Zara; high-street titan, last-minute wardrobe disaster saviour and master of teetering just on being full-on fast fashion. As the crown jewel of Spanish conglomerate, Inditex, Zara is an integral and phenomenally valuable part of the group, accounting for 70 per cent of sales worldwide according to Forbes magazine.
Among other things, Zara has often come under fire for its disposable business model and the environmental impact that has. Where once upon a time sustainable fashion carried connotations of hemp sack dresses it could not now be more à la mode. Regardless of whether you’re going green out of genuine global warming concern, or because it’s chic the end result is a good one. And that applies to Zara too. Particularly given that it just announced its intention to go 100 per cent sustainable by 2025, the first high street brand to do so.
This is obviously fantastic, in theory. But in practice, how will a global mega brand known and adored for i’s affordable, semi-disposable, current trend-driven designs cope with the additional costs, considerations and production turnaround timings inevitably involved? While people are undeniably more environmentally and socially conscious, is that enough to make up for no longer being able to snap up catwalk, street style and social media styles literally refreshed every week? And will it be willing to pay more for sustainability? Not to mention, what will happen to Zara’s existing workforce? Not to mention Inditex’s profit margin…
All remains to be seen, but then again Zara’s got until at least 2025.