Zara, a Spanish fast fashion retailer, has just launched their Join Life fashion line. The line uses organic and recyclable materials, similar to H&M’s Conscious Collection. They boast their dedication to extending the lifespan of your clothes by promoting recycling of your old garments in their stores.
Not only is the line produced from environmentally friendly textiles, they are dedicated to ensuring that their manufacturers comply with workers’ labor rights and fair trade.
We’ve seen many fast fashion retailers develop sustainable lines in recent years, which indicates they are becoming somewhat dedicated to environmentalism. However, the entire fast fashion industry contradicts sustainable practices.
Fast fashion is named for its ability to translate new runway fashion to a large consumer base in a quick time frame. They encourage consumers to purchase new clothing to keep up with new trends, which is extremely wasteful and not at all sustainable.
Zara’s clothing line is definitely a start, but the advertisement is quite vague which poses the question of how environmentally-friendly they are actually being.
The pieces are made from organic fiber, recycled wool and Tencel, which is a wood fiber extracted from sustainably managed forests. These materials all reduce environmental impact and promote recycling of materials.
The Join Life campaign doesn’t just include a fashion line, though. 50% of their stores recycle materials and reduce energy consumption and water use. Their website is even eco-friendly, supposedly. They are working on reducing energy consumption from their website, and are working toward servers that only consume recyclable energy.
The campaign should not be written off by any means. Zara’s goals with the Join Life campaign are commendable and clearly show dedication to a more sustainable fashion industry. I encourage you to look over their goals and initiatives, as well as the goals and initiatives of other fast fashion retailers committed to reducing environmental impact.
While these initiatives are great, it is important to remember that reducing consumption is the most impactful way to work toward sustainability. Focus on purchasing timeless, well-manufactured pieces that won’t tear or fade and will stay in style. Being fashionable doesn’t require buying a new piece every weekend.
*Featured image by Zara Join Life campaign webpage