Zara is a Spanish fashion retailer that launched many eco-friendly collections such as Join Life. It uses sustainable materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Tencel to lower its environmental impact.

Zara is driving a digital and sustainability transformation to renovate its entire store network and introduce cutting-edge technology in all areas of the business model.

The biggest fashion group in the world is the Inditex Group which owns the Zara brand along with other fashion labels such as Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, and more.

Zara makes clothing, accessories, shoes, swimwear, beauty, and perfumes. Join Life is a sustainable collection made from organic or recycled materials. It also spread out this initiative to Massimo Dutti and Oysho.

However, the large majority of Zara's business activities remain disastrous to the planet. The multinational clothing-retail company mostly creates fast fashion for men, women, and children.

In reality, only a small portion of materials are recycled and made from renewable resources. Many textiles used by Zara remain highly damaging to the environment and human health.

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Sustainability Rating: 5/10

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Category: Clothing, accessories, shoes, bags, jewelry

For: Women, men, children

Type: Basics, knitwear, activewear, underwear, loungewear, swimwear, outerwear

Style: Casual, formal, chic, classic, rock

Quality: Low

Price: $

Sizes: 2XS-2XL, 0-14 (US), 2-16 (UK), 32-44 (EU), 4-18 (AU)

Fabrics: Cotton, linen, hemp, ramie, jute, lyocell, modal, viscose, cupro, acetate, polyester, nylon, spandex, polyethylene, polypropylene, acrylic, neoprene, leather, wool, silk, down

100% Organic: No

100% Vegan: No

Ethical & Fair: No

Recycling: Yes

Producing country: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Vietnam

Certifications: GOTS, OCS, GRS, RCS, FSC

How sustainable is Zara's Join Life clothing collection?

Join Life is Zara's initiative to protect biodiversity, reduce its consumption of water, energy, and other resources, avoid waste, and combat climate change.

Join Life clothing helps the business be better and more efficient by looking at every aspect of its value chain to ensure the healthy functioning of our planet.

However, the majority of Zara's clothing remains detrimental to the environment. Only a very small proportion of the materials used by Zara are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Zara only uses very few eco-friendly fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp, or recycled materials such as recycled cotton, recycled polyester, and regenerated nylon.

Join Life is a very small collection dedicated to sustainable fashion. Most of the fabrics used by the retail giant are either natural without relevant certifications, such as cotton or linen, or synthetic petroleum-based fibers such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, and more.

Join Life also includes a little amount of semi-synthetic fibers or regenerated cellulosic fabrics such as Tencel lyocell, modal, acetate, and viscose. Tencel is an eco-friendly fiber made with wood pulp from certified sustainable forests.

How ethical is Zara's Join life really?

Zara manufactures its Join Life clothes in Turkey and many other East Asian countries where human rights and labor law violations still happen every day.

Zara works with more than 1,800 suppliers in more than 8,000 factories, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Pakistan, Vietnam which are high-risk regions for clothing production.

Zara used to employ Turkish sweatshops in Istanbul, where workers were forced to work without being paid. Modern slavery and child labor cases involving Zara in Brazilian factories were also previously reported.

Zara now cares more about its suppliers with higher transparency and worker empowerment initiatives. But the brand still doesn't pay a living wage across its supply chain to produce its Join Life clothing collection.

Join Life doesn't demonstrate any labor certification standard that would ensure good working conditions, decent living wages, health, safety, and other human rights for workers in its supply chain.

Sustainability commitments for Join Life

Zara has committed to manufacturing at least 50% of its items marketed in 2022 according to the Join Life standards. It also works to ensure that the energy it uses at all its facilities (central offices, logistics centers, and stores) comes from renewable sources.

With Join Life, Zara aims to reduce the impact of water across the entire supply chain by 25% by 2025. It already achieved zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in 2020 in the manufacture of its products.

Zara plans to reduce its GHG emissions by 90% in its Scope 1 and 2, and 20% in its scope 3 (in the Purchased Goods category), by 2030 compared to 2018, with the aim of achieving net-zero emissions in 2040.

For its Join Life clothes, 100% of the cotton will be sustainable (organic, BCI, and recycled) in 2023. And in 2025, all cellulosic fibers will be sustainable. In 2023, all viscose used will be 100% sustainable.

And 100% of the linen used for Join Life will be sustainably sourced (ecologically grown linen or recycled linen) in 2025. 100% of the polyester it uses in its garments will be recycled or more sustainable polyester in 2025.

Zara also reuses and recycles in its own operations, aiming to achieve a target of zero waste to landfills by 2023. It aims to achieve 100% of all packaging materials collected for reuse or recycling in its supply chain in 2023.

Where is Zara's Join Life clothing available?

Discover Zara's Join Life sustainable collections at

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