Spanish multi-national retailer Zara has stepped into the resale market as it reveals plans to launch its own pre-owned platform in the UK.
The new service, which launches on 3 November, will be Zara’s first step into resale or repair and will enable shoppers to book repairs and donate unwanted items originally bought from the retailer. Customers will also be able to post unwanted Zara purchases online for resale to other customers.
The merchant says that the service is not expected to be profitable at first, but it will help customers “extend the lifetime of their clothes” by using a more circular approach.
While the initiative is a step in the right direction, critics have argued that Zara is still a ‘fast fashion’ brand, and produce a lot of poor quality and disposable clothing designs that take advantage of often fleeting trends.
According to the UN Environment Programme, the fashion industry is the second-biggest consumer of water and is responsible for 8-10% of global carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
The negative environmental impact of the fashion industry has led to brands introducing campaigns to convince customers of their sustainability. Some types of clothing are often labelled “sustainable” or “eco-friendly” without the company having proof that the claim is true.
Earlier this year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) started investigations into Asos, BooHoo, and Asda to look into their “green” claims. These investigations came after concerns about how these companies’ products were being marketed to customers as eco-friendly.
“People who want to ‘buy green’ should be able to do so confident that they aren’t being misled. Eco-friendly and sustainable products can play a role in tackling climate change, but only if they are genuine.” said Sarah Cardell, interim Chief Executive of the CMA.
The second-hand clothing market is expected to grow to over £65 billion in the year 2022, according to a Future Market Insights report. In the next decade, the market is expected to grow by 14.8% each year as people embrace the environmental benefits of using second-hand clothes.
Zara joins many retailers dabbling with the rental, resale, and repair market, with brands from Mulberry, Harvey Nichols, Decathlon to Dr Martens and H&M taking part.
In a similar move, October saw French sports retail giant brand Decathlon change their name to “Nohltaced” to promote their new reverse selling scheme. This scheme is meant to encourage more circulatory in the industry and “reduce the impact on our environment and avoid waste.”
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