No more Fashion Pollution for Zara

Zara commits to go toxic free by 2020 thanks to Greenpeace’s campaign.

Zara, the world’s largest clothing retailer was put under pressure by Greenpeace’s global Detox campaign, exposing the links between textile manufacturing facilities using toxic chemicals and water pollution. Greenpeace demanded Zara to eliminate releases of hazardous chemicals into the environment and its products. Everything started with a fashion show and conference in Beijing. Related images and comments began to appear on social networks within hours of the story breaking. By clicking on this page you can see who is commenting about the campaign on Twitter and Weibo in real time. This page brings together 7.1followers from around the world and it gives you an idea of how much did the campaign spread across the globe.

On Twitter : 43,800 mentions of Zara and the Detox campaign.

More than 300,000 people signed up to join the campaign to Detox Zara

Tens of thousands of people emailed and tweeted directly to the company for an ambitious Detox commitment.

More than 700 Greenpeace volunteers in 20 countries were out at Zara stores on Saturday. Check the following video to see what they did


One week after the start of the campaign, Zara and other seven brands from the Inditex group: Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe, commited to Detox.

Zara says that by the end of 2020 at least 100 of its suppliers in the Global South will publicly report data about their releases of hazardous chemicals into the environment. The open data will be chemical-by-chemical, facility-by-facility and at least year-by-year. Zara now joins Nike, Adidas, Puma, H&M, M&S and Li-Ning who have also committed to Detox, but other top clothing companies, such as: Calvin Klein, Levi’s, Mango and Tommy Hilfiger, still need to respond to the urgency of the situation and Detox.

I wonder… how seriously is Zara’s reputation affected?

In March, when their annual report was released, Zara has reported annual profits of £1.6bn, up 11.% on the previous year. 

Until now, it was a world-wide recognized brand and was standing for fast and affordable fashion. It was a growing profitable company.

What does it stand for now? Toxic clothes? Or a brand that committed to be environmental friendly?

What do you think about Zara now?



15 thoughts on “No more Fashion Pollution for Zara

  1. Charlotte Reed says:

    Hello Oana,
    I am a fashion lover and I saw your post on #fashion @Twitter and I thought…what is this Zara toxic issue all about? I had no idea that Zara’s clothes were toxic or that their production was polluting the water. However, Zara never stand for a GREEN ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY company. Is not that they were lying to us. They were simply not telling us the truth. Which I think is different. I have never considered their clothes as M&S ones.
    I would definetly still buy from Zara. As you say, they are fast and affordable fashion so I am happy to hate their clothes in my wardrobe.

  2. bianca says:

    Are you serious? How can you not care about the environment, the water and most of all, the clothes that you are wearing. You are just like people from this video

  3. Andrei says:

    I was never into the fashion world, which makes me realise that I was blind towards the fact that a clothing brand would ever be harmful to the environment…or anything basically! It is good that these news come up to the surface and that someone (Green Peace) actually tries to do something about it.

  4. Charlotte Reed says:

    Harmful to what Andrei? I do understand that you are not into fashion, but all the clothes that you may wear are a brand. Where do you thing they come from? China, Vietnam, Cambodia…big brands and small brands produce everything there. How do you think they are made? All in the same not so eco-friendly way, I am afraid to say.

  5. I wasn’t concerned about the issue before reading this post.
    I really appreciate what Greenpeace have done and the fact that Zara decided to support the Detox campaign. Hopefully more and more clothing brands will follow the good example!
    It would be also good to know what Zara and others are doing to improve the conditions of their workers in countries such as Brasil and Taiwan.

  6. Hello and thank you for commenting, we really appreciate when you share your opinion with us.
    In my opinion, clothes represent who we are: a business man, a ballerina, a judge etc. Clothes represent music styles: rap, house or rock music lovers, they all dress in a specific way. Fashion lovers, posh people and chavs also have their dress ‘code’. Is just the way it is. Brands tailor themselves in order to target a specific audience group.
    For this reason, brands should be honest and loyal towards their customers just as they are towards the brand. In my opinion, Greenpeace’s campaign was excellent and I also appreciate that not just Zara but ALL the Indexit group decided to Detox.
    However, do you think customers will appreciate Zara’s commitment or the brand will always be related to ‘Toxic clothes’?

  7. Francesca says:

    I was surprised to hear that Zara uses toxic chemicals as more and more companies have recently committed to eco-friendly meassures, with Zara being the world’s leading retailer people might supose that they also are eco-friendly. I think it’s important that customers know where and how the products are being manufactured and can then decide whether or not they want to carry on buying from them, as I feel that is a personal decission. Zara commiting to the Detox programme is a positive action for them, as people against toxic methods will no longer feel “threatened” or put off by them.
    It is also interesting, because many people believe Zara’s products are manufactured only in Spain, but in fact when looking at the label of products, they are in fact manufactured in places such as Bangladesh and Morroco. Whether or not the idea of the products being manufactured in Spain was a rumour or information given out by the company, I don’t know. But it just goes to show that you should not believe everything you hear.

  8. Charlotte Reed says:

    I totally agree with Francesca on this one. People think that because Zara is a Spanish brand, it means is made in Spain. It is not!!! And it would be foolish to believe so. As Oana and Francesca say, the products are manufactured in China, Bangladesh, Vietnam…why do you think big brands choose to make their clothes there???

    Is definitely a case of being CHEAPER not ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY!

  9. Charles O'Riley says:

    I think women are just going crazy. How can you say that you don’t care if Zara uses hazardous chemicals in their clothes. They pollute the water. They damage the environment. Environment is not such a big word that everybody uses our days…in case you haven’t realized, environment is the world we live in, the world that provides us water and food and is going to be the home for the future generations.

    How can you say, well I am still going to purchase Zara because they were not stating to be environmental friendly, so I don’t feel that they were lying to be. This is just ridiculous.

    What do I think about Zara now? Well, they are willing to pollute the world in order to make profits so that is highly unethical. However, is it positive that they committed to detox. I am curious to see how they will manage their detox commitment!

  10. Oana Stefancu says:

    Hello to all of you. Thank you very much for commenting and sharing your opinion. Now, question…
    Would you consider this a crisis for Zara?
    If yes, how much PR do you think Zara will need to re-establish its reputation?

  11. Oana Stefancu says:

    Hello ‘me’.
    Would you like to explain that a bit more?

  12. me says:

    how much pr would it need …0 I don’t think they think it’s a crisis and they took preventive measures by saying 2020, what I think they meant by 2020 is “everybody’s going to forget about this shenanigan by 2020”

  13. Oana Stefancu says:

    Hello ‘me’. Thank you for explaining.
    I see your point.
    However, do you think Zara’s loyal customers are still going to buy their clothes or the brand will face more difficult times?

    As we can see from this discussion…opinions are quite strongly divided.

  14. me says:

    to be honest opinions are opinions, divided or not, everybody still wants an Iphone and when it comes to the environment everybody is willing to verbally protect it no one will sacrifice their car to a bus ride … “frankly my dear no one gives a damn” and in cases like these everybody will say one thing but the majority will do the other

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