Spotlight on

Our sustainability vision

To be a fashion platform with a net-positive impact for people and the planet.

Spotlight on

What is

sustainable fashion?

Sustainable fashion means being considerate of our planet and the people in it, across a wide range of topics including ethical working conditions, environmental impact and animal welfare. We care about making more sustainable fashion and beauty choices accessible and understandable, which is why we have curated a selection of specially labelled products highlighted with the Sustainability Flag. You can find out more about our commitments to sustainability on our corporate website.

Sustainability criteria you can trust

Fashion products are highlighted with the Sustainability Flag when they meet one of our sustainability criteria displayed on the right, which cover social, environmental and animal welfare standards. Our criteria are aligned with internationally recognized best practice in the fashion industry, including the Higg Materials Sustainability Index and Textile Exchange's Preferred Fibers and Materials list. Our sustainability criteria currently address the most environmentally impactful stages of production such as materials and manufacturing, and we also show third-party certifications such as Fairtrade and the Global Organic Textile Standard. However, we recognise that brands often work beyond certification in order to scale sustainable innovations and we want to collaborate and find ways to highlight these in the future.

GOTS - organic
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 95% organic 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.
GOTS - made with organic materials
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
OCS - Organic Content Standard
The Organic Content Standard provides a strong chain of custody system to verify organic content from the source of the raw material to the final product. Products with this label contain at least 95% 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.
OCS - Organic Blended Content Standard
The Organic Blended Content Standard provides a strong chain of custody system to verify organic content from the source of the raw material to the final product. Products with this label shown on Zalando 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.
Leather Working Group (Gold)
The leather sourced in this product comes from environmentally responsible leather manufacturers, audited and certified via the Leather Working Group protocol. In this case, the audited tannery has achieved the highest “Gold” award.
Leather Working Group (Silver)
The leather sourced in this product comes from environmentally responsible leather manufacturers, audited and certified via the Leather Working Group protocol. In this case, the audited tannery has achieved a “Silver” award.
Leather Working Group (Bronze)
The leather sourced in this product comes from environmentally responsible leather manufacturers, audited and certified via the Leather Working Group protocol. In this case, the audited tannery has achieved a “Bronze” award.
Better Cotton Initiative
By buying cotton items from this brand, you’re supporting more sustainable cotton farming. Products with this label contain at least 50% cotton, from a retailer or brand that is committed to sourcing Better Cotton and investing in BCI Farmers. It does not mean the product is made of physically traceable Better Cotton.
EU Ecolabel
The EU Ecolabel is a label of environmental excellence that is awarded to products and services meeting high environmental standards throughout their life-cycle: from raw material extraction, to production, distribution and disposal.
Organic Cotton
Products with this label are made with at least 50% organic cotton, which is produced without the use of any synthetic pesticides and fertilisers or genetically-modified seeds. Most organic cotton is rain-fed, leading to significant water savings, and organic agricultural practices also ensure that farmers produce more than one crop, which supplements their food and income and helps regenerate the soil.
Made from lyocell, an eco-material
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 LENZING™ TENCEL™, an eco-material
Made from at least 50% LENZING™ TENCEL™ fibers, this item gets our eco-material label to recognise its lower environmental impact. LENZING™ TENCEL™ is a fiber made from wood pulp which, in contrast to conventional viscose, is manufactured using a low toxicity 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 LENZING™ VISCOSE, an eco-material
Made from at least 50% Lenzing Viscose™, we’ve given this item our eco-material label to recognise its lower environmental impact. Unlike some conventional viscose manufacturers, Lenzing traces their entire supply chain to guarantee that Lenzing Viscose™ is always sourced from sustainably managed forests.
Made with LENZING™ ECOVERO™, an eco-material
Made from at least 50% LENZING™ ECOVERO™ viscose fibers, this item gets our eco-material label to recognise its lower environmental impact. Derived from sustainable wood and pulp, the manufacturing of LENZING™ ECOVERO™ fibers generates up to 50% lower emissions and water impact compared to generic viscose.
Made from Birla SpunShades, an eco-material
Made from at least 50% Birla SpunShades, we’ve given this item our eco-material label to recognise its lower environmental impact. Birla SpunShades viscose fibres are coloured by injecting the dye into the fibre itself, saving on average more than 30 litres of water per metre of fabric compared to conventional dyeing methods.
Made from recycled polyester
By using at least 20% recycled polyester over virgin polyester, this item was made using less water, energy and waste.
Made from recycled nylon
By using at least 20% recycled nylon over virgin nylon, this item was made using less water, energy and waste.
Made from recycled cotton
By using at least 20% recycled cotton over virgin cotton, this item was made using less water, dye, energy and waste.
Made from recycled wool
By using at least 20% recycled wool over virgin wool, this item was made using less water, dye, energy and waste.
Made with recycled plant-based fibers.
Made from at least 20% recycled cellulosic fibers such as LENZING™ TENCEL™ with REFIBRA™ technology, this item was made using less water, energy and waste than conventional lyocell fibers.
Made from recycled down feathers
By using at least 20% recycled down feathers over virgin down feathers, this item was made using less water, energy and waste.
Made from recycled leather
By using at least 20% recycled leather over virgin leather, this item was made using less water, energy and waste.
Made from recycled rubber
By using at least 20% recycled rubber over virgin rubber, this item was made using less water, energy and waste.
Made with recycled plastic
By using at least 20% recycled plastic over virgin plastic, this item was made using less water, energy and waste.
Made with recycled metal
By using at least 20% recycled metal over virgin metal, this item was made using less water, energy and waste.
Made with 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 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 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.
OEKO-TEX® Made in Green
This item is OEKO-TEX® Made in Green certified and was made in environmentally-friendly facilities under safe and socially responsible working conditions, with materials tested for harmful substances in accordance with OEKO-TEX® guidelines.
Made with chrome-free tanned leather
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 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.
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.
Sustainable Textile Production (STeP) by OEKO-TEX®
This item is STeP by OEKO-TEX® certified and was made in environmentally-friendly facilities under safe and socially responsible working conditions.

