Four months on from a factory collapse in Bangladesh, that killed more than 1,100 textile workers, fears remain about safety standards in the country's $21 billion clothing industry.
The collapse of the Rana Plaza factory has generated fierce debate about what changes should be made, along with pledges from employers and global retailers like Walmart to improve worker rights and safety.
Bangladesh's parliament passed a labor law with new amendments on July 15, but the International Labour Organization (ILO) and various rights groups, say that, despite some improvements, it falls short on key issues.
Kalpona Akter, from labor rights group the Bangladesh Centre for Workers' Solidarity, says workers are taking matters into their own hands.
"Whenever they see a spark or a crack in the building, they are saying this is not a safe working place," she says. "They walk out from the factory, and they tell their factory owners or management that until you make it safe, we will not come back."
This final note is about truth in advertising. When you pay money, take your kid to the zoo to see a lion, you expect to actually see a lion.
A zoo in central China did not live up to its claims. Its supposed African lion got caught...barking.
The animal was in fact a Tibetan mastiff. Just with a really fluffy mane.
Needless to say, customers were not amused, saying the zoo was trying to cheat them.
There was also a fox posing as a leopard, and a different dog in a wolf pen.
Guys, come on.
Estee Lauder announced earnings Wednesday before the markets opened. The forecast was a continuation of steady growth for the beauty brand.
The company owes its success, in part, to what’s known as the “lipstick effect”: When money is short, consumers treat themselves to cheap luxuries, like lipstick.
“The color cosmetic industry has actually fared better than most during the recession,” says Shannon Romanowski, beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel.
In recent years, Estee Lauder has also profited from consumers returning to slightly higher-end beauty products, like “prestige” make-up brand M.A.C. But the fastest-growing market may surprise you: Brazil. The country has been called “our China” by M.A.C global brand president Karen Buglisi.
M.A.C. is the leading prestige make-up brand in Brazil and several other Latin American countries. That is, in part, a credit to its product line.
“Most brands are targeted to, say, less than 70 percent of the consumer base is white,” says Karen Grant, senior global industry analyst for beauty at NPD. Grant says only half of M.A.C.’s consumer base is white. “It is a really great brand to then leverage abroad.”
The fact that M.A.C. is a prestige brand has also worked to its advantage, even in places where counterfeiting is rampant and cheap.
“In South Africa, there were so many knock-offs that they were like ‘Well, you know, suppose we offer them the real thing,’” says Grant.
M.A.C. opened stores in Lagos, Nigeria this year, and is coming soon to Botswana and Zambia.