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Zalando’s Commitment to Integration

Successful Measures for the Integration of Refugees

August 30th, 2018
Ilaria Zornada, News from Berlin
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The Hello Festival, 2016

Founded in 2008 in Berlin, Zalando SE is the most innovative online fashion platform in Europe. They support fashion that is produced, consumed and sold in a responsible manner.

Their strong belief led them to win the Deutscher CSR-Preis in 2016  for Zalando’s commitment in the special category, “Successful Measures for the Integration of Refugees.”

They make an important contributions to tackling social challenges and offer direct and local support to social projects and initiatives. Integration, for them, is very important, so they are taking an innovative approach to this core topic.

The Hello Festival
The festival aims to find internationally successful integration solutions and wants to bring effective ideas from all over the world to Germany.

They wanted to get in contact with refugees and help them integrate into society. To organize these events, they teamed up with non-governmental organizations and around 30 other partners supported them in bringing to Berlin 13 of the most successful social entrepreneurs in the integration of refugees from around the world.

In March 2016, they presented their solutions to more than 3,000 local experts, multipliers and citizens at the three-day Hello Festival and showed how they have already successfully worked with hundreds of thousands of locals and refugees across the world.

Employees and partners also donated almost EUR 250,000 for the “Integration Innovation Fund.” With this, Zalando wants to support social entrepreneurs in spreading their ideas about a better integration in Germany together with local partners.

Hello Again: The Hello Accelerator
A year after the Hello Festival, they launched the Hello Accelerator together with Ashoka to support ten local organizations in the promotion of internationally successful integration solutions.

The main focus of the program is to adapt these solutions to local requirements and to support the organizations by further developing their vision, strategy, performance measurement and forging of strategic partnerships.

Ashoka and Zalando both contribute their respective expertise on impact orientation and scaling. Between the events, the social entrepreneurs also had the chance to participate in coaching activities, such as one-to-one discussions, group sessions and mentoring formats.


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