The world's largest fashion company isn't Kering or LVMH. Nope, it's Inditex, the Spanish powerhouse behind fast-fashion monolith Zara and Business of Fashion got to go pull back the veil and see what makes this giant tick.
In just 40 years, Inditex has blown up and covers basically every corner of the globe. It owns Zara, Massimo Dutti and six other brands, and produces just short of 1 BILLION garments per year comprised of 50,000 designs in two deliveries per week, all year long. BOF focuses on this scale in relation to the planet. When you're that big and use that many materials, whether artificial or natural, the effect is enormous. Apparently, if every Inditex-owned store left on a light overnight, it would add up to nine years of electricity. Jesus fucking Christ.
To combat that environmental damage, Inditex doesn't buy materials in bulk ahead of time. Instead, it uses scores and scores of data to determine which products are actually selling and uses customer feedback to determine which pieces to make more of. Then, it uses its factories to turn out and get them to stores in less than three weeks, which, in the fashion world, is basically lightspeed. This model means that fewer items hit sale racks and, thus, lessens the waste the company produces. And guess what? It also makes a hell of a lot more money.
The photo above is of Inditex's data center that monitors literally every single action—sale or anything else—in its stores around the world. That's just a small taste of the sheer scale of the operation. It's truly awe-inspiring and helps you understand how Zara conquered your girlfriend's closet.