Daily Management Review

Zalando’s 2023 Pledge Towards Sustainable Fashion


Carbon neutrality, elimination of plastic packaging, and promoting sustainable products are among some of the sustainable goals of Zalando to also attain commercial success.

Zalando is the biggest online fashion retailer of Europe which revealed its plans of reducing its CO2 emission, eliminating plastic-packaging and promoting the sale of sustainably made “shoes and garments”.
More and more fashion industry players are trying to up their green footprints as more and more customers are attacking the sector of nurturing “a throwaway culture”. In the words of the Co-Chief Executive of Zalando, Rubin Ritter:
“The fashion industry is facing sustainability challenges and we know we have been part of the problem. Going forward, our aspiration is to be part of the solution”.
Ever since the year of 2002, the clothes industry has doubled its production rates due to the fact that people now keep “garments half as long” as compared to their earlier practice. Ritter further pointed out that fashion industry contributes eight percent of “global greenhouse gas emissions” while transport accounts for fourteen percent.
Moreover, Ritter is aware that sustainable fashion drive may not be profit friendly after as carbon footprint offsetting has a cost attached. In fact, the brands who do not share the same value will see its sales taking a hit. However, Ritter admitted that given long term’s percpective this drive “should be good for business”.
In Ritter’s words:
“We see a clear link between acting sustainably and continued commercial success. We believe that it will be a competitive advantage in the future.”
According to data, Zalando witnessed a sixty sis percent jump in online searches for sustainable fashion while the items tagged under the same category has seen a tenfold rise in their sales in the past two years whereby gathering nearly “260 million euros”.
Zalando has put a 2023 target of acquiring twenty percent of “gross merchandise value” by selling “more sustainable products” of “itself or its partners” to nearly “3-4 billion euros”, while Ritter observed:
 “We see a lot of demand for these products”.
Given today’s returns, operations and delivery figures together, Zalando wants to attain carbon neutrality even it its “self-operated properties, parcel transportation and packaging”. This year alone it shifted to more than “90% renewable energy at its own buildings”.
Additionally, Zalando is also in a pilot phase to use EVs for delivery purposes, while it remains firm in its plans of offsetting the rest of “carbon emissions that could not be eliminated in its operations”. The company’s 2023 target also involves designing “packaging to minimize waste” besides eliminating “single-use plastics” although it is already making its boxes from recycled materials.
It is going to make its “ZIGN private label” as a “sustainable” brand by the “2020 spring/summer collection” launch with the aim of meeting “international standards for social, environmental and animal welfare practices”.