The global brand – part of Spanish fashion giant Inditex – has placed the recycling scheme as a key strategy over the next four years, its bosses confirmed this week.
“This year we are putting in place a new strategic environmental plan 2016-2020…” Inditex president Pablo Isla wrote in a letter to investors, seen by Spanish daily El Español.
“One of the most relevant projects consists of the management of unwanted products with the introduction of initiatives that allow for the reuse and recycling of our products by collaborating with social organizations,” Isla wrote.
The move to install recycling points in its stores comes after a successful pilot scheme was rolled out in 37 shops in five countries: Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden.
Clothes deposited at recycling points will be sorted through by NGOs such as the International Red Cross, providing work for people "at risk of social exclusion".
In line with other global brands such as H&M, Zara aims to “close the loop”; i.e. push for a more circular business model in which already-made products so that in the future, textiles do not end up in landfill sites.
"We at Zara encourage a circular economy to be established with the aim of producing intelligent, sustainable and consolidated growth through efficient use of resources and minimising our carbon footprint.
"We therefore have reuse and recycling systems for boxes, hangers, plastic and alarms used for sending garments to our eco-efficient stores," the store writes on its website.
"We are also committed to increasing the service life of the product. This is done through a programme which offers a reliable channel for collecting clothes. We therefore provide containers for donating clothes which can be found in our offices, logistical centres and selected stores."