Zara is a fashion giant. Its parent group Inditex is worth $13b (2018), and has more than 2,000 stores in 96 countries worldwide. It’s big. And that means what it does has a big impact.
Many people credit Zara with perfecting the art of fast fashion. It is a pioneer of super-fast turnaround times from design, manufacture, order and distribution. Its twice-weekly drops of new lines that quickly sell out – creating a sense of urgency to buy – got many of us hooked on shopping for entertainment’s sake. Zara has been a key driver of the massive, wasteful, polluting, exploiting and unsustainable fashion industry we have today.
Zara gets an ‘It’s A Start’ from us. That’s because it has introduced some measures to make its business more sustainable, such as the Closing the Loop program. It also has a ban on child labour, forced labour and discrimination in its supply chain. However, we believe the business model that Zara adopts can never be truly sustainable. The promotion of such rapid consumption is inherently harmful to both people and planet.
That’s why we’ve listed a few of our favourite brands that between them cover all bases in terms of reliable wardrobe go-to items and also respect the planet, animals and the people who make their clothes.