Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 13, 2012 02:01 PM
Following in the wake of Zara's capitulation, Levi’s is now the 11th brand to bow to pressure from Greenpeace's global Detox campaign. The denim giant has committed to eliminate releases of all hazardous chemicals throughout its supply chains and products. Still being pressured: Calvin Klein, Gap, and Victoria’s Secret as part of the green campaigner's goal “to expose brands until the use - and abuse - of hazardous substances is totally eliminated.”
The world’s largest denim brand, has agreed to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout its entire supply chain and products by 2020. The commitment comes eight days after Greenpeace launched its “Toxic Threads: Under Wraps” report targeting global fashion brands releasing toxins in Mexico's rivers, resulting in a digital groundswell with more than 210,000 people calling on Levi’s to Detox, tens of thousands taking action on Facebook and Twitter, and over 700 people protesting outside Levi’s shop fronts in over 80 cities worldwide.
As part of its Zero Discharge Commitment, Levi’s (as outlined in a blog post) will start requiring 15 of its largest suppliers in China, Mexico and elsewhere in the Global South to disclose pollution data as early as June 2013, followed by compliance from 25 additional major suppliers by the end of 2013.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 13, 2012 12:11 PM
The two billion people who watched the 12-12-12 concert for Hurricane Sandy relief at New York’s Madison Square on Wednesday night may have tuned in (or streamed) for the chance to see music legends — Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, the Who, Roger Waters, Chris Martin, Michael Stipe, Dave Grohl, Alicia Keys, Eddie Vedder — but the heart of the show was the stories of people whose lives were impacted by Sandy, and who were asking the world to care and help.
As the Los Angeles Times commented, “Critiquing the broadcast of the 12-12-12 Sandy benefit concert on Wednesday night is like assessing the food at a bake sale: Maybe the muffins are oversalted or the cookies are stale, but that's not the point. The point is charity and drawing attention to the cause.”
So kudos to Madison Square Garden (and New York Knicks) owner Cablevision, not to mention Clear Channel, Miramax's Harvey Weinstein, Chase, State Farm and other sponsors and volunteers for putting on a story-driven night of music and social compassion (the #121212concert hashtag is still lively on Twitter) to raise proceeds for the Robin Hood Relief Fund.
And in a similar (if less glitzy) vein, the American Red Cross has some stories it would like to share with you, too.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 12, 2012 10:18 AM
In April, GODIVA Chocolatier launched its Lady Godiva Program, honoring inspirational women on a local and national level who embody the original Lady Godiva’s selflessness, generosity and leadership as seen above.
Every two years, GODIVA selects a National Lady GODIVA Honoree and this year its first recipient is Lauren Bush Lauren, Co-Founder of FEED Projects, whose non-profit has provided over 60 million school meals to children living in 62 countries throughout the world through the United Nationals WFP since the launch.
GODIVA committed to sell one-of-a-kind FEED 10 bags, with each providing 10 school meals to children in cocoa-producing regions, and most recently, launched exclusive limited edition products like the FEED 8 Origins Collection of chocolates, where for each box sold, 8 meals will be donated to children in Ecuador and Uganda.
“The Lady GODIVA Program takes this notion of giving one step further. With the creation of the Lady GODIVA Program, we will honor outstanding women that make a difference both on a national and local level as well as the causes that matter most to women,” says Jim Goldman, President & CEO, GODIVA Chocolatier.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 11, 2012 12:19 PM
Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Meet Monty, Porter and Ginny — three dogs trained by Mark Vette to drive cars in a novel partnership between a local SPCA branch in New Zealand and the automaker that puts a whole new spin on "adoption drive."
The cruising canines were selected by SPCA Auckland as the first crew for the Driving Dogs campaign, and started training two months ago with MINI New Zealand's instructors. Beginning with mock car controls, Monty (the Neil Armstong of the group) graduated to a real car where he spent hours behind the wheel – much like any nervous teenager, practicing his driving skills, while accompanied by a human instructor.
This week, Monty drove the car on his own on Campbell Live on New Zealand television, and social media exploded.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 Sheila Shayon on December 7, 2012 12:25 PM
Having taken Zara to task as part of its Detox/Toxic Threads campaign, Greenpeace is now turning the spotlight on the Levi’s brand.
This week, the eco-activists rolled out a multimedia campaign that included bringing 16 living mannequins to stage a protest outside the brand’s flagship store in San Francisco. Their demand: that the world’s largest maker of jeans (with sales of $4.8 billion in 2011) eliminate hazardous chemicals from their supply chain. The tactics: turning the denim giant's global Go Forth "marketing platform"— which was inspired by Walt Whitman's "O Pioneers" poem — against the brand.
Campaigners are using the language of "Go Forth" against the brand. Greenpeace is mimicking its graphic style and hashtag (#goforth) with its own #detox tag for a "#GoForth and #Detox!" message. The platform's "This is our time" tagline has turned into "Now is Your Time," in addition to co-opting other Levi's brand attributes (see the Pinterest/Facebook-ready "501 reasons to detox" infographic, below) to encourage the company to live up to its high-minded, noble mesaging.
Levi's is listening.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 6, 2012 06:15 PM
Fashion retailers are embracing sustainability with ever-widening arms, becoming increasingly accountable for the byproducts their industry creates. With their latest moves, H&M and Marks & Spencer (M&S as it's better known) are leading the rack-pack.
Following in the footsteps of the UK-wide recycling push launched by M&S earlier this year, H&M is planning to launch the world’s first global clothing collective initiative, to be introduced in all of its 48 markets in February.
According to the fast-fashion retailer's press release, “Any pieces of clothing, from any brand and in any condition are accepted. In return, the customer will receive a voucher for each bag brought. The collected clothes are then handled by H&M’s partner, I:Collect, which provides the infrastructure in which consumer goods are repeatedly reprocessed and made available for new use."
“Our sustainability efforts are rooted in a dedication to social and environmental responsibility. We want to do good for the environment, which is why we are now offering our customers a convenient solution: to be able to leave their worn out or defective garments with H&M,” stated H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson.
No value was stated for the voucher H&M is offering in return for donations to in-store collection boxes to be processed by I:CO, as its Swiss recycling partner is branded; its tagline is "Rethink. Recycle. Reward."Continue reading...