Tag Archives: Britain

Why can’t even a pandemic kill fast fashion | Instant News


Initially, the uncertainty of the Covid-19 crisis and the lockdown restrictions caused a pause in thinking in many areas of the consumer society. This is especially true of the British fast fashion custom, which has already been sent 11,000 items of clothing go to landfills every week. Being at home is, in some ways, an opportunity to slow down consumption and break the cycle of fast mode. But does it last?

Six months after the crisis, the status of the fashion industry is very complex, but overall clothing sales have declined. During the nationwide lockdown in the spring, in-store sales – which have been so far the most popular way to buy clothes – down nearly 70 percent. Online clothing sales rose in April to 22 percent above 2016 levels, but in an economy where consumers have little choice but to shop online, this was lower than expected. Meanwhile, sales of household goods rose 187 percent in 2016.

Online sales increased rapidly during the lockdown – except for clothes

Internet sales values ​​at current prices are seasonally adjusted

Even the fast-growing fashion giants have had mixed years. In its annual report, released on October 14, ASOS reported a 329 percent increase in profit before tax, driven by a 19.3 percent increase in sales in the UK, US and EU. At the same time, however, the company’s gross margins fell, as did its share price, with the cost of selling clothing rising and the customer’s economic outlook uncertain. Nick Beighton, the company’s CEO, warns on the company’s first line annual review that “the lives of our customers in their 20s are unlikely to return to normal for some time”.

Boohoo – who owns Pretty Little Thing, Nasty Gal, Misspap, Karen Millen and Coast – continued to expand when it bought the remains of Oasis and Warehouse for just £ 5.25 million in June. But it’s a hit Sunday Times report about conditions and wages at a factory that produces clothing for his brand in Leicester, which leads to investigations by the National Crime Agency. The following month, that company reported to the Health and Safety Executive when it is suspected that factories were illegally kept open during the lockdown. This week, PwC announced that it does not plan to continue as a group auditor, while other companies do reportedly decreased to take over the company because of reputation issues.

Retail in general appears to be experiencing a “V-shaped” recovery, but the fashion industry is taking longer to bounce back. Is it an economic issue, or has the loose fast fashion ethic finally caught on in the sector?

Clothing continues to lag behind the retail recovery

Sales volumes, seasonally adjusted, United Kingdom, February to August 2020

Kate Nightingale, a consumer psychologist, said the Covid-19 pandemic has greatly increased the “salience of death” – the awareness that we are dying – of consumers. When this happens, he explained, we tend to behave in one of two ways. Either we become more moral and pro-social, help others and increase our sense of integrity, or we become more impulsive.

These two effects are not always exclusive. During pandemics, they seem to come in waves: once we feel like we’ve been acting morally for a while, we may experience a period of impulsiveness. Impulsive buying is rewarded in the brain with dopamine attacks, and is often associated with dealing with extreme emotions. This is what we mean by “retail therapy,” says Nightingale.

The economic impact of Covid-19 will also have an impact on consumer behavior. “In an economic crisis, people behave a little more rationally: they focus on quality, price, availability, security and safety,” said Nightingale. “We see these conflicting motivations: on the one hand, I really want to think long term, but I can’t, because I don’t know if I will stay. We are constantly experiencing this cognitive dissonance. ”

Impulsivity is often driven by our sense of control, explains Nightingale. Not everyone can be an impulsive waster – you need a “perfect storm” of psychological and environmental factors – but if you are prone to these behaviors, a loss of fundamental control during a pandemic (both from “death salience” and practical restrictions) may lead to more impulsivity. It is these emotions that make people make reckless purchases, as in fast fashion, and it’s an impetus that isn’t necessarily quenched by the fact that, without purpose, there is little practical need for new clothes.

The drive to buy anything – anything – is reflected both in the significant spike in online shopping and in the fast fashion industry itself. The ASOS annual report observes that while in April “demand for certain types of products, especially events and formal wear, remained limited, we saw strong growth in casual wear and other lockdown-related products”. The report also demonstrates a dedication to marketing products that consumers know they don’t need: one of the factors that increased company costs this year was “the additional investment that customers face to stimulate demand for ‘out’ products”.

