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30 May

Shein denies alleged toxic chemicals in products

Shein tells Just Style it takes product safety very seriously. Credit: Shutterstock.

South Korea has alleged harmful chemicals were found in seven of eight children's leather goods from fast-fashion giant Shein tested in Seoul, however Shein maintains it is dedicated to safety testing and selling "reliable products".

The government claims the children’s shoes sold on Shein contained phthalate additives at levels 428 times higher than domestic safety standards.

A Seoul city official explained: “Unlike officially imported products, overseas direct purchase products enter the country without separate safety inspections, creating a de facto safety blind spot.

Gherzi Textil Organisation partner Robert P. Antoshak told Just Style similar claims have been made about Shein products sold in Canada, Europe and the US over the past few years. He claimed it "underscores the widespread use of dangerous chemicals and additives in many of Shein’s products". 

A Shein spokesperson told Just Style it takes product safety very seriously, and stated: "Our suppliers are required to comply with the controls and standards we have put in place, and we work closely with international third-party testing agencies such as Intertek, SGS, BV and TUV, to regularly carry out testing to ensure suppliers' compliance to our product safety standards." 

4 June

Renewcell-Altor rescue deal gives fashion sector ‘second chance’

Swedish investment firm Altor has acquired textile-to-textile recycling company Renewcell and taken it out of bankruptcy.

It is set to begin a new chapter under the name Circulose with the executive director of non-profit Canopy Nicole Rycroft stating “Altor’s investment in Circulose (formerly Renewcell) provides all of us with a second chance".

Renewcell believes that with Altor's ownership, there is secure financing for the future of Circulose, ensuring the global success of its pioneering cotton recycling technology. Altor's investment will support Circulose with the resources and network needed to scale Circulose's impact and reach.

The recycling company stated that its current inventory of Circulose pulp and fibre is ready to meet market demands, supported by its Circulose Supplier Network (CSN) partners who provide high-quality materials. This, it believes, guarantees an uninterrupted supply chain and gives the market confidence. 

12 June

Esprit Europe business plan has wholesale, e-commerce focus

Hong Kong fashion firm Esprit plans to execute a new wholesale and e-commerce business model in Europe.

Esprit provided the update on its Europe businesses following the closure of its loss-making operations in the region. It said it will embark on a new business model that includes optimising the company's structure.

The retailer is expected to set up a more flexible and scalable European distribution centre, possibly in the Netherlands. It had previously been reported to be looking for potential investors to rescue its European arm of the business. 

This news came as Esprit warned of a HK$1.9bn ($0.24bn) net loss for 2023 due to a tough European market. 

The retailer's German subsidiary remains in discussions over a potential acquisition, but it is likely its Swiss and Belgian subsidiaries will be closed, Esprit revealed. 

5 June

H&M Group raises concerns over SBTi Scope 3 changes

Swedish retail giant H&M Group has expressed concerns following the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)’s new criteria that includes the potential use of offsetting for Scope 3 emissions.  

H&M has written to SBTi’s board of trustees about the organisation’s suggested use of environmental attribute certificates for abatement purposes in scope 3. 

H&M explained: “We firmly believe the priority for any climate strategy should be to take action within corporate value chains to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions.” 

The fashion retailer added that SBTi’s decision “weakens corporate climate pledges and makes real decarbonisation efforts within value chains less attractive.” 

SBTi has not responded to Just Style's request for comment, but H&M has called on SBTi to uphold its commitment to science-based target setting and said it was open to engaging with the organisation and other stakeholders on the topic. 

31 May

Nike, Inditex rank among Gartner's Global Supply Chain Top 25

Global apparel brands Nike and Inditex have secured positions in research and advisory firm Gartner's 2024 Global Supply Chain Top 25 ranking for “better-protecting growth rates” in supply chain performance after firmly embedding ESG in their operations.

Nike and Inditex were the only clothing companies that stood out among the world's leading supply chain organisations in Gartner's 20th edition of its Global Supply Chain Top 25 ranking, for their ability to prioritise sustainability and growth in a “challenging operating environment.”

Sportswear giant Nike secured 14th position in the ranking with a composite score of 3.50 while the Spanish fast-fashion conglomerate behind brands including Zara and Pull & Bear Inditex secured the 18th spot, with a score of 3.15.

"The supply chain organisations in this year's Top 25 were notable for better-protecting growth rates in a challenging operating environment, while at the same time delivering more sustainable operations," said Simon Bailey, VP analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice.