A good bargain beats ethical concerns for fashion lovers, report finds | Kanebridge News
Kanebridge News
Share Button

A good bargain beats ethical concerns for fashion lovers, report finds

See the list of most ethical fashion brands – and who has lifted their game in the past year

By Robyn Willis
Tue, Oct 18, 2022 10:21amGrey Clock 2 min

Forty percent of fashion brands don’t know who supplies their raw materials, nor how to trace them, despite rising corporate greenwashing, a new report has found.

The 2022 report by Baptist World Aid, released today to mark Anti Slavery Day, also revealed that just 10 percent of fashion brands pay a living wage at the final stage of the supply chain.

Now in its ninth year, the report looked at 120 companies representing 581 brands – 161 more than last year – examining worker exploitation, living wages and sustainable practices and materials. The fashion brands received on average a score of 29 out of 100.

The best performing brands included Mighty Good Basics, Patagonia, Adidas, Puma, Nudie Jeans and Rodd & Gunn. Most improved brands this year included Forever New, Lorna Jane, R M Williams, Rip Curl and Kmart and Target Australia.

‘While it’s positive to see progress among some brands committed to improving their ethical supply chains in the last year, overall, this year’s Ethical Fashion Report is sobering reading for shoppers, investors and leaders in the fashion industry,” Sarah Knop, Corporate Advocacy Lead at Baptist World Aid said. “It’s time for brands to prioritise action over rhetoric, to move from policies and commitments to tangible outcomes that support vulnerable workers and our vulnerable planet.’

The report also found that Australian buyers were mostly driven by value for money, with 81 percent of consumers motivated by good quality and 71 percent by price. By contrast, 28 percent of purchasers looked for sustainable brands and 20 percent for ethical brands.

Footwear brands also came under scrutiny for the first time this year. The report found none of them paid a living wage at any point of their supply chain and 56 percent were unable to supply names and addresses for their raw materials. 

 

MOST POPULAR

Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

Related Stories
Lifestyle
The Lipstick Index Is Back
By JINJOO LEE 25/11/2022
Lifestyle
It’s Hamptons heaven in Hunters Hill with room for the whole family
By KANEBRIDGE NEWS 25/11/2022
Lifestyle
The million-dollar property market shrinks as median Australian home values decline
By Robyn Willis 24/11/2022
The Lipstick Index Is Back

Sales of the cosmetic product are a bright spot in an otherwise bleak discretionary-goods environment

By JINJOO LEE
Fri, Nov 25, 2022 2 min

Masks off, lipstick index on.

In a gloomy economy, consumers might cut back on other discretionary purchases but will keep shelling out for small luxuries such as lipstick—or so goes the theory. “When lipstick sales go up, people don’t want to buy dresses,” Leonard Lauder, then-chairman of Estée Lauder who is widely credited for coming up with the so-called “lipstick index,” told The Wall Street Journal in 2001.

L’Oréal Chief Executive Nicolas Hieronimus called this out during the company’s earnings call in October, noting that a luxury lipstick or mascara is only €30, making it an “affordable treat.” Sales at L’Oréal rose 9.1% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier despite slower sales in China due to Covid-related lockdowns. Coty, maker of CoverGirl makeup, said organic sales grew 9% over the same period.

Beauty sales have also been a rare bright spot for retailers: Target said beauty category sales grew roughly 15% in its quarter ended Oct. 29 compared with a year earlier, with Ulta Beauty shops in Target tripling their total sales volume over that period.

While Macy’s namesake stores saw comparable-store sales decline last quarter, its beauty-focused Bluemercury chain saw same-store sales grow 14% last quarter compared with a year earlier. Kohl’s locations with Sephora are outperforming the rest of the department-store chain.

Of the 14 discretionary categories that market research firm NPD Group tracks, prestige beauty—products you might find at a department store or a Sephora—is the only category that is seeing unit sales growth year to date. And lipstick, which suffered during the masked-up pandemic, is making up for lost time.

Lipstick sales have grown 37% through October this year compared with a year earlier, according to Larissa Jensen, beauty industry analyst at NPD Group. That is an acceleration from the 31% growth seen during the same period last year. Lip product is the only major category within prestige beauty where sales are actually up compared with pre-pandemic levels, according to Ms. Jensen.

Cosmetic companies have also called out strong sales in fragrances, calling it the “fragrance index.” Demand has been so robust that there is an industrywide fragrance component shortage, Coty said in a press release announcing third-quarter earnings earlier this month. CEO Sue Nabi said during the call that Coty hasn’t seen any kind of trade-down or slowdown, also noting that consumers are shifting away from gifting perfume to buying it for themselves.

“A big piece of it is just a shift in what wellness means to consumers,” NPD Group’s Ms. Jensen said. “Beauty is one of the few industries that are positioned to meet [consumers’] emotional need. It makes them feel good.”

While the lipstick effect could be observed in the recession in the early 2000s, that wasn’t the case during the 2007-09 recession, during which lipstick sales declined alongside other discretionary purchases. Part of this might have had to do with category-specific dynamics.

There was a lot of newness in the cosmetic industry in 2001, including lip gloss, a relatively nascent category back then. That tailwind simply wasn’t there starting in 2008, though nail polish turned out to be consumers’ small indulgence of choice in that period. This time around, consumers may be eager to show off a part of their face that was hidden behind a mask for so long during the pandemic.

In an otherwise bleak environment for companies selling discretionary goods, those in the business of selling cosmetics look well poised to come out of the holiday season looking freshened up.

MOST POPULAR

Alexandre de Betak and his wife are focusing on their most personal project yet.

Take a look at what the capital has to offer.

0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop