Every August, I write a blog directed at readers doing back-to-school shopping for their kids. I remind them that while the sales are great at this time of year, there's a story behind every price tag. I urge moms and dads to consider the global economy that keeps Western prices low by paying child garment workers in poor countries next to nothing.
When I shop, I want to know how the pieces I like are made. I look at the tag. I ask where the fabrics are from. I read about the designer. These details reveal the process of a piece that earns a hanger in my closet. This is what separates Heather Smith's designs of Laos-based shop Passa Paa from fast fashion retailers and puts a value on owning her pieces.
American Apparel founder and CEO Dov Charney, was ousted from his very own company spread like wildfire this morning. And it was predictably greeted with major glee among most of my feminist friends, who've had enough with this guy's gag-inducing sexist marketing campaigns, as well as his own personal conduct with employees. I still have no intention of ever purchasing anything from them in the future. Ousting Dov Charney may have been the right decision to make, American Apparel executive board members, but that's not why you finally got rid of him.
More than a mere few US retailers assume that expanding into Canada, because of its relatively small population (the population of California alone, at about 38 million, is larger than Canada's roughly 35 million), is akin to expanding into just another state. Making this assumption -- blindsided by the admittedly vast similarities across all walks of life -- is downright dangerous.
In early February, the CEO of Walmart Canada announced her chain was moving fully into the grocery business. The move means Canada will see hundreds of groceries stores added to what seems to be a full complement already, with Loblaws, Metro, Sobey's, Longo's, Costco and the discount stores related to some of these chains. Are we at the point of market saturation?
The elephant in the room is that while sustainability will continue to be relevant to the business operations of retailers and product manufactures, management has utterly failed to make sustainability a material or even a well understood concept for front-line employees, customers and most product brands, except during times of crisis.
Apple announced this week that they have hired Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to lead all aspects of their retail business, including online. No surprise that designers from Karl Largerfeld to Kate Spade have created smartphone accessories to tap into the tech market, but Apple's high profile hires tell us something else.
Imagine that Canada is a retail store in which 100 people work. 10 managers make $80,000 per year. One manager of the 10 trumps them all: he gets over $190.000. The other 90 people -- a majority of whom are women -- work as salespeople and cashiers, or in the stock room. 45 of them make less than $30,000 per year. Many make less than $20,000 per year. This is the retail landscape in Canada.
I work for an ad agency, and focus on digital engagement. I want to share the story of how we made a practical 3D printing application happen. We were in the product design business. Back in the day it would've taken months, if not years, to build a practice to do this work. We had achieved it in less than four weeks.
"What do you want to do with your life?" It's a question that almost every young adult is faced with after graduating college or university. For some, the answer is simple: grad school, medical school, travel or volunteer. For many, the answer is unclear. With this in mind, young adults are asking: Do I need higher education?
Pinterest may not claim Facebook-levels of users, but a few visionary retailers are using the hot social networking site to connect with their customers in a way that Facebook could only dream of. From Aritzia to eBay, Pinterest is offering the digital equivalent of window shopping for people around the world.
The price of a piece of clothing is not at all indicative of the working conditions of its manufacturer. On top of that, implying (or outright saying) that there is something morally wrong with paying ten dollars for a t-shirt is incredibly classist. The truth is that when brand names charge higher prices for their items, that extra cash usually goes to two places: into the pockets of CEOs and other higher-ups, and into the company's advertising budget.