I agree with Tom Student 2017 on two points:
1. H&M’s key differentiator in the market, relative to Zara’s, is that they are cheap.
2. H&M’s largest concern in this space should be taxes or embargos levied on companies with foreign production.
President Donald Trump has publically promised a “major border tax” on companies that shift jobs outside the United States and the administration has considered an across-the-board tariff of 10 percent on all imports. President Trump has also discussed implementing a 35 percent tariff on Chinese imports. A recent Peterson Institute for International Economics study found that a tariff on imports of Chinese tires alone would cost U.S. consumers $1.1 billion while saving only 1,200 U.S. jobs. According to the study, “[t]he increased costs would likely be passed on to American consumers in the form of higher retail prices.”If any of these practices are adopted, H&M will likely suffer a decrease in sales due to price hikes, but perhaps, this method will still be more cost-effective than setting up a factory in the US.
Thanks for the thorough analysis, especially in regards to potential solutions. One idea I’d like to present is developing early and exclusive partnerships with vertical farms located in urban areas, such as Urban Crops.
Urban Crops create vertical farms in former warehouses, factories or offices. For example, in one farm a large frame is designed to hold conveyor belt-shunted trays of young plants under gently glowing blue and red LEDs. Vertical farming yields more crops per square meter than traditional farming or greenhouses do. Vertical farming also uses less water, grows plants faster, and can be used year-round. This enables vertical farms to have a lower carbon footprint than traditional farms.
Also, the system is largely automated; the hardware allows the plants to be fed light and nutrients throughout their growing cycle. Then, they can be harvested when the time is right. Moreover, each species of the crop has a “growing plan” tailored to its needs, determining its nutrient uptake and light. The facilities also can, in theory, be built anywhere.
By creating exclusive partnerships with vertical farms such as Urban Crops, Sweetgreen can lock-in supply and pricing for years, uphold its dedication to locally-sourced food and help decrease the carbon footprint of the agriculture industry.
It’s great to see Coca-Cola making strides towards environmental sustainability in some aspects of its supply chain such as refrigeration. However, Coca-Cola is simultaneously increasing its carbon footprint through other aspects of its supply chain, such as the production of the mini soda can.
According to Time magazine, sales of mini soda cans have risen dramatically, while overall soda sales have remained flat. Instead of one can for 16 oz of soda, there now 2 cans with 8 oz of soda each. This increases the overall amount of aluminum, dye and manufacturing hours used. Therefore, the net impact of the mini cans is an increase in Coca-Cola’s carbon footprint. Yet, Coca-Cola is primarily driven by consumer demand and profit, not environmental sustainability, thus it continues to increase the number of mini cans produced. Another example of this is that Coca-Cola produced more than 100 billion plastic bottles in 2016 according to a report by Greenpeace, an independent global campaigning organization for environmental sustainability.
It’s great to see digitization adopted by a non-profit to generate growth. While using free consumer-focused platforms such as Whatsapp and Google Docs may not be sustainable in the long run. Thankfully, Robin Hood Army can adopt premium platforms that offer better capabilities for free as a non-profit. Below are two to consider.
Zapier can complete simple automation and integration steps between solutions. For example, it can be used to auto-populate a Google doc with Eventbrite registration data to share with an external team. (https://zapier.com/)
Canva is a social media and desktop publishing content generator with drag-and-drop features and professional layouts to help nonprofits easily design professional graphics and documents. Nonprofits are allowed 10 free users. (canva.com)
Thanks for the thoughtful and well-researched piece, Azeez. I am a firm believer in leveraging technology to help k-12 students learn. I am concerned though about the growing inequality gap and how technology can contribute to this.
EdSurge wrote about this risk specifically warning institutions that teachers must be adequately trained to leverage technology appropriately in the classroom.  Moreover, most of a child’s education occurs at home. Even if students or classrooms have access to iPads or computers, it is unlikely that this technology will exist at home. This can impede a students’ ability to engage with the material.
Meanwhile, students in the right school with the right can excel. Therefore, one has to wonder if technology is really shrinking or widening the “opportunity gap.”
 Madda, Mary Jo. “Technology (and How It’s Used in Schools) Is Widening the Opportunity Gap.” Ed Surge, February 2016. Accessed November 2016. URL: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-02-10-technology-and-its-implementation-in-schools-is-widening-the-opportunity-gap