Global Organic Textile Standard
Ethical Trading Initiative
Science Based Targets Initiative
Zara is a popular, Spanish fast fashion brand owned by Inditex, one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, boasting eight distinct brands. All of these brands are huge on their own, yet Inditex only reports on sustainability as a mother company. Inditex is one of the pioneers of fast fashion as we know it today. All of its brands (Zara, Pull & Bear, Bershka, etc.) produce clothing with an extremely fast style-to-market speed, which has allowed the company to grow into the third largest fashion company in the world. But this business model comes at huge environmental and social costs. Designing and producing clothing that’s not meant to last results in almost two thirds of all clothing ending up in landfills. The emissions generated by Inditex’s endless loop of production and ever-changing styles are not fully traced or published by the company, but the numbers have to be enormous. There are targets in place though. In 2019, the company signed the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action and it has set a 30% reduction target for its emissions by 2030. In line with the objectives of the Paris agreement, the end goal is carbon neutrality by 2050. Zara, followed by other Inditex brands like Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti, has promised 100% more sustainable materials by 2025. In that same year, 80% of energy in its own stores have to come from renewable sources. But it’s not only about targets, it’s also about what’s being done right now. The only credible action towards reduction targets we can actually observe, is a switch of gears towards the consumption of more renewable energy. The company has to move towards transparency, and for now relevant numbers are still missing in its reporting. For example, there are no true scope 3 supply chain emissions and there’s very little data on material origins of Inditex’s products. The limited transparency raises a lot of questions that the company needs to answer. Certifications for animal materials are not provided and whether workers truly get paid a living wage, remains unknown.