The Spanish fast fashion brand has made a bold move towards an environment-friendly future for textiles and fashion industry. Inditex, the parent company of high street fashion chain Zara – which was named the world’s third largest apparel company this year by Forbes – said its other brands, including Zara Home, Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear, will also follow the same guidelines. Inditex has nearly 7,500 stores worldwide.
The announcement was made at Inditex’s annual shareholder meeting last week. It makes Zara, which accounts for 70 percent of Inditex’s sales, the first major international retailer to set such an ambitious target.
It is one of several ambitious targets to be announced. By 2025, at least 80 percent of the energy consumed in Zara’s headquarters, factories and stores will be from renewable sources and its facilities will produce zero landfill waste, according to The Guardian. By 2023, it promised, the viscose used will also be 100% sustainable.
“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.”
Inditex’s pledge to use 100 percent sustainable cottons and linens, and completely recycled polyester in all of its designs by 2025 is just part of its plans towards a more eco-conscious future. While Zara has stopped using plastic bags, Inditex plans to phase them out of all its stores by 2020. It plans to no longer use fibers from endangered forests for fabric by 2023.
Inditex also committed to not release any toxic chemicals at any part of its supply chain by 2020, which is a partnership with Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals.
This year the company plans to cut energy and water use in all of its stores and make sure 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. Since 2015 it has collected more than 34,000 tonnes of used stock after it installed clothes banks in more than 800 stores in 24 regions.
Inditex has partnered with the Red Cross and other charities to redistribute the used stock. It is currently partnering with scientists at MIT to find practical and affordable ways to recycle clothing fiber.”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 CNN reported.