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Following EU pressure, German fashion retailer Zalando abandons ‘sustainable’ labels

Following EU pressure, German fashion retailer Zalando abandons ‘sustainable’ labels

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Following a dialogue with the Commission and national consumer authorities, Zalando has committed to removing misleading sustainability flags and icons displayed next to products offered on its platform. Such claims can mislead consumers about the environmental characteristics of the products. As from 15 April 2024, the icons will not appear anymore. Instead, clear information about products’ environmental benefits, such as the percentage of recycled materials used, will be provided by Zalando.

More specifically, Zalando committed to:

  • removing the initially used sustainability flag from all webpages.
  • removing all misleading environmental icons that were displayed next to products (such as a leaf or a tree).
  • no longer using the term “sustainability”, or other unjustified terms indicating an environmental and/or ethical benefit. Zalando will provide clear information about the specific product, for example, a percentage figure of how much recycled material is used.
  • removing the icons and the term ‘sustainability’ also from the filter and allowing consumers to filter and select products based on specific product qualities.
  • providing clear and specific information on the product’s environmental and/or ethical benefit at the product detail page.
  • revising the “Sustainability Page” by introducing two new webpages: one with more information on the product standards and one with information about Zalando’s sustainability-related approaches and strategies.
  • ensuring that Zalando’s environmental claims are based on aspects which are significant for the environment.

Related Article: Bottled Drink Giants Accused of Greenwashing with Recyclability Claims

Zalando will submit a report on the implementation of the commitments. Based on this report, the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network (CPC) will assess how Zalando implemented the commitments , and where necessary, enforce compliance, for example, by imposing fines or removing content.


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