Join us on

our sustainability journey

We want to nurture a better future for fashion. And we're bringing our customers and brand partners along for the ride.

Join us on

The impact of fashion

How far does it reach?

It’s a complicated puzzle, involving a lot of natural resources and millions of people around the world. Keep reading to learn about what can be done to reduce the impact at each stage of the process.

The life of an item

Let’s break it down

Discover the journey of a fashion item, and how different choices make an impact along the way.
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What you can do

Love your clothes for longer

It may sound simple, but helping your clothes live longer is an effective way to reduce your environmental footprint.

What you can do

How to...

Wash smarter to help clothes last longer

Always separate laundry by fabric, colour and care instructions. Handwash delicates and wool to avoid shrinking, and try to machine wash less frequently and on lower temperatures cycles.
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The most sustainable garment is the one you already own

Global clothing production has doubled in the last 15 years, but how often we wear our clothes has reduced by 40%. Wearing an item for just 9 months longer can reduce carbon, water and waste footprints by around 20-30%. Sources: Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Wrap UK

What you can do

Make more informed choices

Look out for features at Zalando that help you find products that reflect your values.

What you can do

Sustainability criteria

Which items meet our standards?

Our aim is to provide transparent and trustworthy information that enables you to make more mindful choices. Products receive our green "Sustainability" flag if they meet one of our sustainability criteria. Expand the tabs to learn more about the different criteria, and what is required to achieve them.

Our standards and certifications

We work to ensure all sustainability claims on our site are accurate. To do this, we use information from our brand partners and a range of third-party standards. Our criteria focus on the most environmentally impactful stages of production, materials and manufacturing. Third-party certifications have rules that prevent retailers from displaying their logo on an item, unless the brand itself carries the same certification. Many brands, particularly smaller ones, don’t have the time or money to obtain these. To help bridge this gap, we have developed our own logos which show when brands are using certified materials and processes. You can see which criteria an item meets by checking its sustainability information.

GOTS

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is one of the leading and most trusted certifications for textiles made from organically grown raw materials. Products with this label are made with at least 70% organic content and the supply chain is independently certified to ensure environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing at every stage of production.

There are two levels of certification:

  • GOTS - made with organic materials (made with at least 70% organic content)
  • GOTS - organic (made with at least 95% organic content)

Organic content standard

The Organic Content Standard provides a strong chain of custody system to verify organic content, from the sourcing of raw material to the final product. On Zalando, products with this label contain at least 50% organic content, and every stage of the supply chain is independently certified. The certification does not address the use of chemicals or any social or environmental aspects of production.

There are two levels of certification:

  • Organic blended content standard (products on Zalando need to contain at least 50% organic content)
  • Organic 100 content standard (containing at least 95% organic content)

Cradle to Cradle Certified™

Products with this label meet science-based requirements for material health, product circularity, clean air and climate protection, water and soil stewardship, and social fairness.

There are four levels of certification:

  • Cradle to Cradle Certified® Gold
  • Cradle to Cradle Certified® Silver
  • Cradle to Cradle Certified® Bronze
  • Cradle to Cradle Certified® Platinum

Made with recycled materials

Products with this label are made with a specified amount of recycled material. This is verified through the use of a third-party recycling standard or trademarked material, or through a brand's own recycling program.

There are three levels:

  • Made with 30-50% recycled materials
  • Made with 50-70% recycled materials
  • Made with 70-100% recycled materials

Made with organic materials

Products with this label are made with a high percentage of organic materials that are grown without the use of any synthetic pesticides and fertilisers or genetically-modified seeds. This can require up to 90% less water than conventional farming. Brands that use this label must ensure their whole supply chain is certified to a third-party organic standard, including the factory where this product is made.

There are two levels:

