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Zalando launches zero carbon delivery and returns

Retailer Zalando has committed to zero carbon delivery and returns as part of its new wide-ranging sustainability plan.

From today (30 October) the German fast fashion company will offset all emissions from these areas through carbon credit programmes. It will also make use of alternative vehicles, as it is doing in its trial in Hamburg.

Co-CEO Rubin Ritter announced the pledge at a press event today alongside other goals, including eliminating single-use plastics by 2023.

By the same year, the retailer plans to extend the life of at least 50 million fashion products. The company already did this with over 1 million items in 2019 by collecting them from customers and reselling them through Zalando wardrobe.

Zalando also wants to generate 20% of its gross merchandise volume (meaning total sales across its platform, including by third parties) from more sustainable products. It has made a looser commitment to increase its sourcing standards and only work with partners who align with them.

“The important starting point is to realise Zalando is part of the problem,” said Ritter, highlighting the fact that global garment production has doubled since 2002.

“This did not happen because we had twice as many people but we keep clothes half as long.”

He said the company was involved in two highly emitting industries, parcel transportation and fashion itself.

“The bad news is it will be a lot of work.

“The good news is Zalando is good at transforming itself.”

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