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Barbara Santamaria
Nov 7, 2019
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Bershka unveils eco-friendly collaboration with National Geographic

Translated by
Barbara Santamaria
Nov 7, 2019

Inditex’s young fashion brand Bershka its strengthening its commitment to sustainability with the launch of a new collection made using eco-friendly materials with National Geographic. The new range takes the brand a step closer to achieving the Spanish retailer’s green goal of increasing the share of garments from the Join Life label to over 25% of the total by 2020.

Bershka's collaboration with National Geographic is part of Inditex's Join Life project - Bershka

Nature and wildlife imagery captured by National Geographic are prominently featured throughout the collection, which is presented with the Join Life environmental excellence label that is used on garments that are produced with more sustainable raw materials. In this case, the range has been made using recycled polyester and ecologically grown cotton. There is 100% recycled polyester padding, 25% recycled polyester bum bags and 100% ecologically grown cotton t-shirts. Hoodies are manufactured with a blend that includes 65% ecologically grown cotton.

With items for both men and women, the collection includes a selection of outerwear and accessories, such as €69.99 puffa jackets, €29.99 sweatshirts, €15.99 printed t-shirts, €35.99 backpacks and €25.99 bum bags. It launched in stores and online on 5 November.

The National Geographic collaboration is the latest move of Bershka, Inditex’s second largest chain in terms of revenue after Zara. In the first six months of 2019, the younger and more affordable label generated revenues of €1.08 billion, up 3.3% on the same period last year. Bershka currently accounts for 8.4% of group revenues, while Zara and Zara Home account for 69.4% of all sales.

Pieces from the new collection are made using recycled polyester and ecologically grown cotton - Bershka

Understanding Inditex’s sustainability strategy

For the Spanish group, the Join Life label has become synonymous with sustainability. The concept encompasses a multitude of ideas; in this case, it signals that garments from the range comply with at least one of three environmental targets. According to Inditex, the first requirement is based on manufacturing products using more sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, Tencel Lyocell or recycled fibres. The second requirement focuses on processes that use reduce water consumption, while the third prioritises manufacturing processes that consume energy from renewable sources.

In the first half of the year, Inditex brands launched a combined 136 million units of garments bearing the Join Life label, reaching in six months the same level registered during the 12 months of the previous year. Meanwhile, Inditex chairman Pablo Isla said that “the company’s strong operational performance and the decisive boost to sustainability throughout the value chain are clearly complementary aspects.”

Inditex wants garments featuring the Join Life label to account for over 25% of all garments next year, and is also planning to completely eliminate the use of plastic bags, building on the work of Zara, Zara Home, Massimo Dutti and Uterqüe. Additionally, by 2025, the group will only use cotton, linen and polyester that is organic, more sustainable or recycled. Together with viscose, which will reach this target by 2023, these fabrics account for 90% of the raw materials purchased by the group. 

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