♥ This adorable henley dress is an honorable mention on my 2019 Favorites list and I expect it to quickly become a warm-weather wardrobe workhorse. The style is quite form-fitting (but has some stretch; the material is a 95% cotton/5% spandex blend) so I would recommend sizing up (at least one size, as I did). The only fit issue that I want to highlight is the neckline, which dips rather low for a round-neck.
♥ Luxury Brands Burn Unsold Goods. What Should They Do Instead? (The Business of Fashion): “… consumers condemn brands who incinerate product or dump it in the landfill, and governments legislate to stop the act … brands must either recycle or donate products, according to the new ‘anti-waste and circular economy’ law set to be implemented by the end of 2021. It includes fines of up to €15,000 ($17,050) for illegal dumping … a ‘best-case scenario’ is that luxury brands will be left with end-of-season unsold inventory worth 10-to-13 percent of full-price sales. The French government said between 10,000 and 20,000 tonnes of textile products are destroyed every year in France, equivalent to the weight of two Eiffel towers … We demonise fast fashion, without looking at the reality. Luxury isn’t slow, they are using materials that are just as polluting and they are producing plenty.”
♥ J. Crew Pushes Out Proposed Madewell IPO Date Amid Rising Sales (Bloomberg): “Madewell sales increased 13% to $178 million in the fourth quarter … Sales at the parent company declined for a fifth straight quarter. The retailer still plans to split its operations and take Madewell to the market in a public offering, but at a later date … The company entered in an amended agreement with its lenders to eliminate a requirement that it launch the proposed IPO on or before March 2, extending the date to complete the transaction from March 18 to April 30 … J. Crew is relying on the Madewell deal to raise capital amid a heavy debt load. The company listed its outstanding long-term debt at almost $1.7 billion at the end of the fiscal year that ended Feb. 1. The transaction could shore up J. Crew’s junk-rated balance sheet, which includes some debts quoted at about 87 cents on the dollar … J. Crew’s full-year sales decreased 4% to $1.7 billion, while Madewell’s sales increased 14% to $602 million. Overall, revenue increased 2% to $2.5 billion, while comparable sales also increased 2% following an increase of 6% last year.”
♥ Outdoor Voices Became A Staple For Millennial Cool Girls Thanks To Its Chill Aesthetic. Employees Say They Were Drowning. (Buzzfeed): “… behind the company’s bright Instagram aesthetic was a toxic, destructive, and, at times, abusive working culture … Much of the grind fell to younger, junior staff members, who said they routinely cried at work, had panic attacks, and went to therapy because of the environment and events they were expected to run with little help or guidance … People of color who worked for or with Outdoor Voices were also disheartened by the fact that although the brand frequently shared and celebrated diversity on Instagram, they were barely represented internally … According to a February 2019 internal email, the company was spending about $36,000 a year on Topo Chico water and $22,000 on Maison Louis Marie candles for five stores. Floral arrangements were costing about $45,000 a year, nearly half of which was for … OV’s bright, modern, custom-designed Soho location … In 2018, the company lost $21 million, $3 million of which came from a write-off of excess fabric that had been rotting in storage … OV had budgeted to lose $12 million that year … even with $40 million in annual sales, Outdoor Voices was losing $2 million every month … Former employees also recounted spending countless stressful hours during and outside of work scrambling to complete menial and often costly tasks.”
♥ Trump Administration Presses Cities to Evict Homeowners From Flood Zones (The New York Times): “The willingness to use eminent domain shows how quickly the discussion around climate has shifted … Still, threatening to push people out of their houses is an extreme step … the only surefire way to guarantee the homes won’t flood again is if they no longer exist. But it also uproots people and can destroy communities … The Corps applies a relatively simple formula to decide which houses should be condemned … It estimates how much damage a house is likely to suffer in the next 50 years, then compares that to what it would cost to buy and tear down the house, plus moving expenses for the owner. If the buyout costs less, the homeowner is asked to sell for the assessed value of the home. That price is not negotiable, and neither is the offer. Many officials have balked, at least for now. Miami-Dade has yet to agree to evict residents, and New Jersey has refused.”
♥ Select styles at H&M are up to 50% off until 03/17/2020; prices as marked. And get free shipping on all orders for a limited time.
♥ Why Neiman Marcus Is Getting Rid of Its Off-Price Stores (The Business of Fashion): “The Dallas-based department store announced on March 11 that it will close the majority of its 22 Last Call discount stores by early next year and instead focus its efforts on customer service at its luxury outposts, which also include Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan … Neiman Marcus has been shifting focus toward its core business for the past 18 months … [hoping] its big-spending clients will help the company weather a downturn … Neiman will eliminate about 500 jobs at Last Call … The chain plans to also reduce the number of ‘non-selling’ store employees, which include managers and back-of-the-store associates. New roles will be created to drive repeat purchases from existing customers … While Neiman Marcus pulls back from off-price, its peers in the department store space are investing in their own discount entities. Hudson’s Bay-owned Saks Fifth Avenue hired a new president for Saks Off 5th last month, recruiting former Nordstrom Rack executive … Nordstrom Rack saw a net sales increase between February 2019 and February 2020 … while revenue in the full-price channel dipped.”
♥ Living Without a Living Wage (The Washington Post): “There were a record 53 million low-wage workers last year, or about 44 percent of all active workers in the United States. More than half were women. Two-thirds were in their prime earning years. Forty percent were supporting children at home. They earned a median annual salary of $17,950 … what she resented most about being one of the working poor was the constant anxiety that came from having no margin for error. At every moment, the smallest problem threatened to upend the fragile balance of her life.”
