Zara is moving into the business of pre-owned clothing as the Spanish brand starts offering services for repair, resale and donations in the UK.
Starting next month, shoppers will be able to repair their previous Zara garments from any season, including replacing buttons, zips and seams either online or in a Zara store. With the new initiative, British customers can also resell and buy worn Zara clothing using a new secure platform and can donate clothing of any brand to charity.
Owned by Inditex SA, the world’s biggest clothing retailer, the move into extending the life of garments is a departure for Zara, which is known for its fast-fashion approach. It’s reacting to growing pressure to become more sustainable as the textile industry is responsible for as much as 10% of global carbon emissions.
With online operations in about 200 countries, Zara’s products are already among the most resold brands on the web. Worn Zara clothes, bags and shoes can be found for resale on websites including Depop, Vestiaire, Asos Marketplace and Re-fashion.
The resale platform will be organized by product category and will include images taken by the seller, much like alternative sites, while original product information will be provided by Zara.
Garments can be donated via at-home collection and will be sent to the Red Cross, which reuses or recycles them, building on a tie-up that’s already in place with donation containers in Zara stores.
Earlier this year, Zara started charging for online returns in the UK, driving customers into its 60 stores across the country to return garments for free.
Zara isn’t alone in the sustainability push. UK department store chain Selfridges & Co. is planning for 45% of transactions to come from resale, rental and repair by the end of this decade. Still, the growth of Chinese fast-fashion giant Shein shows that shoppers frequently prioritize price over lowering carbon emissions.