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Why Elite Female Athletes Are Turning Away From Major Sponsors

Ms. Carreon-John noted that more than a third of the U.S. track and field women’s roster is made up of Nike athletes. “Individual situations of a handful of athletes are not representative of Nike’s support of women’s sport,” she said, adding, “No footwear, apparel or equipment manufacturer provides the level of support Nike provides to women’s sport, period.”To be sure, Nike is a huge company and has supported a sprawling number of athletes for decades. “Nike has done a lot of great things, but sometimes when you’re the big brand, there are more …

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Tennis, Everyone?

For every dismissal, there was someone willing to help. A tweet sent to Caitlin Thompson, the publisher of the independent tennis magazine Racquet, led to a meeting. “We became hitting partners because I was really intrigued about the idea of new equipment in the space,” said Ms. Thompson, who has used the Furi rackets, grips and bags.She sees Furi’s opportunity in its positioning as a beginner-friendly option for recreational players, a rare direct-to-consumer brand (think of what Casper did for mattresses) in a market steeped in pro-shop culture.“So much of tennis is catered toward this notion of …

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Tennis, Everyone?

For every dismissal, there was someone willing to help. A tweet sent to Caitlin Thompson, the publisher of the independent tennis magazine Racquet, led to a meeting. “We became hitting partners because I was really intrigued about the idea of new equipment in the space,” said Ms. Thompson, who has used the Furi rackets, grips and bags.She sees Furi’s opportunity in its positioning as a beginner-friendly option for recreational players, a rare direct-to-consumer brand (think of what Casper did for mattresses) in a market steeped in pro-shop culture.“So much of tennis is catered toward this notion of …

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Fashion Retailers Face Inquiry Over Suspected Ties to Forced Labor in China

France’s antiterrorism prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into four leading fashion retailers over suspicions that they benefited from and concealed “crimes against humanity” by using forced labor by Uyghurs in China.The investigation by the French prosecutors started last month following accusations that the four companies — Inditex, the owner of Zara; Uniqlo; Skechers; and SMCP, which owns brands like Sandro and Maje — had profited from human rights crimes in the Xinjiang region of China, a French judicial official confirmed on Friday.The inquiry follows an April lawsuit filed against the same four companies by human rights groups …

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Canada Goose’s Image Is Challenged by Union Effort

Canada Goose, the luxury jacket maker, has cultivated an image that is not only chic but also socially conscious. It has forged alliances with environmental advocates and talked of its commitment to high labor standards.These efforts have paid off as the company outgrew its roots as a family enterprise and built a worldwide following for its parkas, which can cost over $1,000 and have been worn by celebrities like Daniel Craig and Kate Upton. “We believe that the brand image we have developed has significantly contributed to the success of our business,” the company wrote in a Securities and Exchange …

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What Are We Going to Wear?

A festive cape, draped from your shoulders, paired with a dress and glitzy heels while you sip on mulled wine. That’s the sort of scene Macy’s was envisioning for holiday parties in 2020, before the reality of Zoom nights in living rooms.“We really felt good about this dress-up opportunity, people really feeling glam,” said Nata Dvir, Macy’s chief merchandising officer. “We were thinking about outerwear being as bold as capes.”Bloomingdale’s, which is owned by Macy’s, had forecast “a mix of utility and romanticism,” which would have included puff sleeves, eyelets and maxi dresses, said …

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Rent the Runway Is Bouncing Back

Ms. Hyman said the valuation dip did not mean anything. The company needed money to ensure it was prepared for any scenario, she said, pointing out that nobody knew when the pandemic would abate. Of all the changes Rent the Runway made to its business last year, the biggest was the shift from its unlimited offering, which had allowed subscribers to swap as many items as they wanted for a monthly fee. Now, it offers a few different tiers — users can rent up to four items per month, in one shipment, for $89, or up to 16 items, and up to four …

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H&M and Other Brands Face Backlash From Chinese Consumers

Faced with accusations that it was profiting from the forced labor of Uyghur people in the Chinese territory of Xinjiang, the H&M Group — the world’s second-largest clothing retailer — promised last year to stop buying cotton from the region.But last month, H&M confronted a new outcry, this time from Chinese consumers who seized on the company’s renouncement of the cotton as an attack on China. Social media filled with angry demands for a boycott, urged on by the government. Global brands like H&M risked alienating a country of 1.4 billion people.The furor underscored how international …

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China’s Anger at Foreign Brands Helps Local Rivals

Tim Min once drove BMWs. He considered buying a Tesla.Instead Mr. Min, the 33-year-old owner of a Beijing cosmetics start-up, bought an electric car made by a Chinese Tesla rival, Nio. He likes Nio’s interiors and voice control features better.He also considers himself a patriot. “I have a very strong inclination toward Chinese brands and very strong patriotic emotions,” he said. “I used to love Nike, too. Now I don’t see any reason for that. If there’s a good Chinese brand to replace Nike, I’ll be very happy to.”Western brands like H&M, …

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Garment Workers Who Lost Jobs in Pandemic Still Wait for Severance Pay

Over a crackling phone line, Ashraf Ali, a 35-year-old father in Bangladesh, described feeling suicidal and desperate to feed his family. Sokunthea Yi, in Cambodia, said she spends sleepless nights worrying about how she will pay off loans she took out to build her house. And at only 23, Dina Arviah in Indonesia said she was hopeless about her future as there were no longer any jobs in her district.All once held jobs as garment workers in factories producing clothes and shoes for companies like Nike, Walmart and Benetton. But in the last 12 months those jobs have disappeared, as major …

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