Zara Pledges to Make All Its Clothes From Sustainable Fabrics by 2025
Green is the new black at Zara.
The Spanish fast fashion behemoth has made a bold move to steer its industry to a more environmentally friendly future for textiles. Inditex, Zara's parent company, announced that all the polyester, cotton and linen it uses will be sustainably produced by 2025, as CNN reported.
The same guidelines will govern Inditex's other fashion brands, including Zara Home, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti and Bershka. Inditex has nearly 7,500 stores worldwide.
The announcement was made at Inditex's annual shareholder meeting last week. It makes Zara, which accounts for 70 percent of Inditex's sales, the first major international retailer to set such an ambitious target.
"We need to be a force for change, not only in the company but in the whole sector," said Pablo Isla, the chief executive of Inditex, as The Guardian reported. "We are the ones establishing these targets: the strength and impulse for change is coming from the commercial team, the people who are working with our suppliers, the people working with fabrics. It is something that's happening inside our company."
Inditex's pledge to use 100 percent sustainable cottons and linens, and completely recycled polyester in all of its designs by 2025 is just part of its plans towards a more eco-conscious future. While Zara has stopped using plastic bags, Inditex plans to phase them out of all its stores by 2020. It plans to no longer use fibers from endangered forests for fabric by 2023. The company also committed to not release any toxic chemicals at any part of its supply chain by 2020, which is a partnership with Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals.
It wants renewable sources to power at least 80 percent of the energy consumed in Zara's headquarters, factories and stores. It has pledged to produce zero landfill waste in all its facilities, according to The Guardian.
This year the company plans to cut energy and water use in all of its stores and make sure that at least 20 percent of its clothing is part of sustainable fashion. Zara will also set up textile recycling in all of its stores worldwide where customers can drop off old clothes.
"We've always been sustainability conscious," said Bea Padin, a designer with Zara, in an interview with Vogue. "[Our] production is adjusted in response to sales, thus minimizing surplus stocks, and by extension, waste. Today we have more scope for doing this because there are more recycled and organic fabrics. The industry throws up new design opportunities, which constitute a very appealing challenge."
Inditex's recycling program has been a resounding success since it started in 2015 when Zara installed clothing banks in more than 800 stores worldwide. It has collected more than 34,000 tons of used clothes. The company has partnered with the Red Cross and other charities to redistribute the used stock. It is currently partnering with scientists at MIT to find practical and affordable ways to recycle clothing fiber."Sustainability is a never-ending task in which everyone here at Inditex is involved and in which we are successfully engaging all of our suppliers," said Isla, in his speech to shareholders, as the BBC reported.
- New Report Promotes Need for Fashion Industry Action - EcoWatch ›
- 5 Tips for a More Earth-Conscious Wardrobe - EcoWatch ›
- Milan Fashion Week Closes with 'Oscars of Sustainable Fashion ... ›
A tornado tore through a city north of Birmingham, Alabama, Monday night, killing one person and injuring at least 30.
- Tornadoes and Climate Change: What Does the Science Say ... ›
- Tornadoes Hit Unusually Wide Swaths of U.S., Alarming Climate ... ›
- 23 Dead as Tornado Pummels Lee County, AL in Further Sign ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Konisky
On his first day in office President Joe Biden started signing executive orders to reverse Trump administration policies. One sweeping directive calls for stronger action to protect public health and the environment and hold polluters accountable, including those who "disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities."
Michael S. Regan, President Biden's nominee to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, grew up near a coal-burning power plant in North Carolina and has pledged to "enact an environmental justice framework that empowers people in all communities." NCDEQ
- Report Urges Biden to Reverse Trump's Environmental Rollbacks ›
- US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ›
- Biden's EPA Pick Michael Regan Urged to Address Environmental ... ›
- Biden Faces Pressure to Tackle 'Unfunded' Toxic Waste Sites ... ›
By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.
By Jewel Fraser
Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.