Major fashion brand Zara has been accused of greenwashing after announcing plans to launch a second-hand initiative. Among the critics was Alice Murphy, a reporter for The Independent, who pointed out that the fast fashion company should focus on reducing waste as much as introducing any re-commerce initiatives. Murphy points out the irony that Inditex-owned Zara’s primary business model is to implement a fast fashion strategy churning out over 500 new styles a week and so it pays lip service with its planned repair and replacement concept.
The second-hand launch plan includes a customer-to-customer sales platform accessible on Zara’s main website and an app that will encourage customers to sell their unwanted clothes through the company rather than using others. resale platforms.
Sellers only need to take photos of their clothes and detailed product information is then automatically uploaded by Zara. Once the sale is made, the contact details of the buyer are transmitted to the seller so that he can publish the order.
As part of this program, Zara will offer a repair service to shoppers, accessible through the website or the in-store booking function.
The second-hand service should not generate a profit initially. Sustainable Development Manager at Zara, Paula Ampuero comments in an interview with The Guardian that: “At this stage, this platform is exclusively designed as a tool to help customers extend the life of their clothes and take a more sustainable approach. circular.
Zara’s announcement of the initiative was made days before the start of COP27, an event held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6-18, 2022. The annual summit will mark the meeting’s 30th year world leaders to discuss climate change commitments. change. After another year of extreme weather that has seen intensive flooding, wildfires and continuously rising temperatures, the reality of global warming could not be more present.
As Gen Z embraces all that recommerce has to offer, the demand for the used clothing market is growing. Certainly, any stigma associated with the idea of ”second-hand” fashion is quickly dissipating as customers see the opportunity to make money from their wardrobes, by renting and reselling them on platforms like Depop and eBay.
There are other retailers that engage in resale and rental, including British brand Joules, French luxury brand ba&sh, founded by friends Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief, and fast fashion giant Shein.
Perhaps Murphy’s words serve as a clear warning to every brand considering seizing the opportunity presented by the notion of resale and rental. Wherever sustainability efforts and projects contrast sharply with a given brand’s modus operandi, the cry of “green-washing” will not be far behind.
As Murphy suggests, “Wouldn’t a more sustainable starting point be to reduce the number of styles drafted in the production line in the first place? »
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