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Zara launches eco-friendly Join Life collection

Fashion brand Zara has developed a new sustainable collection, Join Life, as part of a commitment by parent company Inditex to strengthen its sustainability commitments.

The new contemporary clothing line is made with forest friendly and animal friendly materials, such as organic cotton, recycled wool and Tencel. "Our goal is for our products to become increasingly more sustainable," Zara says.

The new line meets health, safety, and environmental sustainability standards, Zara adds. In addition, shoppers are being encouraged to return old clothes to its stores for recycling as part of the brand's new Join Life movement.

The Tencel fibre, used in the new collection, is a wood fibre extracted from forests that are sustainably managed, guaranteeing its reforestation. Zara also points out that the farming process of organic cotton consumes 90% less water than conventional cotton.

"The environmental sustainability team at Inditex has developed the Zara Join Life process for Zara, which allows all parties involved in product development to know and understand the necessary requirements for becoming a Zara Join Life product," Inditex explains on its website. "It also shows the necessary steps for communicating the benefits of such products."

In order for a product to quality for the Join Life line, it must satisfy three criteria:

  • All factories that wet process the primary fabric must be evaluated by the Green to Wear Standard of environmental sustainability and receive a Green to Wear classification of A-Best in class or B-Good performance or have a continuous improvement plan with ambitious deadlines.

  • The primary fabric used in the product must be manufactured using one of the Inditex Green to Wear best technologies and a 'Better' raw material or be manufactured with a 'Best' raw material.

  • Suppliers must have an A or B rating or have a continuous improvement plan with ambitious deadlines in the social audit.

"At Inditex our goal is to ensure all of our products are sustainable at every stage of their life-cycle," the company explains. "In order for this to happen we rely on the Right to Wear + Standard, which is applied to all processes developed by our company as a quality guarantee. We ultimately create safe products manufactured in proper social and environmental conditions; made available to our clients by a team committed to continuous professional growth, never losing site of its corporate social responsibility."

Indeed, the move is part of a wider strategy by Inditex to ensure all processes from its store fronts to its suppliers are environmentally friendly.

In July, the company signed an exclusive agreement with cellulosic fibre producer Lenzing to manufacture premium raw materials from textile waste as part of the Spanish fashion giant's commitment to the circular economy. The move is part of the company's new 2016-2020 Environmental Strategy Plan. As part of its proposals, Inditex says it is also championing research into technology to create new textile fibres from recycled garments.

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