- 17 July 2019
Zara – and other brands like Pull & Bear and Bershka – have promised to only sell sustainable clothes by 2025.
The company that owns these shops says all cotton, linen and polyester they sell will be organic, sustainable or recycled.
Zara has 64 UK stores, and its parent company has 7,490 shops worldwide.
Reacting to the news, Friends of the Earth told Radio 1 Newsbeat it would be “better for everyone if the industry sold clothes made to last.”
Over the past few years, a lot of what we buy has been criticised for being fast fashion – clothes we barely use.
What will you see in the shops?
From next year, containers will appear in Zara stores to collect your old clothes so they can be reused or recycled into new items.
People in the UK send 235 million items of clothing to landfill each year, according to the most recent figures.
A ‘ridiculous amount of clothes’
Friends of the Earth told Newsbeat that high street chains can do more to tackle the environmental problems caused by fast fashion.
“Part of the problem is there are too many brands, with opaque supply chains, making a completely ridiculous amount of clothes,” spokeswoman Muna Suleiman said.
“They rely on creating ‘trends’ so shoppers are pressured to come back to buy more stuff each season.”
Zara is one of the stores not to currently use plastic bags and Inditex, the company that owns the chain, says that by 2020 it will eliminate the use of plastic bags across all of its brands.
Primark and Boots are among the big-name shops that have switched from plastic to paper bags.
By 2023 Inditex promises it will have fully eliminated single use plastic in its stores.
Inditex also has a scheme called Join Life running in its shops, which identifies clothes which are made with more environmentally friendly materials than conventional high street stores.
These are made from things like organic cotton and recycled polyester.
The boss of Inditex revealed the company’s plans at its annual general meeting this week.
“Sustainability is a never-ending task in which everyone here at Inditex is involved and in which we are successfully engaging all of our suppliers,” said Pablo Isla, in front of shareholders and company executives.