We’ve covered the pressures of inflation regularly at Glossy, and the problem isn’t going anywhere. Nearly every brand or source I’ve spoken to in the last month has mentioned how it’s affecting their business. Here’s a look at some of the responses brands came up with last week to stave off inflation, as well as a peek at Shein’s sustainability offerings. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Glossy Podcast for interviews with industry insiders and recaps of fashion news and the Glossy Beauty Podcast for interviews with luminaries from the beauty world. – Danny Parisi, sr. fashion reporter
Prolonged inflation requires novel new solutions
Last week, fashion brands started to share some surprising solutions to combat inflation. In an interview with Bloomberg, H&M CEO Helena Helmersson floated charging shoppers for returns. Helmersson didn’t divulge any specific details for the plan, only that it was something the company was testing to see if it was a viable way to curtail losses.
It’s a similar move that others, particularly in fast fashion, have made. Zara and Boohoo both charge a small fee for returns. Fast fashion shoppers tend to buy big hauls of clothes and return most of them, making those retailers particularly vulnerable to return losses.
At LVMH, the company announced last week that it would give some employees a bonus of $1,000-$1,500 to deal with inflationary pressures. Larroude raised its prices 10% last week as well, telling customers via email that it was to ensure they could continue to pay their U.S. and Brazilian employees a fair wage as the cost of living goes up. The company didn’t share how it would increase wages or by how much.
Shein wants to rehabilitate its image
The Chinese fast fashion company is known for cheap fast fashion and a poor environmental record. Recent actions, like hiring its first global ESG head last year, have tried to change that. Last week, the company went further, announcing that it would reduce emissions by 25% by 2030.
But for many in the climate science space, that’s not nearly enough. The standard set by the UN is to try and cut all emissions by 45% by 2030, and many companies and governments are pushing beyond that goal. Shein said it would spend $7.6 million on reconfiguring its supply chain, which is a drop in the bucket of its $100 billion valuation. At a time when climate disasters like heatwaves and massive storms continue to batter the planet, many found Shein’s effort as tone deaf since it was promising well below the international standard.