Is H&M Ethical? It Depends on Whom You Ask

When H&M debuts its eighth Conscious Exclusive collection on Thursday, it will be the first time it’s done so for the Autumn/Winter season. “Usually they’re in the springtime,” Emily Scarlett, head of the Swedish retailer’s U.S. communications, said at a luncheon previewing the upcoming pieces at Blue Hill at Stone Farms in Tarrytown, N.Y. last…

How a Cult Ski Brand Became a Leading Voice of Sustainable Fashion

Erin Snow is ready to step out of its niche and into the limelight. The brainchild of Erin Isakov, a former merchandiser for Elie Tahari and Theory, Erin Snow began in 2003 as an alternative to the boxy, outmoded and somewhat outré skiwear that had commandeered the market since the ‘90s. “It was not at…

UK Retailers Gripped by Rise in Excess Stock, Markdowns

U.K. retailers are plagued by excess stock as weather woes, stagnating incomes and Brexit-fueled economic uncertainty continue to roil the high street, trend forecaster WGSN reported on Friday. As retailers continue to ramp up their e-commerce strategies, volumes of new womenswear have grown 9 percent year on year (YOY), WGSN said. But a squeeze on…

Does Sustainability Have a Millennial Problem?

Sorry, Planet Earth, but don’t count on millennials to save you. Despite a reputation for being socially, politically and environmentally “woke”—to the point of caricature by their curmudgeonly forebears—the demographic born between 1982 and 2000, per the U.S. Census Bureau (and 1981 and 1996, according to the Pew Research Center) isn’t about to martyr themselves…

Are Biomaterials Hype or Hope for the Apparel Industry?

Leather derived from mushrooms. Knitwear cultured from algae. Yoga pants blended with crab shells. For the fashion industry, frozen in the amber of tradition and resistant to change, these are practically mutinous developments. It isn’t just niche brands that are dabbling in these so-called “biosynthetics,” which is to say, man-made materials with organic origins. H&M…

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…

‘Max Goes to Jupiter’ Is an Updated Science-Filled Adventure

What does it take to land a Rottweiler on one of Jupiter’s moons? Quite a lot, actually. Even a fictional sojourn to Io and Europa requires at least three authors, an illustrator, a handful of human reference models (plus a canine one), and nearly a dozen scientific and technical advisers, including a couple from the…

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…