Big retailers are planning big strides in sustainability.
That’s the conclusion of the 2013 Retail Sustainability Report being released today by the Retail Industry Leaders Association and cosponsored by the sustainability practice of Ernst & Young.
“All of the trends are upward,” noted Adam Siegel, RILA’s vice president of sustainability and retail operations. “Everyone is projecting that they’re going to be working on far more in the next few years than they are today. They’re already heavily involved in management of waste and recycling and energy usage.”
Among the sustainability executives surveyed, 97 percent are already working on waste and recycling in their facilities, meaning stores, headquarters and distribution centers, and that number is expected to remain at that level two years from now. Similarly, 94 percent are acting on energy usage, a number expected to inch up to 97 percent.
However, greenhouse gas emissions and water usage are currently under the microscope at 68 and 55 percent, respectively, figures expected to rise to 87 percent and 84 percent by 2015.
Siegel noted that an issue barely on the radar of most sustainability officials — end-of-life disposal of products — is creeping into view. Less than half of the respondents — 48 percent — are addressing it now, but more than four in five — 81 percent — expect to be looking into it two years from now.
“I’ve already begun to see the cusp of that trend,” Siegel told WWD. “Some stores are taking back products, making arrangements for customers to give or even sell products back after the product’s life is over or helping small companies develop businesses in this area.”
The survey revealed relatively low levels of involvement in some of the implications of stores utilizing global supply chains, with signs of growing awareness in light of tragedies like the Tazreen fire that killed 111 workers in Bangladesh on Nov. 24.
The “manufacturing impacts” of their products were already being addressed by 52 percent of retail officials included in the survey, a number seen growing to 68 percent in the next two years. Factory labor conditions are on the agenda of 48 percent of officials, but 65 percent expect to act on them by 2015, and sourcing locations, also addressed by 48 percent now, will grow to 77 percent in that time frame.
“Sustainability is a business imperative,” said Craig Coulter of Ernst & Young’s sustainability practice. “This report demonstrates that companies are developing the operational strategies and the systems and infrastructures — personnel, metrics, goals, tracking systems, reporting, etc. — to effectively manage and implement sustainability.”
It also demonstrates a determination to “do well by doing good.” Although they acknowledge the importance of goodwill in their efforts to adapt more sustainable practices in their facilities and their products, about a quarter expect financial payback on sustainability initiatives in two to three years, versus about 22 percent who expect it in between one and two years and about 15 percent who put the return horizon at three to five years.
RILA, whose members include many of the largest U.S.-based mass merchants, issued a white paper on transportation sustainability in January.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)