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business digital snippets Retail sustainability

ICYMI: Allbirds imposes carbon tax on itself, what Fortnite means for fashion, luxury pledges to rebuild Notre Dame

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Allbirds imposed a carbon tax on itself–and your brand should, too [Fast Company]
  • What Fortnite could mean for fashion [Sourcing Journal]
  • Louis Vuitton and Gucci owners pledge more than $300 million to rebuild Notre Dame after fire [CNBC]
  • London retailers hit out at protesters [Drapers]
  • Can recycling fix fashion’s landfill problem? [BoF]
TECHNOLOGY
  • The high-tech new standard for sampling [Drapers]
  • As supply chains get tech savvy, is cybersecurity keeping pace? [Supply Chain Dive]
  • Some apps use design to trick you into sharing data. A new bill would make that illegal. [Vox]
  • We built an ‘unbelievable’ (but Legal) facial recognition machine [NYT]
  • River Island adds AI tech, claiming it can boost sales by 10% [Fashion Network]
  • H&M harnesses AI to test online tailoring feature [Fashion United]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • How to make sustainable fashion people will actually buy [BoF]
  • Clouds on the horizon: What climate change means for retail [Retail Dive]
  • Everlane’s founder vowed to remove all new plastic from the brand’s supply chain by 2021. Now he has to figure out how [Fast Company]
  • Brioni launches ‘zero-mileage’ sustainable menswear capsule collection [Fashion Network]
  • This new technical fabric replaces polyester with banana plants [Fast Company]
  • How green is your lipstick: beauty brands and the fight against plastic waste [The Guardian]
  • PrettyLittleThing partners with recycling app [Drapers]
  • With millennials in mind, outdoor retailer REI doubles down on rentals and used gear sales [Forbes]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Neiman Marcus invests in luxury reseller Fashionphile, proving power of re-commerce and millennials [Forbes]
  • Offering shoppers new experiences isn’t helping: Malls hit with store closure tsunami, falling traffic [CNBC]
  • The complex link between retail and packaging [Retail Dive]
  • 4 reasons why luxury rentals could be a hit with Chinese millennials [Jing Daily]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Welcome to the new era of high fashion and video game collaborations: Inside Moschino and The Sims partnership [Fortune]
  • More than 100 brands collaborated with Game of Thrones. Here are the best stunts [AdWeek]
PRODUCT
  • Top jewellery CEOs say lab-grown diamonds are fashion, not luxury [Fashion Network]
BUSINESS
  • Valentino revenue growth slowed in 2018 [BoF]
  • Why fashion and beauty brands should take note of Pinterest’s IPO [Vogue Business]
  • Kering shares slide as Gucci’s growth slows [BoF]
CULTURE
  • Gen Z crave a world without borders, boundaries and binaries [WWD]
  • With a rapidly growing market, the trans-masculine community Is forging its own path in fashion [Fashionista]
  • Champion accidentally hit the fashion jackpot [Houston Chronicle]
  • China’s sharing economy now includes make-up, but hygiene doubts are hard to brush off [SCMP]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more. 

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Campaigns Editor's pick product sustainability

5 brands innovating this Earth Day with recycled material launches

Earth Day, an annual event designed to demonstrate support for environmental protection, has seen brands from Adidas to Ralph Lauren introduce new sustainable products this year.

Such announcements come alongside a wave of many marketing-led initiatives. New product lines such as t-shirts and canvas bags are being promoted with proceeds going to various non-profit organizations dedicated to climate change or the environment. While these moves are valid in many instances – apparel brand Tentree for instance will plant one tree for every 10 likes it receives on social media with a goal of 500,000 trees – many others feel too close to pushing the button of consumerism on a day that should be encouraging otherwise.

Here we’ve highlighted five examples where we believe strongly there’s more behind the promotional story. That’s because a new kind of consumerism is being pushed focused on circularity. In all of these announcements, the big focus is on recycled materials, with innovations ranging from an entire shoe made from one single material, to reducing the impact of water, energy and waste, as well as removing plastic bottles from landfills and the oceans.

Arguably none of these are simple in their execution, which is what makes them worth paying attention to as we celebrate this year’s Earth Day.

Adidas
Adidas Futurecraft Loop
Adidas Futurecraft Loop

Adidas presented the “Futurecraft Loop” sneaker, a running shoe made from one single material: 100% recyclable virgin synthetics. This compares to the usual running shoe where 12-15 different materials would be utilized, meaning the same number of recycling techniques would be needed. Here, what we’re looking at by comparison is simplicity when it comes to moving towards a circular economy (hence the use of the word “loop”), because the entire shoe can be recycled in one single process.

When customers return a pair to Adidas, the shoe will be broken down and reused to create new performance running sneakers. The Futurecraft Loop took almost six years to develop, and is set to be released in spring/summer 2021.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Earth Polo
Ralph Lauren Earth Polo

Ralph Lauren launched a version of its iconic polo made from recycled plastic bottles and dyed with a zero-water process. Each “Earth Polo” takes an average of 12 bottles to create, it said. In addition, Ralph Lauren has committed to removing at least 170 million bottles from landfills and oceans by 2025.

Everlane

Tread by Everlane
Tread by Everlane

Everlane announced it will launch a new sneaker called “Tread by Everlane”. Rolling out on April 25, the shoe is made of recycled polyester laces and lining. Its soles are a combination of natural and recycled rubber for a sole that’s 94.2% free of virgin plastic, in contrast with the average sneaker sole made almost entirely of plastic.

