Zara SA, pronounced as ZARA, is a Spanish apparel retailer based in Arteixo in Galicia, Spain. The company specializes in fast fashion, and products include clothing, accessories, shoes, swimwear, beauty, and perfumes. It is the largest company in the Inditex group, the world’s largest apparel retailer.

Ethically Alternatives


Energy and Climate Change


Environment Policy and Reporting


Resource Management


Zara’s future goals and targets were intended to build on what the company has done thus far, which has included the following ever since it signed the United Nations (UN) Global Compact in 2001: a series of five-year strategic environmental plans; aligning itself with the development and use of responsibly and sustainably produced fabrics; transforming its stores and facilities so they’re eco-efficient; recycling packaging and using green alternatives for its packing materials; an in-store recycling donation program; and launching its eco-conscious Join Life collection which, the execs revealed, will account for 20% of Zara’s offerings by the end of 2019.

As for what has to be done next, the following were outlined as priorities. By 2020, a commitment to Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals for its supply chain, training all of its designers in the cruciality of circularity, and not using fibers from endangered forests. By 2023, ensuring the use of 100% sustainable cellulosic fibers for responsible viscose, the absolute eradication of single-use plastics, and complete adoption of green-only packaging. And before the end of 2025, collections created out of 100% sustainable cottons and linens and 100% recycled polyester, as well as zero landfill waste from its facilities, and achieving 80% renewable energy use for its HQ, distribution centers, and stores.

While these are ambitious and authentic commitments to Zara’s corporate action on the environment, what was striking that July morning was the openness from the executives to address the elephant in the room, which is this: How does the company square away its preeminence in the realm of fast fashion with the harsh truths of our environmental situation? The company’s eco objectives aside, there was a real and honest desire to engage with what Zara needs to do to align itself with where we are going as a culture: to slow down, to buy less, to make what we have last longer. (That certainly seems to be the case at Zara’s newest New York store at Hudson Yards, where the general feeling is of things being more edited, considered—a calmer, reflective, less-is-more approach.) To further gauge the company’s mindset further, three of its women’s designers—Bea Padin, Simon Psaric, and Eva Vidal—weighed in on the importance of sustainability and what they’re doing to achieve those goals. Source

Social Responsibility

Community Development and Philanthropy




Human Rights and Supply Chain Management


Compensation and Benefits


Diversity and Labor Rights


Training, Health and Safety


Inditex has the following main groups of interest: employees, customers, shareholders, business partners, suppliers, authorities and the society. The company has a Code of Conduct in which the commitment with the stakeholders is developed in rules of behavior. These principles establish a framework for the activities of the company, its manufacturers and suppliers.

Inditex group claims to be a model for sustainable practices, covering strategically the three spheres of corporate social responsibility: social, economical, and environmental. Main principles of action are dialogue with stakeholders to meet their expectation and transparency toward society to be responsible of activities.

The approach has a inside-out focus: thanks to a conduct code the group is able to define basic values internally and transmit them externally to be applied in the whole value chain. As corporate responsibility doesn’t stop in the company’s wall, it expresses a strategic practice which allows to drive sustainability deeper into society while reducing the risk which the group cannot directly control: in a word, competitive advantage.

Unfortunately, social sustainability practices are not always implemented properly, as learned from the Brazilian child labor case: last year an investigation by Brazil’s Ministry of Labour has been reported involving the group’s retail fashion chain Zara after a contractor responsible for 90% of Zara’s Brazilian production was found to be using employees in indecent work conditions (12-hour shifts in dangerous and unhealthy sites, wages between US$156 and $290 a month, while the minimum in Brazil is $344. A statement from Inditex claimed that it could not be held responsible for “unauthorised outsourcing”, while offering to compensate the workers due to violation of Inditex code of conduct. Anyway, as the Brazilian authorities affirm, the company is responsible for its employees and it should know who is producing its clothes. In addition, what about the partnership with the contractor? Source




Leadership Ethics




The Cuatrecasas Foundation – through an independent panel chaired by Matfas Rodrfguez lnciarte – has decided to award the Manuel Olivencia Award for Good Corporate Governance, which acknowledges the best corporate governance practices by Spanish listed companies, to Inditex (lndustria de Diseno Textil, S.A.). The award ceremony will be held on February 18 via streaming from the Madrid StockExchange Palace.

In this third year, the award has reflected aspects uniquely related to good governance during the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also monitoring other governance practices aimed at promoting sound, transparent and sustainable corporate management.

To grant the award, the panel analyzed factors, such as (i) the level and quality of Inditex information transparency over these last few months, (ii) the necessary adaptation of general shareholders meetings to the exceptional circumstances (facilitating the comprehensive participation and exercise of the shareholders’ other voting rights), (iii) remuneration adjustment of members of the board and shareholders, and (iv) attention to its employees’ needs. All these aspects werecoordinated while developing an ambitious policy of corporate social responsibility. Moreover, the company maintains a sound corporategovernance structure in which the level of independence and diversity of the board of directors, and the separation of the positions of chair andCEO stand out.

The award granted by the Cuatrecasas Foundation honors the memory of the late Manuel Olivencia, a professor of commercial law at the University of Seville, vice chair of Cuatrecasas and chair of the committee that drafted the first Spanish Code of Corporate Governance in1998, known as the Olivencia Code. Source

Sustainability News Feed

How Ethical Is Zara? – Good On › how-ethical-is-zara

Aug 28, 2020 — As one of the largest fashion retailers in the world, Zara has an opportunity to lead the way into a sustainable future. But is it doing enough?

Zara’s 2025 Sustainability Push Draws Skepticism : › 2019/07/27 › can-fast-fashion-and-sustain…

Jul 27, 2019 — The fast-fashion giant pledged that by 2025, all of its eight brands will only use cotton, linen and polyester that’s organic, sustainable or recycled, …

What Zara’s Sustainability Efforts Could Mean for the Fashion … › story › what-zaras-sustainability…

Aug 13, 2019 — She encourages those interested in sustainable fashion to instead turn to secondhand purchases as there’s “enough clothing already in …

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