Three Ethical Retailers For Your Next Sustainable Fashion Purchase

Think of your most recent clothing purchase: do you know where it was manufactured, whether the people who made it were treated fairly, whether any animals were harmed or the environmental impact of its production?

Though most people couldn’t answer these questions, there’s an increasing proportion of consumers that are becoming conscious of what they’re buying.

Ethical spending now accounts for £81.3 billion of the UK retail market, according to Ethical Consumer, and KPMG’s latest annual retail survey noted that almost 20% of shoppers were drawn to retailers that they know ethically source their goods.

Although high street brands such as H&M and Zara have launched conscious lines, shoppers who are clued up on sustainability are growing frustrated with fast fashion brands who only dip into the ethical retail world.

Instead, these are three retailers who provide conscious consumers with a huge selection of clothes, accessories and more, all of which is produced ethically and sustainably.

Gather & See

Every ethical shopper is different: one might care more about the workers behind the products; another might be concerned about buying only environmentally-friendly items.

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Gather & See understands that, and the store allows its customers to shop by their priority.

Not only can people filter its products by type or designer, but they can also select them by choosing one of the retailer’s five founding philosophies: fair trade, organic, eco-friendly, small scale production and heritage.

Gather & See adapts to each shopper’s ethical priority.Photo: Gather&See

The shop stocks clothing, accessories and jewelry that fits every budget, from affordable fashion to luxury, targeting the fashion-savvy, ethically-minded customer.

Gather & See is a relatively new retailer, founded four years ago by two fashionable women who were fed up of feeling disconnected from the production process.

Now, they ensure each of the more than 40 designers featured on their site produces clothing that fits into at least two of Gather & See’s philosophies. For them, it’s just as much about the ethics as the aesthetics.

People Tree

Founded 27 years ago, People Tree is one of the most well-established ethical retailers around. The shop’s mission is simple: to be 100% fair trade throughout their supply chain.

But what does “fair trade” mean? It’s a way of doing business that guarantees workers aren’t discriminated against. They are provided with good working conditions, their rights are protected, and they are paid sustainable prices for their products.

That means People Tree’s wide range of women’s fashion, that offers everything from cozy knitted jumpers to party dresses, is created by workers in the developing world who are treated well and not exploited.

People Tree is 100% fair trade throughout their supply chain.Photo: People Tree

Not only does People Tree strive for its stock to be ethically-sourced, but it’s also aware of the environmental impact of fashion.

You can trust that its clothing is all made with organic cotton and other sustainable materials, and colored using safe dyes. Even better, as many of its products as possible are shipped by sea, in order to reduce the retailers’ contribution to global warming.

[“source=forbes]

Ariana Grande Is The New ‘Mean Girl’ In Teaser For ‘thank u, next’ Video

Ariana Grande performs at Wango Tango at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)Invision

To say that the entertainment industry has gotten reboot- and sequel-crazy in the last few years is a comical understatement. SabrinaThe Teenage Witch is haunting our screens again, and Tyra Banks is coming out of her box in less than a week in the premiere of Life-Size 2. Mean Girls received a much-maligned sequel treatment eight years ago (and a polarizing Broadway musical just this year), so fans of the original movie have every right to feel protective against any new adaptations. Following the hype surrounding the franchise that the Broadway production aroused earlier this year, fans are once again returning to North Shore High School—and learning more about Regina George’s brunette foil: a cheerleader named Ariana Grande.

In a trailer released for her upcoming “thank u, next” video, Grande actually never once makes an appearance. Instead, the trailer is a reimagining of Mean Girls‘s beloved “How do I begin to explain Regina George?” sequence, featuring characters old and new making Grande’s mysterious character that much more interesting.

Fans of the movie will instantly recognize Jonathan Bennett reprising his role as Aaron Samuels (still with his hair sexily pushed back), as well as Stephanie Drummond—this time as someone breaks off her engagement after Ariana did the same thing, and not someone who overjoyed in being punched by Regina George. A few other North Shore students—played by welcome guest stars like singer Troye Sivan and YouTube personality Colleen Ballinger—recount their own rumors they’ve heard about the regal Grande: that her snoring played backwards sounds like Fantasia, that people punch themselves because she said so, and that she’s dating a girl named “Aubrey” (a nod to the song’s often-misheard lyric “Her name is Ari”). It’s an endearing tribute to a treasured movie, and is reportedly only one of the cherished female-led comedies that the video will pay homage to.

