Summary of “Uniqlo Is Gap for Millennials”

Quality isn’t an attribute typically associated with fast fashion, but Uniqlo has also managed to build a reputation for durability.
Uniqlo can’t promise anything approaching that longevity, but in an era of disposable fashion, a Uniqlo garment, made from hearty materials and cut in a timeless style, can feel like an investment piece.
Like a mountain outfitter, Uniqlo touts the use of a number of signature technologies in its clothing.
HEATTECH, marketed as an innovative insulating system, and AIRism, which is promoted as moisture-wicking, are woven into a variety of Uniqlo staples-socks, underwear, camisoles, leggings, pants-supposedly making them more comfortable and resilient than competitors’ products.
More than 800 of the brand’s stores are in Japan-where Uniqlo, by its own estimates, accounts for about 6.5 percent of the total apparel market.
To achieve the kind of dominance in the U.S. that the company enjoys closer to home, Uniqlo will need to grow significantly.
“They have less brand awareness.” Many Americans have never heard of Uniqlo, or don’t know how to pronounce it.
As Uniqlo learned when it arrived on American shores, first impressions can be hard to manage.

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Summary of “Chapter 11 bankruptcy, explained”

Bankruptcy can play out in a number of ways, from reorganization to liquidation Just because a retailer can reorganize through bankruptcy doesn’t mean it ought to go that route.
While Chapter 11 bankruptcy is focused on a company reorganizing and paying off its debt, it has a variety of possible outcomes.
Reorganization efforts often fail, and a Chapter 11 bankruptcy can end in liquidation of some or all of the company’s assets.
Gordon Brothers is best known as a liquidator, but Toubassy led its March 2017 acquisition of Wet Seal’s brand name after the mall retailer shut down all of its stores and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier that year.
It’s not uncommon for a brand to relaunch out of bankruptcy only to stumble and file for bankruptcy again – what those in the bankruptcy business jokingly call a “Chapter 22.” While Chapters 7 and 13 impose waiting periods for filing a second time, Chapter 11 bankruptcy generally comes with no such rules, and Chapter 22s have become common in the retail world recently, highlighting the challenging nature of the business right now.
For bankrupt retailers, reorganization is increasingly unlikely The system that Squire described, one in which a company can restructure via Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, isn’t a realistic option for many retailers today.
That’s in part due to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, a 2005 amendment to the US Bankruptcy Code.
Previously, bankrupt retailers had 60 days to either reject or accept their store leases, but they could ask the court for repeated extensions of that deadline – “Often for the full duration of a debtor’s bankruptcy case,” according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.

The orginal article.

Summary of “We have to fix fashion if we want to survive climate change”

9 minute Read. Fashion brands, I’m talking to you: Enough is enough.
For the past three decades, fashion brands have perfected the art of manufacturing cheap clothing by relying on poorly paid labor in developing countries, inventing inexpensive plastic-based materials, and increasing the speed of production.
Activists, world leaders, and the public at large are just beginning to reckon with the way the fashion industry is accelerating the pace of climate change.
One thing is clear: The fashion industry is helping to propel climate change.
The vast majority of brands in the $1.3 billion fashion industry-whether that’s Louis Vuitton or Levi’s-measure growth in terms of increasing production every year.
The current state of the fashion industry is not working for consumers, or even the brands themselves.
These brands, while still small, are making durable clothes and accessories designed to outlast any given fashion trend-and crucially, they’re differentiating themselves to consumers in ways that fast fashion brands cannot.
While the eight-year-old brand is hard to compare to fashion giants, it recently announced that it was profitable.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Drink Seltzer, Live Forever”

