Brands and retailers

Inditex pressured Romanian supplier to drop legal action against journalist: Laura Stefanut published an exposé of clothing factories in Eastern Europe that led to intimidating phone calls, legal pressure and a tour of the factory that sued her (17 Nov 16).

Factories that made clothes for Forever 21, Ross paid workers $4 an hour, DOL says: Forever 21 is one of several companies that have been supplied by independent Southern California factories that pay workers much less than the state minimum wage, the Labor Department announced last week (16 Nov 16).

Do you know who's been Naughty or Nice this Christmas? Seven leading fashion retailers in Australia are continuing to hide where their clothes are made by refusing to publish the names and locations of the factories they use around the globe, Oxfam's latest 'Naughty or Nice' list has revealed in the lead-up to Christmas (21 Nov 16).

Zara sued over dead mouse found in dress: A woman has filed a suit against Zara in New York after finding a dead rodent sewn into the seam of a black dress (15 Nov 16).

Kering and LCF reveal winners of 2016 Kering Award: Kering and the London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion announced the five winners of the 2016 Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion at an event on Monday 14 November (15 Nov 16).

Navajo Nation settles trademark suit against Urban Outfitters: The Navajo Nation, the largest Native American tribe, has settled a trademark suit brought against the apparel retail chain Urban Outfitters Inc over use of the tribe's name in company merchandise, the two sides said late last week (20 Nov 16).

Jeanswest releases supplier list: (Nov 16).

Stella McCartney uses Kering Talk to call for a stop to leather & fur in fashion: Stella McCartney was the guest of honour at the 2016 Kering Sustainability Talk last week. The talk was hosted in partnership with the London College of Fashion. As part of a panel discussion, McCartney spoke out against brands using leather and fur, including Kering, the host of the lecture (16 Nov 16).

PETA announces winners of 2016 PETA Fashion Awards: Stella McCartney, Armani and Liberty have been honoured with a Peta Award this year for their compassion, sustainability and innovation (18 Nov 16).

LoveMerino scarves are traceable “from flock to frock”: A new Australian fashion brand is on a mission to show that wool is a logical solution in a world suffering the effects of synthetic fabrics. (21 Nov 16).

Eileen Fisher has designs on keeping clothing out of landfills: “Our goal is to keep everything we manufacture out of a landfill — forever,” Cynthia Power, who manages Green Eileen, a takeback program that collects all Eileen Fisher clothing, sorts and resells them at a discount at designated stores. Customers receive $5 for each recycled item, with part of the proceeds benefiting a bevy of non-profits (21 Nov 16).

Fjällräven launches Swedish wool project: Swedish outdoor apparel and accessories label Fjällräven wants to relaunch Swedish wool production. Its objective is to ensure full traceability throughout its entire Sweden-based wool supply and manufacturing chain. For this purpose, Fjällräven has set up a collaboration with Brattlandsgården, a sheep farm located in central Sweden. The project's first phase, sourcing high quality wool from Swedish sheep, has now been completed (22 Nov 16).

Reports, Guidelines and Standards

Cotton Inc. celebrates ten years of sustainability: Cotton Incorporated launched their Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling program ten years ago. The program collects denim from consumers and upcycles it into UltraTouch Denim Insulation, a type of housing insulation that they then donate to Habitat for Humanity to use in home building for low-income recipients (15 Nov 16).

Mandatory transparency, discretionary disclosure: New transparency regulations in some places theoretically require companies to report on forced labour in their supply chains, but a new review finds that's not what's happening (17 Nov 16).

Is e-commerce really better for the environment than traditional retail? For those who are serious about reducing their carbon footprint this holiday season, Amazon is right: the numbers show that e-commerce is better for the environment — as long as the entire process remains digital from start to finish. But this path might not be feasible for many consumers (22 Nov 16).


Egyptian cotton concerns tip Welspun India into loss: Welspun India said it had acted to address concerns over the quality of its Egyptian cotton as the departure of two major US customers over the issue led to a quarterly loss (15 Nov 16). The company has also said it has initiated steps to closely monitor and control its Egyptian cotton business, which had come under a cloud early this year over quality issues (15 Nov 16).

The Supply Chain

Alliance wants government interference in factory inspections to stop: James F Moriarty, Alliance country director and former US ambassador to Bangladesh, said this at a meeting with the Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association (BGMEA) (14 Nov 16).

Alliance to give 130 RMG units 2 months to complete remediation: Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a platform of North American brands and retailers, has listed 130 readymade garment factories to give them a two-month ultimatum — either they make required progress in factory remediation or they will face severance of business ties, as the progress made so far by the factories is below 50 per cent (16 Nov 16).

Retail group approves Bangladesh factories as safety concerns persist, report finds: The Bangladesh Alliance, which includes Walmart, Gap and Target, has pushed back deadlines to implement fire exits, alarms and structural renovations more than three years after deadly Rana Plaza collapse, a critical new report by four labour rights groups says (21 Nov 16). Full report here (PDF).

Yangon labour department has launched 60 lawsuits against errant factories: After repeated, flagrant violations of the labour laws, 60 recalcitrant factories in Yangon have been slapped with lawsuits so far this year by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, a government official has said (04 Nov 16).

Latest truck crash injures 20 garment workers in Cambodia: Twenty garment workers were injured over the weekend when the truck were travelling in veered off the road to avoid a motorbike and overturned in a rice paddy (21 Nov 16).

(Image, Sandro Schuh, CCO)

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