Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 28, 2013 05:51 PM
Hazardous conditions at Indian garment factories serving the U.S. and European markets have been highlighted by another tragedy.
Mixed amid the debris of a deadly blaze at the reportedly unlicensed Smart Export Garments factory on Saturday in a densely populated area of Dhaka, Bangladesh were charred clothing from European brands, including two owned by Spanish retail behemoth Inditex, owner of Zara. Government officials are investigating reports that the sole emergency exit at the factory was locked. Up to 300 employees were working when the fire broke out, and most died from asphyxiation.
Other labels visible in the Smart factory damage included French brands Sol’s, Scott and Fox and G Blog by Gemo along with Inditex’s Leftie’s and Bershka, German low-cost brand KIK and even a purchase order by New York’s M. Hidary & Company for Hawaiian Authentics swimwear, according to The New York Times and Agence-France Presse.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 23, 2013 06:32 PM
Efforts to curb overfishing of the world's most popular species are reaching deeper into supermarkets and fast-food menus.
The UK grocery Sainsbury’s will begin a “Switch the Fish” campaign on Friday, giving away seven tons of such “sustainable fish” as lemon sole, mussels, Cornish sardines and coley fillets, Marketing magazine reports.
To make the campaign ongoing, Sainsbury’s has also trained its fish counter employees at 495 stores about sustainability, TheDrum.com said.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 23, 2013 03:58 PM
It’s been slightly more than a year since Coca-Cola failed quite publicly in attempting to help fight climate change — an effort that made plenty of consumers unhappy with the beverage company's embrace of a controversial political cause.
But Coke hasn't backed down, continuing its partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to help keep the Arctic ice intact and protected from melting — and help save its iconic polar bear.
To help the cause, Coke will hand over $4 million to the WWF for its Arctic Home project over the next three years. Further, 300 million Coke products will feature the image of a mother polar bear and her two cubs, according to a press release from the nonprofit Responding to Climate Change.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 14, 2013 07:43 PM
The Coca-Cola Company on Monday evening began airing a two-minute spot (watch below) on U.S. cable news networks. The subject, in a first for the company: America's obesity debate, in a bid to defend its brands ahead of looming beverage size controls in New York City and Cambridge, Mass.
The world's biggest beverage company debuted the "Coming Together" commercial during a prime-time ad buy on the highest-rated shows on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC "in hopes of flexing its marketing muscle in the debate over sodas and their impact on public health," the Associated Press reported. The theme ties into the company's "Live Positively" and "Open Happiness" campaigns.
"The well-being of our families and communities concerns everyone," Coca-Cola describes the spot. "And finding a solution will take continued effort from all of us. Watch to learn more about how we can all make a real difference. At Coca-Cola, we believe when people come together good things happen." A URL at the end of the spot promotes a website, coca-cola.com/cometogether, for more information.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 10, 2012 12:57 PM
When UNIQLO CEO Tadashi Yanai set his sights on the US in 2007, the fast-fashion retailer that combined the back-to-basics approach of American Apparel, the competitive pricing of Old Navy, and the foreign edge of a Zara or H&M, was already "a retail juggernaut in Japan, with 760 stores in six countries, 20,000 employees, and earnings of US$ 3.5 billion in 2004," as we noted.
The Fast Retailing Co.-owned brand, whose name is derived from "unique clothes," is now the leading global Japanese retail holding company (and Yanai its richest citizen), posting global sales of 820 billion yen for its 2011 fiscal year, making it the world’s fourth largest apparel retail company and a true innovator thanks to its Heattech heat-generating fabric.
That innovation is now being turned to help individuals affected by Super Storm Sandy as the northeastern US braces for winter cold. The brand announced today that it has just kicked off United in Warmth to bring about just that. The 10-week program will donate and distribute 100,000 Heattech items to men, women and children and 10,000 Ultra Light Down jackets to adults affected by Sandy through a 10-week volunteer program on Saturdays, holding true to its brand commitment of “changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 7, 2012 03:21 PM
As countries like Bangladesh move up the food chain from aid to trade, the global eco-system fueling the fire, literally and figuratively, is largely the retail fashion industry, feeding the western world’s insatiable appetite for fashion.
The November 24th factory blaze that killed 112 garment workers in an illegal factory in Bangladesh showed the world, as Reuters puts it, that “pressure from big Western brands to produce huge volumes of apparel fast and at rock-bottom prices, [is making] Bangladeshi suppliers routinely sub-contract their orders.”
As the victims — many of them young women and mothers, all of them poor — are mourned and the Clean Clothes Campaign organizes vigils at C&A and beyond as part of a bigger shame campaign for brands whose labels were found in the ashes, what’s really on trial, as the New York Times points out in a scathing article today, is ethical sourcing and a severely out-of-balance equation claiming the lives of impoverished workers with no options.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2012 12:02 PM
Starbucks execs likely haven’t had to caffeinate to get energized for the job ahead of them in the United Kingdom, even as they promote the annual 12 Days of Gifting and a holiday promotion via LivingSocial.
Sales are declining in the market, customers aren’t happy, and a House of Commons committee report singled out the brand along with other multinationals for avoiding taxes.
Starbucks has made £1.3 billion ($2 billion) in the UK over the last three years but has shelled out no corporate taxes in that same time, reportedly paying only £8.6 million ($13.7 million) in UK income tax since 1998.
The company claimed that it was losing money on its paperwork while telling investors that it had a profitable business in the UK, and chairman and CEO Howard Schulz reassured British customers of the company's commitment to the UK.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 30, 2012 12:25 PM
Earlier this year, Procter & Gamble moved the global headquarters of its beauty and baby-care business and the Pampers brand to Singapore from corporate headquarters in Cincinnati. Now, the CPG giant wants to make Singapore its worldwide capital for manufacturing of water-purification products.
In fact, P&G has just announced a lofty goal for the Purifier of Water plant that it is scaling up in Singapore: to cleanse enough drinking water to "save one life every hour by 2020" somewhere on the planet. The powder is a mini water purification plant in a packet. The small packets, when stirred into water, causes heavy metals, dirt and parasites to bind together then fall to the bottom of the container. Strained through a filter cloth and after 20 minutes, the water is drinkable.
P&G has been distributing these packets in more than 65 countries since 2004, attacking the global scarcity of potable water and raising awareness about the problem. Now it's increasing its investment in this commitment with its Singapore plant opening. "We've taken [P&G] innovation power and focused on one of our world's biggest challenges, clean drinking water, a lack of which takes the lives of thousands of children every day," stated P&G CEO Bob McDonald.Continue reading...