Textile recycling, triple supply chain advantage, Levi's washing campaign and McDonald’s raises wages

Retailers unveil clothes recycling technology

Fashion retailer H&M, luxury goods group Kering and UK-based innovation start-up Worn Again have teamed up to create pioneering textile recycling technology.

The process separates individual fibres and dyes from old clothes. By converting the reclaimed raw materials into yarn, developing fabric and creating garments, the partners are hoping to demonstrate the technology’s commercial viability.

With yearly demand for polyester filament and cotton fibre at 65m tonnes and predicted to reach 90m tonnes by 2020, circular supply chains can reduce waste to landfills and curb demand for new resources. At present, only one fifth of the world's clothes are collected for reuse, with many ending up in landfill or incinerators.

“This can change the way fashion is made and massively reduce the need for extracting virgin resources from our planet,” says Anna Gedda, head of sustainability at H&M. “It brings us closer to our goal of creating fashion in a circular model.”

Sustainable supply chains boost revenues

A joint report by Accenture and the World Economic Forum has found that multinationals that implement and improve sustainable practices in their supply chains are achieving a “triple supply chain advantage”.

As detailed in “Beyond Supply Chains – Empowering Value Chains”, the triple supply chain advantage can increase company revenue by up to 20%, reduce supply chain costs by as much as 16% and boost brand value by up to 30%. It can also shrink carbon footprints by 22%.

Sustainable supply chains cost less

Following interviews with 25 corporations, including Nestlé, SAB Miller and UPS, the report identified a comprehensive set of 31 proven practices, underpinned by industry examples.

Practices contributing to a triple supply chain advantage include sourcing from local suppliers, reducing packaging and packaging weight, increasing recycling, and sharing network facilities and transport with competitors.

Levi's asks customers to wash jeans less often

After saving 1bn litres of water since 2011 through its Water

Levi’s educates customers

Following the release of Levi’s latest Product Lifecycle Assessment, which revealed that consumers are responsible for 23% of the water used in the lifecycle of a pair of jeans, the company is launching an educational campaign to help customers understand their environmental impact.

By taking the “Are You Ready to Come Clean?” online quiz, consumers are able to find out how much water and energy they use compared with the average consumer in the US, UK, France and China. Customers are also being encouraged to take a pledge to wash their jeans less regularly.

McDonald’s pays more than the minimum

McDonald’s is raising wages and offering new benefits to 90,000 employees at the 1,500 outlets it owns and operates across the US. The fast-food chain is increasing wages by at least $1 over the local legal minimum wage, to an average of $9.90 (£6.80) an hour.

Employees who have worked in restaurants under corporate control for more than a year will also be eligible for paid time off, whether they work full or part time.

Franchise employees left out

The decision, which does not affect the 750,000 employees who work for McDonald’s franchises, spurred criticism by labour organisers, who argue the wage increase leaves out the majority of McDonald’s employees.

McDonald’s joins a string of companies, including Walmart, Ikea and Starbucks, that have recently increased wages at their US outlets above the local minimum wage.

Accenture  clothes  clothing supply chain  H&M  McDonald's  minimum wage  supply chain  textiles  World Economic Forum 

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