$350,000 funding for the inaugural class of LS&Co. Collaboratory fellowship program to accelerate innovation in sustainable apparel

Funding part of global fellowship program to accelerate innovation in sustainable apparel

SAN FRANCISCO, 2017-May-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) today (May 24, 2017)  announced it is granting more than $350,000 to the inaugural class of LS&Co. Collaboratory fellows who are working to create a more sustainable apparel industry. The funding will go towards new approaches and innovations in the apparel supply chain. Projects include expanding a natural indigo dyeing facility, creating products that are less water-intensive and making wastewater treatment solutions more accessible to small artisan workshops.

The Collaboratory is an annual fellowship program for entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs who see design and sustainability as inextricably linked and are working to create a more sustainable apparel industry. Each year the program tackles different social and environmental sustainability challenges facing the industry, with this year’s inaugural class focused on an area that is critically important to the future of the apparel industry and the planet: water.

Following the Collaboratory workshop weekend held at LS&Co.’s Eureka Innovation Lab, fellows submitted project proposals for reducing water usage or improving water quality with the opportunity to receive funding from LS&Co. to implement their solutions. The ideas selected represent some of the boldest, leading-edge ideas from leaders who represent the future of the apparel industry.

“Working with LS&Co. changed how we look at innovation by educating and challenging our team to think in a more holistic way about our impact,” said Kevin McCracken, co-founder of Social Imprints and a Collaboratory fellow. “With access to funding and mentorship from the most innovative team in the apparel industry, we have an opportunity to make a real difference in what we do and how we produce products.”

“To have the support of the entire team at an iconic brand and industry stalwart like LS&Co. makes me believe that we can truly make a difference in the apparel industry,” added Kavita Parmar, founder and creative director at the IOU Project and another Collaboratory fellow. “Water is the biggest challenge we face globally in the coming decades and our industry is one of the biggest users. To work together and take a shot at changing the course of our future is exciting and fills me with optimism.”

This year’s Collaboratory fellows had the unique opportunity to work through ideas and challenges with LS&Co. leaders and employee mentors along with sustainability and apparel industry experts as they developed concrete, tangible plans for reducing their organization’s water footprint.

“We were honored to bring together the next generation of global leaders to share ideas, aspirations and innovations for achieving a common goal of accelerating the sustainability of the apparel industry,” said Paul Dillinger, vice president and head of global product innovation, LS&Co. “We look forward to seeing the Collaboratory fellows’ water impact solutions come to life and inspire a future of empowered sustainable apparel makers.”

To learn more about all the fellows and see a full list of their projects, visit http://levistrausscollaboratory.com/.

About Levi Strauss & Co.

Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world’s largest brand-name apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear. The company designs and markets jeans, casual wear and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi’s®, Dockers®, Signature by Levi Strauss & Co.™, and Denizen® brands. Its products are sold in more than 110 countries worldwide through a combination of chain retailers, department stores, online sites, and a global footprint of approximately 2,900 retail stores and shop-in-shops. Levi Strauss & Co.’s reported fiscal 2016 net revenues were $4.6 billion. For more information, go to http://levistrauss.com.

Andrea Hicklin
Levi Strauss & Co.
(415) 501-7777

Source: Levi Strauss & Co.

SIRCA Funding To Develop New Way To Clean Up Soil at Former Gas Stations

Saskatoon, SK, 2017-May-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — Funding announced this week will help SIRCA partners develop and test a new way to clean up the soil at former gas stations.

Biowaste from a cattle processing plant is being converted into a water-based, nutrient-rich material to be injected into the ground to aid in the digestion of petroleum hydrocarbons by soil-based organisms. The project is a collaboration between the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) and UFA, all members of the Sustainable In-Situ Remediation Co-operative Alliance (SIRCA).

“We’re developing new phosphorous-rich materials to help bacteria and fungi in the ground consume hydrocarbon pollutants,” U of S soil scientist Derek Peak. “These materials will enable us to treat contaminated soil right at the site rather than excavating the soil to process it. This could cut remediation costs in half.”

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) will provide $750,000 over three years through its College-University Idea to Innovation (CU-I2I) grant, which aims to develop and apply research and technology between colleges, universities and businesses. FCL and UFA are jointly providing an additional $75,000 cash and $337,500 in-kind contribution.

“Through SIRCA, we’re able to take innovative technologies from concept to reality, from the lab to real-world application,” said Vic Huard, Executive Vice-President of Strategy at Federated Co-operatives Limited. “Not only are we building sustainable solutions to lessen our impact on the environment and improve our communities, we are sharing this knowledge in the spirit of co-operation.”

