The following news in brief rounds up the week in greener retailing.
Barbour puts 40 restored Beaufort jackets up for auction
Fashion brand Barbour, which has long offered a Re-Loved programme to keep unwanted jackets in circulation, is again highlighting the power of repair and circularity – this time via a new auction.
Marking 40 years of its Beaufort jacket, the retailer has teamed up with stylist Clare Richardson to offer five re-loved Beaufort jackets in a special charity auction.
Each garment has been re-worked and restored at Barbour’s factory in South Shields, including re-waxing and repairing processes, and to add to their value they come with a Beaufort 40th anniversary stud and swing tag personally signed by company chairperson Dame Margaret Barbour and numbered and signed by the machinist who restored it.
In another environmentally-focused move, all proceeds from the auction will be donated to The Royal Countryside Fund.
Oatly calls for mandatory climate footprint labels on F&B product packaging
This week on Reddit, Oatly sustainability director Caroline Reid posed the question: “Do you think putting climate footprint labels on food and drink packaging is a good thing?
“We do, and we think all products should have them (you know, just like with nutritional labels). It’s one of the easiest ways for you to make an informed choice about the climate impact of the products you buy.”
It was part of the marketing for an event on the discussion forum website, dubbed the Oatly AMA (Ask Me Anything), which prompted online conversation on product climate footprints. Oatly, which is a plant-based drinks manufacturer, already puts its climate footprint numbers on its packaging and is asking dairy companies, in particular, “why don’t they?”
In the push for food and beverage (F&B) transparency on this matter, Reid and her team were keen for a so-called “big dairy” executive to join them in the discussion but it was to no avail as their request for a co-host from the sector was not met.
H&M Group issues green bond
In an effort to help combat the climate crisis and improve its environmental standing, H&M Group has issued a €500 million green bond.
It comes with a maturity of eight years under its Euro Medium Term Note programme, and was 3.5 times oversubscribed and generated wide interest amongst a broad international base of institutional investors, according to the retail group.
H&M said the net proceeds from the bond will be allocated towards eligible projects in five categories as defined in the Sustainable Finance Framework published on 1 September 2023: circular economy, green buildings, renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable water management and wastewater management.
Adam Karlsson, chief financial officer at H&M Group, said: “The transaction extends H&M Group’s debt maturity profile and supports our vision to lead the change towards achieving a circular fashion industry with a net-zero climate impact.
“We are also happy to see a broadening of our investor base, including several leading green investors, which confirms the ambition of our sustainability agenda.”
The bond will be listed on the regulated market Euronext Dublin and has been placed with the assistance of BNP Paribas, ING, JP Morgan, SEB and UniCredit. ING also acted as adviser for the Sustainable Finance Framework.
UK re-commerce economy worth £6.99bn – Barclaycard survey
Consumers are opting for second hand over new and hiring pre-loved items more often than they did 12 months ago, contributing £6.99 billion to the UK economy, according to research from Barclaycard Payments and analyst group Development Economics.
The figure has been generated by combining a new consumer survey with demographic data from the Office for National Statistics.
Britons have spent £5.92 billion on second-hand products and £1.07 billion on renting items to use for a set amount of time rather than purchasing them new, the study claims.
- 44% of consumers buy more second-hand items than they did a year ago, while a further 57% say their re-commerce shopping behaviour has remained consistent.
- British consumers make £25 a month on average from selling their unwanted processions on online marketplaces or in-person, such as at car boot or garage sales.
- Gen-Z adults (those aged 18-24) are particularly motivated by shopping second hand, viewing pre-loved items as ‘more fashionable’ (30%) while also being attracted to clothes and accessories that their peers are less likely to own (31%).
- Those aged 25-34 are the largest contributors to the overall re-commerce economy, estimated to have spent £1.95 billion on second-hand items in the past year.
Linda Weston, managing director at Barclaycard Payments, said: “The rising cost-of-living and a shift towards more sustainable habits are changing the way Brits shop. Our data shows we’re increasingly opting to shop second hand, or rent items for a short period of time, rather than buying outright. The trend is permeating a range of sectors, from childcare to pet care and from fashion to fitness.
Steve Lucas, economic development manager at Development Economics, said: “The market is supporting a significant number of retail sector jobs across the UK, and this proportion is set to show strong growth over the next few years.”
BrandAlley leads latest Sign of the Times investment round
Pre-loved designer fashion and accessories platform Sign of the Times has completed its latest investment round, which was led by discount fashion e-commerce player BrandAlley.
Illustrating how the platform has turned retailers heads, other investors came from industry luminaries such as Tamara Hill-Norton, founder of Sweaty Betty, and Sarah Welsh, currently the CEO of retail for N Brown.
Antonia Johnstone, owner and CEO of Sign of the Times, commented: “Sign of the Times has grown from a bootstrapped position by 300% in the last three years and we are looking forward to working strategically with BrandAlley in the future to achieve our ambitious growth goals.”
Rob Feldmann, CEO of BrandAlley, which made up half of the investment round, said: “Our decision to invest in Sign of the Times was twofold; in addition to their brilliant track-record and highly experienced teams, they are market leaders in their circular approach.
“This mindset aligns with our long-term vision to grow our business in a sustainable and circular way.”
[Image credit: Green Retail World]