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One click to more sustainable styles

Behind the criteria

How we set our standards

We want to drive positive change in the fashion industry by highlighting products that exceed our sustainability standards. To determine these standards, we use data from independent certifications and the Higg Material Sustainability Index. The Higg MSI is the industry's most comprehensive tool for measuring the environmental impact of materials. These help us identify products that are leading the way, as well as opportunities for improvement. Our ultimate aim is to provide transparent and trustworthy information that enables you to make more sustainable choices.

Pre-owned fashion

Material reuse, item reuse

We're committed to creating a less wasteful, more circular, future of fashion. In many countries, customers can now buy and trade in pre-owned items on Zalando. Our aim: to extend the life of at least 50 million products by 2023. We're also working to reduce packaging waste, for example, by eliminating single-use plastics in deliveries and returns.
We're committed to creating a less wasteful, more circular, future of fashion. In many countries, customers can now buy and trade in pre-owned items on Zalando. Our aim: to extend the life of at least 50 million products by 2023. We're also working to reduce packaging waste, for example, by eliminating single-use plastics in deliveries and returns.

Pre-owned fashion

Material reuse, item reuse

We're committed to creating a less wasteful, more circular, future of fashion. In many countries, customers can now buy and trade in pre-owned items on Zalando. Our aim: to extend the life of at least 50 million products by 2023. We're also working to reduce packaging waste, for example, by eliminating single-use plastics in deliveries and returns.
We're committed to creating a less wasteful, more circular, future of fashion. In many countries, customers can now buy and trade in pre-owned items on Zalando. Our aim: to extend the life of at least 50 million products by 2023. We're also working to reduce packaging waste, for example, by eliminating single-use plastics in deliveries and returns.
Pre-owned fashion

Beyond fashion

More sustainable beauty

Beyond fashion

Sustainability criteria you can trust

In many countries, customers can now find beauty products highlighted with the "Sustainability" flag that match their values. To create our sustainability criteria for beauty, we collaborated with specialist chemical experts at the University of Santiago de Compostela and brand partners which represent current best practice in the industry. Just like with our sustainability criteria for fashion, we will continue to improve our sustainability standards for beauty products over time.

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.

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The carbon footprint of shipping

We've reduced our emissions per order by 29% since 2017, by switching to renewable energy in almost all of our offices and all our German and Polish fulfillment centres. In addition to these reduction measures, we are carbon neutral in our own operations, deliveries and returns (incl. packaging), by offsetting with Gold-Standard reforestation projects in Ethiopia. You can do your bit to contribute to this effort by ticking the offsetting box in your check-out.

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Packaging

Our boxes are made from 100% recycled cardboard with water-based ink for branding. The shipping bags are made from 80% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic. Polybags are the thin protective sleeves around our textiles that are needed to protect items against damage. These are made from 64% recycled plastic. Beauty Bags for cosmetic products were switched from plastic to 100% recycled paper. Please do your bit to help by placing the packaging in the correct recycling bin, so that it can be produced into something new again.

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Vegan products

Animal welfare is a very important topic to us and we are exploring ways to highlight vegan products to our customers. Currently, vegan products are not highlighted with the Sustainability Flag unless they also fulfill one of our sustainability criteria, such as environmentally-friendly materials or organic ingredients. We are looking into how to expand our sustainability criteria to include more animal-friendly options, whilst balancing the long-term impact of plastics and synthetic materials to our planet.