Benetton raises the curtains on a new store concept in Florence.
Featuring intensive use of sustainable materials and state-of-the-art, energy-saving technologies, this new location is a new approach to low environmental impact retail.
The result of an intensive research and innovation effort, the new store is part of a major sustainability project that Benetton is carrying out to consolidate best practices, improve its environmental and social performance throughout the supply chain, and become a model for sustainable fashion – not only in Italy, but throughout the entire world.
“The concept behind this store is unique in the world. It was developed to launch a new phase for our firm,” Massimo Renon, Benetton Group Chief Executive Officer, commented. “It’s a project our company firmly believes in, a milestone on our path to becoming a global reference point in terms of sustainability, and in which Florence represents the symbol of a sustainable Rinascimento. Benetton has always made courageous and cutting-edge choices in terms of social impact. We will continue in this tradition, with ever more determination and conviction.”
The 160-square meter, single floor boutique makes abundant use of upcycled natural materials. The floor is made with gravel from the river Piave and waste wood from beech trees brought down by Vaia (a storm that hit the Italian Veneto region in 2018), while the walls are treated with a mineral paint with antibacterial and anti-mold properties that can also reduce pollutants in the environment.
The store interiors are made with new materials created from textile industry scrap: the perimeter platforms and bases of the display stands are made with a compound created from used buttons (difficult to dispose of) mixed in hydro-resin; recycled wool (in its raw wick state) is reused in the design of the perimeter lining and as decoration for the curtains of the dressing rooms; shelves, display bases and mannequins are made in “rossino”, a material created from upcycled, mixed textile fibres.
The shop window displays make use of sustainable solutions that reduce the use of resources. Transparent panels fixed to the ceiling can be moved at will, creating a sort of theatrical backdrop that forms a connection between the store and the street. The windows are equipped with low environmental impact transparent LED screens, which will feature content about product visuals, commercial information and communication.
The Florence boutique is also a benchmark in terms of power consumption: the new shop uses 20% less energy than a standard store. A system based on tiny sensors, artificial intelligence and data analysis maximizes the energy efficiency of the points of sale and guarantees comfort for the customer, for example by automatically adjusting store temperature based on the amount of people in the shop.
Visitors to the store can choose from among the wide range of United Colors of Benetton sustainable garments in organic, recycled or BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) cotton, regenerated nylon, natural fibres such as linen, and other sustainable materials. Customers can then choose to take their purchases home in either washable, easily recyclable organic cotton bags or in paper bags made with materials sourced from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified forests.
Amsterdam Schiphol’s capacity to be cut due to noise pollution
The Dutch government is expected to cut the maximum number of flights allowed per year at Amsterdam Schiphol airport in a bid to reduce noise and air pollution.
The country’s busiest aviation hub will see a maximum limit of 440,000 flights per year according to the approved proposal aiming to cut 20% of the current annual flights. The changes could go into effect in November 2023.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed discontent at the announcement by the government of the Netherlands will cut the number of annual flights.
“This sudden decision is a shocking blow to aviation, jobs, and the economy of the Netherlands. It comes on top of a tripling of the passenger tax, and a 37% rise in airport charges. We are seeing a throttling of air connectivity which has been steadily built up for 100 years, and supported large parts of the Dutch economy and the aspirations of millions of Dutch travelers” – says Willie Walsh, Director General at IATA.
The government defends the proposal claiming that the cuts next year will reduce noise and deliver a significant reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions.
“Downsizing Schiphol will permanently destroy jobs that are only now recovering. Moreover, without the possibility to grow at Schiphol, businesses in the Netherlands will need to evaluate their future in an economy that will be moving from global gateway to regional center” – believes Walsh.
Schiphol has been recovering fast since the end of pandemic restrictions and has already set a maximum number of travellers per day this summer, capping the number of passengers that can depart from the airport every day as a result of a shortage of security staff. The maximum number of travellers that Schiphol can handle varies per day and goes up to 67,500 on the busiest days in July and up to 72,500 in August.
“We are taking this measure with an unbelievably heavy heart. Everyone at Schiphol and all our partners want nothing more than to welcome all travellers with open arms, especially after the impact coronavirus has had. A lot is possible at Schiphol this summer, but not everything. Setting a limit now means that the large majority of travellers will be able to travel from Schiphol in a safe and responsible way.” – says Dick Benschop, CEO at Schiphol Airport.
The airport has already had over 280,000 movements this year, putting it on track to reach its existing 500,000 movement limit.
Prior to the pandemic, aviation supported more than 300,000 jobs and €22 billion in GDP to the economy of the Netherlands. Key to this economic contribution was the connectivity driven by Schiphol’s global hub airport role. In 2019, Amsterdam was the third-best internationally connected city in Europe, behind only London and Paris.