That’s to say nothing of the inescapable LaCroix memes, customized LaCroix can generators, unaffiliated, slogan-emblazoned LaCroix t-shirts, self-referential Tumblr LaCroix flavor controversies, and, should one have stumbled upon the #livelacroix hashtag, lots and lots of crowdsourced content of beautiful millennial LaCroix drinkers doing beautiful millennial things, like eating breakfast in bed while wearing a hat.
The seltzer boom seems unlikely, as far as trends go: Outside of Borscht Belt slapstick, seltzer has few cultural connotations, and the major brands don’t advertise through traditional channels.
As a Vox article from 2016 noted, LaCroix’s marketing “Highlights its fashionable users, who make it clear that it’s popular to both drink LaCroix and talk about it. And so more fashionable people talk about and Instagram their cans of LaCroix, and more people find out about it, and the cycle continues.”
While LaCroix’s aspiring Instagram models use seltzer as a component of a Hollywood story, a blank screen for its drinkers’ dream-factory self-projections, Polar’s #feelgoodmoment hashtags tend to lead to shots of BU undergrads posing in a Star Market.
In an age of personal branding, online self-realization, and individualized versions of truth, LaCroix could take on any qualities of its consumer.
LaCroix’s over-filtered Instagram models and Polar’s fluorescent-lit college students show two different types of artifice in the service of creating a personal brand.
You can tell by how aesthetically flattened the platforms are: Your Facebook page, if you stand a few feet back, is virtually indistinguishable from LaCroix’s or Coca-Cola’s or your elementary school best friend’s or Kendall Jenner’s.
The LaCroix backlash has already begun, most predictably in memes that depict its earnest hashtaggers as vapid, self-absorbed, and maybe worst of all, basic.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Canada Goose and Moncler: the race to make warm winter outerwear”

The rise of obscenely warm winter clothes also has to do with global warming and the harsh winters that come with it: “Clothing is getting more extreme because weather is more extreme,” says Hertzman.
While most Canada Goose customers don’t typically face these arctic climates, details like this make the brand’s winter coats seem like a worthwhile investment to many shoppers.
The science of warmth, and the tech in heat tech To be sure, Canada Goose and Moncler did not invent the puffy coat, nor are they the only warm options.
The popularity of these luxury outerwear brands has also forced companies to step up their game and take sourcing and materials more seriously, says Michael Berkowitz, the founder of the winter coat brand Norwegian Wool.
“Some expensive designer winter coats you are buying today are not the same quality your grandfather’s coat was. I think a lot of these premium winter brands saw an opportunity to fill the void.”
Understanding winter coats has also become more nuanced, notes Karuna Scheinfeld, the vice president of design at Canada Goose.
Fortress, a Utah-based winter brand that promises to keep customers warm as they are “Working in the oil fields in North Dakota in the dead of winter, paragliding in November in Utah,” has ditched down-filled puffy coats.
Even the North Face, a VF Corporation-owned giant in the winter apparel space that makes $12 billion a year, seems to be stepping up its portfolio to compete with Canada Goose and Moncler.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Expensive Water Bottles Are Millennials’ Favorite Accessory”

People wanted cute workout gear, and they wanted to drink water out of materials other than plastic.
Nearly a decade on, the water-bottle trend shows no signs of slowing, and people just seem to like their fancy bottles a lot.
The trend’s Instagram visibility might make it seem like high-end water bottles are the sole province of women.
Brands such as bkr, whose bottles are pastel glass and can come with a special top meant to hold lip gloss, are explicitly marketed as products of feminine beauty.
Even if spending 40 or 50 bucks on a water bottle sounds bad, getting one for free can turn reluctant consumers into evangelists.
When those factors are taken together, it’s hard to be surprised that so many $50 water bottles exist, or that people have snapped them up in droves.
On a certain level, a nice water bottle fulfills its promise in the way few things do.
For people such as Mongeon, the art teacher, they look like things that are owned by people who know what they’re doing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Crusade In The Philippines Takes On The Big Brands Behind Plastic Waste”

