Use and end of life

In this pilot programme, collection bins for used clothing, footwear and accesories have been placed in 37 Zara stores.

As part of its environmental and social commitment, Inditex is aware of the need to work towards better management of the waste generated by our textile and footwear products. With the Closing the Loop project, launched in 2015, we aim to promote the reuse and recycling of our garments, collaborating with social entities, recycling companies, textile manufacturers and technologist to explore efficient textile recycling solutions and contribute to our communities.

Closing the Loop combines environmental and social sustainability to pursue the goal of ensuring that no used textile item ends up in landfill. The project began with a pilot in 37 Zara stores in five countries (Spain, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden), in which special bins were placed for the collection of customers’ and employees’ used clothing, footwear and accessories. These items are then donated to our non-profit partners, such as Caritas, or the British Red Cross. In the case of our collaboration with Caritas, the emphasis is on providing jobs to those at risk of social exclusion to support the sorting and repairing of clothes for resale. In 2015 alone, we collected 5.7 tonnes of items from stores and 37 tonnes from logistics centres and offices. Our non-profit partners were then able to keep 100% of the funds raised through the sale of these items to finance their activities. In 2016, this initiative will be extended to other markets such as Germany, Italy, Portugal, France, Japan, China and Hong Kong.

With regards to items that cannot be resold by our non-profit partners, as well as other production waste, such as cutting waste at the factory level, we have developed a channel that facilitates their recycling through innovative industrial solutions. In collaboration with technologist and leading companies in the sector, we are assisting with the development of recycling technologies to generate new raw materials of equal or better quality than those collected, whenever possible.

Additionally, in 2015, we continued collaborating with various social purpose organizations, such as the Roba Amiga cooperative, the Asociación de Desarrollo Comercio Alternativo y Microcrédito (ADCAM) and A Puntadas, which specializes in the management of second-hand clothing and also promotes labour integration for people at risk of social exclusion.