The partners will make new compounds at NAIT, evaluate them at U of S laboratories and the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, and then pilot-test the soil additives at two sites in Stony Plain, Alta.

“Remedial approaches have real and measurable sustainability benefits over traditional excavation-based approaches,” said Kris Bradshaw, FCL’s Impacted Sites Manager. “This research will ultimately help us and others manage the vast array of impacted sites in Canada and around the world.”

The innovative project will also create a training partnership program between the U of S and NAIT: two U of S PhD students will serve as mentors to NAIT students and U of S students will have the opportunity to work with highly specialized tools at NAIT.

SIRCA was formed in 2014 to bring together researchers, co-operatives and industry to advance research activities and remediation technologies. Previous funding of $1 million from NSERC and $1 million from FCL established an industrial research chair at the U of S in 2015 in support of SIRCA research. More information on the SIRCA initiative is available at www.sirca.coop.

PHONE: 306.244.3311
FAX: 306.244.3403
GENERAL INQUIRIES: inquiries@fcl.ca

Source: Co-op

Drunken Berries the first start up to hit their funding target through Tesco’s BackIt initiative

Drunken Berries the first start up to hit their funding target through Tesco’s BackIt initiative

Drunken Berries the first start up to hit their funding target through Tesco’s BackIt initiative

Welwyn Garden City, UK, 2016-Nov-01 — /EPR Retail News/ — A new award-winning drinks mixer that enhances the flavour of Prosecco could be hitting supermarket shelves thanks to the early success of a crowd-funding programme run by Tesco.

Despite winning two top food industry awards, the husband and wife team behind Drunken Berries have yet to get their product on sale at a major UK supermarket.

But that could change very soon after the pair became the first start up business to hit their funding target through Tesco’s BackIt initiative.

BackIt gives small food and drink businesses a platform to showcase their products to Tesco customers, and campaign for funding to drive their future growth.

Now Drunken Berries owners Gemma and Andre Glanville are hopeful their alcoholic mixers, which can also be drizzled on desserts or made into sorbets, could soon become a household name.

The mixer range uses high quality gin and brandy with a fine balance of pureed berries, caramelised sugar and lemon juice.

Gemma Glanville said:

“The BackIt scheme is a great idea to help small businesses like ourselves reach customers. Thanks to Tesco customers we can now proceed with our first run of products which they will receive in time for Christmas.

“Prosecco has become one of the UK’s most popular drinks and we are really optimistic we can now start to turn Drunken Berries into a winning brand.”

Drunken Berries are one of eight small businesses currently being supported through the Tesco scheme which also offers suppliers access to advice and mentoring from industry experts, as well as the experience of working with a large retailer.

Customers can discover new and unique products by visiting the www.tesco.com/backit website. If they wish to support any of them they are rewarded with the products they’ve invested in.

Tesco Business Development Director Michael Francis said:

“Drunken Berries was the first product on our BackIt site and it’s fantastic to see it surpass its target.

“As the UK’s largest buyer of locally sourced products, we understand the challenges suppliers face to get a product to market. Which is why BackIt is about more than just crowd funding, it’s a platform which provides advice and mentoring to help suppliers bring their ideas to life.

“By providing support for small suppliers, they can focus on what they do best –creating exciting new innovative products for customers.”

Businesses who sign up to BackIt are not obliged to list or work with Tesco after their campaign.



Note to editors

Drunken Berries – a brief history

The idea for Drunken Berries came about after Gemma and Andre Glanville created the recipe for a friend’s New Year’s Eve party which went down a storm.

The couple continued to make the drink for private gatherings and feedback was so overwhelmingly complementary that they decided to embark on a business venture.

Drunken Berries have won two awards from Great Taste – the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink, which is run by the Guild of Fine Food.

Their Raspberry Gin Mixer won two Gold Stars while their Blackberry Brandy Mixer won one Gold Star.

Other companies currently looking for funding through BackIt include:

  • Botonique – a soft drink for wine lovers
  • B-Tempted – delicious gluten free cakes
  • Tg Green Teas – a high quality iced green tea
  • TrooGranola – fresh granola toasting kits
  • Nanaimo Bars – Tasty Canadian dessert treats
  • Rejuvenation Water – The world’s first amino acid enriched spring water
  • Nim’s Fruit Crisps– the UK’s first 100 per cent natural air dried fruit and veg crisps for kids


If you’re a journalist and would like to speak to one of the team please call 01707 918 701


Walmart Foundation announces funding for 10 Workforce Development Boards through The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2016-Sep-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — As a next step in an effort to increase economic mobility of workers in retail and adjacent sectors in the U.S., the Walmart Foundation today (Sept. 7, 2016) announced 10 Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) across the country will receive funding from The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership). The Partnership selected 10 WDBs to collectively form and implement new models of career services specific to retail—models that will serve as best practices for the approximately 550 WDBs in the U.S. that already provide services, such as career coaching, soft skills training, specialized skills training and referrals to other resources.

