The quality of our products

One of our main challenges is to offer ever more sustainable products. This means working hard on product design, on selecting the right processes and raw materials to be used, and on the whole production process in general, right through to the end of the product’s life cycle.

Zara designing team at the brand’s head office in Arteixo (A Coruña).

Achieving maximum product quality is closely linked to sustainability: in our view, maximum quality means safe products that are manufactured in appropriate social and environmental conditions. To achieve this, we work at every stage of the value chain – from design through the right choice of raw materials, and the manufacturing and distribution processes, right up until the end of the product lifecycle – using the best available techniques to reduce consumption and environmental impact, especially when it comes to greenhouse gases. The completion of our Strategic Environmental Sustainability Plan 2011-2015 has allowed us to introduce and consolidate various workstreams at all stages of the value chain. Building on the achievements and progress made with this plan, we have set new environmental targets within a new 2016-2020 plan (detailed information on the plan can be found in Efficient use of resources).

Right to Wear+ validates producers who are investing in sustainable innovation in clothing manufacture

Within the environmental plan that has just come to an end, the year 2015 stands out for the progress made in developing more sustainable products. This has allowed us to set a technical standard for validating those producers who are investing in sustainable innovation in clothing manufacture, to whom we give an internal classification of Right to Wear+. At Zara, this standard is reflected on labels explaining the added environmental value of these products. Zara Join Life labels identify items produced using the most sustainable raw materials, such as organic cotton or recycled materials; forest-based synthetic fibres made using an efficient process such as Tencel® Lyocell; or clothing produced with technology using renewable energy, or that demonstrates efficient use of energy or water. The commitment to use more sustainable materials in our products has led to a 318% increase in the amount of organic cotton used since 2014. According to the Organic Cotton Market Report, Inditex was one of the leading consumers of this material during this financial year.

In 2015 we also made progress towards the circular economy model with the Closing the Loop project, which combines environmental and social sustainability to pursue the goal of ensuring no used textile item ends up in landfill. The project began with a pilot run in 37 Zara stores in five countries, in which special bins were placed for the collection of used clothing. Universities, textile manufacturers, recycling companies and the third sector all collaborated on the initiative.