Europe’s Zalando to fix sustainability communication strategy



Zalando, leading European online fashion retailer, has announced a major overhaul in how it communicates sustainability on its platform. This move comes after discussions with the European Commission and national consumer authorities, which raised concerns about potentially misleading sustainability flags and icons that might give consumers an inaccurate impression of the environmental impact of products. Effective from April 15, 2024, Zalando will eliminate these icons and instead provide transparent information regarding the environmental benefits of products, such as detailing the percentage of recycled materials used.

The company has outlined several measures to enhance clarity and prevent any misconceptions about the sustainability of products listed on its website. Zalando will remove the sustainability flag previously used on all its webpages and eliminate environmental icons, like leaves or trees, that were displayed next to products. Additionally, Zalando committed to refraining from using the term ‘sustainability’ or any other unjustified terms that imply an environmental or ethical advantage without substantiation. In its place, Zalando assured to offer detailed information about the specific attributes of products, such as the exact amount of recycled material they contain, the European Commission said in a press release.

Zalando will overhaul its sustainability communication, removing sustainability icons by April 15, 2024, to offer clearer product information.
The online retailer plans to enhance its platform’s filter options and detail pages for more accurate environmental data.
This initiative marks a significant shift towards transparency in sustainability claims.

Further changes include updating the platform’s filter options to allow consumers to search for products based on specific environmental qualities, rather than generic sustainability claims. Zalando also plans to provide precise and detailed information about the environmental and/or ethical benefits of products on their detail pages. To support these initiatives, the ‘Sustainability Page’ on Zalando’s website will undergo revisions to introduce two new sections: one dedicated to product standards and another to Zalando’s sustainability strategies and approaches.

The company’s commitment extends to ensuring that all environmental claims made on its platform are significant and relevant to the product’s impact on the environment. As a next step, Zalando will submit a report detailing the implementation of these commitments. The Consumer Protection Cooperation Network (CPC) will review this report to assess Zalando’s compliance with its new policies.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DP)


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