The demand for casual wear and accessories pandemic, from “-Name stays inside“T-shirts for Hand sanitizer for £ 28, will never be enough to return the fashion industry to its pre-pandemic values. This may be positive for the environment, but the economic uncertainty for fast fashion brands is impacting humans too. The sharp decline in EU clothing imports from January to June 2020 (a 25 percent drop from the previous year, a more significant drop in imports than in other industries) hit suppliers in the Asia Pacific region. In the fashion industry, payments to suppliers – factories, and the people who work in them – are often done well after orders are placed and filled. In late March, Bloomberg reported that Western buyers – including Primark, a fast fashion shop that didn’t translate to the online marketplace – had canceled an estimated $ 1.5 billion worth of garment orders from Bangladesh, impacting more than 1,000 Bangladeshi factories and 1.2 million workers. .

A report published in September by the International Labor Organization stated that about one in two garment workers in the Asia Pacific region live in countries that have closed all but “essential” workplaces. There is no company safety blanket for those unable to work because of Covid-19’s actions, and many are already working in exploitative conditions. This is also the case in Britain, where more than 10,000 textile workers are estimated to work at less than half the national minimum wage.

Fast fashion is a complex industry with wide ripple effects. After a sharp decline, the latest data shows that online clothing sales have increased once again: in August they were up 97 percent in 2016 (although this still lags behind other retail sectors). While this suggests greater economic certainty and job stability for suppliers, it also suggests a consumer mindset turning to unsustainable habits.

The question may not be, then, whether fast fashion will survive but whether, if our knowledge of its economic and ethical failures, major changes to our lifestyles and even our own sense of death doesn’t stop us from buying more things, anything it will.

[see also: All dressed up and nowhere to go: clothing in a global crisis]

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Corona virus pandemic: Germany warns against traveling to ski areas in Austria, Switzerland, Italy – travel | Instant News


Germany has issued travel warnings for popular ski areas in Austria, Italy and Switzerland, struggling to contain the spread of the virus corona virus as the rate of new infections rose above 10,000 a day for the first time. While the infection rates in Germany are lower than in much of Europe, they are steadily increasing, with a daily increase of 11,287 cases bringing the total to 392,049. The German death toll stood at 9,905. “The situation has become very serious overall,” Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases, said.

“We still have a chance to slow the spread of the pandemic,” he said. But he said people should stick to the rules and that Germany must prepare for an uncontrolled spread of the virus. On Wednesday, German Health Minister Jens Spahn became the latest leading politician to test positive for the virus. His spokesman said he had cold symptoms but had no fever. Government sources said he was fit for work. Berlin issued new travel warnings for Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, much of Austria and parts of Italy including the popular South Tyrol ski area.

The UK, with the exception of the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and overseas territories, is also seen as a high risk region. Under the warning, which takes effect from Saturday, travelers returning to Germany must be quarantined for 10 days. Quarantine can be lifted early, if tests carried out after five days turn out to be negative. The surge in Germany also prompted the Danish government to warn its citizens against traveling to and from Germany, except for the border state of Schleswig Holstein.

Germany’s move could have a significant impact on ski seasons in the Alpine countries. Especially Austria, which reported a record 2,435 new daily infections on Thursday, is a popular destination for Germans. Swiss Tourism spokesman Markus Berger said the news from Germany was definitely not good. The industry hopes that the situation will improve in the next month or two. “We assume that winter can continue,” he said. However, there is positive news for Spain’s Canary Islands as the RKI removed them from its risk list, raising hopes for German tourists over Christmas and New Year.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed with no modifications to the text. Only the title has been changed.)

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Faces meet fashion in a selection of New Yorkers’ masks in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – fashions and trends | Instant News


New Yorkers are increasingly embracing the use of masks to slow its spread corona virus since the pandemic started earlier this year. With no end in sight, many have gone beyond standard surgical masks and are choosing to express themselves with more fashionable colors, patterns, flags and messages. Children arrive on the first day of school wearing masks with hearts, books, watermelons and musical notes written on them. A school assistant has a line of crayons on her mask, a friendly design for nervous kindergarten kids. On Madison Avenue, a woman wearing a matching designer mask and scarf walks quickly past an upscale clothing store. And behind it, there is another mask with a skull.

