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Asos and Zara Are Trying to Make Fast Fashion Sustainable

Asos and Zara’s latest collections suggest that circularity and carbon are in style.

Fashion e-tailer Asos recently dropped a second circular design capsule of Spring/Summer fashion. The 40-piece apparel and accessories collection arrives as the British digital retailer said it’s testing a partnership with Thrift+, a 7-year-old online platform where consumers can buy and sell secondhand fashion.

The new circular design collection, which builds on Asos’ previous effort in 2020, aims to extend each product’s lifespan and ensure that materials from end-of-life items can be reused to fashion new products.

As part of a larger commitment to sustainability, all styles in the collection are made from recycled, renewable or innovative materials and are based on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation‘s guidelines for a circular fashion economy. Additionally, some of the products were designed using digital 3D technology, which means Asos could reduce production waste by creating fewer physical samples.

“Over the past few years, we’ve been working with our partners and experts to discover how we can be more circular—one of our new 2030 Fashion with Integrity goals,” said Vanessa Spence, Asos commercial design and visual director. “The launch of our second circular design collection, which uses innovative new materials and takes our circular design criteria one step further, is a great moment for us as we continue to develop our expertise in this area.”

Asos Courtesy

The collection spans dresses with cut-out details and oversized color-blocked shirts to loose-fitting boyfriend jeans. Graphics and prints include a mix of retro florals and wavy checkerboard prints. The collection features a palette including burnt orange, lilac and apple green in addition to undyed neutrals and indigo denims.

Meanwhile, Asos customers who sell their unwanted clothes on Thrift+ will receive a credit they can use to donate to charity, purchase pre-owned fashion on the resale site, or redeem for Asos vouchers.

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“We are delighted to support Asos’ progress toward circularity with the launch of this trial,” said Joe Metcalfe, Thrift+ founder. “Making it easy for people to responsibly get unwanted clothing back into circulation is key to making fashion more circular, and it’s hugely exciting that Asos customers will now have the Thrift+ service at their fingertips.”

Zara Launches second limited-edition line of sustainable fashion

While Asos focuses on circularity, Zara takes inspiration from climate-polluting carbon to turn an environmental threat into party-worthy style.

Zara x Lanzatech
Zara Courtesy


The Inditex-owned brand recently released its second limited-edition line of sustainable fashion made from captured carbon emissions. Zara again worked with LanzaTech, whose technology turns carbon emissions into fabric to avoid tapping virgin fossil-fuel resources, to produce the capsule of going-out fashion. The effort marks a milestone for the Spanish brand’s sustainability efforts and builds on its December collection last year.

Zara x Lanzatech
Zara Courtesy

LanzaTech’s approach captures CO2 from industrial, agricultural or domestic waste processes, leveraging a fermentation process to transform the carbon into ethanol, a fundamental component in the production of materials.
LanzaTech‘s technology preserves essential fiber properties like quality and performance. The company went public earlier this year as a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition corporation, when it combined with AMCI Acquisition Corp. II in a deal valued around $2.2 billion.

The collection is available now on Zara’s website.

Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.