Can Big Data Make Supply Chains More Sustainable?

If haste makes waste, then H&M clearly needs to slow its roll. The Swedish fast-fashion chain has amassed a staggering $4.3 billion in unsold clothing—up from 7 percent the year before. In an industry where profits are hitched to turnover rates, this volume of surplus doesn’t bode well for H&M’s bottom line. Neither does it…

The Garment Label Needs a Makeover—Here’s How to Do It

Pity the humble clothing label. From high-fashion to basement bargain, hypebeast to Old World luxe, it’s the one universal design element that all items of apparel share, yet most people pay it scant attention. Sure, they’re useful to confirm a garment’s make and size, but other than that, who cares, right? Well, plenty of people,…

Is #MeToo Hurting Victoria’s Secret’s Sales?

Victoria’s Secret is struggling with slumping sales—is the #MeToo movement, as one online research firm posits, to blame? Certainly the lingerie goliath’s foothold on its intended demographic is slipping. According to YouGov’s BrandIndex, which measures public perception of corporations, Victoria’s Secret’s “buzziness” with women aged between 18 to 49 has toppled from a score of…

How to Talk About Sustainability Without Turning It Into the S-Word

For brands and retailers that are still feeling their way around sustainability, communicating a greener ethos to their customers can feel like a double-edged sword. “They’re scared to come out of the shadows and say, ‘We’re doing this,’” said Amber Valletta, a model, entrepreneur and activist who spoke at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit this past…

“Bridge Millennials” are the Shopping Demographic of Retailers’ Dreams

Baby Boomers. Gen X. Millennials. Gen Z. Just when you thought you had the generational demographics licked, PYMNTS.com has defined a new class of consumers for brands and retailers to woo. Meet the “bridge millennials,” a cohort-spanning bracket that the payments website describes as individuals “between 30 and 40 years of age who are maturing…

AI, Big Data Could Change the Way We Design and Shop for Clothes

H&M is losing customers—can Big Data bring them back into the fold? The Swedish apparel retailer certainly has had a hard time of it lately. Sweatshirt controversies and delivery problems aside, foot traffic has nosedived, sending H&M’s operating profit careening 62 percent in the three months through February and yoking the fast-fashion chain with $4.3…

Can Footwear Ever Give Waste the Boot?

H&M is doing it. Levi’s is doing it. Even Zara wants a seat at the table. In fact, a total of 64 companies representing 143 brands and a combined value of 7.5 percent of the global apparel market have thrown their support behind a transition to a circular fashion economy, where products are made to…

The Tech Investments Retailers are Banking on for Improved Customer Experience

In 2017, retailers finally took a sledgehammer to the walls that for so long kept their brick-and-mortar, web, and mobile operations separate. Now that they’re embracing technologies that will allow them to streamline the retail experience, 2018 will undoubtedly be the year of unified commerce. Indeed, retailers plan to increase their overall IT spending for…

Report: Fewer Risks, More Rewards for Socially Responsible Apparel

For fashion companies that have operated with unbridled freedom over the years, the trend of social responsibility can feel like a millstone around the neck. Indeed, for a long time, many major brands were inclined toward “greenwashing” to portray themselves as more environmentally friendly than their actions warranted. Today, more are finding that profitability and…

Argentina Adopts Responsible Wool Standard to Rehabilitate Reputation

Convincing a brand to adopt a third-party standard can be a tough sell. Persuading an entire country? Well, that’s practically unheard of. But something nigh miraculous happened on the way to the Sustainable Textile Conference, the five-day industry affair organized by Textile Exchange in mid-October. Defying all odds, the nonprofit announced that two key Argentine…

Agility, Innovation Key to Making Multichannel Work

The borders of the retail landscape are blurring more than ever. Moving from a company’s brick-and-mortar store to its online marketplace to its Instagram page, today’s consumers expect a seamless, unshackled experience that allows them to browse, buy, and receive their goods not just whenever but wherever, as well. Slowly but surely, the world of…

NRF: E-commerce and Stores Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

Don’t sound the death knell for brick and mortar just yet; only a fifth of U.S. consumers are primarily online shoppers, according to the inaugural issue of Consumer View, the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) new quarterly report designed to measure consumer behavior and shopping trends in a shifting retail landscape. Further, if malls and shopping…