News 13.03.2020

Need to Know

H&M opens up its global supply chain, Reddit and Crisis partner for text helpline, and a concept vehicle hoping to upend Uber Pool.

H&M opens its supply chains to smaller brands

Treadler by H&M, Global Treadler by H&M, Global
Treadler by H&M, Global Treadler by H&M, Global
Treadler by H&M, Global Treadler by H&M, Global

Global – H&M Group has launched a B2B service, Treadler, to enable smaller companies to make use of its global supply chains.

The Treadler initiative aims to empower start-ups and small fashion companies by giving them access to H&M’s sustainable operations, without the investment and operational changes typically required. In turn, H&M hopes to amplify progressive and eco-conscious fashion practices by welcoming growing brands to use its manufacturing and operational services.

Gustaf Asp, managing director of Treadler, says: ‘We see the opportunity to utilise the full potential of H&M Group’s extensive investments and progressive sustainability work by catering for clients’ needs and contributing to driving long-term growth for H&M Group, while driving change in our industry. In discussions with other companies, we have experienced a demand for these kinds of services.’

The launch of the service echoes the growth of open-source stores that allow smaller brands and individuals to produce apparel on demand, alongside wider shifts in the retail industry that are enabling smaller businesses to future-proof their services.

A vehicle to counter the Uber Pool problem

Quarter Car by Seymourpowell, UK Quarter Car by Seymourpowell, UK
Quarter Car by Seymourpowell, UK Quarter Car by Seymourpowell, UK

UK – The Quarter Car is a mobility concept from design studio Seymourpowell that points to the future of ride-sharing in cities.

With the interior space defined by retractable partitions, the car can be segmented into four individual and sellable seats, allowing riders to enjoy a private journey or book multiple seats for a more convivial ride. In a bid to offset 'the Uber Pool problem' in which people choose not to ride with strangers, the Quarter Car integrates in-car technology such as transparent glazing, gestural interaction and artificial intelligence to personalise each passenger’s ride.

Recognising the potential for a tiered experience, riders will also be able to pay a premium for advert-free journeys. ‘With the onset of autonomous, connected, electric and shared mobility, it’s time to start defining the first generation of vehicles designed specifically for mobility services,' says Jonny Culkin, designer at Seymourpowell.

Through its partitioned seating and ability to personalise or otherwise limit the interior experience, Seymourpowell is helping riders to cut through the noise of modern urban living, drawing on the themes of The Focus Filter.

Reddit ramps up its mental health efforts

Global – Reddit aims to play a more positive role in its users' mental wellbeing through a partnership with the Crisis Text Line.

Focusing on users who have been flagged as struggling with self-harm or suicidal thoughts, the Crisis Text Line will send them a private message containing support and resources, as well as a recommendation to text its dedicated counsellor hotline.

In this way, Reddit is taking responsibility for the sometimes harmful content that can emerge in its communities. According to Bob Filbin, co-founder and chief data scientist at Crisis Text Line: ‘Redditors can feel safe and supported by their community, 24/7. Reddit has proven to be [a] thoughtful leader in the online safety space as it ensures that users have access to trusted mental health resources at all times.’

The platform’s decision to work with Crisis indicates a growing need for online support and systems that monitor mental health risks. This ties into the emergence of new social networks such as Ikuria, which help people to connect in a safe and private way.

Crisis Text Line and Reddit, Global Crisis Text Line and Reddit, Global

Stat: Western mothers doubt they can ‘have it all’

A report by YouGov reveals that mothers in North America and Europe are less likely than fathers to think they can 'have it all'.

The study asked parents whether they can dedicate enough time to excel in their profession while also being a good parent. The biggest gender gap was found in Canada, where three quarters (76%) of fathers said they believe they can have it all, compared to 58% of mothers. In Sweden, 73% of fathers felt this way, versus 57% of mothers.

British women – especially those with children – feel particularly negative about their potential to succeed in both work and as a parent, with just 41% saying they think they can have it all. While British mothers generally feel less positive about this than British fathers (51%), British dads also scored much lower compared to fathers in other countries.

In our recent interview with author Annie Auerbach she notes that while women are working more, they also 'put in a second or third shift after work' to run homes or care for relatives, suggesting there is ample space for employers to better support mothers through flexible working initaitives.

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