UK: M&S boss sees shoppers at centre of sustainability push
Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland has urged businesses to put consumers at the centre of their sustainability strategies.
Speaking yesterday (19 June) on the retailer's new focus, Bolland said: "If you can't get the engagement of the 20-year-old consumer somewhere, we will always behind the curve."
And, with increasing affluence in the East, engaging consumers is more important than ever.
"The consumer is still living the American Dream," he said. "The American Dream is to have more and more and a much more materialistic dream than we have ever had before. The issue is not in the West; the issue is that consumption dream is very much in the emerging markets."
With the planet having finite resources, Bolland called for the creation of a "new role model of what is a better life".
While M&S has made great strides in improving its supply chain, it has only recently begun to engage consumers on the apparel side.
First steps have included putting 30-degree wash instructions on clothing care labels - but the launch of its Shwopping initiative in April was the first aggressive move towards changing consumer behaviour.
Shwopping encourages shoppers to donate an old item of clothing when they buy something new.
The scheme was launched in response to figures that showed in the UK alone, some 2.7m items of clothing are sent to landfill each day, or one billion items a year.
The partnership with Oxfam has so far seen some 1,200 cardboard recycling bins called Shwop Drops installed across the retailer's stores. And, since its launch six weeks ago, M&S says it has received half-a-million used and unwanted items for donation to Oxfam. It is aiming to collect 350m items each year, one for every garment it sells.
A survey carried out by the retailer found that one in five of UK residents polled admitted to throwing out an item of clothing after just one wear.
At an average cost of GBP22.73 per discarded item, this equates to over GBP91m in wearable items ending up in landfill each year after only being worn once.
From toxic T-shirts to virtual fitting rooms, defamatory garments and compostable shoes, the clothing and textiles industry in 2012 was anything but dull....
Textile-making countries came up against a range of labour, economic and environmental issues in 2012, including the worsening Eurozone crisis which dampened demand in key export markets. While some s...
Weak consumer spending, difficulties in securing credit, competition from China and the Far East resulted in factory closures and subsequent layoffs in 2012. But ramping up labour and sustainability s...
Faced with continuing challenging trading conditions in 2012, retailers responded with a number of different strategies to try to grow their businesses. International expansion, new and larger format ...
Levi Strauss, the world's largest jeans manufacturer, has pledged to phase out hazardous chemicals from its supply chain by 2020, following pressure from environmental group Greenpeace....
The most read stories on just-style this week include Delta Galil USA acquiring the LittleMissMatched brand, Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers facing continuing challenges, and Ethiopia's ongoing effor...
Harmit Singh is set to join jeans and clothing brand Levi Strauss & Co as executive vice president and CFO in January....
- China undisputed giant of garment exports
- Cotton “too diverse” for fixed sustainability plan
- Three tipping points for RFID in fashion
- DENIM DAYS: Suppliers weigh up industry challenges
- Apparel buyers point to potential in Africa
- SOURCING: Global sourcing snapshots launched
- Nike criticised over Vietnam sourcing ethics
- Wal-Mart silent on Rana Plaza lawsuit
- Nike launches women's kit from recycled polyester
- Nepal earthquake prompts Bangladesh factory checks