Before I started my research about ZARA, I knew about fast-food.
But now I also know about fast fashion.
The term fast fashion can be defined as a kind of fashion which changes in the fastest possible way following current trends. A con of fast fashion is that the pieces are designed and manufactured very quickly, but the quality is relatively low. The pro of fast fashion is a relatively cheap price. Besides Zara there are also some other fast fashion retailers like for example H&M and Topshop.
I have not noticed this before because to do so I should have visited Zara more frequently, but anyhow I do not care.
The consumer has to decide between cheap trends and quality.
Concerning my decision, I would choose a mixture of both.
But fast fashion is not the only aspect of Zara which deserves to get a closer look. It is Zara’s attitude towards the environment.
According to the website, stores save energy, they are eco-friendly, they produce less waste and recycle, the commitment extends to all of their stuff and the team was environmentally aware.
But if I take a look in some of their stores I am not sure whether they only save energy, because sometimes the clothes are arranged in such untidy heaps that they are looking like they were thrown together in split-seconds. Of course one could view this as a special Zara style…. But one could also consider it as saving work. And I do consider it as the second option. It would take too much time to arrange all this clothes in a tidy way, so they take the shorter way which is more comfortable: Throwing the clothes on the table without caring about the result.
Zara also proves its environmentally consciousness by using paper shopping bags instead of usual plastic bags, which is good as long as the paper bags are made of recycled paper.
They also stand for using ecological fabrics, organic cotton and they are glad to present their PVC-free footwear.
Their clothing items are transported using bio diesel fuel which according to them reduces CO2 emissions by several tons.
This seems like a policy which can be easily accepted, but only if it is also carried out like this in practice.
Recently, they opened a new store with a global concept on 5th avenue in New York City with advancements in sustainability which will also be in use for a global standard of Zara. It is the largest outlet in the US with an area of more than 3000 m². This giant, which is based on beauty, clarity, functionality and sustainability, will even employ 450 people, which is an incredibly large number. But I asked myself:
What makes this store sustainable?
To answer this, one should mention the motion detectors in the storeroom which dim the area’s lights by 80% when nobody is present.
Furthermore the store’s lighting is dimmed to 66% of normal during janitorial and merchandise loading and unloading shifts.In addition there are electronically-regulated air curtains at store entrances which should prevent the influx of colder and hotter air.
Another environmentally-friendly thing, which has become more and more popular in the recent time are speed-controlled mechanical escalators.
This is a good start, but the future will show, if they expand this idea.