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Revolutionizing the way young people engage, innovate and transform the fashion industry

26 April 2021

By 2023, a new joint initiative by Zalando and JA Europe, called "Fashion Goes Next", will revolutionise the way young people engage, innovate and transform the fashion industry.

Over the course of the partnership, an expected 100,000 young people from underserved communities and disadvantaged groups across Europe will be empowered to transform the fashion industry. The initiative focuses on diversity and inclusion, with the aim of providing young people the opportunity to gain a real-life experience and build the attitudes, skills and mind-sets across a generation of young entrepreneurs, innovators and consumers who wants change.

A pilot project has been launched in 7 countries: more than 350 students from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, supported by more than 50 Zalando volunteers, will participate in a series of virtual hackathons in April and May 2021. During these intensive idea generation camps, the students will be asked to come up with proposals to revolutionize the fashion industry. The winners of the national hackathons will compete at a European final later on 26 May 2021, and three finalists will be invited to the Zalando Diversity and Inclusion Conference, in fall 2021. 

Salvatore Nigro, CEO of JA Europe, said: “Through this partnership, JA Europe and Zalando will offer young people a platform to advance new skills, develop their creativity and as importantly, get their voice heard from fashion leaders! The essence of fashion is creativity, innovation and beauty. Adding today’s opportunities from technology, we are very excited to inspire young Europeans and the fashion industry alike.”

Vikki Leach, Zalando Director of Diversity & Inclusion, said: “Diversity and inclusion are important for us as a company to understand and serve our diverse customer base. As Europe’s leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle we know that together with our partners and customers we can drive positive change in the whole industry. I am thrilled to have JA Europe on board as a strong partner and am very much looking forward to the smart and creative ideas of the students competing in our hackathon series, helping us shape the future of fashion.”

About JA Europe

JA Europe is the largest non-profit in Europe dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship. JA Europe is a member of JA Worldwide® which for 100 years has delivered hands on, experiential learning in entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. JA creates pathways for employability, job creation and financial success. Last school year, the JA network in Europe reached almost 4 million young people across 40 countries with the support of nearly 100,000 business volunteers and over 140,000 teachers/educators.

About Zalando

Zalando is Europe’s leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle. Founded in Berlin in 2008, we bring head-to-toe fashion to more than 38 million active customers in 17 markets, offering clothing, footwear, accessories, and beauty. The assortment of international brands ranges from world famous names to local labels. Our platform is a one-stop fashion destination for inspiration, innovation, and interaction. As Europe’s most fashionable tech company, we work hard to find digital solutions for every aspect of the fashion journey: for our customers, partners and every valuable player in the Zalando story. Our vision is to be the Starting Point for Fashion and a sustainable platform with a net-positive impact for people and the planet.

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