Yes, Zara is a fast fashion brand.
Zara is the flagship brand of Inditex, a Spanish clothing giant. Inditex owns Zara alongside Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Pull & Bear and Stradivarius. It was co-founded by white Spanish businesspeople Amancio Ortega (worth $70.6 billion) and Rosalía Mera (worth $6.1 billion). The group is now owned by shareholders and brings in over $23 billion in revenue each year.
Inditex is one of the largest fast fashion companies in the world, with new styles are prototyped in just five days, and the entire design process taking as little as 15 days in total. Inditex often chooses to use local labour (in Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Morocco) to increase the speed of production further. This is the epitome of fast fashion.
On their corporate site, Inditex attests to a “sustainable business model” and “ethical quality products”, which makes me gag in horror at the sheer level of greenwashing. While the business is investing heavily in more sustainable materials, it does very little to ensure workers are paid fairly.
In 2020 it stopped paying its garment factories all together when faced with covid-19. After external pressure, the group promised to pay their garment factories due to covid-19, but it should have done that anyway if its “sustainable business model” really was just that. Which it isn’t.
Transparency Rating: 43-44/100
Sustainability Rating: 3/5
This snippet is part of a larger guide to UK fast fashion brands, which goes into more detail about the issues with fast fashion, why it will never be sustainable, and how to make your wardrobe more sustainable.
Data for this review is taken from the brand’s website, corporate website, and Wikipedia. The Transparency Rating is from Fashion Transparency Index 2020. The Sustainability Rating is from Good On You.