Z-era is a speculative design project attempting to open a discussion tackling an issue of the wasteful apparel industry. The title Z-era is to bring to mind multiple concepts such as zero-waste or Zara the clothing brand itself or generation Z, which are important in terms of the future of this industry. As it is widely known, clothing and textiles make up a huge percentage of general waste pollution on our planet. One of the reasons for it is the popularity of fast fashion in developed countries. 

Existing negative socio-economic effects by the Apparel Industry

According to the report of Ajuntament de Barcelona on trends and tendencies in the textile industry in Catalunya dating a couple of years back, it is already noticeable that producers are starting to see the potential of localizing their production. Our project concentrates both around existing negative practices that we follow, as well as an overall condition of the second-hand apparel industry in our everyday life. We chose the territory of Spain as a scope for our research, concentrating on Inditex as an example of a big producer of new clothing and putting aside Humana, which is a foundation responsible for a chain of second-hand stores, present all over Spain. 

Statistics on Second Hand Shopping

Comparative Analysis :

Compartive Analysis of Inditex store & Humana

Based on our perception, we analyzed carefully the differences between Humana facilities and Inditex stores concerning spatial arrangement, collection drives, the profile of a regular employee, and the source of goods that we could find in both of them. Then we proceeded to compare the scale of a country, concentrating more on quantitative data such as the number of facilities in Spain overall, average floor footprint, cost per square meter, and finally the global revenue per square meter. 

Spatial, Collection drives & Brand comparisons

Employee Duties

Our goal became very clear. Putting more pressure into incentivizing changes in the apparel world is crucial to the condition of our planet. We stated that in order to trigger them, it is wise to act locally. Foment de Ciutat is an administrative body of Ajuntament de Barcelona that promotes and coordinates all public authorities and private entities regarding the local social, economic and cultural development. They have a real impact on policymaking, regulation introduction, and tendency surveillance. 

Proposition :

We see potential in collaborating with Foment de Ciutat in order to impose on big brands to take more responsible actions and ultimately to reduce their impact on the environment to the essential minimum. The proposal is to introduce the new policy based on a concept of shared retail area. Any big brand would be obliged to devote 50% of its retail area to either locally produced goods or second-hand products. This, very simple on the first glimpse intervention can lead to multiple different scenarios. The mission is not to take sides and judge which of them is the best or the most efficient. We want to open a discussion about where changes in this wasteful industry can start. About what we can do on our local scale and finally… Why don’t we do it???


Z-Era: Tackling the Apparel Industry  is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed  Master in City and Technology in 2021/2022
Students: Kishwerniha Buhari, Weronika Sojka & Yohan Wadia
Faculty: Nicolay Boyadjiev