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Is Zara fast fashion?

Is Zara considered fast fashion and is it ethical?

Last Updated on April 26, 2021

Zara is known as the hero of the high-street, offering stylish yet affordable pieces to shoppers across the globe – but is it considered fast fashion?

Inditex’s most successful brand has almost 3,000 stores worldwide, with new stock arriving every week that never fails to disappoint.

Founded by Amancio Ortega in 1974, the Spanish-born brand is now worth an unbelievable £14billion.

READ MORE: Is H&M ethical and sustainable?

Is Zara fast fashion?

In short, yes.

With hundreds of new items arriving online and in-store every week, Zara relies on a quick turnaround of designs, from the moment a garment is seen on the catwalk, to when a garment goes on sale.

Fast fashion is unsustainable as it encourages consumers to buy an item to wear just a few times while it’s on trend and then dispose of it. This may be donating to charity or literally throwing it in the bin, but the majority of the time it ends up in landfill.

Read more about fast fashion here, or if you’re thinking of shopping more sustainably, read more about sustainable fashion here.

READ MORE: Is ASOS ethical and sustainable?

Is Zara ethical?

It’s important to note the working conditions and wages of Zara’s staff.

After unpaid factory workers, hired by Turkish manufacturer Bravo Tekstil to produce clothes for various brands including Zara, sewed hidden messages into clothing for customers to find, Inditex worked with a trade union and other retailers to establish a ‘hardship fund’ to help the group of workers.

Zara has since started to improve the working conditions of their workers, introducing a code of conduct that protects workers and audits to ensure this is enforced. Zara also publishes a list of suppliers, information of supplier audits and on gender equality, forced labour and freedom of association.

However Zara still fails to pay a living wage across its supply chain – despite such a huge profit margin.

In August 2020, it was reported that Inditex had pledged to maintain workers’ rights throughout their supply chains and the stability of payments to suppliers during COVID-19.

The group had previously signed a joint agreement with global workers’ union IndustriALL, and during the pandemic they reiterated their commitment to ensuring health and safety standards were met and bargaining rights and workers’ rights to unionise were maintained throughout their supply chains.

Zara also committed to stable payment terms to allow suppliers to honour payments to their workers, ensuring they didn’t lose wages during the pandemic.

Read more about Zara’s sustainability policy and ethics here.

What brands are fast fashion?

Other high-street brands that are considered to be fast fashion include Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, Primark, Nasty Gal and H&M among many, many more.

Read our exhaustive list of fast fashion brands here.

What brands are not fast fashion?

Brands considered sustainable include People Tree, House of Sunny, Lucy & Yak, Fanfare Label and LF Markey among many more.

We also recommend shopping from your wardrobe or buying pre-loved vintage clothing as an alternative to fast fashion. Every week, we bring you the best in vintage here.

Read our list of recommended anti-fast fashion brands here.

Is Zara considered a good brand?

While Zara has made an effort to do better when it comes to sustainability and ethics, it still has a long way to go.

Read more about Zara’s practises here.

Wear Next Opinion

Wear Next believes it’s important to highlight the negative and unjust practises taking place in the fashion industry. We believe ethics and sustainability are an important talking point to bring about change and we encourage you to contact fashion brands to demand this.

However we understand that sustainable fashion isn’t accessible for every body due to various factors, such as budget and the ability to find confidence-boosting clothes that fit. We will continue to offer you fashion inspiration and guidance to suit every body and budget, while also highlighting the unjust systems at play in the fashion industry.

Would you still shop at Zara? Let us know in the comments below.

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READ MORE: The best vintage to snap up stylish bargains

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