Sustainability News in Retail
Completely Retail Marketplace looks at the latest Sustainability News from the world of retail.
Globally, consumers choose 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.
Read the below Snapshot blog post to gain further insight into the latest sustainability news in retail.
Dunelm Achieves Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets Approval from SBTi
Dunelm has received validation for its greenhouse gas emissions targets by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). Marking it as one of the pioneering homeware retailers to attain this recognition. The furniture company has committed to reducing its absolute Scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% before 2030 and 90% by 2040. Dunelm’s overarching objective is to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions throughout its value chain by 2040.
Nick Wilkinson, the CEO of the retailer, emphasised their dedication to integrating sustainability into their operations. Recognising its significance not just as a moral imperative but also as a business strategy aligned with their vision to become the most trusted and valuable brand in homewares and furniture in the UK. He expressed their delight in SBTi’s approval of their ambitious targets and their determination to lead the homewares industry in minimising its environmental impact.
This announcement precedes the release of the company’s Sustainability Report. Dunelm joins THG and John Lewis in receiving SBTi’s validation for their sustainability goals.
Waitrose, the sole UK supermarket with its own 4,000-acre farm encompassing property, farming, retail, and leisure activities, has introduced an innovative and environmentally conscious approach by using its 500-strong herd of cows to aid in powering the farming estate. This initiative aligns with their commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in their own operations by 2035.
Superdrug Ceases Sales of Disposable Vapes in the UK & Ireland
Superdrug has made the decision to discontinue the sale of single use vapes in all of its stores located in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This decision comes in response to the alarming revelation that nearly five million disposable vapes are discarded each week. The excessive consumption has sparked major concerns about excessive waste.
Single-use vapes have faced increasing criticism, with calls for their outright ban due to their substantial environmental impact. According to YouGov data, the number of disposable single use vapes discarded in the UK has surged by nearly 400% within a year. This number is reaching close to five million per week.
Acknowledging the environmental repercussions of single-use vapes, the high street health and beauty retailer is exiting the single-use vape market. The will be removing brands like Vuse GO and Flavaah bars from its shelves. Ghada Beal, Superdrug’s healthcare director, pointed out that many of these vapes contain lithium batteries. Lithium, which should be disposed of responsibly but often end up in landfills, posing fire risks. Addressing the lasting effects of single use vapes on the environment, Beal expressed her satisfaction with the decision to eliminate them from all stores.
While maintaining the responsibility of offering alternative options for consumers seeking alternatives to cigarettes, Beal also emphasised the importance of being responsible for the increasing popularity of disposable vapes among young people and the enduring environmental impact. The research conducted by YouGov that prompted Superdrug’s action was commissioned by the non-profit organization Material Focus. It also highlighted that the discarded products contain enough lithium to produce 5,000 electric car batteries annually.
Lucy Morton-Channon, Superdrug’s head of ESG, expressed her concern about the alarming rate at which consumers use and dispose of single-use vapes. Furthermore, Lucy made sure to emphasise the environmental implications of this trend.
Zalando Appoints Former H&M Sustainability Leader to Spearhead Sustainability, Diversity, and Inclusion
Zalando has selected Pascal Brun, a seasoned expert in sustainable apparel as the company’s new Vice President responsible for sustainability, diversity, and inclusion. In his fresh role at the prominent German online fashion retailer, Brun will report to Padmaja Bommareddy, the Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. He will be entrusted with advancing the company’s unwavering commitment to sustainability diversity and inclusion. He will be further entwining these values into the company’s strategic vision.
Brun brings his wealth of experience to Zalando after a 16-year tenure at H&M. His career at the fellow fashion industry giant included him serving in various management positions, including roles related to sustainability and supply chain management.
Speaking about his new role, Pascal Brun expressed his enthusiasm. Stating; “I am excited to embark on this new journey at Zalando. The redefined approach, which integrates sustainability diversity and inclusion into the core of Zalando’s organisation, equips my team with the means to make a substantial and enduring impact by building upon the strong groundwork laid in recent years. I am honoured to guide Zalando in its pursuit of positive influence and meaningful growth across our entire value chain.”
In the previous month, the retailer nearly doubled its adjusted Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) during the second quarter. They experienced an impressive 87% year-on-year growth, reaching €144.8 million. This substantial increase was attributed to a more focused marketing strategy, improved order economics, and larger average basket sizes. These changes have, in turn, led to reduced fulfilment costs.
Inditex, the Fashion Giant, Partners with LA-Based Start-Up Ambercycle to Expand Textile-to-Textile Recycled Polyester
Inditex, the renowned fashion powerhouse, has recently revealed a three-year collaboration with the Los Angeles-based start-up Ambercycle. The colab is aimed at accelerating the growth of recycled polyester production. Under this agreement, Zara’s parent company will acquire a substantial portion of Ambercycle’s annual cycora production for €70 million (£61 million).
This financial commitment is expected to play a pivotal role in facilitating the establishment of Ambercycle’s inaugural commercial-scale textile regeneration facility.
Ambercycle’s production of cycora at its’ commercial plant is scheduled to commence in 2025. There are also plans for its’ incorporation into Inditex’s product range over the next three years. This initiative aligns with Inditex’s broader objective of ensuring that 100% of its textile products are exclusively crafted from materials. Furthermore, with a reduced environmental footprint by 2030.
Additionally, Inditex has unveiled that Zara’s sportswear sub-brand, Zara Athleticz, has introduced its initial capsule collection in collaboration with Ambercycle. This collection comprises items crafted with up to 50% cycora content and is currently available for online purchase through Zara.
Javier Losada, Chief Sustainability Officer at Inditex, emphasized the company’s commitment to advancing circularity within the fashion industry. He underscored their intention to promote innovation and scale up novel solutions, processes, and materials to facilitate textile-to-textile recycling. Losada stated, “Ambercycle’s pioneering molecular regeneration technology transforms end-of-life textiles into fresh materials, effectively reducing waste and emissions in the production cycle.”
Shay Sethi, CEO of Ambercycle, shared the company’s goal of fostering circularity by substituting virgin polyester with textile-to-textile regenerated cycora. He lauded the partnership with Inditex as a significant step towards realising circularity on a large scale within the fashion industry.
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