Zalando, the German online fashion retailer, has responded to allegations of racism within the company by launching a diversity drive. The investigation into these allegations, which was initiated in June, was prompted by former art director Fernando Torres, who accused Zalando of failing to address complaints made in 2018 regarding employees who refused to book black models and made derogatory comments about their skin tone.

In light of the global outcry against racism following the tragic death of George Floyd, many companies have felt compelled to take action against discrimination and increase diversity in their workforce. Zalando is now dedicated to using more brands associated with black and other minority groups as a means to combat discrimination.

Although the investigation was unable to substantiate the central allegations, Zalando did uncover instances of language and behavior that were perceived as insensitive or discriminatory. Consequently, the company will be implementing mandatory anti-discrimination and communication training for its employees. It has also reviewed its image and influencer guidelines to ensure the representation of black individuals and other alternative identities and lifestyles.

Moreover, Zalando will prioritize efforts to diversify its supplier base in order to support more black and minority-owned brands. The company has also updated its whistleblowing guidance, encouraging employees to report any incidents of discrimination they may witness.

Zalando’s commitment to addressing discrimination and increasing diversity is a positive step forward. By actively working to include marginalized groups and supporting brands that have traditionally been underrepresented, the company is taking a stand against racism within the fashion industry. It is crucial that other companies follow suit and make meaningful changes to combat discrimination in all of its forms.

Useful links:
1. Zalando – Official website of Zalando for more information.
2. Business of Fashion – A reputable source for the latest fashion industry news and insights.