In our commitment to closed-loop sustainability, we are helping the best in the field develop and improve recycling technology – with the near objective of making new raw materials of equal or better quality than those collected, and creating a closed-loop production cycle. By 2020, we invested USD 3.5 million in this field, as mentioned in our Global Fashion Agenda commitments. As part of this, we cooperate with Lenzing, the Austrian producer of the plant-based sustainable textile fibre TENCEL™ Lyocell, for the manufacture of premium textile raw materials from our textile waste.
We are also championing research into technology for the creation of new textiles from recycled garments together with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and specific Spanish universities as Vigo University (in cooperation with Clermont, in France), País Vasco, Granada (together with Hamburg, in Germany) and Politécnica de Valencia.
Reuse and recycle in our own operations
We also reuse and recycle in our own operations where we can, aiming to achieve our target of zero waste to landfills by 2023. In the last exercice, 91.21% of the Group’s waste (headquarters, logistics centres and Inditex factories) was sent for reuse and recycling.
Our recycling and reuse activity covers many other areas. For instance, we accounted for 1,074 million tags last year and Zara implemented its “Single Hanger” project in stores all over the world, which consists of one single hanger to transport the garments from the textile suppliers to the stores and subsequent display in the store
The cardboard boxes travelling between our distribution hubs and our stores also have a long life. They carry clothes to our stores and come back with clothes hangers and other materials, making the journey on average six times before they are recycled.
In 2020, we deleted all the plastic bags in all our brands and the paperless receipt system is being used by all the brands for all online orders.
As part of our Green to Pack project, whose primary objective is to optimise the packaging used throughout the supply chain and reduce waste of any kind as much as possible, the gift envelopes will also be replaced, the design matching the new bags and online order boxes. With this regards, we have committed to 100% of all packaging materials collected for reuse or recyling in our supply chain in 2023.
We are also innovating so all plastics we do need in any of our activities are designed to be safely reused, recycled, or composted; and circulate everything we use to keep it in the economy and out of the environment, as addresed in the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment. By 2023, all single-use plastics will have been totally eliminated for customers sales.