Zalando today not only presented its financial figures for 2021, but also reported on the progress in its sustainability initiatives. In an official statement the online fashion platform announced that it wants to advance in turning into “a sustainable fashion platform with a net-positive impact, including a further shift from plastic to paper shipping bags.”
Last year, Zalando increased its sustainability assortment to over 140,000 products compared to around 80,000 a year earlier (on its website it offers a total of over 1.4 million items). The sale of these articles accounted for 21.6% of the company's GMV, up from 16% in 2020.
In detail, its green efforts are documented by various projects that were initiated in 2021: this includes the launch of the second “RedeZign for circularity” capsule collection with a digital product passport for each item provided by New York based technology firm EON. Via a QR code in the label, customers can go to a product site to learn where the product was produced, how to care for it, repair it and how to trade it into Zalando.
In terms of packaging Zalando started switching from shipping bags made with 80% post-consumer recycled plastic to paper shipping bags. The paper bags are made either from 100% recycled materials or a mix of recycled content and other responsible virgin fiber sources. The overall priority for this year will be optimizing packaging, reducing empty space in parcels, minimizing packaging waste and completing the transition of plastic to paper shipping bags.
The company also gave an outlook on further sustainable goals, for example by 2023, it wants to generate 25% of its GMV with more sustainable products. Also, by 2023, Zalando wants to apply the principles of circularity and extend the life of at least 50 million fashion products. Finally, the online platform wants to design its packaging to minimize waste and keep materials in use, specifically eliminating single-use plastics. By 2025, Zalando wants to achieve its science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, including an 80% reduction in emissions from its own operations compared to 2017.