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ARTEIXO – The world’s largest apparel retailer, Inditex, says it aims to close the loop in fashion and now has in store clothing collection initiatives in 961 stores across 21 markets. Latest figures show it collected 25,000 tonnes of clothing over a 12 month period – a figure which could be read in several ways depending on your standpoint. The company says it wishes to increase its collection initiatives to 2,000 stores in 40 markets by 2020. Most intrigingly, as a next step the business says it will begin to pilot test its at-home used clothing pick up service in China, specifically in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai, in September.

Inditex chairman and CEO Pablo Isla said the company’s recycling commitment is evident in the use of select raw materials and recycled textiles for Zara and Massimo Dutti’s Join Life and Oysho’s WeAre the Change collections. In 2017, more than 73.6 million garments adopted these labels for the use of the most sustainable raw materials and processes.

Pablo Isla also referred to the progress made in the research being coordinated by the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI), part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which is focused on improving the recycling of used textiles and creating new fibres using clean technology. Thanks to the MIT Spain-Inditex Fund, the universities of Vigo, the Basque region and Granada and the Polytechnic School of Valencia have unveiled pioneering projects for the separation and subsequent recycling of fibres.

On the financial front, sales have grown by 59 per cent in the past five years at Inditex, including 9 per cent in the past year. Latest figures show sales of €25.34bn, up €10bn on the €15.9bn of 2012 and evidence of the colossal growth of the fast fashion giant.

Inditex has been able to navigate the shift to online more seamlessly than its next nearest rival, H&M, and says ecommerce sales are now the main growth engine at the business. The company says 12 per cent of its sales are now generated online, up a remarkable 41 per cent over a one year time-frame.

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