At the home of Zara, fast and slow fashion collide

A CORUNA, Spain/London – In Spain’s A Coruna, two contrasting fashion business models collide – pitching the growing demands for the clothing industry to become more sustainable against the constant need to drive sales.

This rainy, windswept, city on the rugged Atlantic coast is the unlikely headquarters of Zara-owner Inditex – the world’s biggest fast fashion retailer.

It also hosts small boutiques offering high quality, durable products that consider themselves an alternative to the fast and affordable fashion propelling Inditex’s annual sales of 28 billion euros ($30 billion).

Inditex’s massive output of garments was a factor behind the European Union’s pledge last year to reverse the “overproduction and overconsumption of clothing”. It wants all clothes sold in the bloc to be “long-lived and recyclable” by 2030.

The EU will announce its most significant proposals for the industry yet at the end of March, environment commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius told Reuters on the sidelines of an event in Portugal last week.

The European Commission wants to ensure companies only manufacture the number of products they need. It will stop short of imposing restrictions, instead asking firms to police themselves to be called sustainable, Sinkevičius said.

“If you release tons and tons of clothes, textiles, shoes into the market, you will have to collect it,” he said.

Around 5.8 million tons of textile products are discarded every year in the EU, equivalent to 11 kg (24 lb) per person. A truckload of textile products is landfilled or incinerated somewhere in the world every second, according to EU figures.

Inditex had 565,027 tons of garments on the market in 2021, more than the 528,797 tons in 2018, according to its annual report. The company may disclose a further increase when its 2022 annual report is published next month.

So far, Inditex shows no sign

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Is your online shopping costing the planet? 3 easy ways you can fix that

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Online shopping is thriving but many of us don’t realise the negative impact it can have on the environment.

With every online purchase and parcel shipped, there is increased packaging waste and carbon dioxide emitted in transport and delivery.

In fact, the global shipping and logistics industry currently accounts for a whopping 17% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is expected to increase, with an estimated 36% more delivery trucks to be on the roads by 2030 – and more packing waste. If current trends continue, it’s predicted that there will be over 11 billion tons of plastic waste in landfill by 2050.

While businesses need to be held accountable for their carbon footprint, our choices as consumers can also make a difference.

The good news is that online shopping doesn’t have to cost the earth. One of the reasons I started Sendle was to help reduce the emissions in this industry by giving both businesses and consumers a zero-carbon way to send and receive parcels.

As it’s grown, we’ve all learned more about the impact we can have. So here are some practical ways to start reducing your environmental impact today:

1. Think before you shop and limit your returns

Before you purchase something, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” And if so, have you spent some time on the website making sure whatever it is you’re purchasing is the right product for you?

For example, if it’s clothing, have you measured yourself and checked the finer details to ensure it’s the best fit for you? If it’s new furniture, like a TV unit or lounge chair, have you measured the space in your house to ensure it will fit?

The reason for this step is that, while generous return policies are great for customers, they’re

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