We believe that our unique position in the market allows us to drive meaningful positive change in the fashion industry by incorporating circularity principles at every stage of our product life cycle. A circular system is the long-term solution for the fashion industry where there is minimal or even no waste throughout the product life cycle. Therefore, we not only seek to incorporate circular design principles into the product we sell but we also commit to offer end of life solutions to customers which enable them to close the loop, especially where other mechanisms to do so are limited in our markets.
Our 2030 Circularity & Conscious Consumption targets demonstrate our commitment to transition to a more circular business model via responsible waste management, sustainable packaging use and driving supply and demand for more sustainable fashion:
Waste in our operations is diverted from landfill
Directly purchased and own-brand packaging made from more sustainable materials
Sold units from fashion assortment made in line with circular criteria (recycled, repaired, pre-loved, circular design)
Sold units covered by closed loop take back solution
Tonnes of packaging retrieved from customers and responsibly disposed
Our 2022 Performance
We are proud of the achievements we made thus far and ready to embrace the new chapter of our People & Planet Positive agenda. Starting from January 2022, ZALORA will be measuring its progress against the 2030 Circularity & Conscious Consumption targets focused on the People + Planet Positive strategic priorities.
Packaging* directly procured by ZALORA incorporates sustainable materials
(*refers to delivery and internal packaging)
NMV from products meeting our sustainability criteria
Active customers shop in Earth Edit range
Used garments collected in collaborations with The Salvation Army Malaysia three months after its launch
Waste from our warehouses diverted from landfill, mainly through recycling
RESPONSIBLE WASTE MANAGEMENT
While waste management infrastructure in many Southeast Asia markets remains immature, we aim to minimise the waste we generate and pursue solutions to divert our waste from landfill. As in 2021, packaging from our suppliers and customer returns -such as cardboard boxes, delivery flyers, polybags and stretch film- accounted for the majority of the waste produced by our operations in 2022, with the remaining fraction being food waste and other general waste.
This year, 88% of our waste from operations was diverted from landfill, where most of the waste being recycled and some being sent for energy recovery. We will continue to seek solutions for the remaining non-recyclable waste, with the aim of diverting 95% of waste in our operations from landfill by 2030.
Partnering With The Plaf & Green Antz For Plastic Recycling In The Philippines
In the Philippines, a country identified as one of the top three polluters of plastic waste going into our oceans, we have partnered with two plastic recyclers, Green Antz and The Plaf, to tackle plastic pollution. Both recyclers collect our plastic waste for upcycling. Green Antz uses the processed plastic to produce “ecobricks” for housing, while The Plaf produces “eco-lumber”, such as posts, planks and “eco-boards” used to build outdoor furniture, fencing or decking. Both partners provide us monthly collection certificates to help us track our progress in diverting these plastics from landfill and reducing plastic pollution in the Philippines.
“Our partnerships with Green Antz and the Plaf have enabled us to play a part in the ever-growing circular economy by giving our plastic waste a new lease of life. With the Philippines being one of the world’s largest plastic polluters, upcycling plastic waste is important in ending plastic pollution. As waste infrastructure matures in the Philippines, we will continue to seek solutions that keep our waste out of landfills and oceans.”
Julio Cesar Vazquez, Director of Operations for ZALORA Philippines
2022 KEY HIGHLIGHTS
Waste tracking covering all our operations
88% of our operational waste is diverted from landfill, mainly through recycling
At ZALORA, we place a strong emphasis on packaging as we are conscious of the environmental impact that packaging has throughout its life cycle. We also recognise how important it is to our customers that ZALORA takes greater steps in innovating more sustainable packaging at the point of production, especially in countries where our customers do not have easy access to recycling facilities. To contribute to building a circular economy for packaging, we aim to transition our packaging to be made from less environmentally impactful materials, and where possible, eliminate packaging materials altogether.
In 2022, 91% of our directly-procured packaging was made of more sustainable materials. Our carton boxes are now made of recycled cardboard certified either by the Forest Stewardship Council (“FSC”) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (“PEFC”). We also expanded the use of delivery flyers containing 80% of recycled plastic certified by the Recycled Claim Standard (“RCS”) to all our markets, as well as polybags (clear sleeves used to protect products in warehouses and transit) with 60% recycled plastic content in some markets. As we celebrate these milestones, we will continue to work with our regional teams to identify suppliers who can provide us with quality, certified sustainable packaging to achieve our 2030 target of having 100% of our directly purchased packaging (procured by our warehouse teams for storage purposes and customer deliveries) and own-brand packaging (purchased by our own-brand suppliers) to be made from more sustainable materials.
Noting that the market for more sustainable packaging is still emerging in Southeast Asia, we conducted several workshops to educate our own-brand suppliers on the importance of removing unnecessary packaging and the need to transition to packaging containing more sustainable materials. To accelerate our suppliers’ transition to more sustainable packaging, we also identified vendors who would be able to provide our own-brand suppliers with FSC-certified carton boxes and swing tags. This adds to the repertoire of more sustainable packaging that will be used in our own-brands. Many of our suppliers have been using the RCS-certified polybags made of pre-consumer recycled plastic since 2020.
