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Is footwear fueling the Amazon fires, NYFW’s evolution, Zalando trials robots

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

TOP STORIES
  • Is footwear funding the burning of the Amazon? (Vogue Business)
  • Under Tom Ford, New York Fashion Week undergoes an evolution (Vogue Business)
  • Zalando trials robots to pick shoe orders (Charged Retail)
  • Glitz, glamour & garbage: Why fashion week needs to clean up its act (BoF)
TECHNOLOGY
  • Sizing tech takes on fashion’s expensive returns problem (Vogue Business)
  • IBM serves up an ace with AI at the US Open (AdWeek)
  • Nike just created a high-tech shoe that you can control with Siri (Fast Company)
  • Amazon apparently wants to turn your hand into an ID store purchase (The Next Web)
  • ‘Deepfake’ app causes fraud and privacy fears in China (BBC)
  • Alibaba storms NYFW with data driven design (Nikkei)
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Climate activists ask Jess Bezos to buy the Amazon rainforest (Ad Week)
  • Primark to train 160,000 cotton farmers in latest sustainability move (Retail Gazette)
  • H&M’s COS launched Restored Collection, ‘saves damaged garments’ (Fashion Network)
  • The Amazon fires stops Vans & Timberland buying Brazilian leather (Quartz)
  • H&M boycotts Brazilian leather following Amazon fires (Fashion United)
  • Why Levi’s new water strategy represents an ‘evolution in thinking’ (Sourcing Journal)
  • Gap sets new sustainability design focus with atelier & repairs capsule (WWD)
  • ‘Misleading’ Peta ad claiming ‘wool is just as cruel as fur’ banned by ASA (The Drum)
  • Timberland is planting 50 million trees (Fast Company)
  • How IoT and AI can enable environmental sustainability (Forbes)
  • Allbirds & Just Water’s new capsule collection supports Amazon firefighting efforts (Sourcing Journal)
  • John Lewis looks for water source (Drapers)
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Zalando launches resale pop-up store in Berlin (Fashion Network)
  • First look: Puma’s New York flagship (Drapers)
  • Burberry delves into chat-based commerce (WWD)
  • American Eagle takes on Sephora in an effort to be a one-stop shop for teens (Fast Company)
  • Amazon pushes fast shipping but avoids responsibility for the human cost (NY Times)
BUSINESS
  • Tapestry CEO ousted for poor performance, per internal email (Vogue Business)
  • Fake Allbirds & Glossier dupes: DTC brands are battling counterfeits and knockoffs (BoF)
  • Le Tote online retailers buys venerable Lord & Taylor for £100m (SF Chronicle)
  • Zara distances itself from Hong Kong protest controversy (The Industry)
  • M&S to be kicked out of FTSE 100 for first time (Fashion Network)
  • Walmart to stop some ammunition sales in response to shootings (Retail Dive)
  • Moda Operandi gets a makeover- by data and design (Vogue Business)
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Is TikTok a time bomb? (Fast Company)
  • Ralph Lauren moves onto TikTok platform with US Open campaign (WWD)
  • Reebok drops Cardi B sneakers on Alexa, Google Assistant (Mobile Marketer)
  • Fortnite star Ninja signs multi-year apparel deal with Adidas (The Verge)
  • Molton Brown unveils perfume range via scent experience (Campaign Live)
  • Why Estee Lauder are spending 75% of their marketing spend on influencer marketing (The Drum)
PRODUCT
  • Google’s Project Jacquard returns on an YSL backpack strap, for $880 (The Verge)
  • How Fenty beauty is selling cruelty-free products to China (BoF)
CULTURE
  • Dior pulls ‘Sauvage’ campaign after facing appropriation backlash (BoF)
  • Walmart comes under fire for ‘segregating’ products (Fashion Law)
  • Has inclusivity skipped fashion’s front row? (Vogue Business)
  • The future of the cannabis industry (Quartz)
  • How Tommy Hilfiger thrived on hip hop (without being accused of cultural appropriation) (BoF)

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Chanel to ban exotic skins due to lack of ethical sourcing

Chanel is banning exotic skins
Chanel is banning exotic skins

Chanel announced on Monday (December 3) that it is going to stop using exotic skins in its future collections, as well as furs. This is mainly to do with an increased difficulty in sourcing these materials from ethical suppliers, as the French label continues to crack down on its supply chain. 

