How sustainable is your wardrobe? Introducing a new column by Jessica Carroll that defies fashion’s eco-friendly credentials
Blazer, £69.99, zara.com
The label says it was made in Morocco, but beyond that it’s hard to unearth any other information. Campaign group Fashion Revolution publishes an annual report that assesses the transparency of 250 companies, looking at everything from recycling to working conditions. In 2021, Zara scored 36 out of 100.
At first glance, this looks promising – the blazer is part of Zara’s sustainable Join Life label, which pledges to use recycled polyester and organic cotton. But on closer inspection, the percentage of recycled polyester is only guaranteed up to 25%, while this blazer is made from 74% polyester, and it’s unclear how much is recycled.
Awesome – it arrived in a 100% recycled box, there was no plastic wrapping and even the tape was paper. All the bags in the store are also made of paper. The company has pledged to eradicate all single-use plastic by 2023.
The extra mile
Zara is making good progress with its used clothing collection program. Do you have old clothes that you no longer wear? Drop them in the collection bins of any Zara store and they will be donated to non-profit organizations to be recycled or used to help those in need.
Not too bad for this piece. The Moroccan factory where the blazer is made is close to Zara’s headquarters in Spain, which means fewer air miles than something produced at its other factories in Asia and the United States.
The fabric is good quality and the classic style, unlike most fast fashion, you can wear it season after season. The Join Life range is a positive step. However, Zara releases around 500 garments each week, just under half of which are Join Life. We would like to see fewer product drops to encourage more thoughtful shopping.
Going greener, but still too many product drops