Grande has yet to announce when the visual will be released, but could arrive before the week is out. One thing’s for sure: when the inevitable Legally Blonde reboot eventually comes around, the casting director should consider her their first choice for Jennifer Coolidge’s iconic role.

[“source=forbes]

Aditya Birla Real Estate Fund’s fund blues

g_111057_real_estate_fund_280x210.jpgThe year was 2009. Indian real estate was in a shambles, as were real estate private equity funds, especially foreign ones, which provided an opportunity for homegrown firms to launch their funds. One of them was the Aditya Birla Group-backed Aditya Birla Real Estate Fund (ABREF).

In 2010, ABREF raised ₹1,056 crore; but in August 2018, when the fund’s lifecycle came to a close, it was yet to exit most of its investments or return even the principal amount.

ABREF was raised by Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Ltd, previously known as Birla Sun Life Asset Management Co Ltd. The fund’s documents show that it was primarily raised on the assumption that demand for residential realty would reach 7.5 million units by 2013, led by Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

By 2015, the fund had invested 44 percent of its capital in Mumbai and 28 percent each in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Chennai. It had a mandate to invest in equity, equity-related and debt instruments of companies engaged in construction and development of real estate assets, including residential, commercial, retail and other projects. It, however, invested only in residential projects.

Ironically, though, even as the fund’s private placement document says “residential realty—the juicy bit”, there is no juice for the investors of this fund.

According to documents accessed by Forbes India, ABREF’s life tenure was six years, with two one-year extensions, which ended this August. It was a close-ended fund, meaning the capital had to be returned by the end of its life. In August, ABREF notified its investors that due to the global financial crisis and subdued real estate markets, coupled with a liquidity crunch, the fund had been unable to liquidate its position and return capital to investors. And that they were seeking an extension.

[“source=forbes]

From YouTube Star To Obama Interviewer: Liza Koshy, 22, Is Creating A Digital Media Empire

She specializes in punnery, physical gags and parodies. One of her widely watched videos spoofs the makeup tutorials that have proliferated across YouTube. And she has several popular characters, like her male, mustachioed alter ego, Jet Packinski III. “He’s a very handsome man. I believe I’m better looking as a dude than a girl,” Koshy says.

In the last few years, the 22-year-old has become one of YouTube’s biggest stars, earned a spot on Forbes’ latest 30 Under 30 list—and made the leap to traditional media. “The worst advice I’ve ever received was ‘Don’t post on YouTube, it’s dying,’” says Koshy, who earned an estimated seven figures in 2017, thanks largely to her online output.

Read the complete 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 package.

Like many other digital-native stars, the Houston-born Koshy got her start on (now-defunct) Vine. She began shooting six-second videos on her cellphone as a teen in 2013, just months after the app’s January launch. Her first clip featured her climbing on top of a car with friends. “It was just me, with my phone, in my car, dancing along, talking or making a really bad joke,” she recalls. “Which is why Vine died. Sorry about that.”

Her comedy—and her camera skills—developed, and soon she was using cutaway shots to create skits and sight gags, including tying her hair into flopping bunches and pretending to be a butterfly. They appealed to her young audience, which grew to 7 million followers on Vine alone. Soon she wanted to go beyond Vine’s short clips. “I eventually realized that I could talk for much longer than that.”

So she parlayed her popularity into a YouTube channel in July 2015, where she began posting weekly. She introduced herself as “Liza the little brown girl”—her mother is white, her father is Indian—and expanded her comedy and range of characters. In addition to Jet Packinski, there is Helga, a bespectacled, frazzled foreigner, and Carlos Q, an macho Hispanic man. Other popular series include “Driving with Liza” and “Grocery Shopping with Liza,” where she films herself on the go, interlaying errands with songs and silly faces. In a sign of her increasing stardom, she interviewed President Obama for a get-out-the-vote initiative in 2016. “You can’t legally show it on camera, but I actually voted on my absentee ballot [during the video],” she says.

