Today, we’re going to look at the history of Zara, its parent company Inditex, and the fashion industry in general, to see how it became possible to create such a high churn rate in the fashion industry.
An average American will throw away 77 pounds of clothing every year. And that’s true across the majority of the western world. That is two suitcases of clothes, just dumped.
Zara’s first store opened in 1975, in a city called A Coruna in northern Spain. Owners Amancio Ortega and Rosalia Mera had wanted to name it after a favorite Greek film called Zorba the Greek, but a bar on their street had already beat them to the punch, so they settled for Zara, since they had already had the letters made for the sign.
Inditex was set up in 1985 as holding company for Zara and the manufacturing plants. They went on to set up and take-over many other high-street brands that follow Zara’s format; such as Pull and Bear, Bershka and Stradivarius. They now have over 6000 stores globally.
Zara’s early business model was to create similar copies to high end lines but at an affordable price. As they expanded through Spain, Ortega pushed the idea of instant fashion, where Zara could react incredibly quickly to new trends so they could put new lines on the shelves in a fraction of the normal time.
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