• Home
  • News
  • Business
  • Zalando plans to remove misleading sustainability labels

Zalando plans to remove misleading sustainability labels



Scroll down to read more


Zalando's headquarters in Berlin Credits: Zalando

According to the EU Commission, online retailer Zalando has committed to removing misleading sustainability labels and symbols from its website.

From 15 April 2024, the symbols, such as leaves or trees, will no longer appear next to the products on offer. This was announced by the Brussels authority on Thursday. The Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) network, which is coordinated by the European Commission, had set its sights on Zalando in 2022.

"After more than a year of intensive work on our customer experience and a close dialogue with the European Commission, we are pleased that we have now reached an agreement: Our proposals to improve the communication of sustainability-related product information to customers have been accepted and the matter has been closed, subject to the implementation of the agreed changes," Zalando said in response to an enquiry from FashionUnited.

Clear information instead of labelling

Instead of the previous labelling, the online retailer wants to provide clear information about the specific product in future, such as the percentage of recycled materials used.

In addition, the previous "sustainability page" is to be revised with the introduction of two new websites – one with further information on product standards and one with information on Zalando's sustainability-related approaches and strategies.

According to EU law, companies must provide consumers with truthful information and must not mislead them in order to influence their decisions.

The company supports a standardised application of the existing guidelines to ensure that customers are not misled by different interpretations, according to a statement from Berlin. Zalando's primary goal is to provide its customers with all the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision.

Zalando is also expected to submit a report documenting the implementation of its obligations. A network of consumer protection organisations - coordinated by the European Commission - will then assess this. If it finds deficiencies, it can impose fines.

"As a range of new/further legislation for the textile sector will be developed in the coming years, we encourage EU policy makers to create a coherent legal framework that not only boosts confidence but also the interest of consumers, while providing legal certainty for businesses," the statement said. "The outcome of our joint agreement with the European Commission is an important first step towards achieving clarity on the presentation of sustainability-related product information for our entire industry."

At Zalando, products were previously labelled with certain symbols if they met one of the company's sustainability criteria, as the company explains on its website. These previously included symbols for ecological or innovative materials, natural ingredients or items without animal testing.(DPA/FashionUnited)

This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.DE. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.