February 1, 2024

Case study/ ZARA pioneers UK fashion deliveries by cargo bike

Harriet Hird

ZARA pioneers UK fashion deliveries by cargo bike

Global fashion retailer ZARA teamed up with Zedify in 2022 in a pioneering move to make urban parcel deliveries over 90% lower carbon than those using an electric van. Since then, the partnership has rolled out and is now Operating in 10 UK cities. Zedify now delivers to ZARA’s customers in London, Bristol, Cambridge, Brighton, Manchester and Norwich, making the service the biggest of its kind in the UK.

UK-wide, cargo bike logistics is being adopted at pace, with other retailers from Amazon to Ikea also using the pedal-assist vehicles, citing substantial efficiency gains on cost and carbon. Following a £5m investment from Barclays and others, Zedify’s network of city microhubs is growing quickly, giving ZARA an opportunity to further expand its reach for parcel deliveries by cargo bike.

Why use cargo bikes for ZARA’s fashion deliveries?

Cargo bikes are manoeuvrable light electric vehicles that can carry up to 200kg of goods at a time – with studies showing that’s typically the maximum load a conventional delivery van carries over the course of one congested, urban route. The partnership is a smart way for ZARA’s customers to receive their parcels quickly, reliably and at a competitive rate; Zedify’s riders can access clean air zones and use cycle lanes to avoid traffic, saving time and cost.

ZARA began a trial with Zedify in London in July 2022, and began to roll out the service across the UK in April 2023. Consumer expectations, minimizing cost and decarbonising the supply chain are the big drivers for ZARA’S decision to make the switch to cargo bike logistics. Customer experience is famously poor in the UK logistics sector. Zedify addresses this with an intuitive technology platform and by employing its riders and paying a real Living Wage. ZARA customers at the doorstep are impressed that their parcels arrive by bike.

To hit net zero, fashion retail is looking to decarbonise the last mile

Zedify’s research shows that cargo bikes emit over 90% less CO2 per parcel compared to electric vans. If the UK is going to hit its net zero targets, the whole retail and logistics ecosystem needs to embrace delivery models with the greatest impact on decarbonisation. With this new service, ZARA is paving the way for fashion brands to embrace the future of sustainable deliveries. Many retailers are focussing solely on the upstream of their supply chain: tackling the credentials of product manufacture and fair labour, and are yet to bring last mile deliveries into their sights. But as consumers continue to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to green credentials, ZARA’s switch to cargo bike deliveries is proving to be a smart choice for both business, for people, and for the planet.