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Inditex Re-Affirms Its Commitment to Sustainability, Health & Safety

A Zara retail store in Cape Town, South Africa | Image credit:

Spanish multinational clothing company Inditex says that in 2012 it conducted nearly 1.5 million tests on its clothing worldwide to ensure health and safety standards, as well as carrying out more than 3,500 audits on suppliers under its Code of Conduct.

Inditex chairman Pablo Isla made the announcements this week at the company’s Annual General Meeting at its headquarters in Arteixo, La Coruña, Spain.

The clothing giant, owner of the brand Zara, says its environmental strategy passed some key milestones in 2012, including the adoption of a Zero Discharge commitment across its supply chain, a focus on optimal water management and the capacity-building of suppliers to adopt more sustainable industrial processes. The company claims that 100 percent of its stores will be eco-efficient by 2020, reducing water consumption by 50 percent and electricity by 30 percent.

At the meeting, Isla also highlighted that more than 91 percent of its products are manufactured by suppliers with the highest rating.

While striving for these sustainability goals, Inditex says it has increased to over 6,000 stores in 86 markets while also expanding its online business to 23 markets.

The company also says it is committed to stimulating economic growth through strong investment and the value generated from purchases to suppliers, payment of wages and tax contributions. Isla highlighted the role Inditex plays in stimulating economic growth, job creation — 10,800 new jobs created in 2012 — and direct investment of c.€1.4 billion. A substantial part of this investment was in Spain, mainly on new logistics facilities, the modernization of existing platforms and the expansion of Inditex's headquarters and retail formats.

The company says its international growth also has a direct impact on the Spanish economy through the business undertaken with more than 6,600 Spanish suppliers, which together invoiced Inditex in excess of €3.4 billion in 2012.

Inditex was one of the first companies to sign onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh

In other sustainable fashion/apparel news, Nike earlier this month released a new app called MAKING to help designers and product creators make informed decisions about the environmental impacts of the materials they choose. Fashion company Indigenous also announced this year that 75 percent of the artisans in its supply chain are no longer at risk of poverty and many have achieved milestones of financial security, with some even starting their own artisan workshops. 

Mike Hower is Marketing Communications Manager at Carbon Lighthouse. With a background on both sides of the communications podium — as a journalist and strategic communicator — he is committed to helping organizations address climate change through sustainability innovation. Previously,… [Read more about Mike Hower]

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