MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

ModCloth study: Women misrepresented in fashion industry

BY Marianne Wilson

San Francisco — Over two-thirds (68%) of women are more likely to buy from a company that uses models of varying sizes, according to a new study by online fashion retailer ModCloth. And only 13% of women agree that "real women" are accurately portrayed in the fashion industry.

The ModCloth "Truth in Fashion" report studies the effects of fashion advertising on the emotions and shopping behaviors of women. It finds that overwhelmingly, women feel alienated by the fashion industry and cannot relate to the advertising they see from brands. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of women said they "never" or "rarely" see women who look like them reflected in fashion advertising.

The results were even more dramatic among plus-size women – where over three-in-four (78%) women reported "never" or "rarely" seeing themselves reflected in advertisements. Only 25% believe "there are many good role models for women" in the fashion industry or that it "celebrates beauty in many forms."

The insights also show that not only do women want to see more "real women" in fashion advertising, but they would actually purchase more from brands that showcase diversity. Two-thirds of women said they are more likely to buy from a brand that uses real women as models, and almost half (43%) stated that they actively avoid shopping with companies who only support an ultra-thin standard of beauty, shattering the notion that women only purchase from "aspirational" advertisements.

In response to the findings, the online retailer announced the launch of #fashiontruth — ModCloth’s "Casting Call For All." The casting call — open to everyone — is designed to demonstrate the company’s commitment to featuring a variety of people as their true selves.

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OPERATIONS

Costco pays fine, will fix refrigerant leaks to settle Clean Air Act charges

BY Marianne Wilson

San Francisco — Costco Wholesale Corp. agreed to pay a $335,000 in penalties federal Clean Air Act violations, according to a settlement announced Wednesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Justice. In addition, the retailer will fix refrigerant leaks and make other improvements at 274 of its stores, which EPA estimates will cost about $2 million over the next three years.

“Because of this settlement, Costco will cut its future greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to nearly 200 million pounds of carbon dioxide, supporting our efforts to cut greenhouse gases nationwide,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Investing in better equipment and maintenance to stop wasteful refrigerant leaks is good for our environment and good for business.”

Costco violated the Clean Air Act by failing to promptly repair refrigeration equipment leaks of the refrigerant R-22, a powerful ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbon, between 2004 and 2007, the EPA said, and also failed to keep adequate records of the servicing of its refrigeration equipment to prevent harmful leaks.

The settlement requires Costco to retrofit or replace commercial refrigeration equipment at 30 of its stores to reduce ozone-depleting and greenhouse gas emissions. Costco must also implement a refrigerant management system to prevent and repair coolant leaks and reduce its corporate-wide average leak rate at least 20% by 2017.

In addition, Costco will install and operate environmentally friendly glycol refrigeration systems and centrally monitored refrigerant leak detection systems at all new stores. 

Today’s settlement is part of EPA’s national enforcement initiative to control harmful air pollution from the largest sources of emissions.

The Clean Air Act requires owners or operators of commercial refrigeration equipment that use over 50 pounds of ozone-depleting refrigerants and have an annual leak rate over 35% to repair all leaks within 30 days.

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OPERATIONS

Chute Gerdeman names Brian Shafley as CEO, expands exec team

BY Marianne Wilson

Columbus, Ohio — Chute Gerdeman, a global design consultancy, announced an expanded executive team, including the appointment of Brian Shafley as CEO.

“We are in one of the most productive and innovative periods of Chute Gerdeman’s 25-year history,” said Chute Gerdeman Co-chairman Denny Gerdeman. “With these promotions, we have assembled a highly-talented leadership team that is building on the exciting opportunities at hand.”

As CEO, Brian Shafley will lead Chute Gerdeman’s executive team and guide the company’s evolution. Shafley is a 23-year Chute Gerdeman veteran and has been president and chief creative officer for the past nine years.

In addition to Shafley, chief marketing officer George Nauman and executive VP account management and COO Wendy Johnson will continue to serve on the executive team. Joining them are:

Jim Crawford, Chute Gerdeman’s chief experience officer, who will serve key client relationships with his expertise in customer experience technology and retail strategy. Crawford came to Chute Gerdeman last year from Taberna Retail, where he served as principal and founder. Prior to Taberna Retail, he worked as a retail analyst at Forrester Research and Retail Forward.

Jay Highland, who has been promoted to chief creative officer, will bring a strategic perspective to all CG creative efforts, providing account leadership and creative oversight.

Gary Yoko, who joins the leadership team as executive VP development. Yoko comes to Chute Gerdeman from HMSHost, where he was senior director of design.

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