Tackling greenwashing in fashion: addressing Zalando case and UK's key brands

May 16, 2024

Combating greenwashing has become paramount in the textile world as consumers and regulators alike demand transparency and accountability from brands. Zalando, the leading e-commerce platform, is actively seeking to answer these requirements and has recently upgraded Sustainability Product Standards guide. Prominent UK and European brands are also deeply involved in meeting expectations. Each faces unique challenges in navigating greenwashing regulations set forth by The European Commission and the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). However, amidst these challenges lies an opportunity! Trimco Group's ProductDNA® emerges as a powerful ally to take advantage of it.

Addressing Zalando's initiative against greenwashing

Zalando has taken bold steps to ensure transparency and accuracy in the sustainability claims featured by its retailing brands on the platform by discontinuing the use of interactive icons and implementing stringent sustainability requirements for Brands. Zalando aims to provide consumers with clear and reliable information about the product's specific sustainable attributes. This shift underscores the importance for brands selling at this e-commerce platform to provide transparent information about products' environmental benefits to Zalando, such as the percentage of recycled materials used, and substantiating their green claims with verifiable data.

Challenges faced by retailers

Meanwhile, UK brands face pressure from the regulators to correct any misleading green claims. These brands must navigate a landscape where accuracy, clarity, and transparency are paramount. From ensuring precise labeling of recycled or organic materials to validating environmental targets with a clear strategy, these brands have to back up their green claims.

How Trimco Group's ProductDNA® can help fashion brands and retailers

Amidst these challenges, Trimco Group's ProductDNA® offers a comprehensive and robust solution to support brands in their quest for transparency and compliance. This is what it does in practice:

Prevents wrong "organic" or "recycled" claims

  • Collecting all facility certifications in the tool's Certificate Manager module
  • Allowing "organic" or "recycled" claim declarations only if certifications are in place
  • Calculating precisely organic or recycled content by weight in the garment

Validates material/garment claims via Certificate Manager

  • Collecting material and garment-related certifications
  • Linking material/garment certifications to orders

Provides proof to regulators on product claims quickly

  • Trimco Groups's ProductDNA® dashboard lets you quickly find all documentation available per style and/or purchase order.
  • A report and all certificates are extractable immediately

One step ahead of the game with the Product Manager by Trimco Group's ProductDNA®:

Zalando's rules evolve yearly, aiming to answer regulators' requirements. As a brand, you must keep a good overview of your material consumption to build up your strategy. With the Product Manager module, you can define your material consumption targets and stay on top of things:

  • Collect material weight information and material sustainable attributes
  • Monitor material consumption based on their sustainable attributes (conventional, organic, recycled, viscose EcoVero, etc.) by quantity and/or weight per season, supplier, country, year, etc.
  • Define environmental targets with accurate data on material consumption.
  •  Flag orders for which certifications apply to the factory rather than the garment for the brand to adapt its "accreditation scheme" claims.

Trimco Group's ProductDNA® is a unique solution that facilitates claims verification, centralizes certifications, and provides tools for accurate material consumption calculation. The solution empowers brands to drive their sustainability journey and substantiate green claims with tangible evidence. Moreover, the platform's ability to define and monitor ESG targets ensures that brands can align their sustainability initiatives with measurable goals, fostering accountability and trust among stakeholders: regulators, e-commerce players, and consumers.

Considering the evolving regulations and heightened consumer expectations, the fashion industry is at a critical juncture. Textile brands are presented with a unique opportunity to set the standard for fact-based communication regarding their sustainability engagements. Trimco Group's ProductDNA® stands ready to support fashion brands and e-commerce platforms in this endeavor, providing a robust framework to navigate regulatory complexities and ensure the integrity of their green claims.

Struggling with social and environmental compliance monitoring, greenwashing, and backing up green claims? Get in touch with our team.

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