Is ZARA a cool brand ?

Zara is certainly a rich brand for its founders Spaniards Amancio Ortega and Rosalia Mera and their heirs. 2ara rakes in nearly $19 billion in annual revenues according to its Wikipedia profile.

The Fast Fashion Retail giant, a global conglomerate with headquarters in Spain, is a brand much revered in many corridors the world over. Founded in 1975 by Spaniards Amancio Ortega and Rosalia Mera, the company boasts 3,000 or more brick and mortar stores across the globe including in countries like Singapore, Australia, Mexico, Romania, France, USA, Costa Rica, Morocco and South Africa. Even more store openings are being planned as we speak. And their store footprint is being expanded even further with its launch of its e-commerce platform in 2010.

The brand has come a long way since 1988 when the first store outside of Spain which happened to be in Portugal, was opened.

Who doesn’t love Zara? Probably nobody. Everybody loves Zara in one way shape or form. From its sustainable sweatshirts, to the famous polka dot dress of 2019 to its pretty pearl embellished winter white sweaters, everybody is enamored with everything Brand Zara and its viral fashion DNA. For most shoppers around the world – and this includes men, women and children – Zara is a cool brand.

It is the world’s biggest and most profitable fashion retailer and its parent company Inditex (owner of Zara, Massima Dutti and Bershka to name a few) and the biggest fashion group in the world leans, heavily on Zara to keep the company in the black.

In 2015 Zara was ranked 30 on a list of 100 best global brands by Interbrand a New York marketing company that ranks companies based on their “presence in at least three major continents” a bill that Zara fits resoundingly, as, except for Antarctica and Africa (sub-Saharan, that is  – and excepting South Africa) the brand is a mastodon that is omnipresent in the retail universe world wide.

Has Zara been criticized over the years? Yes. The company and brand has been accused of everything from anti semitism to being an exploiter of underage children. In its factories in Turkey, accusations have been leveled against Zara that workers are not being paid a fair living wage. Not to mention reports about the environmental impact of some of its productions. Zara has been careful to keep most of the production of its products in countries in Europe and North Africa to avoid the “sweat shop” stereotype of producing in countries like Bangladesh, for example.

The company usually responds to quickly pull merchandise that is offensive to the public including in the way it was produced or the labor practices used to manufacture it. In addition, the company announced its plans to be totally non-toxic by 2020 in terms of chemicals used in the production of its clothing. The company also allows customers to return used clothing to any of its stores for recycling to reduce the landfill pile up that was common in the past. And in 2019 the company announced that it wanted to use only sustainable fabrics to make its clothes by 2025.

Whether or not Zara is  a cool brand depends on who you talk to, obviously. But from the looks of it, the company seems to at least be making an effort.