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Zara parent company Inditex has partnered with Illinois’ LanzaTech to create a line of dresses made from carbon emissions. The collection is the latest Innovation Hub project for the high street giant, which seeks to use more sustainable materials.
In creating the collection with Lanzatech, Zara claims to be continuing its piloting of alternative technologies. The company states that its Innovation Hub projects are designed to be scaled up to bring accountability back to its supply chain. It is part of a group-wide commitment to move towards a circular fashion economy model.
Bringing sustainability to the supply chain
LanzaTech uses biological processing to capture steel mill emissions. They are converted into ethanol via fermentation before being turned into low-carbon polyester yarn. The thread is used to manufacture sheets of nylon fabric that Zara has used to make a line of sustainable dresses. Promisingly, when the emissions-based material reaches the end of life, it can be fermented again.
“We are hugely excited about this collaboration with Inditex and Zara which brings fashion made from waste carbon emissions to the market,” said Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, in a statement.
Zara has come under fire for previous eco-initiatives with activists claiming greenwashing. By partnering with LanzaTech, it joins the ranks of companies including Lululemon who are replacing standard materials with greener alternatives, across its product range.
The black Zara dresses, offered in five styles in limited numbers, are available online but not in stores.
A fashion revolution
The Changing Markets Foundation published a report earlier this year that analysed big fashion brands’ sustainability claims. The Synthetics Anonymous report found that 59 percent of claims could not be upheld. Of the brands studied, Zara and Gucci ranked highest for being able to prove their green efforts. Many did not make any claims, including notorious fast-fashion chain BooHoo and luxury brand Louis Vuitton.
Prada recently announced that it has identified the secondhand market as being a growing sector. It acknowledged that as consumers choose more conscious ways to purchase, the preloved sector holds enormous promise. The Italian company did not divulge how it planned to support the secondhand sector. Gucci, on the other hand, has partnered with The ReaReal in a bid to control its brand presence in the used marketplace.
Elsewhere, the new Global Fibre Impact Explorer, developed by Google and WWF, is seeking to help manufacturers make sustainable sourcing decisions. The platform, still in its infancy, will be available to the whole fashion industry in 2022. Currently being scaled up by Textile Exchange, it will give real-time data about raw materials, plus risk analysis information. Armed with the facts, manufacturers can choose the most sustainable locations for material selection. Stella McCartney came on board to participate in an early case study to prove viability.
It’s not only clothing manufacturers that are stepping up to sustainable responsibilities. Resale platform Depop revealed this year that it is now a certified climate-neutral operation. It works with South Pole, a social enterprise from Switzerland, to monitor and offset its emissions through two planet-healthy projects. The company has announced plans to move to net-zero certification. This would take into account the carbon footprint across the whole supply chain, including end-users.
Lead image courtesy of Zara.