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Inditex steps into Vietnam with Zara as sustainable investments pay off

By Vivian Hendriksz


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London - Spanish fashion conglomerate Inditex continues to expand its global reach by opening its first Zara store in Vietnam. Zara, the leading fashion brand from the company, recently opened its debut store in the former city of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City’s Vincom Centre.

The new store spans a total of 2,400 square meter spread over two floors and featured over 1,800 square metes of commercial space. It offers the brand’s latest women’s wear, basic, TRF, children’s wear and men’s wear collections. Zara’s debut store in Vietnam also showcases Inditex ongoing dedication to continue investing in its sustainability practices. According to Inditex’s environmental plan, known as Sustainable Inditex, the new store is eco-efficient and consumes 30 percent less energy and half as much water in comparison to conventional stores.

Zara opens debut store in Vietnam as Inditex is named most sustainable company in the retail industry

Over the years Inditex has been quietly investing millions of euros in renovating and improving its stores around the world to ensure it operates as sustainably as possible as part of the group’s larger aim to ensure that all of its stores are eco-efficient by 2020. At the moment, 54 percent of Inditex’s stores around the globe are eco-efficient. In addition, the Spanish conglomerate is also working towards ‘closing the loop’ within its supply chain to eliminate all waste from its own activities by 2020, a steep task for any fashion retailer to undertake.

However, Inditex’s sustainable incentives have not gone unnoticed - the fashion company has been named the most sustainable company within the retailing industry this year by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, scoring 80 points out of a total of 100 points. The annual ranking, which is compiled by the sustainability investing specialist RobecoSam, highlights Inditex's "leadership within the retail industry with its pioneering stance on human rights" in the supply chain.

The Spanish company has not only been commended for its eco-efficient guidelines concerning its stores and factories, but also for its implementation of the “best-in class human rights policies, due diligence processes and comprehensive risk assessments", according to RobecoSam. This, combined with Inditex’s approach to "public disclosure" and its recycling programme, which has seen the company generate 16,000 tons of recycled textiles in 2015 alone, is said to have set a ”new high standard" for the rest of the industry.

Considering the fact that Inditex is currently the world’s largest fashion retailer - with over 7000 stores across the world and 8 brands in its portfolio - it's ranking in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index is by no means an easy feat. Zara, Inditex’s most successful brand, remains the business model ideal for fast-fashion and is usually the first brand selected to test a new market. Following Zara’s entry into Vietnam, the brand is set to open its debut store in New Zealand next month. Opening on October 8, the store will be located within the country’s target mall, Sylvia Park, in Auckland.

Photo 1: Zara store, Hoi Chi Minh City, Courtesy of Zara

Photo 2 & 3: Zara Amsterdam, copyright FashionUnited