Prada becomes first fashion house to sign sustainability deal

Italian fashion house Prada has become the first company in the industry to sign a loan deal that has sustainability-related conditions attached.

With climate change becoming a huge public concern in recent times, well-known fashion brands have been announcing new sustainability plans almost constantly over the past few months. Now Prada has made their sustainability objectives a vital aspect of the conditions of a £42.9 million loan.

One of the main aspects of the deal states that the firm must have a certain amount of physical stores that are either designated gold or platinum by the green-building rating system Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This takes into account the construction of a building, its management and the number of resources it consumes.

Then, the brand must phase out virgin nylon by 2021, acting on a pledge made in the past. The brand must instead use Econyl, a yarn that is recyclable, as it is made from plastic waste. This is a particularly big move from Prada, as one of their longest-standing and best selling items, the iconic Tessuto Bag, has traditionally been made with nylon.

Alberto Bezzi Senior Banker at Crédit Agricole said of the deal: “The luxury sector is being increasingly committed to developing a sustainable business. I am very proud of this collaboration, which confirms Prada’s ongoing efforts for engaging in and cultivating virtuous behaviors that contribute to its sustainable growth.”

US retail sales recover after 7 month low

Walmart Sign

The sales for US retailers bounced back in October, after a 7 month-slump according to the commerce department. 

Retail Sales increased by 0.3% in the last month, an improvement on September’s decline of 0.3%, which marked the weakest level of spending since February. According to the Irish Times, economists had forecast a monthly increase of 0.2%. 

Much of the sales are accounted for by auto dealers, gas stations and stores with a strong online and offline presence, like Walmart. Notably, internet retailers were one of the biggest growers, with sales up 1%.

The data may be reflective of the flow-on impact from the recent Federal Reserve decision to start lowering the borrowing costs over the summer. This creates more confidence that predictions of a robust holiday shopping season in the US will come true. 

John Lewis and Waitrose team up for new experiential concept shop 

John Lewis Building

John Lewis and Waitrose announced they will be collaborating on a new joint venture – a “customer-centric” concept store that will allow customers to get involved in a range of experiences related to available products. The Southampton-based store will open 19th  November, and allow customers access to a range of experts – from chefs and wine connoisseurs to make-up artists and gardeners.

The “experience playgrounds” concept represents the department store’s latest effort in modernizing how people shop in the age of eCommerce. Peter Cross, customer experience director at John Lewis and Partners, said:

“Our goal is to offer customers unrivaled access to expertise and impartial advice in as many areas of their lives as we possibly can in a way that is uplifting and inspiring. We know that shopping for a new gadget or beauty product can be a daunting experience, with so much choice on offer. We want to help navigate customers through that.”

If this initial trial goes well, it is likely the concept could appear throughout the country.

The two companies recently announced they will cease operating as two separate shops and merge into one, by 3rd February 2020. This decision is expected to save the two firms around £100 million over a period of time. It will also aim to enable much quicker delivery for its customers, as the brands will have the same executive team looking after the partnership’s business strategy and performance.