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business product Retail sustainability technology

ICYMI: Fashion businesses behind bars, sustainable fashion tech, Stitch Fix reinventing retail

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

TOP STORIES
  • Made on the inside, worn on the outside [NYT]
  • How can new technologies help make fashion more sustainable? [BoF]
  • Stitch Fix’s radical data-driven way to sell clothes–$1.2 billion last year–is reinventing retail [Fast Company]
TECHNOLOGY
  • This AI is so good at writing that its creators won’t let you use it [CNN]
  • Chinese state media’s latest innovation is an AI female news anchor [Quartz]
  • Future styles: Could virtual clothes reduce the damage of fast fashion? [Fashion Network]
  • The future is here, almost: virtual travel becomes more of a reality [NYT]
  • Are you being scanned? How facial recognition technology follows you, even as you shop [The Guardian]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Salvatore Ferragamo to unveil ‘Sustainable Thinking’ exhibition [WWD]
  • Workers making clothes for Australian brands can’t afford to eat, Oxfam reports [The Guardian]
  • Ikea’s new curtains purify the air inside your house [Fast Company]
  • Selfridges’ ‘Bright New Things’ promote sustainability, mindful consumption [WWD]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • American Eagle pilots subscription service [Retail Dive]
  • FedEx, Rent the Runway team up on ‘extra hours’ service [Retail Dive]
  • Has Everlane ushered in a brave new world of retail? [Vogue]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Nike is using Instagram’s IGTV to share the stories of four female athletes [AdWeek]
  • App makers are sharing sensitive personal information with Facebook but not telling users [The Verge]
PRODUCT
  • Vogue Italia and Yoox celebrate upcycling capsule [WWD]
  • Louis Vuitton “Drops” new sneaker collection on WeChat [Jing Daily]
BUSINESS
  • Payless shoes to shut all U.S. stores and wind down online operation [BoF]
  • Levi’s adds big data expert to C-suite [WWD]
  • Anna Wintour: a rare face-to-face with the most important woman in fashion [The Guardian]

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. 

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Editor's pick product sustainability

9 brands rethinking textiles for the circular economy

Fashion's Impact on Water
Fashion’s Impact on Water

From sustainability guru Stella McCartney to German premium label Hugo Boss, brands across the spectrum have been experimenting with textile innovations that aim to push the industry towards a greener future.

This mission comes with a sense of urgency, with several reports predicting the uncomfortable reality of resource scarcity. A statistic from The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that humans were using the equivalent of 1.7 planets’ worth of natural resources in 2017.

Such resources, and water specifically, are central to the fashion industry’s supply chain. From planting and irrigating cotton fields, to dyeing and washing fabric – a world without enough water and raw materials spells out an uncertain future.

Infographic of The Circular Economy - Ellen MacArthur
Infographic of The Circular Economy – Ellen MacArthur

“In the worst case, the fashion industry will face distinct restrictions on one or more of its key input factors, leaving it unable to grow at the projected rate and in the long run unable to continue under its current operating model,” said the Global Fashion Agenda in its The Pulse of The Fashion Industry report.

It’s for that reason, the industry is exploring the circular economy, which takes the traditional, make-use-dispose model in fashion, and rather promotes a closed-loop where items are reused, recycled and reduced.

We’ve seen numerous startups playing in this space for years, experimenting with different natural ingredients and formulas to create textiles ready for market. Today, a number of brands are jumping on board and partnering with such teams in order to replace traditional materials.

Here are nine of the strongest examples…

STELLA MCCARTNEY

Stella McCartney has been championing sustainable fashion since the formation of her namesake label, pushing the envelope of what circular textile innovation means for the industry at large.

One stand-out circular textile from the brand is Re.Verso™, a regenerated cashmere made from post-factory cashmere waste in Italy. According to the brand’s self-implemented Environmental P&L account, using this alternative material reduced its impact by 92%.

EVERLANE 

Everlane's ReNew Line
Everlane’s ReNew Line

Direct-to-consumer brand Everlane, which pioneered the concept of a transparent supply chain through its “radical transparency” approach, announced its newest sustainable material just this month – a fleece called ReNew, which is made from recycled plastic bottles.

The brand also pledged to replace all materials made of virgin plastic (including polyester and nylon) with material made of plastic water bottles and renewed materials by 2021. It expects to be recycling 100 million water bottles through its supply chain.

