Online fashion giant Zalando has launched a Care & Repair program, starting with pilots in Germany as of this month. There are plans to launch the program in other European markets as well. Sweden and Poland are possible prospects, since customers from these countries wear repaired clothes most often, Zalando’s new survey finds.
The service offers customers a digital platform where they can make appointments with local dressmakers for repairs. The program is in cooperation with London startup and retail app Save Your Wardrobe, which offers a similar online repair service. For extra convenience, items can be shipped and returned to the customer by Zalando’s own logistics team. The Care & Repair program pilots in Berlin this month and will soon enter Düsseldorf. Other markets are to follow in the future. Which market will be next, is not disclosed.
Sweden and Poland often wear repaired clothes
In a survey by Zalando last year, nearly 60 percent of customers said clothing repair is important, but less than half of them actually mend their clothes. A new inquiry by the company surveyed over five thousand Zalando as well as non-Zalando customers from five European countries: Germany, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands and France.
Over 60 percent of customers in Sweden wear repaired clothing.
Sweden is the European frontrunner when it comes to upkeep: over 60 percent of people wear clothing repaired by themselves or with some help, with Poland being a close second. In the Netherlands, Germany and France nearly half of customers wear mended items.
While customers in Sweden like to repair damages themselves (almost 30 percent), other European shoppers look for outside help. Polish respondents go to friends and family the most, while Dutch customers are most likely to visit a professional repair shop.
Closer connection with customers
“While it is clear that there is a growing desire across all markets to use mending and proper maintenance as a way to prolong the life of wardrobe staples, there are also roadblocks in knowledge and accessibility that still create a gap between attitudes and behavior”, Zalando says about the findings.
‘We aim to be the starting point for fashion.’
The Care & Repair program wants to fill this gap, as well as build a closer connection with customers: “We aim to be the starting point for fashion, but through projects like this we are moving this relationship a step further to help our customers take care of their items so that well-loved pieces can remain wardrobe staples for as long as possible”, the company states in their press release.
The program is part of Zalando’s broader sustainability campaign, with the goal to extend the life of at least 50 million items by 2023. In the same vein, the leading fashion platform launched a category for second-hand items on their website last year. The range has since grown from 20 thousand to 200 thousand items, the company said to Reuters.
Zalando wants to extend the life of at least 50 million items by 2023.
In addition, Zalando will be disclosing more information about the materials of their products. Alongside H&M Group, the company recently invested in Infinited Fiber, a Finnish producer of biodegradable fibre from textile waste.
Revenue grew 20 percent despite lockdowns
In spite of negative effects on the fashion market due to the pandemic, Zalando’s net profit more than doubled to 226 million euros in 2020. Their revenue grew around 20 percent to 1.8 billion euros in the third quarter. According to the company, the growth came from increased online spending during lockdown.