European e-commerce company Zalando is growing its eco-friendly fashion range massively to answer the regained interest in sustainable clothing from its customers.
To better serve the increasing demand for environmentally friendly fashion items from European consumers, Zalando SE announced a gigantic expansion of its assortment in its sustainable category from 27,000 fashion items in 2019 to over 60,000.
Ultimately, Zalando aims to only sell eco-friendly products by 2023, as revealed by the company earlier in 2020. It wants to improve the apparel industry as a whole and play a key role in the transformation of the current wasteful fashion system into a more sustainable one.
"We see a clear link between sustainability and continued commercial success. Our sustainability ambitions will help us stay ahead of customer demand after this crisis caused by the coronavirus. Both our current and future customer base are calling for more sustainable choices in fashion."
- Kate Heiny, Director for Sustainability at Zalando SE
Zalando SE is a European e-commerce company based in Berlin, Germany. It was founded in 2008 by Robert Gentz and David Schneider to reproduce in Europe what Zappos had achieved in online shoe and clothing retailing in the United-States.
Today, Zalando is one of the most prominent European e-commerce companies. It's the largest online platform offering fashion and lifestyle products to 32 million customers in 17 European countries.
Zalando reveals that more than 40% of its customers are choosing more sustainable fashion items in the third quarter of 2020, which represents an increase of 20% and 25% respectively from the first and second quarter of 2020.
Zalando is committed to distributing only brands that care for the environment by reducing their ecological impact. It's one of the first retailers to use the new Higg Brand and Retail Module (Higg BRM).
It's a new tool from Higg Co and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) that guides fashion brands and retailers to introduce more sustainable practices in apparel, footwear, and textile production and distribution.
Zalando has also expanded its beauty category, highlighting over 1,000 products with one of six sustainability attributes: organic, natural, less packaging, forest-friendly, biodegradable, or kind to animals.
"It is great to see the number of customers buying more sustainable fashion at Zalando increasing enormously and resulting in around 15 percent gross merchandise value (GMV) coming from more sustainable products. Today, more sustainable fashion makes up ten percent of Zalando’s overall assortment, a number we want to grow continuously in the future."
- Sara Diez, vice president of the women’s category at Zalando SE
Zalando calls its sustainability strategy do.MORE. It has made assessments around ethical and sustainable parameters for its brand partners mandatory, as told by Kate Heiny in a statement.
Sustainability assessments are amazing tools to identify sustainability issues, research solutions, and make lasting improvements. They help fashion brands and retailers introduce more sustainable practices in their supply chains.
Fashion brands and retailers should make more efforts in social and environmental sustainability and improve their performance. The development of sustainable solutions is crucial to protect the well-being of factory workers, local communities, and the environment.
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About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.