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Retail sustainability

L’Oréal and Avery Dennison team up on recycling scheme

L'Oréal
L’Oréal

L’Oréal Australia has teamed up with manufacturing company Avery Dennison and local waste management company Wasteflex to introduce a recycling scheme for its labels.

This initiative will help the brand stay committed to its sustainability goals and aim to reduce packaging waste across its international product ranges.

The program, which was developed in coordination between the three companies, will keep a specific part of the label application process (called a glassine paper liner) out of landfills, instead giving it a new life as recycled paper. Up to six tonnes of the glassine paper liner waste could potentially be recycled as a result.

David O’Leary, national logistics manager of L’Oréal Australia explains: “The savings from this program have been significant, but the biggest benefit for L’Oréal Australia is being able to meet our zero waste to landfill through the services and expertise of Wasteflex and Avery Dennison.”

This is not the first time L’Oréal has partnered with Avery Dennison. In 2015, the American branch of the beauty group collaborated with the manufacturing company to leverage its materials science expertise and find a solution for decreasing the waste of its Global MDO product labels. The effort reduced the materials needed for its labels by half, decreasing solid waste by 40%.

With the circular economy becoming an increasingly important topic across fashion and beauty, this initiative exemplifies how innovative new processes and global cooperation can reduce material costs, while also pushing the industry towards a more sustainable business model.

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business digital snippets e-commerce product social media Startups sustainability technology

What you missed: Wang’s text-to-buy line, Stitch Fix to IPO, activism from outdoor brands

The Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang line launched via text message
The Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang line launched via text message

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


TOP STORIES
  • The second Adidas Originals by Alexander Wang line launches via text-to-buy event [Racked]
  • Stitch Fix has filed confidentially for an IPO [Recode]
  • A call to activism for outdoor apparel makers [NY Times]
  • How Reebok, Adidas and Y-3 will dress future space explorers [Fast Company]

BUSINESS
  • Jimmy Choo bought by Michael Kors in £896m deal [BBC]
  • MatchesFashion.com could enter stock market [Fashion United]
  • Bangladesh to digitally map all garment factories [JustStyle]
  • Fashion must fight the scourge of dumped clothing clogging landfills [Guardian]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Vogue takes ‘hub and spoke’ approach to Snapchat editions in Europe [Digiday]

MARKETING
  • Why Helmut Lang hired an editor-in-residence in place of a creative director [Glossy]
  • Amazon and Nicopanda launch LFW ‘see now, buy now’ range [Retail Gazette]

RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • China’s store of the future has no checkout, no cash and no staff [BoF]
  • Saint Laurent to launch online sales in China [WSJ]
  • You will soon be able to search eBay using a photo or social media web link [CNBC]
  • MatchesFashion.com’s Tom Chapman: Amazon’s missing the ‘magic’ of high-end fashion [Glossy]

TECHNOLOGY
  • Walmart is developing a robot that identifies unhappy shoppers [Business Insider]
  • For the first time ever, you can buy your own 3D-printed garment online [Fashionista]
  • MIT’s living jewellery is made up of small robot assistants [TechCrunch]
  • Intel axed its entire smartwatch and fitness-tracker group to focus on augmented reality, sources say [CNBC]

START-UPS
  • John Lewis unveils retail tech start-ups for JLAB 2017 [The Industry]
  • Spider silk start-up spins into retail by buying an apparel company [Fortune]
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Editor's pick film sustainability

Stella McCartney’s latest campaign spotlights landfill waste

Stella McCartney's autumn/winter 2017 landfill campaign
Stella McCartney’s autumn/winter 2017 landfill campaign

Stella McCartney, long known for her focus on sustainability, has set her latest campaign in a Scottish landfill site in an attempt to highlight the issues of overconsumption within modern society.

Shot by Harley Weir, the images and accompanying film for autumn/winter 2017, are captured against a backdrop of waste to demonstrate how single use and disposable items are wreaking havoc on our environment.

“The idea we had with this campaign is to portray who we want to be and how we carry ourselves; our attitude and collective path. Our man-made constructed environments are disconnected and unaware of other life and the planet which is why there is waste,” McCartney explained.

In a social media post, the brand added: “Our planet’s waste problem is now so severe that 300 million tons of plastic is created every year, half of which is for single use – wreaking havoc on our environment and the majority ending up in landfill and our oceans. With this campaign, against the striking contrast of landfill we explore the reality of unnecessary waste and aim to inspire action as well as salute the human efforts to care for our planet.”

Models Birgit Kos, Iana Godnia and Huan Zhou can be seen lying on a discarded car or amid the heaps of waste in the ads, questioning what we are leaving behind for future generations. In the film, they lip-sync to a song by Australian rapper Tkay Maidza. Artist Urs Fischer added illustrations to the imagery.