ADIDAS X PARLEY FOR THE OCEANS

Adidas x Parley
Adidas x Parley

Adidas’ partnership with Parley for the Oceans, a non-profit organization set to remove and recycle waste from the ocean, has been an elemental part of the brand’s sustainability strategy.

In 2015, the two companies teamed up to make a sneaker that was made entirely of yarn recycled from ocean waste and illegal deep-sea gill nets. While the shoe was impressive in both design and sustainability, the partnership really started to come to fruition last year when sneakers like the Parley x Adidas Ultra Boost became more widely available to the public.  Eric Liedtke, head of global brands at the company, said each pair of shoes uses the equivalent of 11 plastic bottles, which means that Adidas has recycled some 55 million plastic bottles this year.

ALLBIRDS

Allbirds' SweetFoam flip-flops
Allbirds’ Sugar Zeffer flip-flops

In August 2018, direct-to-consumer footwear brand Allbirds announced the launch of “SweetFoam”,  a biodegradable and environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-based materials traditionally used in the manufacturing process of shoe-soles. The first product the brand created with SweetFoam was a range of sustainable flip-flops called Sugar Zeffers.

The new material, which is made up of a sugarcane base, marks an important achievement in the industry, as it is the first ever carbon-neutral green alternative to the traditional EVA foam. To inspire industry-wide change, Allbirds also made this technology open-source and therefore available to everyone.

REEBOK

As part of its Cotton + Corn initiative, sportswear brand Reebok released its first-ever biodegradable sneaker range in August of this year. The product launch was part of the brand’s larger aim to reduce the brand’s environmental footprint with biodegradable products.

The shoe, which is also called the Cotton + Corn sneaker, is made with a cotton top and a bioplastic sole created from a corn-derived alternative material. It is also the first in its category to be certified by the United States Department of Agriculture to consist of 75% bio-based content.

REFORMATION

Reformation Intimates
Reformation Intimates

Los Angeles-based sustainable fashion brand, Reformation, has been making fashion using end-of-roll fabrics for years, but through its newest category, underwear, it’s taking things a step further.

The intimates collection is made using a mixture of sustainable fabrics such as recycled lace, eco mesh (a recycled type of yarn) and Lenzing TENCEL, a patented fabric derived from a wood cellulose material.

ADAY

Fashion's Impact on Water
Fashion’s Impact on Water

For its new Plant Bae collection, direct-to-consumer fashion brand, Aday, wanted to trial a new fabric composition using SeaCell, a fiber created from seaweed from the Icelandic coast.

Every four years, the seaweed is harvested and spun into fiber together with lyocell to stabilize. For the Plant Bae collection, it was also enhanced with cellulose and modal to create an additionally soft fabric composition. The innovative material has seen previous incarnations in Falke socks and Lululemon sportswear in its VitaSea collection.

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

Salvatore Ferragamo
Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo created a capsule collection in 2017 made from an innovative new material derived from leftover orange peel. The brand partnered with Italian company, Orange Fiber, to product the silk-feel line, which included apparel such as t-shirts and delicate scarves.

This material is, for now, aplenty: a recent figure from the Italian Agricultural Department revealed that waste from the juice industry resulted in 700,000 tonnes of discarded orange peel on a yearly basis in Italy alone.

HUGO BOSS

Hugo Boss "Boss"
Hugo Boss “Boss”

German brand Hugo Boss released limited collection footwear in April 2018 using discarded pineapple leaves that imitate the texture of leather. The material, called Piñatex, has been used by smaller footwear brands such as Bourgeois Boheme, although Hugo Boss is one of the first mainstream brands to adopt it.

Piñatex is derived from the leaves of the pineapple plant, a byproduct of the pineapple harvest that has no other use for farmers. The creation of the textile therefore provides local farmers with an additional income.

How are you thinking about sustainable innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. 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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digital snippets e-commerce social media technology

Digital snippets: H&M, Instagram, Uniqlo, Ferragamo, Urban Outfitters, Nike

Happy new year all and welcome to 2014!

