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Sustainability News in Retail

Sustainability News in Retail

Dec 5, 2023 at 11:59am

Completely Retail Marketplace looks at the latest Sustainability News from the world of retail.

Globally, consumers are choosing to buy from brands that commit to sustainability. Nowadays, going green is about more than just conserving energy or asking customers to recycle their shopping bags. Sustainability allows brands to better connect with their customers and do their bit for the planet. Retailers are increasing their efforts by reengineering their stores, offering refill stations and now, even setting up wind farms!

Read the below Snapshot blog post to gain further insight into the latest sustainability news in retail.

Sustainability News in Retail

Lidl partners with By Rotation to launch a Christmas jumper rental service

Lidl introduces a Christmas jumper rental service for holiday shoppers, with proceeds benefiting the NSPCC. Through the By Rotation fashion rental app, customers can lease a sweater for just £2 per day until December 31st. The service offers Lidl patrons the option to rent a jumper for a minimum of three days.

The rental collection encompasses all of the Lidl designer jumpers sold from 2020 to 2023. Moreover, they have also added three exclusive limited-edition sweaters co-designed with slow-fashion specialist Lydia Bolton.

Crafted from upcycled textiles, these three jumpers draw inspiration from pop culture Christmas icons and are exclusively available in the Lidl x By Rotation collection. Eshita Kabra, the founder and CEO of By Rotation, remarked, “Given that Christmas is a peak time for one-time outfit purchases, opting to rent a festive jumper for your holiday plans is not only a sustainable choice but also a smart way to save money!”

Sustainability News in Retail

Primark clothing, now made from over 50% sustainable materials

Primark is making strides toward its goal of having all its clothing crafted from recycled or sustainably sourced materials by 2030, affirming it is “well on track.”

In its 2023 Sustainability and Ethics Report, the company reveals that over half of this year’s clothing production adheres to these standards. Furthermore, marking an increase from 45% the previous year.

The retailer notably increased its utilisation of sustainable cotton, with 46% of cotton clothing containing organic, recycled, or Primark Sustainable Cotton Programme-sourced material, compared to 40% the previous year.

A “significant milestone” is Primark’s evaluation and validation by the Science Based Targets initiative. These align with its aim to halve carbon emissions throughout its value chain by 2030.

Primark has implemented TrusTrace, a traceability and compliance platform. This attempt is to collect data across the entire product supply chain, from raw materials to the finished product. The initiative is designed to enhance the fashion chain’s understanding and management of its supply chain.

Lynne Walker, Primark Cares director, emphasises the transformative impact of Primark Cares. Noting the second year’s focus on momentum, scalability, and embedding principles for long-term sustainability. Collaboration with partners and suppliers remains crucial, and the company prioritizes upskilling and training its colleagues as integral contributors to effecting positive change.

The recent success of Primark, as reported by owner ABF, reflects “excellent” trading, attributed to not only price adjustments but also well-received product lines, increased foot traffic, successful new store launches, and the rollout of an enhanced website.

Sustainability News in Retail

Sainsbury’s onshore wind farm is estimated to power Stores, Offices and Depots

In recent retail sustainability news, Sainsbury’s has successfully finalised the construction of its new onshore wind farm in Scotland. This is a significant initiative set to supply up to 33% of the retailer’s energy requirements for its stores, offices, and depots.

Patrick Dunne, Sainsbury’s Director of Property, Procurement, and EV Ventures expressed pride in the investment in this advanced, sustainable source of wind power. The wind farm is equipped with the largest onshore turbines available in the UK. It will contribute 50MW of electrical capacity to the grid as renewable energy.

This power will be harnessed to energise Sainsbury’s establishments nationwide, aligning with the company’s ambitious goal to achieve net zero in its own operations by 2035.

Standing over 200 meters tall at their highest point, with blades spanning 76 meters, these turbines are the largest and most powerful onshore wind turbines in the UK. Each turbine boasting a maximum output of 6-6.4MW.

Operating collectively at maximum capacity, they are poised to generate sufficient electricity to fulfil up to 33% of Sainsbury’s total electricity needs. Patrick Dunne emphasised the completion of the Longhill Burn Wind Farm as a crucial step in reducing the retailer’s carbon reliance.

He highlighted Sainsbury’s pioneering role as the first UK retailer to purchase wind power for its estate back in 2008, underlining the company’s commitment to investing in sustainable technologies and ensuring the long-term viability of projects like the Longhill Burn Wind Farm.

