It's a sad day for circular fashion: according to a new report by Savoo, Zara is the most popular brand on resale platforms including Depop, eBay, Asos Marketplace, and Vestiaire Collective, which recently pledged to ban fast fashion by 2025.
Savoo, an online discount-finder that works with charities, found over 670,000 listings for Zara items across these resale platforms. The majority of these listings came from Depop, the Gen Z-loved app acquired by Etsy in 2021.
While Savoo's report didn't investigate the presence of fast fashion at brick-and-mortar resale shops, it's no secret that local thrift stores are being inundated with donations of cheaply made apparel. As a result, customers who rely on these secondhand stores to dress themselves and their family are having a harder time finding well-made clothing that will stand the test of time.
While buying, say, a Shein crop top secondhand is marginally better than buying it new, adding that item to your Goodwill cart still comes at an environmental cost. That Shein top is probably made of synthetic fabrics, which shed microplastics in the wash. These microscopic pieces of plastic end up in the ocean, where fish and other wildlife consume them.
Despite Zara's popularity on resale platforms, the Spanish retailer has been the subject of renewed scrutiny regarding its sustainability claims, as well as its treatment of workers. On the eve of Black Friday, protesters gathered outside of a Zara store in Madrid to demand higher pay — and the following day in Melbourne, Extinction Rebellion protested fast fashion brands including Zara and H&M at Bourke Street Mall.
There's a completely understandable reason that people buy fast fashion: it's cheap! But if you have the privilege to spend on clothing, consider whether you'll wear those Zara pants, secondhand or not, for more than one season.