♥ Two Women Fell Sick From the Coronavirus. One Survived. (The New York Times): “The world is still struggling to fully understand the new virus, its symptoms, spread and sources. For some, it can feel like a common cold. For others, it is a deadly infection that ravages the lungs and pushes the immune system into overdrive, destroying even healthy cells. The difference between life and death can depend on the patient’s health, age and access to care — although not always. The virus has infected more than 132,000 globally. The vast majority of cases have been mild, with limited symptoms. But the virus’s progression can be quick, at which point the chances of survival plummet. Around 68,000 people have recovered, while nearly 5,000 have died … In most cases, the body repairs itself. The immune system produces enough antibodies to clear the virus, and the patient recovers.”
♥ What Does It Really Cost to Run a Restaurant? (Eater): “Ideally, most operators aim to see COGS and direct labor together at 60 percent … and other expenses at 30 percent, leaving you with 10 percent profit … independently owned restaurants most often hang out in the 4 to 6 percent range for profit.”
♥ Fashion’s Work-From-Home Gameplan (The Business of Fashion): “Fashion and other creative industries are in some ways well-suited for flexible working arrangements. But while technology has made remote contact easier, many aspects of the fashion business are still largely conducted in person … tasks like fitting clothes on a model, draping garments and photoshoots require human contact. Many in the fashion industry — from manufacturers to creatives — work location-specific jobs, whether that’s in factories or design studios. As a result, remote working policies and enforced social distancing can hugely impact their ability to carry out daily tasks. Nearly 50 percent of UK businesses are not set up to accommodate remote working … And it’s usually senior staff who are better equipped to do so.”
♥ Coronavirus Has Caused a Hand Sanitizer Shortage. What Should You Do? (The New York Times): “… if you are able to buy a lesser-known brand of hand sanitizer, [make sure] it’s made of at least 60% alcohol, as recommended by the … C.D.C. … That rules out some of the so-called ‘botanical’ options and popular kid-friendly options … if you decide to try and make your own hand sanitizer, [make sure] it also contains at least 60% alcohol … dry your hands before applying any hand sanitizer … Don’t be conservative with your sanitizer … For it to work, you need to cover every surface of both hands entirely with the sanitizer and rub until dry … Don’t use any hand sanitizer on greasy or dirty hands; it’s less effective … Don’t assume all anti-bacterial wipes will do the job. Benzalkonium chloride, the active ingredient in Wet Ones, was found to be less effective than ethanol … hydrogen peroxide, or sodium hypochlorite on coronaviruses.”
♥ Until 03/17/2020, take 50% off full-price styles at Ann Taylor with code MYSTERY. Some recently-ordered styles: Eyelet Top, Shadow Spot Belted Midi Dress, Mock Neck Belted Sweater Dress, Pleated Wide Leg Crop Pants, Embroidered Ruffle Sleeve Tee, and Liv Suede Block Heel Sandals.
♥ How You Should Get Food During the Pandemic (The Atlantic): “When it comes to ordering in, the food itself is unlikely to be much of a danger … Even if the person preparing it is sick … ‘cooked foods are unlikely to be a concern unless they get contaminated after cooking’ … as the food is handled properly … ‘there should be very little risk.’ Now might be a good time to familiarize yourself with what your local health department thinks of the food-handling practices of your favorite restaurants. The danger of the delivery interaction, meanwhile, depends on how it’s orchestrated. For the food’s recipient, the risk is relatively low … As always, wash your hands before you eat … keeping local delivery viable is helpful to people who can’t cook for themselves because of a disability or an illness. In some areas, requests for delivery are through the roof, which could reduce availability for people who rely on food delivery. In any situation with limited resources, the best choice is not to take more than you need, whether that’s the last four packages of disinfectant wipes at Target or the time of a busy delivery driver.”
♥ Coronavirus Prompts Abercrombie, Nike, Others to Close Shops (The Wall Street Journal): “Grocers and other chains that sell foods, medicines and household essentials have promised to stay open and restock as people race to fill pantries and refrigerators … At the same time, there is less urgency to buy clothing or nonessential items … most chains could endure a two-week shutdown but prolonged closures or drop in store visits would strain mall-based stores and department stores. Some cautioned that e-commerce sales are unlikely to fill the void, since many retailers get 75% of their revenue from their stores.”
♥ Coronavirus Is Already Changing How People Shop. Here’s How. (The Business of Fashion): “In countries with major outbreaks, retail has been one of the hardest-hit sectors. Retail sales have plunged 25 percent in Italy and as much as 50 percent in China, by some estimates … US consumers have yet to change their shopping habits, although retail traffic has dropped 9 percent in the first week of March 2020 compared to the same period last year.”
♥ How to Protect Older People From the Coronavirus (The New York Times): “Of the confirmed cases in China to date, nearly 15 percent of patients over 80 have died. For those under 50, the death rate was well below 1 percent … if people over 60 are infected, they are more likely to have severe, life-threatening disease, even if their general health is good. Older people with underlying medical conditions are at particularly high risk. Experts attribute some of the risk to a weakening of the immune system with age … People are wrong to assume that if an underlying condition is well managed with treatment, they’re out of danger. Even those with conditions that are stable should take extra precautions … People should have conversations with their caregivers about hygiene … Double-check that aides are washing their hands or using hand gel. Any equipment they bring in should be wiped down with disinfectant. And make sure they are feeling healthy.”
♥ Recently ordered: 1901 Double-Breasted Jumpsuit, Free People Don’t You Want This Check Jumpsuit, Michael Stars Sonya Square Neck Dress, J. Crew Lady Jacket in English Golden Tweed, Banana Republic Soft Pleated Midi Skirt, and Tory Burch Espadrille Wedge Pump.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!