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H&M Has Stopped Purchasing Leather From Brazil

H&M has stopped purchasing leather from Brazil as the country's cattle industry has contributed to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest

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H&M, leather, retail, Brazil
Fleshing Machines built in Tabriz by Reza Pourbagheri, Techno Machine in 1980s for Leather Industry. Wikimedia Commons

Swedish multinational clothing-retail company H&M has stopped purchasing leather from Brazil over concerns that the country’s cattle industry has contributed to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.

The announcement of the temporary ban is the second to hit Brazil after a spike in rainforest fires this year drew global outcry, reports nytimes.com.

Last week, VF Corporation, which includes labels such as Timberland and The North Face, announced a temporary halt on the purchases of Brazilian leather, until its suppliers could prove they were not connected to any environmental harm.

Nearly 50,000 fires have been detected in the Brazilian Amazon so far in 2019 — the highest number in almost a decade.

H&M, leather, retail, Brazil
Leather Jackets displayed for customers. Pixabay

While fires happen every year during the dry season, the spike coincides with new policies by President Jair Bolsonaro that have encouraged greater access to protected lands.

Though it is unknown how much of the leather exported by Brazil is linked to Amazon deforestation, researchers connect much of it to the forest being cut down for pasture. A 2016 report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization linked 80 per cent of deforestation in the country to cattle grazing.

The sudden rise in recent fires has prompted world leaders and celebrities to issue warnings about the future of the world’s biggest rainforest. Many took aim at Bolsonaro’s policies, which also included slashing the budget of environmental protection agencies.

On Saturday, Bolsonaro dismissed the boycott concerns, saying it was just some “pressure” and “part of the game.”

ALSO READ: Here’s How You Can Step up Your Summer Fashion Game

“This is normal in the whole world,” he had told the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo.

Last week, the Brazilian President signed an executive order forbidding fires during the dry season in the Amazon. The government also sent the military to fight the fires in the Amazon, but thousands of blazes are still raging there.

The brand has already had requirements in place to ensure that raw hides and leather used in its products did not originate from cattle raised in the Amazon, a spokesperson said.

The ban by the clothing label on all leather from Brazil will remain “until there are credible assurance systems in place to verify that the leather does not contribute to environmental harm in the Amazon,” the company said.

The spokesperson added that a “very small” amount of the retailer’s leather comes from Brazil, and that the vast majority comes from Europe, but could not immediately provide specifics. The ban will extend to all of H&M’s brands. (IANS)

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OnePlus Plans To Bring Premium Technology for Offline Users in India

The company is also mulling to inaugurate its largest and one-of-its-kind Experience Centre, spanning 16,000 sq ft, in Hyderabad soon

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OnePlus
This comes at a time when OnePlus is experiencing stiff competition from Apple, which has witnessed a turnaround in the highly-competitive premium smartphone market with an increased market share. Pixabay

Aiming to cement its position in the highly-congested premium smartphone market in India, Shenzhen-headquartered handset maker OnePlus is working towards bringing premium technology to more offline users in the country in 2020, a top company executive has said.

OnePlus continued to lead the premium smartphone market in India in Q3 (July-September period) last year, according to Counterpoint Research. The company, with 35 per cent market share, grew 95 per cent year-over-year (YoY).

“In 2020, we plan to scale up investments in the offline retail space and bring premium technology to more consumers who are primarily offline-based through our OnePlus Experience Centres and retail partnerships,” Vikas Agarwal, General Manager, OnePlus India, told IANS in an interview.

This comes at a time when OnePlus is experiencing stiff competition from Apple, which has witnessed a turnaround in the highly-competitive premium smartphone market with an increased market share.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple garnered 51.3 per cent share in the Rs 35,000 and above price segment in Q3 of 2019 that ended on September 30.

According to Agarwal, “Expansion of retail presence is one of our key focus areas this year.”

OnePlus
Aiming to cement its position in the highly-congested premium smartphone market in India, Shenzhen-headquartered handset maker OnePlus is working towards bringing premium technology to more offline users in the country in 2020, a top company executive has said. Wikimedia Commons

The company is investing heavily in creating premium service experiences for customers so that every touchpoint with the brand is a remarkable experience for its users.

“The plan is to have at least over 5,000 stores across India in 2020. We are already working to open 100 new ‘Experience Centres’ in the country’s top 50 cities this year,” the OnePlus executive informed.

In terms of offline presence, the company has collaborated with large-format retail chains including Croma, Reliance Digital, Vijay Sales, Bajaj Electronics, Poorvika Mobiles and Sangeetha Mobiles.

It currently has presence in over 2,000 retail stores.

“We will continue to expand our partnerships so that our community and OnePlus enthusiasts can walk into their nearest electronic store to experience our latest products,” added Agarwal.

The company is also mulling to inaugurate its largest and one-of-its-kind Experience Centre, spanning 16,000 sq ft, in Hyderabad soon.

Asked if OnePlus also wants to bring its concept phone with colour-shifting glass technology that makes the rear camera “invisible” to India, Agarwal said: “The OnePlus Concept One phone and its camera setup are an innovative experiment in the future of smartphone design, and OnePlus’s R&D and product teams are continuing to test and extend this technology.

“A new technology application requires valuable user and market feedback, and when the time is ripe, we will introduce it to the market.”

OnePlus
OnePlus continued to lead the premium smartphone market in India in Q3 (July-September period) last year, according to Counterpoint Research. The company, with 35 per cent market share, grew 95 per cent year-over-year (YoY). Pixabay

The handset maker unveiled the OnePlus Concept One at the CES 2020 in Las Vegas.

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Concept One is an exploration into the future form of smartphones (including camera layouts and exterior form) and ECMF (electronics’ colour, materials and finishing), and offers a breakthrough solution to the growing problem of unsightly protruding camera designs. (IANS)