Sustainable fashion for women
What does sustainable fashion mean?
To us, sustainability is being considerate of our planet and the people in it. Sustainability touches upon many aspects of fashion, including ethical working conditions, environmental impact and animal welfare. This is a topic we care about which is why we have curated a selection of specially labeled products and sustainable brands, to make responsible shopping simple.
Read more about our criteria below, or find out more about Zalando's commitments to sustainability in our corporate responsibility section.
Who benefits from sustainable fashion?
- 1. The planet. Save resources by using environmentally friendly materials and processing techniques. The result: less pollution of soil, air and water and a better future.
- 2. The people. Sustainable fashion also means ensuring a long-term future for those who make our clothes, with fair wages and safe working conditions as standard.
- 3. You. You can do your bit for both the planet and the people in it to make the fashion world a little bit more sustainable. Let's join forces!
Shop by fabric
Lyocell (also known as Tencel®) is a strong, soft and breathable fabric made from wood pulp, which is sourced from sustainably managed forests or fast growing renewable materials such as bamboo and eucalyptus. It's 100% biodegradable and produced using manufacturing techniques with less impact on the environment.Shop lyocell
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Organic cotton is produced without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as pesticides, defoliants and fertilisers, or genetically-modified seeds. Meaning that the overall process is much kinder to the planet.Shop Organic Cotton
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The future of denim is now more sustainable than ever. New methods are being implemented such as using recycled materials and organic cotton. Production processes are more efficient which use less water, energy and chemicals, such as waterless dyeing and ozone bleaching.Shop Sustainable Denim
Sustainable kids fashion
Whether pollutant-free or made of organic cotton, these cheerful designs make for adorable kids.
Frequently asked questions
What is eco fashion?
Ecological fashion, similar to green fashion, focuses on the environmentally-friendly aspects of sustainable fashion. This includes the use of organic, recycled and reusable fibres and the reduction of harmful chemicals.
What is ethical fashion?
Ethical fashion focuses especially on social criteria, ensuring fair treatment of workers and an emphasis on the value of work done.
What is fair trade fashion?
Fair trade fashion is certified by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). It ensures good working conditions for employees, fair payment and transparency, while promoting opportunities for disadvantaged producers.
Why is sustainable fashion generally more expensive?
While on average, sustainable fashion can be 15%-40% more expensive (Dr. Grieger & Cie. Marktforschung 2016), this is not true for every product. Sustainable fashion can be more expensive due to a number of factors. Firstly, low-impact organic crops are often required to produce sustainable fashion, a large initial investment for the farmer and more labour intensive. Secondly, higher costs often result because of smaller production volumes as well as a higher regard for sustainable practices, such as manufacturing processes and better working conditions.
When does a product get a “SUSTAINABILITY” tag?
You will see products in the Zalando store flagged with a "sustainability" tag. So far, the criteria we use is based on the certifications and labels the products carry. We are aware that some of brands don't have certifications, but are still taking big steps to become more sustainable. That is why we're currently working on extending our sustainable labels and provide better orientation and more transparency.
When is a brand considered sustainable?
Currently, there is no black and white definition for what is sustainable. Certain brands may only use specific fabrics, whereas others focus specifically on production processes. Our aim is to provide you with the best possible information to make an informed decision. Now it is up to you. Some leading brands are already thinking about circular design and biodegradable products. We don't have all the answers yet, but it's a very exciting time to learn about new technologies and innovations. Please join us on this journey.
What can you do?
In a product life cycle, the use and end of life phases of the product often have the highest impact on the planet. You can change this by taking good care of your clothes and shoes, washing less at lower temperatures, repairing where possible and recycling at second-hand shops instead of disposing of them.
These are the labels and certificates can you find in our shop. If a product meets one of these criteria, it is flagged with “sustainability."
A certification for textiles made from organic fibres. To pass the test, all fibres must be grown and processed according to strict environmental and toxicological criteria. A functional waste water treatment plant is mandatory for any wet processing. GOTS-certified products are made from at least 95% organic fibres. Every partner in the supply chain is verified.
A label of quality for fair and fair trade cotton. Fairtrade guarantees farmers a payment based on the global minimum price and additional trade premiums that they can invest in their local ecosystems. Fair crops protect the health and safety of farmers, promote efficient water use and prohibit the use of hazardous chemicals or genetically modified cottonseed.
The Global Recycle Standard certifies recycled content in a product as well as that all production processes in the entire supply chain have undergone the proper steps to ensure the integrity of the final product. In addition to monitoring the recycled content that goes into a finished product, the standard also sets high environmental and social criteria along every step of the supply chain.
The EU Ecoblabel is awarded to products and services that have high environmental protection requirements throughout the product cycle: from raw material extraction through production to distribution and disposal.
A quality label to demarcate Zalando products made from at least 50% organic fibres, and certified according to the farming and production standards approved in the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Family of Standards.
OCS - Organic Content Standard
The Organic Content Standard guarantees the traceability and integrity of at least 95% certified ‘organic’ raw materials during all the manufacturing stages.
Organic Blended Content Standard
The Organic Blended Content Standard guarantees the traceability and integrity of at least 5% certified ‘organic’ raw materials during all the manufacturing stages.
A quality seal for environmentally, socially responsible leather manufacturing at all stages of production. Naturleder certification verifies that a product’s raw leather comes from farming animals that are also used for meat, and not from endangered or wild species. Certified leathers are finished with organic vegetable tanning methods, as opposed to chrome tanning.
Terracare® manufacturers environmentally-friendly, resource-efficient, socially-compatible leather. This German-based tannery uses significantly less water compared to its global competitors, and all production water is purified back to EU standards and returned into the water cycle. Terracare® leather is made with minimal chemicals and energy, making it extremely low in pollutants.
BCI Better Cotton Initiative
By choosing cotton products from this brand, you're supporting responsible cotton production through the Better Cotton Initiative.
This label has been defined by Zalando to highlight items made using more environmentally-friendly processes which use less water, energy or chemicals or produce less waste. Current certificates accepted under this label include Bluesign, STeP by OEKO-TEX ® and OEKO-TEX® Made in Green.
This label has been defined by Zalando to highlight items containing at least 20% recycled material; such as polyester, nylon, cotton or wool. Check the details section above to see which materials this item is made from.
This label has been defined by Zalando to highlight items made from materials that have a lower environmental impact or have been otherwise sustainably sourced. Examples include TENCEL™, lyocell, linen, hemp, responsibly-sourced viscose and modal, or items with FSC certification. Check the details section above to see which materials this item is made from.