In Harlem, Hana Teferi walked out of a shop wearing a gold, black and silver Ethiopian mask which she wore in honor of her Ethiopian family. And actor Fredric Michaels wears a kente mask that reflects his African heritage. Camouflage masks are commonly used. An outdoor man dressed in camouflage from head to toe in a mask to match. A construction worker chooses camouflage, and two of her friends, Samantha Fernandez and Unique Corella, wear matching blue camouflage masks. Senior citizen Doris Shapiro wears an orange sequined mask and hat. The bright colors match her view: “I want to dance. I want to have fun, “he said.

Kai Waithe, in a fuchsia mask and purple hair extensions posing for a portrait: “I think being a creative person, through music and speech, and living in NYC has helped me with my fashion sense. I only wear what I feel, “he said. Retired Gil Gainey, who worked for many years in the human resources department at the hospital, wearing a paisley mask: “I’m very health conscious,” he said. We don’t know when this will go away, so we’d better be fashionable. “Teacher Amanda Clarke rushes to Brooklyn high school with a message on her mask, and on the minds of many people:” CHOOSE! “

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed with no modifications to the text. Only the title has been changed.)

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Nearly half of companies in the UK saw a decline in sales in the third quarter | Instant News


(MENAFN) The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has stated in a recent survey that nearly half of companies in the UK recorded a decline in domestic sales in the third quarter (Q3) of 2020 despite the resurgence of many businesses.

The BCC Quarterly Economic Survey states that along with the 6,410 companies surveyed by BCC, 46 percent of them recorded a decline in domestic sales in Q3, losing as much as 73 percent in the previous quarter, suggesting a weak performance that continues amid the crash. of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Chief economist Suren Thiru at BCC stated that “Our latest survey shows that the underlying economic conditions remained very weak in the third quarter,”.

Thiru stated that although the downturn in movements is slowing as business picks up, they remain “far from pre-pandemic levels with little sign of a quick ‘V’ shape recovery.”

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Color it black: British postbox changes color in honor of British citizens Black – Arts & Culture | Instant News


Four of the typical British red post boxes have been painted black and gold and decorated with pictures by or famous black British people, in a new way to celebrate Black History Month.

One of Britain’s most recognizable symbols, the red pillar box appears on countless postcards and souvenir items, while tourists can often be seen posing for photos next to the post box.

The Royal Mail said it had selected one post box in each of Britain’s four constituent sections – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – and painted it black with a gold stripe across the top. They will stay that way during October, which is Black History Month.

In Britain, the post box chosen was located close to the heritage center of the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, an area south of London that has long been a center for the Caribbean community and other black minority groups.

The Brixton postbox features an image of the painting “Queuing in the RA” by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare, which appears on a limited edition stamp issued by the Royal Mail in 2018 celebrating the Royal Academy art gallery.

Shonibare is famous for works that grapple with cultural identity and colonial heritage, such as “The Nelson Ship in a Bottle”, a replica of the HMS Victory wrapped in a giant bottle and with 37 sails made of African cloth.

According to the British Arts Fund, which obtained the artwork for exhibition in London, it “takes into account the legacy of British colonialism and its expansion in trade and the Empire, made possible through the freedom of the sea and the new trade routes that Nelson’s victory provided.”

Also read: Breaking the mold: The sculptor attempted to make Black out of bronze

Scotland’s black post box, located in Glasgow, features a picture of Walter Tull, who was the first black player to be signed by the city’s Rangers football team before being killed in action during World War One.

In the Welsh capital, Cardiff, a black post box features an image of Jamaican-born nurse Mary Seacole, who cared for wounded soldiers during the 1853-1856 Crime War.

In Northern Ireland’s capital Belfast, the post box selected features an image of comedian Lenny Henry, who according to Royal Mail “was instrumental in helping multi-cultural societies embrace multi-cultural comedy.”

The Royal Mail is the newest agency involved with Britain’s Black heritage in recent months, jolted by the Black Lives Matter movement and by the the fall of a statue of a slave trader by protesters in the city of Bristol in June.

Among other changes, another statue of the slave trader had been removed by officials in London, a concert hall in Bristol renamed itself and charities managing hundreds of stately rural estates publish in-depth reports on how property benefits from slavery and colonialism.

This trend was met with backlash, with some in the media and some politicians calling it a “hoax”. The government has warned a number of major cultural institutions including the British Museum that their public funding could be called into question if they removed the statue or other controversial object.

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