2021 Social Impact Update: Our work & progress across equity and sustainability

Posted by Stitch Fix
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  • Today we’re sharing updates on the progress we made during our fiscal year 2021 (ending July 31, 2021) on Equity and Sustainability, the two strategic pillars of social impact at Stitch Fix. These updates include our latest representation numbers and pay equity data, which we are sharing publicly for the second year. We are at the beginning of a multi-year journey to advance Equity and Sustainability. There is a lot of work to do and we are committed to creating positive change – for our employees and clients, and the apparel industry. 

    Below are highlights from our annual update. The full details are at StitchFix.com/Impact.


    Brand and vendor diversity

    We have a responsibility to make sure that our product offerings take into account the diversity of our designer base and equitable vendor processes. 

    •  We joined the Vendor Diversity Coalition, and began collecting demographic data from our vendors, to help make informed decisions about who we work with and contribute to the creation of a more equitable and anti-racist vendor ecosystem. 

    •  Our merchandising team committed to laying the foundation for sustained brand diversity. In 2021, 15% of all new brands we sold/offered were Black-owned.

    Diversity and equity in our marketing

    We intentionally partner with models, content creators and influencers who help us represent the communities we serve— and are diverse in terms of size, race, age and gender expression. In 2021, we consistently met our goal to partner with and ensure pay equity for talent that is 60% people of color.

    Commitments to our employees centered in equity

    We’re in pursuit of inspiring people, including employees, to be their best selves, and believe a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is essential for us to fulfill that mission. In 2021 we:

    •  Introduced Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that we named “Stitch Fix Communities”— safe, internal spaces for groups that have experienced systemic exclusion from opportunity. Community Co-Leads receive a special equity grant in recognition of their contributions.

    •  Enhanced health benefits for transgender employees, including comprehensive coverage without “medical necessity” requirements, as well as care navigation through advocates and case managers who understand gender transitioning.

    •  Ensured that all of our U.S. employees have time to vote, something fundamental to our democracy and to advancing a more equitable society. Partnerships with Civic Alliance and Time To Vote reflect our commitment to support the systemic change needed to protect voter rights.

    •  Took a stand for equitable access to reproductive healthcare. We signed an open letter against the Texas anti-abortion law SB8, and will donate to a Practical Support Organization (PSO) to support our employees there more directly (as well as all women in TX).

    Representation numbers and pay equity

    We are dedicated to centering race and the intersections of race and gender in ways that will allow us to better represent the communities we serve— this includes increasing the number of people of color across our teams, at all levels, and on our Board.

    Since our founding, we’ve had an explicit focus on representation of women in places where they’ve historically been on the margins, like technical roles and leadership. We’re proud of the fact that women represent more than 40% of our technical employees (compared to an industry average of ~25%) and more than 50% of our managers and senior leaders

    We are bringing the same intentional focus to racial and ethnic diversity as we have to gender diversity over the years— and have named a need to focus on hiring, retaining and progressing Black and Latinx talent. In 2021 we increased the representation of Black employees from 8.1%–13.1% and Latinx employees from 14.9%–16.5%. We are encouraged by our work thus far, and acknowledge there’s more to be done to replicate and sustain that progress across functions and levels of leadership. 

    We continued to achieve pay equity in 2021: Women earn $1.00 for every $1.00 earned by comparable men. Employees of color earn $1.00 for every $1.00 earned by comparable white employees. 

    See our complete fiscal year 2021 representation and pay equity data here.

    Grant and mentorship program: Elevate

    Elevate is our grant and mentorship program designed to promote a more diverse retail landscape by supporting the next wave of entrepreneurs of color. 

    In our inaugural year, we provided financial grants and mentorship to six Black designers to help them grow their business and launch their 2021 apparel and accessories collections. Through Elevate, they accessed our resources, data insights and art and science approach to help bring their collections to a greater community of fashion-forward style seekers.

    Learn more about our Elevate designers here.


    More sustainable materials

    In 2021, we reached 47% of our total goal to source 100% of the main materias (cotton, polyester, viscose) in our private label products more sustainably than conventional alternatives by 2025.

    We produced a portion of our private label product at our knitting mill and factory in Pennsylvania, Mohnton Mills, including a wide range of men’s tees made with Recover® yarn— a 100% upcycled cotton/polyester blend we source from Spain. 

    This fall, we will introduce a new brand of size-inclusive modern basics that utilizes recycled materials, natural dyes, is made with 100% more sustainable materials and is committed to low production quantities for a smaller environmental footprint.


    Upholding responsible standards

    We advanced our vendor and factory audit programs to ensure that the workers who produce our products are treated fairly in terms of workplace conditions, wages, working hours, health & safety, non-discrimination and more. 

    In 2021, we became members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), joining over 250 leading companies, associations, nonprofits and academic institutions working to reduce environmental impact and promote social justice throughout the global value chain.

    View our updated factory audit results, Vendor Code of Conduct, and Commitment to Responsible Recruitment here.

    Supporting our brand partners’ sustainability efforts

    We’re proud that our data-driven retail model can help our brand partners move their sustainability efforts forward, too. 

    “As a brand rooted in sustainability, we are always looking to reduce waste. Partnering with Stitch Fix data analytics helps us to forecast inventory better which in turn has significantly reduced overstock & waste within our production process.”  

    — Eric Fleet, Founder of Threads 4 Thought

    “By leveraging the customer feedback data from Stitch Fix, in addition to historical selling data and future purchase projections, our team minimizes overproduction and waste—one way we do our part for the planet.”

    — Veronica Gething, Director of Sales at TOMS

    “Stitch Fix, being a data driven business, inspired Liverpool Los Angeles to create Denim products that are audited and measured by a 3rd-party commission that certifies every jean with a low impact score printed and barcoded on every hang tag for transparency.”

    — Ron Perilman, President of Liverpool Los Angeles

    Our social impact vision is to create, deliver and work toward a more equitable and sustainable world by inspiring and driving change across our industry and communities through our resources, influence and innovation. For a full look at the work we are doing to hold ourselves accountable for this vision, visit our social impact website.

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