Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced a partnership Tuesday with leading sustainability suppliers to assist in the creation of green jobs in the U.S.
The Wal-Mart Green Jobs Council is made up of representatives from the retailer’s divisions, including store operations, real estate, logistics and sustainability. Representatives from suppliers across a variety of industries will participate, the company said.
“We believe that creating green jobs is essential to keeping the United States competitive in the global marketplace,” said Leslie Dach, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president of corporate affairs and government relations. “At Wal-Mart, we believe that, by bringing these companies together and working collaboratively, we can help develop a larger green job workforce in this country.”
The Bentonville, Ark.-based giant has said its companywide sustainability goals include using 100 percent renewable energy, creating zero waste and selling environmentally friendly products. Wal-Mart said it is moving toward these goals by using sustainable sourcing practices such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, renewable energy and life cycle management.
The company recently made its first substantial purchase of wind energy in the U.S., which it said will lead to the creation of green jobs in Texas. The wind power will supply as much as 15 percent of the retailers’ total energy load in about 360 Texas stores and other facilities.
Suppliers at the first meeting of the Wal-Mart Green Jobs Council included General Electric Co., BP Solar International Inc., Dematic Corp., HydroPoint Data Systems, Lennox, ReCold, Schneider Electric, SwissLog Holding AG, Systecon Inc., Thermastor and Zurn.
Wal-Mart touts its organic and sustainable apparel under an earth-friendly section on its Web site. There were only eight items listed on Tuesday, including a Coca-Cola juniors Drink 2 Wear recycled-polyester ladybug T-shirt for $2, and a Hanes organic cotton sleep shirt, tank and pants, priced from $6.98 to $8.98. For babies, there were Kushies biodegradable diaper liners, $11.97 for two rolls; an organic cotton crib bedding set, $119.97, and a Halo organic wearable sleep sack blanket, $49.98.
Asked whether apparel manufacturers would participate in future council meetings, a Wal-Mart spokesman said: “We aren’t ruling out any industry that’s interested in green job creation and growth.”
The retailer’s “most valuable contribution to sustainability efforts would be to ensure that its 1.4 million U.S. workers have jobs with a living wage, quality, affordable health care and better working conditions,” said David Nassar, executive director of Wal-Mart Watch, an advocacy group for workers. “Wal-Mart should get its own house in order before it tries to lead its suppliers and any other participants in workforce matters.”
Wal-Mart said the next Green Jobs Council meeting will be in Washington early next year.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast