Clothes sold, purchased and returned several times on websites, packages of clothes that travel thousands of kilometers between Europe and China, without costs for the buyer and with negligible costs for the manufacturing company, but with enormous environmental damage: this is what emerged from the investigation conducted by the Investigative Unit of Greenpeace Italia which for almost two months, in collaboration with the television program Report, traced the journeys made by some clothing items from the fast-fashion sector purchased and returned via e-commerce platforms.
The report entitled "Fashion on the go. The hidden cost of online returns: the thousand turns of fast-fashion that pollutes the planet" was partly anticipated in the program broadcast last night on Rai 3.
To conduct the investigation, 24 items of clothing on the e-commerce platforms of eight of the main companies in the sector: Amazon, Temu, Zalando, Zara, H&M, Ovs, Shein and Asos.
Before making the returns, Greenpeace eReport hid a GPS tracker in each dress, acquiring a lot of information.
In 58 days, the parcels traveled a total of around 100 thousand kilometers across 13 European countries and China.
On average, the distance traveled by delivered products was 4,502 kilometres;
the shortest route was 1,147 km, the longest 10,297 km.
The most used means of transport was the truck, followed by plane, van and ship.
The 24 items of clothing were sold and resold a total of 40 times, with an average of 1.7 sales per dress, and returned 29 times.
To date, 14 out of 24 garments (equal to 58%) have not yet been resold.
The average environmental impact of transporting each delivered order corresponds to 2.78 kg of CO2 equivalent, emissions on which packaging accounts for approximately 16%.
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