The write-up for the campaign continues: “We stand by our commitment to being a responsible, sustainable brand. Throughout the new collection we use innovative and recycled materials such as organic cotton, sustainably-sourced viscose, recycled nylon and cruelty-free Skin-Free-Skin. We are continually trying to lessen our impact on the environment. It is expected that plastic production will triple by 2050 when the population explodes to almost 10 billion – so it is vital that we act now.”

Stella McCartney's autumn/winter 2017 landfill campaign
Stella McCartney’s autumn/winter 2017 landfill campaign
Stella McCartney's autumn/winter 2017 landfill campaign
Stella McCartney’s autumn/winter 2017 landfill campaign
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business Editor's pick sustainability

10 scary truths about fast fashion’s impact on the environment

sustainability fast fashion environment mckinsey
Annual clothing production exceeded 100 billion for the first time in 2014

McKinsey & Company has released a new report outlining how important it is for companies in the fast fashion space to look to reduce social and environmental costs.

At the heart of the report is this simple line: “The fact remains that innovation in the way clothes are made has not kept pace with the acceleration of how they are designed and marketed.”

Thanks to falling costs, streamlined operations, and rising consumer spending, clothing production and consumption has soared since the turn of the millennium. The downside of that, of course, is the impact it has had on the planet accordingly. “Without improvements in how clothing is made, these issues will grow proportionally as more clothes are produced,” the authors ascertain.

Here are 10 facts they highlight before outlining a list of recommendations for steps companies need to take to start countering their increasing impact…


  • Annual clothing production exceeded 100 billion for the first time in 2014; resulting in nearly 14 items for every person on earth

  • Production has doubled from 2000 to 2014, with the number of garments purchased each year by the average consumer increasing by 60% over the same period

  • Making 1 kilogram of fabric generates an average of 23 kilograms of greenhouse gases.

  • Washing and drying 1 kilogram of clothing over its entire life cycle, using typical methods, creates 11 kilograms of greenhouse gases.

  • Across nearly every apparel category, consumers keep clothing items about half as long as they did 15 years ago

  • Some estimates suggest consumers treat the lowest-priced garments as nearly disposable, discarding them after just seven or eight wears

  • Zara offers 24 new clothing collections each year; H&M offers 12 to 16 and refreshes them weekly. Among all European apparel companies, the average number of clothing collections has more than doubled, from two a year in 2000, to about five a year in 2011

  • Nearly three-fifths of all clothing produced ends up in incinerators or landfills within a year of being made. Germany outperforms most countries by collecting almost three-quarters of all used clothing, reusing half and recycling one-quarter. Elsewhere, collection rates are far lower: 15% in the United States, 12% in Japan, and 10% in China.

  • While sales growth has been robust around the world, emerging economies have seen especially large rises in clothing sales, as more people in them have joined the middle class. In five large developing countries – Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and Russia – apparel sales grew eight times faster than in Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States

  • If 80% of the population of emerging economies were to achieve the same clothing-consumption levels as the Western world by 2025, and the apparel industry does not become more environmentally efficient, then the environmental footprint of the apparel industry will become significantly larger across carbon emissions, water and land use (as per the below graph)

mckinsey sustainability


McKinsey notes the fact 22 apparel brands belong to a coalition called Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals to improve and expand the use of nontoxic, sustainable chemistry in the textile and footwear supply chain. There’s also the Better Cotton Initiative, which involves more than 50 retailers and brands and nearly 700 suppliers in setting standards for environmental, social, and economic responsibility in cotton production. It goes on to further recommend several additional steps companies can, and indeed need, to take to start countering the impact fast fashion has:


  • Develop standards and practices for designing garments that can be easily reused or recycled. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition has created an index for measuring the full life-cycle impact of clothing and footwear products.

  • Invest in the development of new fibres that will lower the environmental effects of production and garment making. In 2016, the Walmart Foundation awarded grants of nearly $3 million to five US universities to support research on improving the sustainability and efficiency of textile manufacturing.

  • Encourage consumers to care for their clothes in low-impact ways. Washing garments in hot or warm water and drying at high heat or for longer than needed uses a lot of energy. Clothing makers and retailers can help steer consumers toward clothing-care practices that have a smaller environmental toll and keep garments in good shape for longer.

  • Support the development of mechanical- and chemical-recycling technologies. The fibres produced by mechanical recycling, for example, are shorter and lower in quality than virgin fibres and therefore less useful to apparel makers. Chemical recycling could improve on this as the technology advances.

  • Establish higher labour and environmental standards for suppliers and set up mechanisms to make supply chains more transparent. For example, the software company EVRYTHNG and packaging maker Avery Dennison have together launched an effort to tag clothing so consumers can trace how individual items were produced all along the supply chain.

  • Provide suppliers with guidance and resources for meeting new labour and environmental standards and hold them accountable for performance shortfalls. Walmart, for example, has made a public commitment that by 2017, 70% or more of the products it sources directly from suppliers will come from factories with energy-management plans. The company offers its suppliers software tools to help them find opportunities for using energy and other resources more efficiently.

You can read the full report via McKinsey.com.