Sustainability News in Retail

New Look supports sustainability goals through more in-depth insights

New Look has entered a partnership with TrusTrace to enhance its understanding of its Tier 4 suppliers and bolster its commitment to sustainability by identifying responsible sourcing and business continuity risks.

In its recent sustainability report, the retailer highlighted a 22% reduction in scope 3 emissions and an 18% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions. Sue Fairley, Head of Sustainability at New Look, expressed excitement about the collaboration with TrusTrace, emphasising the value of gaining “deeper visibility” throughout the supply chain, particularly across Tier 4 suppliers.

Fairley noted the remarkable progress achieved through the ‘Kind to Our Core’ sustainability program, as outlined in the 2023 sustainability report, and sees this partnership as just the beginning of their sustainability journey.

Shameek Ghosh, CEO and co-founder of TrusTrace acknowledged New Look as the first major UK retailer to collaborate with TrusTrace, marking a significant milestone in the pursuit of creating traceable, circular, and fair global supply chains. TrusTrace’s capability to collect data from Tier 1 to Tier 4 will provide New Look with granular, validated product data to support its sustainability goals.

TrusTrace has recently partnered with Brooks Running to provide specific insights into the factories involved in creating a particular shoe for the apparel brand’s customers.

Amazon opens a “Second Chance” store to offer preloved items to customers

Amazon, the retail giant, has unveiled its inaugural physical Second Chance Store in central London. Providing customers the opportunity to enjoy discounts of up to 50% on a diverse selection of “quality returned products.” Open for the next two weeks, the store encourages sustainable shopping practices and allows patrons to save money by exploring a variety of returned, refurbished, or open-box items in person.

This initiative aligns with Amazon’s ongoing efforts to elevate its year-round online circular economy program, Second Chance. They recorded the sale of over four million second-hand products in the UK last year, resulting in customer savings exceeding £100 million.

Amazon UK Country Manager John Boumphrey emphasised that second-hand shopping on Amazon has evolved into a billion-pound business in the UK and Europe. The UK sales showing a growth of over 15% in the first nine months of 2023.

Customers, Boumphrey noted, are increasingly turning to second-hand items to navigate the ongoing cost of living crisis and to make more sustainable choices.

As part of its dedication to social impact, Amazon has donated over 4,000 products to be featured in the Second Chance Store. All proceeds were directed to Barnardo’s to support their efforts with children and young people. The act of product donations plays a crucial role in Amazon’s circular economy program. Facilitating over 13 million product donations to more than 2,000 UK charities in the current year alone. In 2022, Amazon expanded its collaboration with WRAP and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to promote a global circular economy for products.

Additionally, Amazon actively supports advancements in sorting technology to enhance plastic packaging recycling, participating in the Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0. The initiative is driven by the European Brands Association, and powered by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. It exemplifies Amazon’s commitment to addressing environmental challenges associated with plastic waste.

Sustainability News in Retail

The Perfume Shop has established the UK’s first multi-brand perfume refill station in its Nottingham store

The Perfume Shop has teamed up with the renowned global beauty brand L’Oréal. The station is set to fulfil the increasing demand from customers seeking eco-friendly alternatives. The aim is to provide a diverse range of sustainable refill fragrance choices. Gill Smith, Managing Director of The Perfume Shop, emphasises that refillable fragrances represent the forefront of innovation in the beauty product market.

The surge in popularity of refillable fragrances, growing at an impressive 23% compared to the 9% growth of non-refillable alternatives. This reflects the increasing preference of environmentally conscious consumers for sustainable options.

James Rickards, Managing Director of L’Oréal Luxe, expressed excitement about the partnership, highlighting the centrality of sustainability in their business. The flagship refillable concept is a significant stride. Making refills accessible both in-store through the multi-brand fountain and at home with a robust portfolio of refill cartridges.

The Perfume Shop’s commitment to sustainability is further demonstrated by its return and repurpose scheme. The scheme saw over 6,800 perfume bottles returned last month. Through this initiative, customers can return empty bottles to any store and receive a 15% discount on a new fragrance.

The returned bottles are ingeniously repurposed into chandeliers for The Perfume Shop stores. Additionally, the fragrance retailer has introduced enhanced recycling units across its nationwide stores as of March 2023.

Sustainability News

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