  • Made with 50-70% organic content
  • Made with 70-100% organic content

GRS - Global Recycle Standard
The Global Recycle Standard is one of the leading and most trusted certifications for products made from recycled content. Products with this label are made with at least 50% recycled content and every stage of the supply chain is independently certified, to ensure environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing all the way to the final product.
Fairtrade Certified Cotton
Fairtrade Cotton ensures that farmers receive a fair price and additional trade premiums to invest back into their local communities. Fairtrade Cotton protects farmers’ health and safety, promotes efficient water usage, and prohibits the use of dangerous chemicals or genetically-modified cotton seeds. Products with this label are made with at least 50% Fairtrade Cotton.
Responsible Wool Standard
All the wool in this product is certified to the Responsible Wool Standard, which ensures holistic respect for animal welfare and best practice regarding the management and protection of the land.
Responsible Down Standard
All the down in this product is certified to the Responsible Down Standard, which ensures holistic respect for animal welfare and prohibits the removal of down from live birds and force feeding.
Leather Working Group
All of the leather sourced in products with this label come from environmentally responsible leather manufacturers, audited and certified via the Leather Working Group protocol.
bluesign®
This item is made with bluesign® approved fabrics. The system behind bluesign® ensures that items are manufactured in a clean process that monitors over 900 hazardous chemicals. bluesign® ensures that manufacturers and brands act responsibly and sustainably with regard to people, the environment and the world’s resources.
Made with at least 20% recycled cotton
By using at least 20% recycled cotton over virgin cotton, this item was made using less water, dye, energy and waste.
Made with at least 50% sustainably-sourced cotton
Products with this label are made with at least 50% traceable cotton that has been sourced or certified through globally recognized sustainability programs included in the CottonUp Guide or Textile Exchange’s Sustainable Cotton Matrix.
Made with at least 50% responsible forest-based materials
Products with this label are made with at least 50% forest-based materials such as viscose, wood, paper or cork, which come from certified or responsible sources and help to protect ancient and endangered forests.
Made with at least 50% lyocell
Made from at least 50% lyocell, we’ve given this item our eco-material label to recognise its lower environmental impact. Lyocell is a fibre made from wood pulp which, unlike conventional viscose, is manufactured using an organic solvent in a "closed loop" process. This means that 99.5% of the chemicals used in the process are recycled again, and again, and again...
Made with responsibly-sourced wool
All of the wool in products with this label is certified to a globally recognized, independent standard such as ZQ™ or NATIVA™, which ensures good animal welfare and promotes a progressive approach to land management.
Made with responsibly-sourced down
All of the down and/or feathers in products with this label are certified to a globally recognized, independent standard such as the Global Traceable Down Standard or DOWNPASS, which ensures good animal welfare and traceability throughout the supply chain.
Made with at least 50% leather tanned without chrome
The leather in this item was processed without the use of chrome. Synthetic or vegetable compounds from trees such as oak, chestnut and mimosa were used instead. The result? A more easily biodegradable material and a safer environment for workers.
Made with at least 50% water-based polyurethane
This item was made with at least 50% imitation leather, which is manufactured using a more sustainable process without chemical solvents and up to 95% less water and 50% less energy than conventional polyurethane. The result? A smaller environmental footprint and safer factories for workers.
Made with at least 20% innovative leather alternatives
This item does not contain animal leather and was made with at least 20% plant-based materials, such as pineapple, apple or mushrooms. The result? An innovative alternative to animal leather which gives new life to materials that would otherwise go in the trash.
Made with at least 20% innovative bio-based alternatives to fossil fuels
This item is made with at least 20% plant-based materials such as corn, algae, or bio-acetate without conventional plastic additives. The result? You help reduce the use of fossil fuels.
Made with at least 20% innovative materials upcycled from waste
This item is made with at least 20% bio-based materials, such as orange peel, coffee grounds, or even fish skin. The result? You help drive innovation in the fashion industry and give new life to materials that would otherwise go in the trash.
Made with at least 20% materials from regenerative organic farming
Products with this label are made with at least 20% plant or animal-based materials that use regenerative organic farming practices. This holistic approach to farming helps us live in balance with nature by locking in carbon, boosting soil health and increasing biodiversity. These practices are verified through independent farm-level certifications or carbon measurements.

Beauty standards and certifications

Our sustainability criteria for beauty products were created in collaboration with specialist chemical experts at the University of Santiago de Compostela, and with brand partners that are currently leading the way when it comes to industry best practices. Like with our sustainability criteria for fashion, we will continue to improve our sustainability standards for beauty products over time. You can see which criteria an item meets by checking the product information in the sustainability tab.

Less packaging
Recycled or reusable: This product’s packaging is either made from at least 50% recycled material, or it’s been specifically designed to get refilled and used again. Sounds like good odds to us.
Forest-friendly
For a greener planet: Luckily, this product helps protect our forests by using 100% FSC-certified wood or paper, or palm oil from 100% sustainably-managed sources.
Biodegradable
Safely back to nature: All the ingredients in this product are biodegradable. So you can rest knowing that, when the time comes for it to return to nature, there’ll be no negative impact on the environment.
Organic
From the Earth: This product has been created with at least 50% of its ingredients from organic farming or wild harvesting. And where possible, we’ve ensured it’s certified to an independent standard too.
Kind to animals
Good news: This product has been certified by third-party animal welfare groups. Treating our furry friends with nothing but kindness.
Natural
No surprises: At least 95% of this product’s ingredients come from plants, animals, micro-organisms or minerals. And where possible, we’ve ensured it’s certified to an independent standard too.

What we're doing

Smalls steps, big impact

Our vision is to be a sustainable fashion platform with a net-positive impact for people and the planet. This means that we want to run our business in a way that gives back more than we take.

What we're doing

Our commitment

to do.MORE

Discover what we’ve achieved so far, and some of our plans for the future.
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The future

More transparency

We want to help you make more sustainable choices. To do this, we’re working with brand partners, governments and industry associations to set standards that drive transparency in the industry. Our future vision is to show you the complete social and environmental performance of the products we sell, starting with those we manufacture ourselves.