It’s straight to Vegas for me and headfirst into CES for what’s looking set to be a week heavy on the wearables front. More of that to follow, but for now, here’s a highlight of some of the fashion and tech stories you may have missed over the past couple of weeks…

david-beckham-underwear_HM

  • H&M and Beckham return to The Super Bowl with ground-breaking shoppable TV ad campaign [WGSN]
  • Instagram reveals ‘promising’ results of Levi’s and Ben & Jerry’s ad trial [Marketing Magazine]
  • Ferragamo weaves founder’s history into fairy tale film [Luxury Daily]
  • Nike, MTV are top global brands on Instagram in 2013 [BrandChannel]
  • How in-store analytics is changing the way you shop [Fashionista]
  • Beacons: What they are, how they work, and why Apple’s iBeacon technology is ahead of the pack [Business Insider]
  • What fashion adds to the tech world: Vanessa Friedman on wearables [FT]
  • Smart eyelashes and fingernails: the next wave of wearable tech [Mashable]
  • Can Apple’s Angela Agrendts spark a retail revolution? [Fast Company]
Categories
data digital snippets e-commerce social media

Digital snippets: Macy’s, Levi’s, Fox & Fawn, Hermès, Nars, Nordstrom, Ferragamo

Here’s a rather hefty highlight of recent stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital:

Levis_hack

  • Macy’s: marketers should defend data use but show restraint [AdAge]
  • Levi’s hacks vintage items to function as modern-day social media devices (as pictured) [PSFK]
  • Fox & Fawn proves key example of how innovative retailers are turning Instagram into an e-commerce platform [Fashionista]
  • Hermès made the smart if overdue move of creating a scarf-tying app called Silk Knots [The Cut]
  • Nars previewing Guy Bourdin collection on Snapchat [WWD]
  • Nordstrom: how to remain relevant in a tech savvy world [Forbes]
  • Salvatore Ferragamo looks to the web to lure young consumers [Reuters]
  • Fendi microsite increases brand awareness during Milan Fashion Week [Luxury Daily]
  • M&S to contact workers in Asia by mobile to check factory conditions [The Guardian]
  • Net-A-Porter bets on social commerce with new ‘Netbook’ iPad app [Econsultancy]
  • Pinterest announces first ad product: promoted pins [Mashable]
  • Olapic brings the persuasive power of user-generated imagery to e-commerce [BoF]
Categories
digital snippets e-commerce mobile Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Faberge, DKNY, Ferragamo, Coach, Siri, Shoptiques

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

  • Faberge to launch e-commerce site [Forbes]
  • DKNY PR Girl’s tweet feat (as pictured) [WWD]
  • Salvatore Ferragamo releases fashion short The Signorina Story to push new fragrance [The Cut]
  • What Siri means for the future of mobile shopping [eMarketer]
  • Fashion start-up Shoptiques takes aim at $20bn industry [Inc]
Categories
digital snippets e-commerce Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Salvatore Ferragamo, House of Fraser, Pinterest, Pose

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

  • Ferragamo lets shoppers pre-order runway looks through digital trunk show [Luxury Daily]
  • PR company KCD launches online-only fashion shows for busy editors [On the Runway]
  • House of Fraser targets students through social media [Brand Republic]
  • The year in e-tail: lessons learned and looking ahead [WWD]
  • Pinterest becomes top traffic driver for retailers [Mashable]
  • Pose launches Facebook app enabling users to track looks via Timeline [PSFK]
Categories
Uncategorized

JWT turns brands into cute virtual animations

I love this concept from JWT – the New York-based communications agency  has transformed some 3,000 brands into animated characters as a way of comparing  characteristics.

Referred to as a ‘brand visualisation tool’, Brand Toys as it’s called, includes everyone from Apple to Nokia, with all sorts of teddy bears, cartoon characters and monsters resulting.

It’s not however merely a subjective project, each toy has been created based on quantitative research, with character and personality determined by Millward Brown’s famous BrandZ study (this year led by Apple), and real-time, online buzz data by Social Mention.

Varying body shapes, for instance, depend on scores for familiarity and potential. There’s even a weather backdrop representing online sentiment.

Brands can be compared with others (see my screen grab above of a few choice fashion brands including Bottega Veneta, Christian Dior, Roberto Cavalli, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Marc Jacobs, Paul Smith and Ralph Lauren – not sure they’d be wholeheartedly enamoured with the designs themselves mind), as well as across the 23 countries included.

According to Brand Republic, Guy Murphy, worldwide planning director at JWT, said: “To ensure a rosy future for brands, it is crucial to consider marketing as a creative discipline. Brand Toys represents brands as consumers feel them—with personality and character, not as a series of numbers or complex mechanisms.”

For those interested in having a play, it’s also possible to customise the toys. Users can then share their creations via social media.