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WAKEFIELD – In the fourth episode in our series of Ecotextile Talks podcasts supported by Higg, our host Philip Berman talks to Zalando sustainability director Kate Heiny about how the online clothing retailer harnesses data to drive sustainability among its brand partners and customers.

With Zalando annual revenues expected to reach over €10 million in 2021 – more than doubling from 2018 – Zalando reveals how it combines its scale and the Higg BRM to manage its approach to supply chain transparency, a fast-moving regulatory landscape along with making sure brands that sell on its platform meet its own environmental criteria.

“We launched our most recent sustainability strategy in October 2019,” explains Heiny, “and within that strategy, we have a commitment to increase our ethical standards and will only work with brand partners who align with these.”


Listeners will be able to hear Zalando provide real-world examples of how the Higg BRM works in practice, what it means for the supply chain and due diligence, and how it can be used to achieve publicly stated sustainability goals.

Going behind the news, Zalando also provides insight into what its brand partners think about the BRM – has there been any push-back? And talks openly about how it enforces compliance as evidenced when Zalando offboarded BooHoo after the well-documented problems that were found in the UK fast-fashion brands supply chains.

Will Zalando ever allow BooHoo to sell on its platform again?

Heiny goes on to talk about how post-COVID, a large percentage of its customers now see sustainability as a much more important part of their decision-making and discusses how Zalando intends to inform consumers about sustainability in a way that everyone can understand.

“That is the nut to crack,” she says.

To listen to the full, uninterrupted podcast, and to get links to your favourite platforms, click here.

The next episode in this series in Higg will be published next month. Meanwhile, look out for our next podcast on GMO in organic cotton.

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