Delivery Flyers Made From 80% Of Recycled Plastic
To contribute to building a circular economy for plastic packaging, our operations teams worked for many months to source a more sustainable alternative to our delivery flyers, which were made entirely of virgin plastic. They identified a Malaysia-based packaging vendor to supply pre-consumer waste recycled plastic. Without compromising on our quality, cost and logistic requirements, we were able to transition all plastic flyers sent to our customers in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Brunei to those made of 80% recycled plastic content in 2020. The use of these recycled plastic flyers was further expanded to the Philippines and Indonesia in 2021, with a new flyer design introduced across all markets in early 2022.
This initiative significantly reduces the overall environmental impact of our delivery flyers while nurturing a demand for such alternative materials in countries where adequate recycling infrastructure is inaccessible and the use of recycled materials is still relatively low.
Being committed to transparency, we also engaged our packaging vendor to get certified through the Recycled Claim Standard (“RCS”). This third party certification provides ZALORA and our customers the assurance of the recycled content by verifying the traceability of the material along the supply chain. We are very thankful that our packaging vendor has joined us into this sustainability journey, strengthening our commitment to shaping our sustainable ecosystem with our key partners.
2022 KEY HIGHLIGHTS
91% of our directly-procured packaging incorporates sustainable materials
100% use of FSC or PEFC certified cardboard boxes
100% use of FSC or PEFC certified paper and honeycomb fillers in Malaysia and Philippines warehouses (replacing bubble wraps)
100% delivery flyers incorporate 80% recycled plastic content
Polybags made of 60% recycled plastic content used in Malaysia warehouse
We are also committed to proper waste management beyond our own operations and seek to influence our customers to responsibly dispose of the packaging delivered with our products, even where public infrastructure is absent. To this end, we aim to retrieve 420 tonnes of packaging from our customers by 2030 and to be responsibly disposed via methods such as recycling or energy recovery.
By Recycling Your Packaging Right
As we work towards making a positive impact on the planet and people, we hope to bring our customers along on the journey! This includes helping you find more sustainable disposal methods for your packaging waste.
Through our collective efforts, we can:
- Reduce the overall amount of waste produced; and
- Extend the life cycle of materials which can be reused, repurposed or recycled, and support a circular economy.
Every effort counts and makes a difference!
If You Are Living In Singapore
What’s The Current Situation?
Of the 1.6 million tonnes of domestic waste disposed of in 2018, one-third was from packaging. Furthermore, while more than half of the packaging waste was made of plastic, only 4% was recycled. Waste that is not recycled is either sent to a waste-to-energy plant to be incinerated before being landfilled or sent directly to the landfill.
With the ever-increasing popularity of e-commerce in Singapore, packaging waste is contributing to Singapore’s growing waste challenge. At the current rate of waste growth, Semakau Landfill - Singapore’s only landfill - will run out of space by 2035.
How Can You Help?
While industry plays an important role in reducing the amount of packaging used, you as the end user of packaging can contribute too! By segregating your domestic waste and ensuring that your recyclables are uncontaminated and end up in the proper recycling bins, you can prevent recyclable waste from ending up in the landfill.
To make it easier for households to recycle, Singapore’s National Environmental Agency (NEA) has introduced a National Recycling Programme that ensures every HDB estate, private estate and landed properties have access to recycling bins and recycling collection services. Public housing developments launched after 2014 have dual chutes for refuse and recyclables on each floor.
If You Are Living In Taiwan
What’s The Current Situation?
Waste generated in Taiwan has been increasing over the years. Even with the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures, municipal waste generated per capita only fell slightly from 1.144 kg/person/day in 2019 to 1.137 kg/person/day in 2020.
While Taiwan has a high overall recycling rate of 56% (as of 2019), this has in fact decreased from 60% in 2017. This means that a substantial portion of waste still gets incinerated and eventually sent to landfills, contributing to environmental pollution and climate change. To work towards achieving zero waste, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has a policy that mandates people residing in Taiwan to purchase dedicated “City of Taipei” garbage bags to dispose of their general waste, while recycling is free, incentivising people to recycle more and produce less non-recyclable trash.
How Can You Help?
While industry plays an important role in reducing the amount of packaging used, you as the end user of packaging can contribute too! By properly segregating your domestic waste and ensuring that your recyclables are uncontaminated, you can prevent recyclable waste from ending up in the landfill. Producing less non-recyclable trash is also a win-win solution for you if you live in Taiwan, since that means that you will not have to pay more to obtain more garbage bags for general waste disposal.
If You Are Living In Hong Kong
What’s The Current Situation?
The Hong Kong government has ambitious targets to increase the recycling rate from 12% in 2019 to 55% by 2022. It also has the goal of reducing waste generated per capita to 0.8 kg/person/day by 2022. In land-scarce Hong Kong, these plans are important to limit the number of incineration plants that have to be built or landfills that have to be expanded to accommodate the growing amount of waste generated.
