Zara's store at Battersea Power Station

5 for Friday: Greener retailing news in brief

Green Retail World has covered news from Tesco, Virgin Media O2, and Salvation Army Trading Company, as well as the retailer winners of the British Retail Consortium Climate Action Roadmap Showcase event this week, as the industry continues to find ways to reduce its impact on the environment.

The following news in brief rounds up the week in greener retailing.

Zara resale coming next week

On 3 November, Zara will launch “Zara Pre-Owned” in the UK – available through its stores, website, and mobile app.

Customers using the platform will be able to make more sustainable decisions with regards to their used clothing, including booking repair services, reselling items to other consumers, or donating unwanted products to the Red Cross. In the case of the latter, consumers will be prompted to arrange a parcel pick-up from their own homes.

John Lewis Partnership aligns with Canopy

The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has joined Canopy, an organisation that works with corporates to help protect vital forests.

JLP will be a brand partner alongside many other companies that form the CanopyStyle 500 initiative.

The retail group said the move comes as it looks to accelerate its work on ensuring man-made cellulosic sourcing isn’t from ancient and endangered forests, advocating for forest conservation, and encouraging innovation in our fabric supply chains.

JLP director of ethics & sustainability, Marija Rompani, said: “We recently launched the John Lewis Partnership’s Plan for Nature which highlights our commitment to protect and restore nature.

“Initiatives such as this showcase our dedication to conserving forests for our planet’s climate and biodiversity. CanopyStyle is a brilliant addition to our sustainability work, and we look forward to our collaboration.”

Grohanger aims to reduce clothing hanger waste

A baby clothing hanger made from recycled material that ‘grows’ into an adult hanger has been made available to the retail industry.

Grohanger has been designed to ensure fashion retailers of baby, kids and adult clothes minimise their carbon footprint when using hangers. It is also marketed as a hanger that can be deployed in closed loop re-use programmes, and is available for all sizes of garment retailers – from small independents to multinational fashion retailers.

Grohanger’s products are made from recycled polypropylene. The arms extend from 27cm to 41cm and with the modular clips, unique jaws, and extendable trouser bar, one hanger can cover over 80% of most retailers needs and 100% of baby/kids clothes retailer needs, according to the owner and inventor, Nick Lewis.

The theory is that for in store re-hanging and when hanging garments at clothing factories, Grohanger enables retailers to always have the right size and type of hanger available.

“Retailers now have the opportunity to drastically rationalise hanger ranges and reduce carbon footprint,” argues Lewis.

“Price points are no greater than standard hangers and it’s available either supplied directly in all major global locations or as part of hanger reuse programmes through established global hanger producers, under licence.”

Mango to fund textile recovery project

Fashion retailer Mango’s ‘Mango StartUp Studio’ is to fund the Recovo textile recovery project, a platform which resells textile waste. The retailer is funding the company through a convertible equity loan.

The project includes an acceleration programme in which entrepreneurs from Recovo can learn about the Mango operation at first hand, as well as receiving mentoring and advice.

Recovo is a re-commerce platform for textile, yarn, and production material waste. The concept is centred on helping companies give a second life to textile surpluses and minimise their environmental impact.

The Mango StartUp Studio aims to promote various types of innovation, help the retailer detect new growth opportunities, and participate in the development of new technologies or business models. It is is looking for companies and ideas at the development stage in which it can make seed-capital investments that add value to the fashion industry and improve the customer experience.

Sustainability and technology are the key areas of focus for the accelerator.

RAW Charging and SolarBotanic Trees tie-up

Technology company SolarBotanic Trees has reached an agreement to supply 200 co-branded ‘solar trees’ to electric vehicle charging provider RAW Charging as the latter rolls out its network across the UK and Europe.

The SolarBotanic Tree is a solar power system that generates electricity and will initially be integrated into the existing RAW Charging site infrastructure to supplement its renewable power requirement. In the longer term, the SolarBotanic Tree will incorporate RAW’s hardware and battery storage into the solar tree structure.

Deliveries will start in mid-2023 and complete in 2024.

Chris Shelley, SolarBotanic CEO, commented: “This launch programme is worth close to £3 million, coming less than six weeks after we launched the new company.

“We now have over £25 million in our sales pipeline from all over the world since we launched. Our challenge is unlikely to be the market, but more our ability to grow quickly enough to meet a clearly nascent demand.”

Bruce Galliford, CEO of RAW, which has charging hubs across the Uk including in shopping centre car parks such as McArthurGlen Designer Outlet York, said: “We are delighted to be working with SolarBotanic Trees on delivering aesthetically attractive solar power systems at our sites in the UK.

“This partnership is the next step in RAW’s delivery programme as it rapidly grows its asset base across the UK and Europe.”

[Image credit: Green Retail World]

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