This week, major fashion brand Zara announced a pledge to use 100 percent sustainable fabrics by 2025. The company also upped the ante for large-scale sustainable fashion by promising to use 80 percent renewable energy for its headquarters, factories and stores by the same deadline.

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“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.”

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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. notes into Zara clothing.

+ Zara

Via The Guardian

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