How Can You Help?
While industry plays an important role in reducing the amount of packaging used, you as the end user of packaging can contribute to achieving Hong Kong’s waste reduction and recycling goals too! By segregating your domestic waste and ensuring that your recyclables are uncontaminated and end up in the proper recycling bins, you can prevent recyclable waste from ending up in the landfill.
CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT & CIRCULARITY SOLUTIONS
Circular Fashion Starts With Pre-Loved
Keeping products in use for as long as possible is the first step to transition to a circular economy. To extend the life of products and foster responsible consumption behaviours, we launched our Pre-Loved category of second-hand luxury fashion products in 2019. Initially focused on our women’s category, our Pre-Loved assortment was expanded into new segments including men and kidswear. In 2022, we partnered with seven Pre-Loved sellers to bring more than 15 thousand items available to our customers.
Almost a thousand customers have purchased a Pre-Loved item during the year, indicating strong engagement with the concept contributing to a circular fashion economy. In order to achieve our 2030 target of selling 40% units from fashion assortment made in line with circular criteria, we will continue growing our Pre-Loved assortment with new partnerships, and provide our customers with additional options to extend the life-cycle of products and to divert fashion from landfill.
“Circular Fashion is currently an emerging trend in south-east asia. We feel responsible to be a key player from the beginning of this journey to educate, enable and encourage sustainable choices of our customers. We also believe that we need to equally support this initiative not only by providing sustainable options but by allowing our customers to be a part of this ecosystem by selling their clothes and accessories in an easy, smooth and financially beneficial way. It’s an exciting and enormously important space and we want to be prepared to support it at scale.”
Agata Bas, Head of Customer Growth & Digital Experience
2022 KEY HIGHLIGHTS
More than 15,000 Pre-Loved products available
Pre-Loved assortment including women, men and kidswear
New partnership with Reclo Japan and BrandCo Paris
Driving Sustainable Consumption With Our Earth Edit Assortment
ZALORA aims to inspire a shift towards a more sustainable fashion ecosystem by driving supply and demand for sustainable and ethical products thanks to our Earth Edit selection.
By curating products that meet our sustainability credentials and enabling customers to shop our products according to their value, we offer them the opportunity to make more mindful choices when shopping without compromising fashionability or accessibility. In turn, we work closely with our brands to help them to understand customer expectations and preferences in relation to more sustainable shopping and encourage them to provide products that have a lower impact on people and planet.
Since the launch of our Earth Edit range in 2020, we have firmly increased the number of participating brands to reach more than 1,600 brand partners offering more than 122,000 unique products for our customers to make conscious shopping decisions. In 2022, our Earth Edit range represents 13% of our total sales and 32% of our active customers purchased Earth Edit products.
“We are very proud to inspire and facilitate a more sustainable shopping choice to our customers. The launch of the Earth Edit range in 2020 was a big step in the right direction together with our brand partners, and in a bit more than a year, 18% of our active customer base had purchased Earth Edit item at ZALORA, more than 2.5 times the percentage of products currently offered in this range. In 2022, we will continue to work closely with our existing and new brand partners to multiply the number of sustainable products offered, and we will keep evolving our customer educational journey on what shopping sustainably means.”
Livia Leal, ZALORA’s Head of Commercial Projects
2022 KEY HIGHLIGHTS
1,600 brand partners with products qualified for Earth Edit
More than 122,000 unique products available
13% of our total sales from 32% of our active customers
Extending The Life Of Products Through Take Back Solutions
Given our aim to kick-start a circular fashion movement in Southeast Asia, we understand that we not only have a responsibility to manage our direct impact, but also an opportunity to provide customers with the infrastructure to manage theirs. Our strategy in this respect is to encourage our customers to donate the apparel items that they want to give away and thus divert them from landfill.
In 2022, we aspire to launch a collaboration with a non-for profit organization to offer our customers a take back solution for their Pre-Loved items in line with our 2030 target to reach 40% of sold units covered by closed loop take back solution. The partner organization will aim to provide support with the items collection, sorting, reselling and recycling, so that our customers can give a second life to their used clothes.
Clothes Re:newed Initiative
As part of our ambitious goal and commitment in kick-starting a circular fashion movement in Southeast Asia, we have collaborated with The Salvation Army (TSA), a well-established non-governmental organization (NGO), known for their expertise in processing clothes donation, for our customers to drop-off and donate their clothes, shoes, and bags, that are in good condition to those that might need it.
By providing an option for customers to give their pre-loved items a second chance to someone else to love and wear, ZALORA and TSA helps to divert waste from landfills and reduce resource consumption via reuse or recycling. These donations will also help fund The Salvation Army's other charitable causes and social programmes.
As a token of appreciation, donors will be awarded a small amount of cashback tiered based on the weight of their donations.
Starting on 17 October 2022, the initiative has been kickstarted with selected TSA locations in Malaysia, with other similar partnerships being explored throughout the Southeast Asian region.