Best Global Green Brands 2014

brands under fire

As Death Toll Passes 500, Brands Consider Pulling Out of Bangladesh Factories

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 3, 2013 05:06 PM

Nine days after the fatal collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Sahar, Bangladesh, the death toll has surpassed 500, and the outcry against the conditions, companies and governance responsible is augmenting.

Bangladesh is now the world’s second-largest apparel exporter after China, with 80 percent of those exports servicing the US and the European Union. In return, those big brands provide jobs and support for millions, but is that enough? After multiple fatal accidents, western brands face harsh scrutiny over sourcing policies and the obvious lack of labor and safety regulations put into place by its suppliers. 

“We need to be careful now not to throw the baby out with the bathwater,” said Sara Hossain, a high-court lawyer in Bangladesh to TIME. “The question should not be shutting down the factories. It should be, 'How do you make employment safe and secure?'” Garment factories in Bangladesh pay the most and carry a certain cachet for that reason, despite safety issues. “Young men and women with a few years of schooling consider that the RMG [sector] gives them more independence and [makes them] more socially acceptable,” added Rushidan Islam Rahman, research director at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Monster, Twitter and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 1, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

Apple sells largest corporate-bond offer in history.

Monster sues to halt effort to curb energy drinks.

Twitter opens up self-serve ad platform to all businesses.

Chrysler Group auto sales rose 11 percent in April; Ram truck sales were up 49 percent.

Coda Holdings electric-vehicle maker files for bankruptcy.

College Football Playoff unveils new (and quite boring) logo. 

Domino's results ride pan pizza wave.

Fisker Automotive fell apart because it sought too much, too fast.

Ford says sales of Lincoln MKZ have shaken off supply and launch problems.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Global Brands Come Under Fire as Another Factory Disaster Claims Nearly 100 in Bangladesh

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 24, 2013 06:45 PM

The spotlight on global retailers sourcing product from Bangladesh just got brighter as another garment factory collapse in Bangladesh has killed 96 people and injured more than 1,000 in Savar, 20 miles outside of Dhaka. It’s the latest in a series of horrific accidents and fires plaguing Bangladesh's booming garment industry, including last November’s Tazreen factory blaze that killed 112 workers.

In Savar, factory owners reportedly ignored a warning about a crack in the building and an advisement to not allow workers into the five garment factories housed there, which employ mostly women. "There was some crack at the second floor, but my factory was on the fifth floor," said Muhammad Anisur Rahman, according to Reuters. "The owner of the building told our floor manager that it is not a problem and so you can open the factory." 

Rahman said his firm was sub-contracted to supply Walmart stores and Europe's C&A, but subsequently said he was referring to a past order rather than current work. Reuters reports that website New Wave, owner of two factories in the building, listed 27 majority buyers, with firms in Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Canada and the United States.Continue reading...

retail watch

Gap Proposes Franchising, Seamless Shopping in Plan for Global Expansion

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 19, 2013 03:46 PM

Gap has had rough times in recent years, with hundreds of store closures and executive swaps. But the clothing company is hedging a unique plan that it hopes will help it continue growing market share worldwide under the helm of its new, more focused Creative Director Rebekka Bay. 

Glenn Murphy, the company’s chairman and CEO, rolled out the blueprint Thursday, noting that the brand aims to franchise Old Navy locations internationally, add Old Navy and Banana Republic stores to the brand’s presence in China and have a stronger push across all channels for all of its brands, including Athleta, Piperlime and Intermix, Mediapost reports

"We see [the opportunity for global growth] particularly in some countries where in our category, you're talking about double-digit growth just to keep up with the market," an exec said during the call, according to, which named China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia as a few of the countries in question. Old Navy is expected to be the first of the Gap brands that goes into Asian markets that it hasn’t entered just yet. Up to 85 stores are expected to be opened before year’s end and 10 of those will be outlets.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: IBM, AB InBev, Dell and more

Posted by Dale Buss on April 19, 2013 09:19 AM

In the News

IBM may sell part of its server unit to Lenovomisses estimates for first time since 2005 and struggles to deal with mobile computing shift.

AB InBev reportedly strikes deal with US on Modelo acquisition, as Busch heir resigns from NRA in wake of gun control bill's defeat in US Senate.

Dell sees Blackstone end its pursuit.

Adidas brings out "Boston Stands As One" t-shirt as CVS Caremark pledges to raise money for bombing victims, along with JetBlue and other companies.

Al Jazeera pushes back U.S. launch date.

Amazon may be unveiling mobile payments solution according to patent filing. 

The Atlantic magazine plans to launch paid digital content.

Avis taps celebrities to target "professionals" in new ad campaign.

BBC America and Twitter announce content-sharing partnership.

Boeing may see FAA clearance for Dreamliner as early as today.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

AT&T Takes Top Billing on Best Corporate Citizens List

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 12, 2013 04:34 PM

AT&T has landed at top spot on CR Magazine's 14th annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, beating out other top Russell 1000 large-capitalization companies on merits including human rights and corporate governance.

Rounding out the top 10 on the new list: Mattel, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eaton Corp, Intel, Gap, Hasbro, Merck & Co., Campbell Soup Co. and Coca-Cola. 

The ranking crunches 298 data points of disclosure and performance measures across seven categories: environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance and philanthropy. 

Notably, 26 companies on the 2013 list were not on the 2012 list, while 11 companies have appeared on the list every year since 2007. For those that were bestowed the honor, many were quick to highlight the significance of employee participation to the success of the company's initiatives.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Discovery, Novartis and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 1, 2013 08:59 AM

In the News

Apple loses iPad Mini trademark, and finds a fan in Kim Jong-un as North Korea rattles saber and tensions rise with U.S., while increased China headaches include hacking threat and iPad regulation.

Discovery Communicationexpands global channel reach and launches scripted programming.

Novartis loses cancer drug patent battle in India.

Amazon buys Goodreads community-driven user reviews website.

AMC reveals new tagline and logo.

Armani hires Cate Blanchett for $10M campaign.

AT&T scores with March Madness Twitter campaign.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Is Lululemon Bending Over Backwards for Wall Street More Than Customers?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 21, 2013 03:18 PM

Lululemon Athletica revealed Monday that it expects earnings to drop this quarter due to a dud batch of its popular yoga pants made with its proprietary luon fabric, which its store managers indicated were being returned by customers who found them too sheer for wearing. “Some of our bottoms were made with a batch of black luon that doesn’t meet our standards so we’ve pulled them from our floors and our website.” 

After being downgraded by Credit Suisse and others after the news, an earnings call today meant to detail the company's fourth quarter and full year 2012 results along with 2013 developments such as a move into golf and tennis apparel was instead taken up with answering analysts' questions about how it was handling the crisis—and offering more (ahem) transparency about the situation than has been offered to customers.Continue reading...

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