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.
Zara is a fast fashion brand due to the speed of production and scale of clothes that it sells.
Fashion Revolution Transparency Rating: 36/100
Ethical Consumer Score: 5.5/15
Good On You Sustainability Rating: 2/5
Additional Reasons Why Zara Is A Fast Fashion Brand
Over the past few years, Zara has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not care for its staff, garment workers, or impact on the planet:
- 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.
- On their corporate site, Inditex attests to a “sustainable business model” and “ethical quality products”, which is just pure greenwashing.
- 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.
- In 2022, Zara was found to have multiple links to JBS, a Brazilian firm responsible for much of the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest through cattle rearing and leather production.
- In late 2022, Zara, as part of Inditex Group, was found to be sourcing polyester from a manufacturer using Russian oil, despite having suspended sales to the country in protest of the illegal war on Ukraine.
Sustainable Alternatives To Zara
This post 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, Wikipedia, and sites linked throughout. The Transparency Rating is from Fashion Transparency Index 2021. All information is assumed correct at date of publication.