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Fast-Fashion forwards Eco-Friendly Future | Zara - First International Retailer with Extensive Sustainable Goal



Zara, the Spanish fast fashion retailer, has announced to become a lot more environmentally friendly. By 2025 Inditex, Zara’s parent company, claims to produce all cotton, linen and polyester sustainably, claims the company at the annual shareholder-meeting, and represents the first major international retailer to set such an ambitious target.

All the other Inditex brands, Massimo Dutti, Zara Home, Pull & Bear and Bershka, will follow the same guidelines. Inditex has nearly 7,500 stores worldwide, but Zara accounts for 70 percent of Inditex's sales. "We need to be a force for change, not only in the company but in the whole sector," said Pablo Isla, the chief executive of Inditex, as The Guardian reported. "We are the ones establishing these targets: the strength and impulse for change is coming from the commercial team, the people who are working with our suppliers, the people working with fabrics. It is something that's happening inside our company."

Using 100 percent sustainable cottons and linens, and completely recycled polyester in all of its designs by 2025 is an enormous step towards a more eco-conscious future. Inditex also plans to banish plastic bags from all their stores by 2020. Zara has already stopped using plastic bags. Further plans include to no longer use fibers from endangered forests for fabric by 2023, to not release any toxic chemicals at any part of its supply chain by 2020, to use renewable sources to power at least 80 percent of the energy consumed in Zara's headquarters, factories and stores and to produce zero landfill waste in all its facilities.

For this year the company plans to cut energy and water use in all of its stores and guarantee that at least 20 percent of its clothing is part of sustainable fashion. Zara will also set up textile recycling in all of its stores worldwide where customers can drop off old clothes.

In more than 800 stores worldwide Inditex's recycling progcram has been practiced already since 2015 when Zara installed clothing banks. More than 34,000 tons of used clothes have been collected. Partnerships with the Red Cross and other charities help redistributing the used stock.

"Sustainability is a never-ending task in which everyone here at Inditex is involved and in which we are successfully engaging all of our suppliers," said Isla, in his speech to shareholders, as the BBC reported.

Author: Ute Holtmann, EHI


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