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STOP ’N SHOP: Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.), the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee, might want to spend a little less time on the campaign trail and a little more time at Wal-Mart, Kohl’s and J.C. Penney, where more shoppers favored his Republican opponent Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.). Of 5,055 Wal-Mart shoppers, 41.4 percent said they would vote for McCain while 33.3 percent favored Obama, according to a survey released Tuesday by BIGresearch, a consumer research firm based in Worthington, Ohio. The percentage splits were similar for shoppers at Kohl’s and J.C. Penney, who also favored McCain. Meanwhile, McCain could benefit from tour bus stops at Macy’s and Target store parking lots, where he trails Obama among shoppers. Of the 974 Macy’s shoppers surveyed, 47.2 percent said they would vote for Obama, while 34.2 percent said they would cast a ballot for McCain. As for Target shoppers, 41.5 percent of a total 1,932 said they would vote for Obama versus 32.6 percent for McCain.
CHEAP AND CHIC: Uniqlo has designed a special hooded minidress in merino wool for the next edition of Tokyo Girls Collection, a consumer fashion show targeting teenagers and young women. Actress Yu Yamada will wear the dress at the show, which takes place on Sept. 6, a day after Japan Fashion Week wraps. This is the seventh edition of TGC, a flashy show featuring Japanese models and live music performances. Attendees can place real-time orders via cell phone for the clothes as they come down the runway, but Uniqlo opted out of that aspect of the event. Instead, shoppers can purchase the dress directly from Uniqlo’s own mobile retail site or head to one of its stores. The dress comes in 10 colors and costs 3,990 yen, or about $36.
COKE GOES GREEN: Coke wants to save the world through fashion. Or, at the very least, recycle the plastic bottles left over from mass consumption of fizzy soft drinks. At the Beijing Olympics, the American soft drinks giant launched its new line of “sustainable fashion”: T-shirts made from cotton and polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. All participating athletes and officials received the boxy white T-shirts bearing the slogan “I’m from Earth” on the front and silhouettes of five Coke bottles on the back, indicating the number of bottles recovered to make the shirt. Coke volunteers have been outfitted in PET shirts and lanyards, and visors have been designed for Paralympic athletes and officials next month. In all, Coke’s foray into green fashion at the Games has spared some 200,000 plastic bottles (roughly 6 tons) from ending up in a Chinese landfill, the company said.
NAKED BEAUTY: Speaking of going green, British natural beauty brand Lush has decided to reveal the bare truth about the issue — or at least ask its staff to do so. Lush is raising awareness about excessive packaging and its effects on the environment by calling on its staff members to turn up to work wearing nothing but their aprons. “It’s very funny and irreverent and gets people to laugh,” said Sean Gifford, the brand’s communications manager, who’s already shrugged off his clothes three times for the cause. “Once we get people to laugh they’re more receptive to the message.” The campaign, which kicked off in the U.K. last year and has since rolled out to other European countries and Australia, will hit Lush stores in the U.S. later this month. Let’s hope it doesn’t turn cold.