Top Stories

September 05, 2017


John Lewis removes ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ labels from children’s clothes

UK retailer John Lewis has launched a range of gender-neutral children’s clothes, becoming the first retailer in the country to remove “boys” and “girls” labels. The company said it did not want to “reinforce gender stereotypes” with its childrenswear but rather “provide greater choice and variety to our customers, so that the parent or child can choose what they would like to wear”. Campaign group Let Clothes be Clothes, which highlights gender stereotyping in children’s clothing, is thought to have been consulted by the store. Other retailers have been criticised for selling clothes reinforcing gender-stereotypes, including Tesco’s boys’ shirts which featured slogans like “Hero” and “Think outside the box” – while the girls’ said “Beautiful” and “I feel fabulous”. (Independent)


India’s Modi pushes international solar agreement

India prime minister Narendra Modi has called on leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to back his major solar initiative, the International Solar Alliance (ISA), at the BRICS summit in Xiamen, China. The alliance, which has 39 signatory nations but has been ratified by only 9, aims to create a body that will help the world meet a $1 trillion solar energy investment goal by 2030. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, BRICS countries accounted for 38% of the world’s installed renewable energy capacity in 2016 – a leap from their 22.5% share in 2015. While China is aiming to get 39% of electricity from nuclear and renewable sources by 2020, India has an installation target of 175GW by 2022. Brazil, Russia and South Africa have smaller but growing clean energy sectors. (Climate Change News)

Worker’s Rights

Fears some franchisors will get around new vulnerable worker laws

Australian lawyers fear some canny franchisors may still escape liability for the exploitation of vulnerable workers under new federal government legislation. The bill was introduced in response to a joint Fairfax Media/Four Corners investigation of 7-Eleven which revealed rampant underpayment and exploitation of vulnerable workers, and subsequent scandals involving prominent companies such as Caltex and Domino’s. Although employers, particularly franchise chains, now face new stiff penalties up to $630,000 if they knowingly underpaid their employees, it could be difficult to prove, according to Stephen Clibborn, from the University of Sydney Business School. He also notes that the bill did not address labour hire contracting arrangements and wage theft in small businesses that were not within a franchise network. (Sydney Morning Herald)


Starbucks launches last hour discount to cut food waste

Starbucks has unveiled a new strategy to cut food waste, as managers in its 350 UK stores will now be able to sell food nearing expiry at a 50% discount during the last hour of trading. The entire proceeds will be donated to food charity Action Against Hunger. The new rules follow an 11-week trial in 16 stores around Manchester, which produced “overwhelmingly positive” feedback from staff and customers, and raised £1,500 for Action Against Hunger, according to the company. Starbucks admitted that food is sometimes thrown away and found that selling food close to expiry – rather than donating it to charities such as FareShare – sidesteps the “legal and regulatory barriers around the safe transportation of fresh food items with a short remaining shelf-life”. (Business Green)

Technology & Innovation

HP unveils world’s first printer made with closed-loop recycled plastic

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has unveiled the world’s first printer made with closed-loop recycled plastic, which contains more than 10% recycled plastic from printers and other electronic plastic by weight. The printer’s paper is made with 100% certified fibre or recycled content and the ink cartridges are made from recycled plastic bottles from Haiti. Additionally, the device and all accessories can be recycled at the end-of-life via HP Planet Partners. In 2016, HP manufactured more than 3.4 billion ink and toner cartridges using 88,900 tonnes of recycled material. This included 3.7 billion plastic bottles. In total, more than 80% of HP ink cartridges contain 45-70% recycled content and all toner cartridges contain at least 10% recycled content. (edie)


Image Source: Starbucks Coffee at MaxPixelCC 0.