In a bid to enhance its fashion sustainability credentials and attract more young shoppers, Berlin-based online fashion retailer Zalando has launched a new shop-by-values service across its fashion platform and stores. The service allows customers to browse the most sustainable fashion assortments available according to the initiatives customers say are their top priorities.
Launched late last week, customers are now able to browse apparel based on the values that the customers select, such as, for example, water conservation, animal welfare credentials, worker wellbeing, reuse of materials, reduction of emissions, and extending the total life of fashion.
In a further move, Zalando is continuing to invest into its Pre-owned offer, which it launched in Fall 2020, enabling customers in seven additional markets to trade in and buy pre-owned fashion. From April 22, customers in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy and Sweden have been able to trade in their pre-owned garments directly on Zalando and shop items from a curated and quality-checked assortment in the Pre-owned category.
Gap Between Sustainability Views And Actions
Zalando recently published a report showing that, while consumers want to shop for apparel more sustainably, a gap remains between their wishes and their ability to put these into practice.
The report, It Takes Two: How the Industry and Consumers Can Close the Sustainability Attitude-Behaviour Gap in Fashion, investigated the disconnect between consumer attitudes and behaviors and showed that many consumers are struggling to turn their sustainability priorities into purchasing decisions.
Based on the consumer research carried out in France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and the U.K., the report concluded that the fashion industry needs to make sustainable choices more attractive, realistic, and accessible.
Zalando co-CEO, David Schneider, said: “We aim for 25% of our GMV [gross merchandise volume] to come from more sustainable products by 2023. During the coronavirus crisis, customers told us that shopping sustainably became more important to them than ever before. But when we asked them how they felt about sustainable fashion, the strongest association was ‘guilt’ and the weakest was ‘fun’. If, as an industry, we’re serious about sustainability, we need to fix this dissonance now to build a stronger future for fashion.”
As part of its own do.MORE sustainability initiatives, Zalando has continued its strategic partnership with Copenhagen Fashion Week with its second annual Zalando Sustainability Award to encourage fashion brands to explore sustainable alternatives.
The deadline for brands to apply is May 4, and the winner will be announced on August 13 at Copenhagen Fashion Week 2021, receiving a prize of nearly $25,000 plus a partnership with Zalando in developing a capsule collection.
Three finalists will be chosen by an international jury on May 27 and all three will receive $12,100 for production costs and become part of Copenhagen Fashion Week’s show schedule, which will take place on August 10-12.
Zalando and Land Life Company, a tech-driven reforestation company, have also teamed up to plant over 300,000 trees to capture 80,000 tons of CO2. They recently completed their first tree planting together in Spain as part of the collaboration. The reforestation program will take place over two years and should be fully complete by the Spring of 2022.
Zalando Pushes Ahead With do.MORE
Zalando first announced its do.MORE sustainability strategy in 2019, pledging to reduce its operational carbon emissions by 80% against a 2017 base year and committing to have 90% of its suppliers set science-based targets, both by 2025.
Kate Heiny, Zalando director of sustainability, said: “Our vision is to be a sustainable fashion platform with a net-positive impact on people and the planet, and that means that we give back more than we take. Using nature-based solutions for carbon capture and regenerating natural systems pays into our strategy and allows us to build up important partnerships.”
The moves come as the retailer predicted better-than-expected results for the first quarter of 2021. According to preliminary figures, Zalando increased gross merchandise volume (GMV) by between 54.5% and 56.5%, or up to $3.8 billion, compared with sales for Q1 2020 of $2.4 billion. It predicts that revenues have also risen by between 46% and 48% to as much as $2.73 billion, compared with $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2020.