury designs. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that you’ll be buying a quality piece of clothing, even if you are familiar with the brand. Here are some luxury brands and famous fast fashion avoids you might want to reconsider buying:

  1. American Eagle 
  2. Forever 21
  3. Guess
  4. H&M
  5. Nike
  6. Victoria’s Secret

1. American Eagle 

Though American Eagle, which was founded in 1977, claims to be on the path to becoming carbon-neutral by 2030, it has not disclosed how it plans on doing so or been transparent about whether or not it’s on track for this goal. Here are some other things to consider when shopping at American Eagle: 

  • It has a sustainable jeans collection made from organic cotton.
  • Though still available online, It stopped selling plus-size clothing in its stores, which is seen as a form of discrimination.
  • It uses a dangerous sandblasting process when making jeans in its Chinese factories which is harmful to its workers as it can cause the respiratory disease silicosis.

2. Forever 21 

Known for its cheaper clothes designed with younger customers in mind, Forever 21 has been a staple in fast fashion. However, underneath its cheerful designs lies a bit of a dark underbelly. It might be worth thinking about whether or not a cheap shirt is worth the following price:

  • It’s alleged that Forever 21 participates in unsafe and unethical practices such as child labor, forced labor or underpaid workers in sweatshops. For example, the U.S. Labor Department found a factory in Los Angeles where workers were only making $4 per hour. 
  • By refusing to sign the Bangladesh Accord, which promoted fire and building safety for factories and workers which is an indicator of inhumane conditions.
  • Forever 21’s production has a big and negative impact on the environment.
  • Forever 21’s marketing team was also accused of body shaming when the company sent diet bars to plus-sized customers.

3. Guess 

Guess has been around many a mall since being founded in 1981, and as it grew in popularity even implemented incorporating more sustainable practices with its supply chain or water usage and uses more sustainable fabrics such as linen, organic cotton or recycled materials. However, there are still a few things that might give you pause when questioning whether or not Guess deserves your money.

  • Though it has made some eco-friendly moves, the entire collection from Guess is still quite unsustainable.
  • Guess co-founder Paul Marciano was sued for sexual harassment of the company’s models. 
  • The company settled for $30 million to resolve claims they ignored complaints by models despite there being numerous allegations over many years.

4. H&M 

H&M is one of the largest fashion retailers in the world. However, with great revenue comes great responsibility, which unfortunately this Swedish company does not live up to that concept. Below is a litany of problematic reasons to avoid H&M when shopping: 

  • The company doesn’t pay thousands of its garment workers a living wage.
  • Female workers have alleged many cases of physical abuse and sexual harassment and H&M has failed to implement changes in their factories as a result of these claims and other inhumane working conditions which have led to several deaths.
  • H&M has been accused of greenwashing when it comes to its claims of sustainability which implies it is not as eco-friendly as it lets on.
  • It was accused of sexualizing young children in certain controversial ad campaigns.

5. Nike 

As one of the largest athletic brands in the world, Nike has infiltrated the entire sports world–from arenas to to high school gymnasiums–around the globe. It’s a good thing they make trainers, as Nike has been running from the following tarnishing accusations:

  • Nike has been accused of paying below minimum wage, or worse, for using child labor in sweatshops.
  • Though the company has claimed to be addressing issues, Nike factories are also known for having dangerous, unhealthy and inhumane working conditions.
  • In the past, Nike has not granted access to labor departments wishing to assess some of its factories.
  • Former female employees have sued the company on grounds of gender discrimination and sexual harassment.
  • Nike has also taken heat for some of its carbon footprint, and though it has switched to some more sustainable practices and fabrics there have been several greenwashing claims against the company.

6. Victoria’s Secret 

Founded in 1977, this company has been making its mark in the lingerie industry for many years, but Victoria’s Secret has many other things it would like to keep from the public. 

  • Victoria’s Secret supply chain is not certified by official labor departments and standards.
  • Former models accused top executives of sexual harassment and related loss of employment.
  • Less progressive and body-positive than competitors such as ThirdLove, Aerie or Lively.
  • In the past, it has been accused of using child labor and sweatshops for production.
  • Models have accused Jeffrey Epstein of using his influence with Victoria’s Secret and former CEO Ed Wexler, to sexually coerce them. Epstein handled Wexler’s money for a period of time nearly 15 years ago.

7 Luxury Clothing Brands That Have Gone Downhill

You would think that if you were paying for a luxury or designer name then whatever you bought would be of the highest quality. Unfortunately, even some of the most famous names on this list might not be worth investing in. Here are six luxury brands where you might not get your money’s worth.

