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Zalando introduces new innovations in commitment for greater sustainability

Jeremy Lim
05 October 2021

European online retailer Zalando has reinforced its commitment to sustainability, unveiling new business practices to increase the company’s circularity throughout its product life cycles.

From piloting repairs to scaling its “redeZIGN for circularity” collection as well as Pre-owned offering and developing an open-source platform for textile waste management, the company aims to make a transition towards a circular system by redesigning each step of the product life cycle.

From 11 October, Zalando will pilot care and repair services in order to extend the life of customers' products post purchase. Through a collaboration with London-based retail app, Save Your Wardrobe, the retailer will be working with local workshops and tailors for maintenance and repair services to customers.

Currently available to Berlin customers, the service is looking to roll out into Düsseldorf and eventually into more markets.

The effort supports the goal to apply the principles of circularity and extend the life of at least 50 million fashion items by 2023 as outlined in Zalando’s sustainability strategy, do.MORE.

Laura Coppen, Head of Circularity at Zalando, said: "To reduce its negative impact on people and the planet the fashion industry needs to move towards a circular system. At Zalando, we see this shift as a unique opportunity to lead the redesign of the fashion industry, open up new revenue streams and capitalise on seismic shifts in consumer behaviour which are already underway.

"According to our Attitude-Behaviour Gap report, more than 60% of consumers think it’s important that their clothes get a second life and not end up in the trash. Our goal is to drive behavioural change towards circular products and experiences."

The retailer is further constructing an open-source textile waste management platform, in partnership with Sorting For Circularity Project. The initiative intends to provide an analysis of textile waste, whilst looking into the possibilities of textile recycling companies. The development of the programme will see the production of an open digital platform that aims to bring compatible sorters of textile waste together with recyclers.

In the design stage, Zalando will be working together with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Berlin-based start-up to define industry-wide circular product criteria and training of its private label teams on circular design processes.

The company added that they will expand its private label ZIGN to provide 50 products in its “redeZIGN for circularity” capsule collection with a QR digital product passport where customers can learn more about the origins and post-purchase services of the item.

The assortment of 50 products includes men’s and women’s textiles, shoes, and accessories available in all 23 Zalando markets.

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