Business apps and services promoting sustainability in 2022
Sustainability has become a priority for most consumers and businesses alike. IBM surveyed job seekers and found that 71% of employees favour environmentally sustainable companies and find them to be more attractive employers. More than two-thirds of the respondents said they were more likely to apply for and accept jobs with environmentally and socially responsible organisations, even if it meant taking lower pay. Moreover, 48% of consumers surveyed also place their trust in corporate commitments to sustainability.
Case in point, Euro Newsweek recently reported how UK’s leading insurer Aviva commits to sustainability by investing £50 million into venture capital funds, which focus on emerging technology that supports our sustainable future. This follows the company’s pledge to become a Net Zero carbon emissions enterprise by 2040. While many small and medium enterprises may not be able to commit to the same, there are certainly other ways they can promote sustainability – especially given the rise of smartphones. Here are some apps and services available that help accomplish this:
Joulebug Enterprise, sometimes called Shine by Joulebug, is a mobile app that aims to motivate employees to do good things for the community, their bodies, and our planet. Joulebug serves as a social network for employees working in the same company, where they can earn points and compete with one another through challenges. Once a challenge is over, everyone can see the impact made — whether it’s reduced energy usage, better waste habits, or less reliance on motorised transport. The gamified tasks not only makes users more conscious of their habits, but also aggregates marginal gains by getting groups of people to engage in green practices. Employees have the option to share their achievements, and companies can reward prizes to the winners for added fun.
Forest is a mobile app that aims to improve employee productivity, while tackling the problem of deforestation. Forest improves user productivity by letting employees plant a virtual tree when they want to focus on a task. If the user stays focused and achieves a pre-set goal, the tree will grow and become part of a virtual forest. Otherwise, the tree will wither away and die. As you grow more trees, you collect coins; one tree is equivalent to about 100 coins. When you collect 2,500 coins, you can opt to plant a real tree with Forest app’s partner Trees for the Future. It’s a great tool for employees who are looking to stay focused and save the planet.
Doorway offers digital business cards that allow you to have your contact details instantly saved 100% of the time without the need for an app or an internet connection. Given that six million trees are cut down every year for paper business card production, and 88% of these business cards are thrown away without the details being saved, Doorway is a more efficient and eco-friendly way to connect with your network. You simply sign-up for an account using your email, then create your free personal business card — which can be scanned as a unique QR code from your smartphone. Businesses can opt to pay for their employees’ Doorway accounts per month, which also allows you to plant new trees and access additional services.
Too Good To Go
Europe-grown service Too Good To Go (TGTG) may not seem relevant to your business unless you’re in the food and beverage industry, but it could be a great way to boost employee morale and support local restaurants, bakeries, and grocers. TGTG combats food waste by letting users buy goods that may become food waste by the end of the day for a few pounds. The goods come as Surprise Bags, which means you’re never sure about what you’ll receive when you pick your order up. TGTG helps reduce the 2.5 billion tons of food that goes uneaten around the world each year, and even allows users to pay extra in donations to provide a meal for someone in need. Every contribution helps, so why not pick up a few Surprise Bags to treat your employees today?
If you are interested in more sustainability trends do check out our other articles on EuroNewsweek.
Hugo Boss to launch its own premium resale platform
German luxury fashion house Hugo Boss is set to invite customers to buy pre-owned items as they would new, with the launch of a premium resale platform in the third quarter of 2022. The initiative will offer a curated assortment of clothing that has been traded in by existing customers.
An online process will allow customers to return used items to Hugo Boss in exchange for credit that can be spent online, on new or pre-owned items, or in store. Once fully quality checked, the pre-owned products will become part of a curated second-hand assortment for sale on Hugo Boss Pre-Loved. The service will initially feature clothing, with accessories planned to be added in the future.
The resale service will be operated by Faume, a premium provider offering a convenient and seamless online trade-in experience, and will be accessible through the hugoboss.com online store.
Globally, resale is a fast-growing market that reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry, and already represents a market volume of USD 30-40 billion worldwide. Buying second-hand saves an average of 44% of CO2 emissions when compared to buying new, while the circular nature of the resale business helps to reduce clothing waste.
The brand is also set to launch another initiative, later this year, to extend the lifecycle of its products, with Hugo Boss introducing a care and repair service in selected German stores. The service will cover the repair of suits, jeans, shoes, jersey products, and leather goods. The new initiatives move the company, founded in 1924, closer towards its sustainability ambitions, which include the goal that eight out of ten products are circular by 2030.
“Hugo Boss Pre-Loved will support our move towards a circular business model, while our repair service will allow customers to wear their favourite pieces for even longer and reduce consumption of scarce resources.” – says Heiko Schäfer, Chief Operating Officer at Hugo Boss.
Hugo Boss Pre-Loved will be launched in France, with the platform planned to expand to Germany, the UK, and the U.S. in 2025.
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