July 23, 2019
When it comes to human impact on the environment, we tend to think mostly of greenhouse gases, animal agriculture, and plastic pollution. But one thing not often discussed is that there are small things we do or buy that have large impacts on the environment. One of these is fashion — the clothes, shoes, and accessories we wear have an effect on the environment. These all have to be made with certain fabrics and materials, and most of the time, especially when made for fast fashion, these materials and fabrics are not ethically or sustainably sourced.
The CEO Pablo Isla announced a plan: by 2023, all the viscose used by the company will be certified sustainable and 80 percent of the power used will come from renewable sources. The ultimate goal is that by 2025, 100 percentof the cotton, linen, and polyester used by the company.
Isla says: “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.” Zara is a very popular fashion store and it accounts for about 70 percent of the company’s sales. In recent years, they have launched sustainable collections, but this announcement is exciting news for customers and the planet!
Inditex is the third-largest apparel company in the world and promises that its other brands, including Massimo Dutti, will follow Zara’s example. Zara is by far the corporation’s largest brand, pulling in 70 percent of its sales, which totaled $29 billion USD last year. A major component of the sustainability plan involves increasing the offerings and sales from Zara’s eco-conscious line, Join Life.
Zara also partners with the Red Cross to donate leftover stock and has an ongoing project with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to innovate new ways to recycle fabrics.
The announcements come after increased pressure from consumers worldwide who seek sustainable fashion choices and critique the waste generated by the fast fashion industry. Zara claims it is not “fast fashion,” even though a documentary recently revealed that factory workers are judged by a woman holding a stopwatch and that the time between spotting a trend and having it hit Zara stores is only 2 to 4 weeks. Most fashion brands, by comparison, take 40 weeks.
Critics and experts of the fashion industry noted that the new sustainability plan does not address concerns about the conditions for factory workers, despite recent controversies when disgruntled workers stitched S.O.S. notesinto Zara clothing.