Completely Retail Marketplace — Sustainability News in Retail
Log In
Sustainability News in Retail

Sustainability News in Retail

Sustainability Jul 9, 2024 at 9:08am

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

Consumers are consciously choosing to buy from brands that commit to sustainability. Nowadays, going green is about more than just having recycling stations in store or asking customers to recycle their shopping bags. Retailers face a strict timeline for sustainability. By 2030, businesses must cut their emissions by 50% and achieve a 90% reduction by 2050 to curb global warming and align with the Paris Agreement goals.

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

Sustainability News in Retail

Marks & Spencer has introduced a clothing repair service aimed at promoting a circular economy by minimising textile waste.

This initiative, part of the company's wider "Plan A" sustainability and ethical business strategy, is being implemented in collaboration with the online tailoring and repair start-up Sojo.

The service, named 'M&S Fixed by Sojo,' will be available from August via a dedicated online platform.

The offering will include various repair services, from zip replacements to "invisible" mending for knitwear. Prices will begin at £5, and the repairs, collected and returned to customers, will be completed within seven to 10 days.

As part of this initiative, M&S is also launching the 'Another Life' branding in its stores, on its website, and in its app. This branding will consolidate all of its circularity services, such as the beauty take-back scheme and the clothes donation partnership with Oxfam, under one umbrella.

Richard Price, M&S's managing director of clothing and home, stated: "Quality products are central to M&S, and we believe our clothing should never go to waste. With the introduction of our repair service, we are making it easier for customers to extend the life of their clothes, whether through our new repair service or our long-standing clothes recycling scheme."

Josephine Phillips, founder and CEO of Sojo, commented: "Our mission has always been to make clothing repairs mainstream and to prolong the life of as many garments as possible. I am thrilled that M&S has chosen to collaborate with us on this repair service, as it is a significant step towards that goal. As a brand that is a staple in British households and wardrobes, this partnership will make repairs easy, accessible, and convenient for everyone."

sustainability News in Retail - m&s

John Lewis Introduces Sustainable Clothing Line with New Circular Collection

John Lewis has introduced a new environmentally conscious clothing range, responding to the concerns of Brits who are dissatisfied with fabric shrinkage and pilling.

To lessen the environmental footprint of their clothing, John Lewis has released the first phase of its "innovative new circular collection" for both home and fashion, focusing on "minimising waste and maximising longevity."

The retailer's initial collection features 20 items, including pyjamas, baby wear, knitwear, mattresses, duvets, and pillows. John Lewis describes this launch as "just the beginning."

By 2028, the company plans to extend this initiative to include thousands of products. Research from anti-waste charity Wrap indicates that textiles and fashion contribute up to 10% of global carbon emissions, with the UK leading Europe in clothing consumption per capita.

Nearly half of UK residents purchase clothing at least once a month, and one in four frequently buys items intended for short-term use. Consequently, the average person in the UK discards around 35 unwanted textile items into general waste annually.

Reflecting these findings, the products in the John Lewis range now contain more recycled materials. John Lewis commercial director Kathleen Mitchell stated, “We are continually exploring changes to combine style and sustainability for our customers. They seek products that are both attractive and durable, which is exactly what these designs deliver.”

“We’re learning how to design more efficiently, creating products that customers can trust to be economical and environmentally friendly. Implementing the circular framework and strategy has been very enlightening.”

Sustainability news in retail - John Lewis

Kingfisher announces that sustainable products account for half of its sales

Kingfisher, the DIY giant and owner of B&Q, has announced that over £6.4bn of its group sales now come from Sustainable Home Products (SHPs), representing nearly 49.4% of its total revenue.

The parent company of B&Q also reported surpassing its 2025/26 carbon emissions reduction targets, achieving a 62% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions since the 2016/17 baseline—well beyond the goal of 37.8%. Last year, Kingfisher joined forces with several home improvement retailers to create a global task force aimed at promoting Scope 3 emission reductions within the sector.

Currently, the DIY firm is working with its vendors, including B&Q and Screwfix, to establish new targets for Scope 3 emissions. In its latest Responsible Business report, the retailer highlighted four main priorities: inclusivity, climate action, making homes greener and healthier, and supporting community housing needs.

The company made significant strides toward its inclusivity goals, with women occupying 28.6% of senior leadership roles and 39.6% of management positions in 2023/24. These figures are approaching the targets of 35% and 40% by 2025/26, respectively.

Community support is a vital part of Kingfisher's Responsible Business strategy. The retailer set an ambitious goal to assist more than 2 million people with housing needs by 2025/26, a target it has already surpassed.

In the past year, Kingfisher's community projects reached over 1.2 million people, bringing the total to 3.2 million since 2016/17. To meet the increasing consumer demand for eco-friendly products, Kingfisher has also introduced a green star product mark to help customers easily identify items with a lower environmental impact.

Sustainability News in Retail

Decathlon's buyback service enables customers to return unwanted or outgrown sports equipment in exchange for store credit.

Initially launched in October 2023, the program began with Decathlon’s own-brand bicycles and expanded in April to include a wide range of sports equipment, such as fitness gear, gym equipment, golf clubs, and tennis rackets. The company plans to extend this service to other products soon.

These pre-owned items, referred to as 'second life' products by Decathlon, are sold on the retailer’s website at discounted prices, making them more affordable and promoting sustainability among customers.

New Shopper Unlocked research reveals that 38% of online shoppers are more likely to shop with retailers offering a buyback scheme for their purchases, while only 17% disagreed. This indicates that such programs can enhance customer loyalty and spending.

Decathlon's buyback program complements its equipment rental service, launched in March 2023, which aims to "make the joy of sports more accessible by allowing customers to try new activities at a fraction of the retail price." The brand invested over £1m in this initiative in 2023.

Subscribe to the Snapshot blog post for more sustainability news in retail

Share with your community to spread insights into the current retail sustainability landscape.

Back to top