Collect, reuse, recycle

Customers and employees can drop off their used clothing, footwear and accessories at points across a number of our main markets.

The best way to reduce waste is to reuse and recycle items instead of throwing them away. We hope our customers love our products, that they will wear and rewear them, repair what can repaired, and when they have finished with them pass them on for others to enjoy.

Reusing items without making any changes to them is the greenest option. But when a product comes to the end of its useful life, we look to make the most of any parts of it that we can or recycle it into something of the same or greater value. We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to reuse and recycle. Teaming up with non-profit organisations, recycling companies, textile manufacturers and recycling technologists, we have launched our clothing collection programme to prevent used textile items from ending up in landfills.

Customers and employees can drop off their used clothing, footwear and accessories at collection points in all our brands' stores, as well as cities and offices across a number of our main markets, in cooperation with 45 different non profit organizations

In other pilot projects, our online customers can send their old clothes back to us for processing by collection or return post.

The items collected are sorted for repair, resale or recycle

Collect reuse recycle II

The items collected are donated to non-profit partners, including Caritas, Red Cross, Oxfam and CEPF, and sorted for repair, resale or recycling; in the case of Caritas this provides jobs for people at risk of social exclusion. The funds raised in the sale of items are kept by our non-profit partners. As another commitment with the Global Fashion Agenda, we have established partnerships with over 40 local non-profit organisations for the re-sale of used garments.

Besides, Zara  has a free at-home clothing collection service in several cities in Spain as well as in 19 provinces in China, Paris, London and New York.


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, all our tags are recycled 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 to our stores also have a long life. They currently contain 75% recycled cardboard sourced from the market and can be used up to five times before being sent for recycling.

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.

Some key data related to our reuse and recycling behaviour:
  • Collecting containers in stores of all our brands 
  • Since 2015, over 78,500 tonnes of garments, footwear and accessories have been donated
  • 100% of company waste sent for recycling or appropriate environmental management