Zalando expands its sustainable category after demand for eco-friendly fashion rises

Zalando has expanded its sustainability category after seeing a growth in demand for eco-friendly products.

The online fashion giant has expanded its sustainable offering from 27,000 items in 2019 to more than 60,000 as the number of active customers buying more sustainable fashion had more than doubled to 40% since the start of 2020.

A quarter of Zalando’s customers said they considered sustainability when shopping and 34% said that sustainability had become more important to them since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zalando has also launched its own capsule collection called ‘redeZIGN for Circularity’, which is designed to be reused or recycled. The capsule includes five pieces as a test for Zalando’s private label Zign.

The five-piece collection is aimed at promoting Zalando’s circularity principles and will be available in all of the e-tailer’s 17 markets.

In September, Zalando rolled out a pre-owned fashion category in Germany and Spain that allows customers to trade in pre-owned garments in return for store credit or a charity donation. This offer will also launch in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Poland later this month.

Consumers can also purchase sustainable beauty products as the e-tailer has introduced a flag for the category labelling organic, natural, less packaging, forest-friendly, or biodegradable products.

Zalando co-chief executive Rubin Ritter said: “We have seen extraordinary growth in customer demand for more sustainable fashion since the beginning of the year.”

“According to a recent internal survey, 34 per cent of our customers said that in light of the coronavirus pandemic, sustainability has become more important to them.”

With this major shift in mindset, there is a demand and momentum for change, and a need for the fashion industry to transform.”

“Together with our partners, we want to be the engine for this change and enable our customers to make more sustainable choices even more easily.”

The expansion is part of Zalando’s Do More sustainability strategy which was announced a year ago. The online giant has announced several sustainability commitments, including setting science-based targets to reduce greenhouse emissions in June this year.

By 2025, the company has committed to reduce its operational carbon emissions by 80%, including those coming from the production of its own brand labels by 40%.

Zalando has also pledged to having 90% of its key brand partners setting themselves science-based targets to cut-down carbon emissions.

Furthermore in May, the company introduced a mandatory sustainability assessment for brands selling on its platform. All brands are required to report against social and environmental standards such as water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, chemical management, fair wages and human rights.