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Speaking during the Annual General Meeting held at Inditex’s headquarters in Arteixo, Spain, on July 16, Executive Chairman Pablo Isla focussed his speech on two key strategic elements; the Group’s digital transformation and its sustainability transformation.
Among the targets laid out by Isla, Inditex is to only use cotton, linen and polyester that is organic, more sustainable or recycled by 2025. The use of cotton, linen and polyester and viscose constitute 90% of the raw materials purchased by the Group, whose brands include Zara, Zara Home, Massimo Dutti and Uterqüe. In addition, 80% of the energy used in Group activities (stores, logistic centres and offices) will be renewable.
According to Isla, all of the Group’s stores will have been fitted with containers for collecting used clothing for subsequent charitable purpose reuse or recycling in 2020. The Clothing Collection programme is said to be one of the cornerstones of Inditex’s circular economy effort. Complementing this programme is the strategic commitment to researching new technologies for developing new recycling processes. On this point, the Inditex Chairman referred to the expansion of the collaboration agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under a US$4 million plan designed to tackle global challenges in operational and sustainability matters and support research into better ways of recycling clothing and recovering fibres using clean technology.
By 2023, Inditex says it will have fully eliminated single-use plastics from customer sales and 100% of the waste generated at the Group’s head offices, logistics platforms and stores will be sent for recycling or reuse, framed by the Zero Waste programme. “Our digital transformation and determined progress towards the most demanding sustainability standards are complementary and underpinned by the efficiency of our long-standing business model, which is based on offering our customers the best in quality fashion”, said Isla, adding that “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; we aspire to playing a transformational role in the industry”.
In 2018, Group revenue amounted to €26.15 billion, with online sales accounting for 12% of the total, up 27%. Net profit totalled €3.44 billion.