Best Global Green Brands 2014

corporate citizenship

US Retailers Detail Implementation of Controversial Bangladesh Safety Plan

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 21, 2013 12:54 PM

Walmart, Gap and other US retailers met yesterday in Chicago to implement their controversial, independent Bangladesh factory safety plan that was created after multiple factory accidents, including the Rana Plaza collapse in April that claimed more than 1,100 workers, spurred global outrage. 

20 US retailers including Macy's and Target, as well as new signatories Costco, Intradeco Apparel and Jordache Enterprises make up the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. The group, which formed a separate safety plan from the European retailer-dominated Accord on Bangladesh Building and Fire Safety, has pledged to have safety standards in place by Sept. 10, and has reportedly already dispursed $45 million in funds in part to hire safety inspection staff in Bangladesh.

The five-year, voluntary plan agrees to train workers and inspect factories while requiring Bangladesh factory owners to pay for safety renovations, though the Alliance will provide $100 million in low-cost loans.

The plan has come under fire due to its non-binding nature—an attribute that was top-of-mind in the European-based agreement, which was signed by over 70 global retailers including H&M, Inditex and Primark.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Disney, Fox, L'Oreal and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 16, 2013 09:23 AM

In the News

Disney readies for risky Disney Infinity debut this weekend. 

Fox plans weekend debut of new sports channel.

L'Oreal makes $843 million takeover bid for China's Magic Holdings

Acura teams with Thrillist for MDX experience.

Al Jazeera promises fewer than usual commercials.

Apple tightens App Store rules on kids' data. 

Boeing traces trail of faulty fire extinguishers in 787s.

Cadillac lures Clint Eastwood to concept-car reveal.

Cosi changes operational approach as chain struggles.

Google ticks off marketers with Gmail overhaul as it blocks Microsoft's YouTube Windows app. 

H&M may source clothing from Ethiopia.

IBM buys security firm to further plans of Israeli cybersecurity lab. 

JetBlue partners with British Airways.Continue reading...

e-commerce

H&M Makes Fashionably Late Online Debut in US

Posted by Brittany Waterson on August 7, 2013 08:03 PM

At last, Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M has launched an e-commerce site for eager American shoppers. After much anticipation and several delays, the site launched on August 1, while there are already online shops set up in Sweden, the UK and other global markets.

With 269 stores in the US, the addition of online shopping will only bolster the popularity and success of the world's second largest fashion retailer, which has a presence in 48 countries. 

"We are thrilled to launch online shopping in the U.S.," Daniel Kulle, US President for H&M said in a press release. "This significant milestone fully rounds out H&M's multichannel offering. Along with close to 300 stores, our US customers will now have twenty-four hour access to the best of our fashion and home collections via their computers, smartphones, and tablets from anywhere in the US."Continue reading...

brands under fire

Lululemon Has No Interest in Plus-Size Consumers, Insiders Say

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 1, 2013 03:47 PM

Lululemon Athletica is becoming quite the newsmaker. Since the yoga apparel brand made headlines back in March after pulling its proprietary 'luon' yoga pants off shelves due to "sheerness," the company can't seem to stay out of the limelight.

After ousting its chief product officer, losing its CEO and being berated by disappointed customers, the brand is now under fire again for an offense that has become a common topic among today's clothing giants. In an article by The Huffington Post, former Lululemon employees accused the brand of purposely shunning plus-size customers, relegating larger-sized apparel to a "heap" in the backs of stores.

While most of the merchandise was displayed "out on the floor, hung on the walls, or folded neatly in cabinets," larger sizes, such as 10s and 12s, were not stocked on those same shelves, and were rarely offered in the latest styles and prints. "All the other merchandise in the store was kind of sacred, but these were thrown in a heap," former employee Elizabeth Licorish told HuffPost. "It was definitely discriminatory to those who wear larger sizes."Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

Rihanna Tops Topshop in Lawsuit as Celebrity Endorsements Become More Trivial

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 31, 2013 07:37 PM

Rihanna may have had a business relationship with UK retailer Topshop and its parent company, Arcadia, but that didn’t stop her from suing the company when it used an image of her on a T-shirt that hadn’t been approved by her or her legal team. The image wasn’t particularly racy or suggestive and certainly didn’t make her look bad. The problem was that it was a little too close to images found on one of her album covers. 

The court has agreed with Rihanna’s take on the situation and now she’ll be claiming another chunk of change on her taxes next year. One imagines that Topshop execs aren’t talking about how sweet the singer is and how much they’d like to rebuild that business relationship.

Rihanna had sued the retailer for $5 million but the BBC reports that there may be another hearing to figure out the level of damages. Not that she needs the cash. According to Forbes, Rihanna pulled in $43 million from June 2012 to 2013 and is the 13th most-powerful celebrity on the planet.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Walmart-Backed Alliance Vows to Fix Bangladesh, but Critics Fear Lack of Liability

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 10, 2013 04:12 PM

An alliance of 17 North American brands led by Walmart, Gap and Target has unveiled the details of its independent Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative—a five-year pact that aims to improve conditions at Bangladesh garment factories and establish more viable worker communications. 

The plan is the counter to the ILO-supported Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, which is supported by over 70 brands, the majority of which are European. Led by two of the world's largest retailers, Inditex, owner of Zara, and H&M, the Accord includes plans for coordinated building inspections, and a broad network of support and accountability including factory owners, trade unions, government officials and brand leaders.

The apparent divide has been debated since the Rana Plaza factory building collapsed in April, killing 1,129 people. Now, with both documents in hand, it seems the only major difference is accountability—the same factor that drove Walmart, Gap and others to walk away from the legally-binding Accord.Continue reading...

sustainability

Brands Pursue Sustainability through Circular Economy Initiative

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 2, 2013 12:51 PM

Business leaders, academics and innovators came together at the first annual Circular Economy 100 Summit in London recently to create a "global wrap-up" of the most current thinking on circular economics and accelerate the transition to that model over a three year period.

An initiative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the goal is to “inspire a generation to rethink, redesign and build a positive future through the vision of a circular economy” as an alternative to our current traditional linear economy—make, use, dispose.

Dame Ellen MacArthur said about the launch of her Foundation in 2010, “if we don't have an entire generation of young people leaving education realizing what's possible, seeing what's possible, and then seizing what's possible, this cannot happen at the scale that's needed.”Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: KFC, Honest Tea, Myspace and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 13, 2013 09:16 AM

In the News

KFC drags down May results for Yum! Brands in China.

Honest Tea predicts over $100 million in sales in 2013.

Myspace runs first TV ad in revival bid.

Airbus takeoff of A350 pressures Boeing.

Amazon's Kindle debuts in India

Apollo Tyres of India buys Cooper Tires for $2.5 billion.

Audi develops "road frustration index" as it sees new sedan variant becoming best-selling version of its A3.

BMW is sued by US over criminal background checks in hiring.

Burger King faces PR mess in razor-blade mishap.

Cosi CEO resigns.

ESPN pulls plug on 3-D channel.Continue reading...

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