The funding is part of a $10.9 million grant the Walmart Foundation made to The Partnership in March 2016. The two-year grant program is the largest investment to date as part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s Opportunity initiative, which aims to increase the economic mobility of workers in retail and adjacent sectors by working with nonprofits, educational institutions and government agencies to make it easier for frontline workers to move faster into middle skills roles.

According to the National Retail Federation, the retail industry supports one in four American jobs—a total of 42 million.

“The advancement of our nation’s workforce is imperative and investments made by the Walmart Foundation and The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership in our national network of WDBs will create a significant ripple effect that will help boards across the country make informed, smart decisions about how to invest in workforce strategies that align with the needs of their local retailers,” said Ron Painter, president of the National Association of Workforce Boards. “The models this network creates will advance the nation’s workforce by supporting incumbent workers, fulfilling employer needs and empowering thousands of working Americans to climb the economic ladder.”

A paper authored by the Harvard Business School, Accenture and Burning Glass refutes the retail sector’s reputation as a dead-end industry, explaining how entry-level jobs can lead to supervisory roles or parallel pathways within adjacent sectors with high occupational demand and high wages.

“As one of the largest provider of jobs for the American workforce, the retail industry presents many opportunities for workers to grow and thrive,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “Through our work with The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, we are helping ensure that retail workers have the skills, training and education needed to build long-lasting careers.”

“The need to provide career pathways for workers to advance in the retail sector is a national challenge,” said Karin M. Norington-Reaves, CEO of The Partnership. “The Partnership is excited to work with Workforce Development Boards from across the country to demonstrate the great strides we are making to implement new models and strategies focused on growing the retail workforce.”

The 10 WDBs receiving funding from The Partnership will provide a variety of services to job seekers, including:
· Job readiness training customized to the retail sector, including helping jobseekers acquire the “soft skills” that are critical for workplace success such as teamwork, leadership, communication and conflict resolution.
· Specialized skills training.
· Job placement assistance, resume writing assistance and interviewing skills workshops.
· Post placement services to promote job retention.
Among the services the WDBs will offer employers are:
· Serving as a point of contact for retail employers in the area for recruiting and training opportunities, including career tracks such as sales, customer service, logistics, operations, merchandising/buying and management.
· Incumbent worker training.
· Customized recruiting and candidate pre-screening and assistance in writing job descriptions for new positions.
· Employee retention assistance and improving the supply of qualified job candidates.
The 10 WDBs selected by The Partnership to receive grants in the first year of the two-year grant program include:

Workforce Development Board Grant Amount Estimated Number of People Who Will Benefit
Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation, Millersville, Md. $200,000 200 participants
Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services, Inc., Monticello, Minn. $300,000 200 participants
Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department, Los Angeles, Calif. $400,000 325 participants
Denver Workforce Development Board,
Denver, Colo.
$422,652 325 participants
Metro North Regional Employment Board, Cambridge, Mass. $400,000 200 participants
Center of Workforce Innovations (Northwest Indiana Workforce Board),
Valparaiso, Ind.
$387,421 200 participants
Philadelphia Works, Philadelphia, Pa. $399,430 325 participants
San Diego Workforce Partnership, San Diego, Calif. $400,000 325 participants
The WorkPlace, Bridgeport, Conn. (Southwestern Connecticut Regional Workforce Development Board) $400,000 200 participants
Workforce Snohomish, Everett, Wash. $314,180 200 participants

In addition to providing greater opportunities for retail workers in these communities, this work will have large-scale impact for potentially thousands of workers as key learnings and new models for training and development are shared and may be implemented by WDBs across the U.S.

In February 2015, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $100 million over five years to strengthen the skills of the broader U.S. workforce, by funding programs to create career paths in retail and related industries and training thousands of workers outside of Walmart. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are working with outside experts to develop a system of industry-recognized curricula and credentials for workers so they can gain new skills, training and education to grow their careers. To date, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have given grants totaling $39 million as part of this Opportunity initiative.

For more information about the Walmart Foundation’s grant to The Partnership, visit http://workforceboard.org/about-us/funders-and-partners/grants/wal-mart-foundation-grant/. To learn more about Walmart’s Opportunity initiative, visit http://corporate.walmart.com/opportunity.

About Philanthropy at Walmart
By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. We have stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.3 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. We are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate and inspire our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.

