Because fast fashion is devastating to the environment, the major fashion brand Zara has pledged to only source sustainable fabrics by 2025. Furthermore, the company aims to use 80 percent renewable energy for its headquarters, factories, and stores by the same deadline.
“We need to be a force for change, not only in the company but in the whole sector,” said Pablo Isla, CEO of Inditex, the corporation that owns Zara. “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.”
As The Guardian reports, Inditex is the third-largest apparel company in the world. And, Zara is by far the corporation’s largest brand. Zara accounts for 70 percent of sales, which totaled $29 billion USD last year.
Zara partners with charities, such as the Red Cross to distribute used stock. The brand also works with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop new ways to recycle fabrics. By pledging to improve their sustainability factor, a new precedent has been set for other large-scale fashion companies to follow.
While the new sustainability plan is encouraging, it fails to address concerns about the conditions of factory workers. In 2017, unpaid factory workers began stitching pleas of help into the garments they created. This produced a PR nightmare for Zara, which likely played a role in the development of the sustainability plan. It remains to be seen when the company will declare fair pay for outsourced labor, not just its intention to source sustainable fabrics.
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