  1. Versace: Regarding high-end luxury design, Versace is one of the first names to come to mind. For purists of fashion, the quality has gone downhill since the death of Gianni Versace in 1997, and after that when it started a budget line for H&M which was considered subpar in quality.
  2. Coach: Famous for its handbags, the Coach name brand has perceived loss in value. Ironically this is due to the brand’s popularity and the number of sales, making it too accessible and less exclusive.
  3. Louis Vuitton: Often seen as a status symbol of wealth, few know about the severe markup of these products that are made from cheap materials which are hundreds of dollars less than what the price tag would reflect.
  4. Michael Kors: The brand is overexposed and has seen a huge decline in sales. As MK items are no longer seen as status symbols, you should never pay full price as typically there will be huge discounts and sales. 
  5. Prada: This company may have gone around the avant-garde bend with such items as $185 paperclips or thousands of dollars for purses made to wear inside. The company seems to be as out of touch with finances as it does with fashion.
  6. Rolex: Though still popular, Rolex is more and more being considered overhyped and overpriced. Other luxury watch brands offer the same quality of timepieces without overcharging the customer needlessly.
  7. Tiffany: Tiffany jewelry is marked up based on name brand alone. This is not to say the products aren’t quality, but you can get the equivalent elsewhere for half the price. 

Quick Take: Is the Fast Fashion Industry Worth It?

In the bustling world of fashion, countless clothing brands are vying for our attention, however, not all brands are created equal no matter if they are fast fashion or luxury. While some prioritize quality and sustainability, others fall short in various aspects. Here are some key takeaways as to why you should avoid certain clothing brands:

Fast Fashion Retailers

Some of the worst fast fashion brands to avoid include Forever 21, Nasty Gal, Fashion Nova, and Shein are notorious for their fast fashion practices. They churn out cheap clothing at alarming rates, often compromising on ethical production and environmental sustainability.

Questionable Quality Control

Be wary of brands that consistently produce low-quality garments. These include Primark, Walmart’s clothing lines, and certain items from H&M. While their prices may seem tempting, the cheap synthetic materials may not last long or withstand frequent wear and tear.

Ethical Concerns

Some brands have faced backlash due to unethical child labor practices or other terrible working conditions. Nike and Adidas, for instance, have been criticized for their business model which exploits garment workers in overseas factories. Supporting such brands can inadvertently contribute to human rights violations.

Environmental Impact

Brands like Zara and Uniqlo have been called out for their significant environmental footprint. Excessive water usage, textile waste and harmful chemicals in their production processes, leave a negative impact on the planet.

Animal Cruelty

Avoid brands that use fur, leather, or other animal-derived materials obtained through cruel practices. One example is Louis Vuitton, which often incorporates exotic skins into its designs.

Size Exclusivity

Brands that cater only to a limited range of sizes can be exclusionary. Abercrombie & Fitch, for instance, has faced criticism for its fast fashion models and lack of diversity in sizing, alienating many potential customers.

Cultural Appropriation

Stay away from brands that appropriate elements of other cultures without proper respect or understanding. Urban Outfitters and Victoria’s Secret have been called out for appropriating Native American symbols and imagery in their designs.

Transparency Issues

Some brands lack transparency regarding their sourcing and production processes. Gap Inc., the parent company of Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic, has faced scrutiny for its opaque supply chain practices.

Health Concerns

Certain clothing brands have been found to use toxic chemicals in their products, posing health risks to consumers. Pay attention to brands like Lululemon, which has faced criticism for using potentially harmful materials in its activewear.

Overpriced Hype

Lastly, be cautious of brands that rely heavily on marketing and hype to justify exorbitant prices. Supreme and Off-White are prime examples of brands that often sell basic items at inflated prices due to their perceived exclusivity.

Final Take To GO

Always research and consider the values and practices of clothing brands before making purchases. By avoiding brands with questionable ethics, quality and sustainability, consumers can make more informed choices and contribute to a more responsible and equitable fashion industry. Plus, it’s just nice to get what you actually paid for and look good doing it.


  • Are luxury clothing brands worth the price?
    • While some luxury brands are worth the price tag, there are many that have declined in value. Here are some designer and luxury clothing brands you may want to reconsider before buying:
      • Tiffany
      • Rolex
      • Porsche
      • Louis Vuitton
      • Montblanc
      • Prada
      • Michael Kors
      • Coach
      • Versace
  • Are diamonds worth buying?
    • Diamonds are a tricky investment as many parts of the industry either implement scam pricing or unethical harvesting methods. Diamonds aren’t as rare as you may have been led to believe, and really only have perceived value which means investing in them may not be a good idea in the long run.
  • What are clothing brands you shouldn’t buy?
    • Here are some famous brands you should avoid buying:
      • American Eagle
      • Forever 21
      • Guess
      • H&M
      • Nike
      • Victoria’s Secret