“We are continually reviewing our supply chains to ensure they meet our expectations of integrity and traceability,” the brand said in a statement.

Exotic skins include crocodile, lizard, snake and stingray, which adorn many of its iconic handbags.

Animal rights organization PETA celebrated the brands announcement on social media as it had been lobbying for the label to ban exotic skins for decades, it said. Next on the non-profit’s agenda is urging consumers to encourage LVMH to do the same with its portfolio of brands.

Chanel is the first luxury brand to take the major step of official banning exotic skins, and it is joining the ranks of the Arcadia Group, ASOS, H&M, L Brands (which owns Victoria’s Secret), Nike and Puma. 

The banning of fur however has been previously embraced by a wider range of luxury brands, including Armani, Versace, Gucci, Burberry, Diane von Furstenberg, Furla and many others. Chanel, however, had never used much of the material in its collections to begin with, making the ban relatively easier to implement. 

This changing perception of luxury materials comes at a time when luxury brands and the wider fashion industry is embracing values of the circular economy and looking for alternative fabrics that are more sustainable, all while keeping the same level of quality found in more traditional luxury materials such as leathers and silks.

How are you thinking about sustainability? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners for your sustainability strategy. TheCurrent 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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What you missed: Amazon didn’t kill Macy’s, Alibaba’s anti-counterfeiting bid, LVMH on sustainability

Macy's Amazon
Who really killed Macy’s?

So is Amazon the big threat to retail, or do retailers really have themselves to blame? There’s a great piece from Recode exploring the longer-term demise of Macy’s. No surprise to also see Neiman Marcus’ IPO has been stalled given current market conditions. The Limited is another US store announcing its closure over the past week.

Meanwhile, other big news to know about include a bid to fight counterfeit goods on Alibaba, PETA aiming to disrupt LVMH from the inside (as well as a separate piece on how LVMH is making luxury more sustainable), and yet more advertising updates on both Instagram and Snapchat. If you haven’t seen it, don’t forget to also check out our list of the 8 top tech trends for fashion and luxury retail in 2017.


TOP STORIES
  • Amazon didn’t kill Macy’s. Macy’s did [Recode]
  • Alibaba forms anti-counterfeiting alliance with Louis Vuitton, Swarovski and others [WWD]
  • Bernard Arnault meets with President-Elect Donald Trump [WWD]
  • What happens when beauty, health and wellness products move from standardised to personalised? [Loose Threads]
  • These stores smell money inside your brain [Bloomberg]

BUSINESS
  • Neiman Marcus IPO will stay on the shelf [Bloomberg]
  • PETA is now a Louis Vuitton shareholder [Fashionista]
  • An inside view of how LVMH makes luxury more sustainable [HBR]
  • Diane von Furstenberg debuts hip new logo, website ahead of fashion month [Fashionista]
  • Expect experimental evolution, not revolution, at Valentino [BoF]
  • Jimmy Choo co-founder goes stiletto-first into the digital future [Fast Company]
  • Lessons learned from Neil Blumenthal, the co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker [AlleyWatch]

SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Asos, Nike and Airbnb first to use Instagram Stories’ new ad formats [The Drum]
  • Snapchat is about to get a major redesign – including search bar [Mashable]
  • L’Oréal Paris brought Snapchat Spectacles to the red carpet for the Golden Globes [Digiday]

MARKETING
  • Sephora is ramping up its mission to empower women in 2017 via sustainability and technology [Fashionista]
  • Nike Women got FKA Twigs to creative direct this mesmerising new ad [AdWeek]
  • Film student’s emotional Adidas ad goes viral as viewers urge the brand to take notice [The Drum]
  • Chopard explains etiquette for 21st-century man in whimsical vignettes [Luxury Daily]

RETAIL
  • The Limited officially closes all stores, moves online [Retail Dive]
  • Matches CEO: Customers want speed and convenience [CNBC]
  • Lush evolves digital offerings to better connect with consumers [Glossy]
  • Kohl’s continued digital innovation drives loyalty [RIS News]

TECHNOLOGY
  • From gimmick to game-changer: How virtual reality will alter the fashion industry [Glossy]
  • Tanvas’ haptic feedback system lets you feel texture on a touchscreen [The Verge]