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LA CORUÑA – The world’s largest apparel retailer, Spanish-based Inditex Group, says it will have ‘take-back’ collection boxes for used garments in every one of its 7,000+ stores by 2020. The business says the move its part of its circular economy drive, which it is backing by continued multi-million-dollar investments into the latest textile recycling techniques. Announcing its updated sustainability commitments, Inditex CEO Pablo Isla also said the number of garments featuring Inditex’s Join Life environmental label will more than double in 2019 and account for over 25 per cent of the company’s garments in 2020.

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Isla said that by 2025, Inditex will only use cotton, linen and polyester that is organic, “more sustainable” or recycled. Use of cotton, linen and polyester – together with viscose, which will reach this target by 2023 – constitute 90 per cent of the raw materials purchased by the Group. In addition, 80 per cent of the energy used in the Group activities (stores, logistic centres and offices) will be renewable by 2025.

“Sustainability is a never-ending task in which everyone here at Inditex is involved and in which we are successfully engaging all of our suppliers,” said Isla.

The first milestone, set for 2019, is for all of the Group’s platforms and head offices to meet the highest green building certificates and for 100 per cent of Zara stores to be eco-efficient. In addition, the at-home used clothing collection service currently operating in several cities in Spain and China will be extended to Paris, London and New York by September.

Also this year, the Inditex says its Join Life garments will account for one-quarter of the total. Join Life is the label used by all of the Group’s retail formats to single out the use of more sustainable raw materials such as organic cotton, recycled polyester and Tencel and the prioritisation of more water and energy friendly processes.

The volume of clothing featuring the Join Life label has already increased by 85 per cent in 2018 to 136 million garments. The Group is anticipating further significant growth in 2019 – of 110 per cent – and that by 2020 one in every four items of clothing put on sale will qualify for this sustainability label.

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