Cheap school uniforms - but at what real cost?

A complete school uniform for less than £4? Sounds like a great deal for cash-strapped UK parents right? But what about the workers who make those clothes? As Aldi and Lidl indulge in a school uniform price war the Guardian suggests consumers should ask themselves just why the clothes are so cheap. Is it because Aldi and Lidl are willing to make a loss in order to win market share? Or does the discount come at the expense of apparel workers' labour conditions and pay? As Martin Buttle, head of apparel and textiles at the Ethical Trading Initiative, tells the Guardian: “Paying an extra couple of pounds on a school uniform is not normally a massive cost to a UK consumer, but the difference can be huge to a Bangladeshi or Chinese garment worker.”

Sustainability a fast growing concern for shareholders

“The largest number of shareholder resolutions filed by investors — the method through which activists work — now concern social and environmental issues.” That’s the conclusion of a Harvard Business Review article looking at the growing importance of sustainability in the hedge fund business. With pressing concerns such as political spending, climate change, diversity, and human rights being some of the more frequent resolutions that investors file HBR suggests that “investors can be a driver for social responsibility and – at least when focused on material issues — can improve both societal and financial outcomes at the same time.”

Investor relations needs to wake up to sustainability 

Even as sustainability becomes a key issue for investors many investor relations (IR) professionals haven’t yet got the message. MIT Sloan Management Review reflects on recent research it conducted that found: “While 75% of investors…say sustainability performance is material to investment decisions, only half of IR professionals thought sustainability was important for business.” It blames the siloed nature of IR in companies and notes that  very few IR professionals are involved with sustainability decision making or know what the sustainability side of the company is doing.

GE and Business Insider go big on digital innovation

General Electric has made good use of brand contented/native advertising in the past and now it is teaming up with Business Insider to demonstrate its expertise and knowledge around what Digiday calls “the rapidly evolving world of robotics, big data and the “industrial internet.” The two companies have combined to launch Digital Industry Insider, a new dedicated section within Business Insider to explain through “original reports, video and even listicles and aggregated pieces” how Big Industry is being transformed through new and emerging technologies.

Nike looks to inspire Indian women to take up sport

Finally today, news of a new Nike female health and self esteem campaign in India aimed at making sport cool for women. The advert, Da Da Ding, features Indian sports women including hockey player Rani Rampal, surfer Ishita Malaviya and former badminton player (and now film star) Deepika Padukone. As Adweek explains: “The spot successfully fuses elements of Indian pop culture—its music, rhythm and beats—to Nike's carefully crafted universal spirit: It makes mere movement feel revolutionary. In the same way listening to M.I.A. makes us want to rob banks in a convertible, it inspires a weird desire to do reps, or get into parkour.” Personally, we’d always take parkour over bank robbing. 

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