Everlane’s sneakers are also carbon-neutral. The brand partnered with a third-party firm to calculate the emissions and says it is working with NativeEnergy to support its goal of offsetting 100% of the carbon emissions from its production.

Nike

Nike Earth Day
Nike Earth Day

Nike announced a new sustainable collection called the “Earth Day” pack, which includes new releases of the Nike Air Force 1, Cortez, and Blazer Low sneaker using Nike Flyleather, a material made with 50% recycled natural leather fiber. Flyleather, which was first introduced fully to market in late 2018, uses less water and has a lower carbon footprint than traditional leather manufacturing. It’s also makes use of a more efficient process, resulting in less waste. Each of the new shows released in this collection also feature special Earth Day designs by artist Steve Harrington. The graphics show the planet Earth being hugged, carried or “warming” due to exercise.

Nike has further announced it will have more sustainable designs coming out this year. In the summer, it will launch the new VaporMax 2 “Random”, constructed from excess FlyKnit yarn that would have ended up in a landfill.

Allbirds

Allbirds Protect Our Species
Allbirds Protect Our Species

Sustainable footwear brand Allbirds also released a limited edition sneaker line for Earth Day. Dubbed “Protect Our Species”, it comes in five new colors in honor of climate-endangered birds. Each pair costs $95, and all income from the collection will be donated to the Audubon Society bird conservation organization.

Allbirds is already known for creating sneakers from renewable materials like eucalyptus, sugar and wool, and for continuing to push the sustainability agenda in fashion. For Earth Day, it also committed to going carbon neutral in 2019, placing a tax upon itself. This means for every tonne of carbon it emits, it will pay to then take it out of the atmosphere again.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
Editor's pick sustainability

The North Face to shut stores on Earth Day and encourage exploration

The North Face is launching Explore Mode, a campaign encouraging its employees and customers to explore the outdoors during Earth Day (April 22). As part of the activation, the outdoor brand is also calling for the day to become a national holiday in the US.

On April 22, the brand is shutting down all 113 of its stores in the US and Canada to give its employees time to explore the outdoors. Meanwhile across the globe, the campaign will partner with musicians, artists and culinary influencers at major cities including London, Munich and Paris on a series of experiences.

From a weekend camping at the Mecklenburg lake district near Berlin to helping clean up Butler Memorial Sanctuary trails in New York, TNF searched for activities that would encourage its brand fans to unplug and learn more about the environment. All experiences can be booked via a dedicated page on the brand’s website.

This is the first time TNF has closed its stores for a cause, which aims to match a wider mission to inspire a global movement of exploration and adventure. “As a brand that has been enabling exploration for over 50 years, we believe that when people take time to appreciate and explore the earth, they feel more likely to protect it,” said Tim Bantle, global general manager of lifestyle at The North Face, to Fast Company.

Taking it one step further, the company has also launched a petition to make Earth Day an official national holiday in the US.

Outdoor brands from TNF to Patagonia are upping their efforts in order to bring attention to the importance of keeping the environment clean and sustainable by creating activations that foster a sense of wonderment emotional attachment.

For the past four years, REI has run #OptOutside, an award-winning campaign that sees all of its operations – from stores to factories – shut down on Black Friday in order to encourage employees and consumers to spend more time outside with family and friends, as well as ignite a conversation on overconsumption. REI’s 2018 numbers show the company’s strategy of closing stores on the busiest commerce day of the year is paying off: the co-op reached a record $2.78 billion in revenue, representing 6% growth.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
Campaigns data digital snippets Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Plastic waste becomes Adidas tees, how Bitcoin went luxury, data to reduce returns

Adidas for Earth Day
Adidas for Earth Day

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past fortnight.

TOP STORIES
  • Adidas created Earth Day soccer jerseys made from ‘upcycled’ plastic ocean waste [AdWeek]
  • How Bitcoin went luxury [Vogue]
  • How retailers are crunching data to cut losses from returns [Glossy]
  • The fashion world after Anna Wintour [NY Times]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Alibaba is becoming a major investor in facial-recognition technology [Quartz]
  • Retail’s adapt-or-die moment: how artificial intelligence is reshaping commerce [CB Insights]
  • Leap Motion’s “virtual wearables” may be the future of computing [Co.Design]
  • Why beauty giants are snapping up technology startups [BoF]
  • Farfetch launches startup accelerator [BoF]
  • LVMH’s Ian Rogers on Station F [WWD]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • The beginner’s guide to how blockchain could change the ethical fashion game [Fashionista]
  • Why brands are under increasing pressure to be transparent about what they believe in [AdWeek]
  • Stella McCartney: ‘Only 1% of clothing is recycled. What are we doing?’ [TheGuardian]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Brandless, the ‘Procter & Gamble for millennials’ startup that sells everything for $3, is launching a pop-up, but you can’t buy anything [Business Insider]
  • Glossier opening permanent retail space in LA [WWD]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Two computer-generated influencers are at war right now, and nothing is real anymore [W Magazine]
  • With privacy updates, Instagram upsets influencer economy [BoF]
  • How Vans is shaking up its experiential marketing to get more personal [BrandChannel]
  • Snapchat has launched in-app AR shopping, with Adidas and Coty among the first sellers [TheDrum]
BUSINESS
  • Adidas partners with Lean In to promote equal pay for women [WWD]
  • Gap CEO Art Peck: Big data gives us major advantages over competitors [CNBC]