NPR is exploring one of the most important environmental issues of our time: plastic waste.
He stopped using plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic anything, whenever he could.
With the foundation and backing from international environmental groups like GAIA, Grate helped teach communities to collect their own waste and segregate out the plastic.
Difficulties with plastic waste “Are not the responsibility of those who produce materials, fabricate packages and package goods,” he wrote in “Proceedings: First National Conference on Packaging Waste.” Rather, he said, it’s the consumer’s responsibility.
Jenna Jambeck at the University of Georgia, an engineer and waste expert, calculated how much plastic waste was going into the ocean every year.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., laid it out loud and clear in a Senate hearing: “Over 50 percent of the plastic waste in the oceans comes from just five countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Their upland waste management systems are a failure.”
He says the major consumer brands are already committed to reducing plastic waste.
A mediation group, the Meridian Institute in Washington, D.C., invited him to come talk to people in the U.S. who were concerned about plastic waste.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Retail predictions for 2019”

Over the last three years, thousands of stores shuttered-and dozens of companies went bankrupt.
In 2017 alone, 7000 stores closed their doors, and many brands with large retail footprints filed for Chapter 11, including Toys R Us, Gymboree, Payless, Wet Seal, and The Limited.
In 2018, about half as many stores closed as the year before, and in an interest twist, we saw the rebirth of physical retail, with startups developing their own take on stores and large real estate companies rethinking how malls should be designed.
In 2018, many startups recognized that stores could be a huge asset because they have the power to deepen the customer’s relationship with a brand, increasing their lifetime value.
The success of the Austin pop-up has convinced Hedrick to open five more stores throughout Texas in 2019.
Many brands will also use the stores as a place to forge a strong sense of community by hosting talks, parties, and other gatherings there.
In 2018, in the aftermath of so many stores shutting down, many brands felt they needed to get creative to woo customers into stores.
In 2019, brands will need to think of other ways to get consumers into stores.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Influencers Are Faking Brand Deals”

When Allie, a 15-year-old lifestyle influencer who asked to be referred to by a pseudonym, scrolls through her Instagram feed, sometimes the whole thing seems like an ad. There’s a fellow teen beauty influencer bragging about her sponsorship with Maybelline, a high-school sophomore she knows touting his brand campaign with Voss water.
“People pretend to have brand deals to seem cool,” Allie said.
“In the influencer world, it’s street cred,” said Brian Phanthao, a 19-year-old lifestyle influencer in San Diego who sees fake ads all over Instagram.
Phanthao said most of the people he sees doing it grew up watching influencers and now aspire to their lifestyle.
“They’re very influenced by influencers.” At first he was astounded that brands he recognized would partner with some of the people he saw on his feed.
Evans said staging these fake promotions “Makes you seem like you’re in a position to be getting things for free, which helps you build your brand or media kit It makes you seem more established, like you have brands that you’re working with. That means you’re producing good content and you’re worthy of approaching and offering these opportunities to.”
A lifestyle influencer who posts under the name Trendy Ambitious Blonde, posted a photo of herself with a Betsey Johnson bag she purchased with her own money and tagged the company, she was featured on its website.
The owner of one sunglasses brand, who asked to remain anonymous so as not to alienate anyone in the influencer community, said the practice has put him in a tough position as a stream of mid-level influencers post mediocre-quality sponsored content seemingly on his behalf, without his approval or control.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Did a slave make your sneakers? The answer is: probably”

KnowTheChain has developed a scoring system to identify how large, global apparel and footwear companies-from Gap to Louis Vuitton to Nike-fare in terms of worker treatment.
KnowTheChain makes the case that these companies are culpable for their role in the exploitation of workers no matter where it happens in the supply chain.
The scoring system takes into account how these companies address many issues relating to the payment of workers.
If they compound interest on the fee, a worker may never make enough money to pay it back, rendering them a lifelong slave.
One audit KnowTheChain examined found that an apparel company in Taiwan charged migrant workers US$7000 for a job at a fabric mill.
Lululemon has worked hard to ensure that workers in its supply chains get all of their identification documents, like their passports, returned to them.
Many of these brands make their products in Europe, but KnowTheChain says that European workers are also vulnerable to exploitation.
In Italy Chinese laborers are sometimes subjected to forced labor in textile factories, and in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, and Turkey, workers have been denied time off, and had to work overtime beyond legal limits for “Staggeringly low wages.”

The orginal article.