(Image Source: Forbes)
Zalando, a German-based fashion e-tailer raises its target of Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) by increasing the number of sustainable products from 20% to 25% by 2023 since its success in hitting sustainability targets in 2020.
The company has tripled the number of more sustainable products to 80,000. Sales from these products account for 16% of its GMV, much higher than 6.7% in 2019. The initial target of Zalando was to generate 20% of its GMV with more sustainable products. However, as the retailer exceeded its expectations, the goal had been increased.
To help highlight these items in stores, Zalando created a sustainability filter and flag on each product. In order to get a sustainability flag, the product must satisfy criteria of environmental, social, and animal welfare, industry best practice alignment, and third-party standards.
Apart from increasing GMV targets on sustainable products, Zalando is also dedicating resources to promote the sustainable development of the industry. The company is sourcing 100% renewable electricity in its operation, reducing 64% of carbon emissions since 2017. Zalando also requires over 3500 of its brand partners to complete sustainability assessments and decreases the use of plastic packaging.
The transformation towards sustainability is usually costly but Zalando’s co-CEO, Rubin Ritter believes that this investment is worth every penny:
“Driving change does not come for free. However, we should view every Euro and every minute that we spend on our sustainability vision not as a cost but as an investment to stay relevant for our customers, to further define our role in the fashion industry, and to attract the best talent globally. I am convinced that if we make the right investments fast, they will form an important competitive edge for Zalando in the future.”