Inditex's team of product health and safety experts within the Group's corporate social responsibility department develop and update regular training plans for the Group's sales and design teams addressing key aspects of the Clear to Wear and Safe to Wear standards. This means that the Group's creations are designed from the outset to ethical and healthy specifications. Familiarity with the standards is crucial at this initial stage of the product life cycle as is the choice of fabric and finishes. Designer and salesforce awareness of the importance of raw material selection is vitally important and is a core component of the Group's ongoing training initiatives.
- First analysis
- Second control
- Last hurdle
Once the first prototype has been made and before production begins, the garment passes an initial quality check. The goal is to detect any potential breach of the health and safety standards as early as possible in the production cycle. The raw materials and other items used (patches, buttons, laces, etc.) are all analysed for restricted chemicals.
All chemical testing is performed by prestigious external laboratories. Inditex's benchmark analytics centres are located in Spain and Turkey and are equipped with high-precision analytics tools and dedicated units that support the initiatives carried out under the umbrella of the Group's technical advisory programme for manufacturers and suppliers.
When the sample arrives at the laboratory, it is entered into the system and the parts to be analysed are selected. A sample is taken from the garment and prepared for the programmed tests. Shoes, for example, spend 24 hours exposed to different temperature and humidity conditions in accordance with international standards.
Regardless of whether a garment is going to be made in a Group factory or by an external supplier, the chosen production centre is first audited to guarantee it uses the required production methods and has already received specific technical training on Clear to Wear and Safe to Wear compliance matters. In addition, Inditex provides its suppliers with Best Practice Manuals covering product health and safety matters so there can be no doubt about the required product quality standards.
During the final stage of production, it is implemented the Picking Project: the garment may be subjected to another analytical test to ensure continued compliance with our standards. During this phase, the Group also inspects the factories to ensure that the manufacturing methods being used are suitable. These technical assistance visits include exhaustive analysis of the equipment, chemical substances used and internal processes to provide tailored advice and necessary corrective action.
Once garment production in complete, the items are transported to the Group's logistics platforms where they undergo one last check before being distributed to the store network by means of the selection of a representative sample of each model. This sample is sent to one of the Group's leading laboratories. Upon completion of this analysis, the corresponding calculations are made. This report is the document that certifies that the garment has successfully passed all of the Group's quality controls and is fit for sale.
If the garment does not meet Inditex's quality standards, the scope for correcting the parameters generating the error is analysed together with the supplier and under the supervision of the laboratory. If such corrective action is possible, the garment will once again undergo this last-mile check before being distributed to the store base. If, on the other hand, the garment cannot be fixed, all production is sent to specialist external agents that neutralise the source of the error and then recycle the product.
- Over one billlion garments placed on the market/year
- 50,000 SKUs/year
- 41,800 factory inspection visits/year
- 675,000 million tests and analyses/year