Call: 1-800-WALMART (1-800-925-6278)

Source: Walmart

DeCA received $1.4 billion in appropriated funding in FY 2015

FORT LEE, Va., 2016-Apr-13 — /EPR Retail News/ —  A lot happened in 2002. The Euro became legal tender in 12 European countries; the U.N. froze the assets of Osama bin Laden; Kmart became the largest retailer in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy. The New England Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI for their first NFL championship; Tiger Woods won the Masters Golf Tournament for the second straight year; and “American Idol” premiered on Fox. On Sept. 11, the Pentagon was rededicated after repairs were completed – one year after the terrorist attack; and, Hollywood released “The Gangs of New York,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz.

Also in 2002, the Defense Commissary Agency began its string of clean audits, an unbroken streak that continued with the agency’s financial statements for fiscal 2015 being given an “unmodified” audit opinion by independent auditors.

“This opinion means our financial house is in order, and we’re good stewards of the appropriations entrusted to us,” said DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu, “and that’s crucial to our mission of delivering an effective and efficient commissary benefit.”

DeCA received $1.4 billion in appropriated funding for fiscal 2015. During that timeframe the agency generated nearly $6 billion in annual sales and processed almost 90 million transactions in its stores, while delivering $2.4 billion in patron savings. Commissaries also redeemed nearly 90 million coupons in fiscal 2015 for additional customer savings of nearly $84 million.

“We have a dedicated team of employees in resource management who help ensure DeCA’s financial statements are presented properly,” said Larry Bands, the agency’s chief financial officer. “However, this level of fiscal excellence is an agency achievement, when you consider the daily activities affecting all employees such as time and attendance, and accounting for resale items, equipment and property.”

There are plenty of moving financial parts to a defense agency such as DeCA that’s organized to operate like a business, Bands added. “So when we receive this rating from an independent audit, it certifies that we’re responsible caretakers of our patrons’ benefit.”

For DeCA, the road to a successful audit is continuous. Auditors from the CliftonLarsonAllen auditing firm, one of the 10 largest CPA firms in the country, started the process with onsite visits in February and March. They evaluated any internal controls and transactions that link to DeCA’s financial statements.

Although DeCA’s accountants collect and process the financial data that’s audited, the process still hinges on support and cooperation across the agency, said Edna Willis, chief of the compliance and reporting branch in the resource management directorate.

“This unmodified opinion tells our patrons that the finances of their commissary benefit are accurately reported, open and accessible for review,” Willis said.

Note: For an info graphic on the agency’s clean audit, go to DeCA’s Flickr page.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773

Venulum Has Recorded A 27% Increase In Sales Figures For Cadman Fine Wines

Venulum set up the retail business in 2004 under the Cadman Fine Wines brand to compliment the wine investment side of the business.

Giles Cadman, Chairman of Venulum Group, said, “The increase we are experiencing is due to an expanding customer base, together with increased internet sales driven by unique promotional offers. We were also short listed by Decanter Magazine for the UK online wine merchant of the year which no doubt helped broaden our visibility”.

Giles Cadman believes that what really sets the business apart from other fine wine merchants is the ability of his clients to order fine and rare wines by the bottle. Clients are also able to make up their own cases and choose from themed mixed cases – offering a premium selection of wines. Giles shares a passion for fine wines with his clientele; from 1st growth Bordeaux, Grand Cru Burgundy and Super-Tuscans, to new wines from newcomers to wine production.

“Having a retail presence also benefits our investment clients who invest in forward purchase agreements, En Primeur and wine contracts,” explains Cadman. “When the wine contracts become physical we have the opportunity to sell back to the trade or to sell retail through Cadman Fine Wines and retain more of the margin for our investors” he adds.

A majority of Cadman Fine Wines clients come from the web and the site is continuously developed to take advantage of the latest technology. A lot of traffic has been driven by very good reviews from highly regarded independent wine websites

Mike King, Director of Venulum En-Primeur and Wine Limited, has also seen the benefits of having a retail business when dealing with negotiants in Bordeaux and Burgundy. King heads the team who make the annual pilgrimage to the French tastings to buy on behalf of Venulum Wine Limited, Venulum Wine LLC and Cadman Fine Wines. “Negotiants want profile for their product and so we are very attractive to them because we market their wines” he explains. “We get preferred status on most allocation lists now which gives us significant buying power” he adds.

About Venulum:
The Venulum Group is a multinational private wealth management firm headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. The Group manages the wealth of high net worth individuals, and specialises in alternative investments often not available to the general public. Venulum helps high net worth individuals balance their portfolios.

The Venulum Group was formed in 2002, and has expanded to include offices in four countries, with service offices in a further two. Since 2002 Venulum’s client base has expanded rapidly, and now has a substantial number of United States based clients.

Via EPR Network
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