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Zara Pledges to Make All Its Clothes From Sustainable Fabrics by 2025

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A Zara store in Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Timahaowemi / CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

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A volcano erupts on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island on Dec. 9, 2019. Michael Schade / Twitter

A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.

"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."

The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.

Michael Schade / Twitter

At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.

The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.

Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.

"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."

Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.

Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.

"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.

"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."

The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.

Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.