Koshy’s mobile-first audience largely comprises members of Generation Z, people born between 1996 and 2010. According to Nielsen, 97% of Generation Z own a smartphone, and the cohort boasts a reported $44 billion in spending power. Hence Koshy’s appeal to advertisers, who have sponsored her content and hired her for ads, including a series for Beats by Dre headphones. The spots reportedly have four times the click-through rate—the percentage of people visiting the product online after seeing the ad—than other promotions starring celebrities like NFL quarterback Tom Brady.

Her business has expanded with her audience. In 2016, she branched out into a second YouTube channel of more one-off videos that don’t feature regular activities or characters. Popular uploads include reaction videos of her watching her own old, cringeworthy vines (19 million views) or of her reacting to teens watching her videos (17 million views); the subsidiary channel has an additional 7.3 million subscribers.

With an expanding YouTube presence, Koshy has caught the eye of traditional TV executives. In 2017, she became a host of MTV’s resurrected TRL, scored a role in Hulu’s drama Freakish and nabbed a part in Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween. This year, she was hired as the face of Nickelodeon’s Double Dare reboot.

“All of these different opportunities came from YouTube,” she explains. So Koshy is staying close to the source: In 2018 she created, produced and starred in her own YouTube Originals series, Liza on Demand, in which she works in the gig economy.

Next up: a Liza Koshy line of bags, out this fall. “You can’t play a high school student forever, so at some point I’m going to have to tear down that wall and tear off that wig and be me,” says Koshy.

[“source=forbes]

Former Facebook Manager Says The Company Has A ‘Black People Problem’

Bloomberg Royalty Free© 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP

Today, Mark S. Luckie, a former manager at Facebook, posted a memo about how Facebook treats its Black employees. In the memo, Luckie indicates that “Black people are finding that their attempts to create ‘safe spaces’ on Facebook…are being derailed by the platform itself.” Luckie explained claims of mistreatment in more detail throughout the memo mentioning that Black people’s content has been removed without notice. Luckie also mentioned that underrepresented groups have been excluded on both Instagram and Facebook, with less visibility and access given to them. He went on to also explain that increasing diversity does not solve the inclusion issue; diversity without inclusion is ineffective. Luckie also explained how microaggressions have created hostile work environments to many different Facebook employees he’s spoken to. When employees complain and report these issues to Human Resources (HR), they are made to feel as if the incidents are “a figment of [their] imagination.” Some Black employees may be hesitant to express their feelings about the mistreatment for fear of losing their job or retaliation. Despite the efforts Facebook has made to be more inclusive (employee resource groups, their diversity team), the company is unsuccessful at truly fostering a culture of inclusion for its Black employees.

How can the tech industry foster not only a more diverse environment but also a more inclusive environment that is more welcoming to Black people and other underrepresented groups?

    1. The first step in fostering a diverse and inclusive environment is conducting an audit of the current diversity climate within the organization. Enlist the opinions of employees, as well as customers, on how to improve different aspects of the organization. Luckie suggested implementing focus groups with people of color, which is an excellent suggestion. Focus groups can play a fundamental role in helping organizations assess how to make their products and services better. If multiple users are complaining about a specific issue (i.e. Black Facebook and Instagram user posts being removed and accounts being suspended), this should be addressed and dealt with.
    2. Luckie mentioned one solution is cultural competency training. An addition to this suggestion is that the training should be done on a frequent and ongoing basis. Research indicates that diversity training is successful when it is delivered over a significant period of time. Training can also impact the frequency of microaggressions, making the workplace a more inviting environment. Leaders should be required to participate in training, as well as each staff member in the organization.
    1. Diversity goes beyond just the numbers. The attraction of diverse talent is just one piece of the puzzle. The often more challenging aspect of diversity is figuring out how to foster a culture of inclusion for all. Are you allowing diverse talent to have a seat at the table? Assess team-building activities in the organization. Is everyone invited to the after-work events and parties? What is being done in the organization to foster interpersonal connections? Evaluate what is currently being done and figure out what could be done better.
    2. HR departments are often the first line of defense when employees feel that they’ve been mistreated. The HR department should have a clear plan for addressing these issues. Complaints made should be investigated and examined frequently. If there is a consistent or recurring claim being made, it should be dealt with. Luckie suggested creating “internal systems for employees to anonymously report microaggressions.” This can be an effective strategy. Employees may want to complain or report an incident but fear it will impact their job and status at the organization. Companies may benefit from integrating an anonymous system in which employees can report issues that occur, without fears of repercussions.

[“source=forbes]