Archive for the ‘Business news’ Category

Children and babies are more vulnerable to harmful chemicals than adults

Christmas shoppers on their mission to buy presents for family and friends may be bringing home sports and baby clothing that contains poisons. Clothing which claims to be “anti-odor” often contains tiny silver particles which are poisonous for the natural environment. Some tests suggest they could also be harmful for human health.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) has conducted tests of sports clothing made of synthetics as well as “anti-odor” clothes for babies. The results of the tests were “worse than we expected,” Anne-Marie Johansson of KEMI told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

The watchdog agency randomly bought clothing and textiles in Swedish stores which are marketed as “anti-odor” or claimed to provide “lasting freshness,” “hygenic protection,” or to be “antimicrobial.”

Of the 30 articles tested in a laboratory, 16 were found to contain silver nano-particles and anti-bacterial agent Triclosan. Although the use of silver particles was most common in sports clothing, investigators also found it in children’s pajamas and other types of clothing.

One of the products containing silver was a hair-band from Buff with a Winnie-the-Pooh design.
Three fourths of the silver particles in the hair-band had been leached out after three washings, according to the Swedish study.
“One can really ask questions about usage, especially when it comes to children’s clothing. There are concerns about the effects on health; children may suck on their clothing,” Anne-Marie Johansson of KEMI told DN.




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While Swedish fashion retailers are busy unveiling their new collections during Stockholm Fashion Week (November 21-24), morning newspaper Dagens Nyheter has published a timely feature article about those workers in the global clothing industry who do much of the work, but earn the least amount of money.

The clothing manufacturing industry in Bangladesh has expanded rapidly, but (more…)

Lisbeth Salander, the rebellious heroine of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy would probably be pissed off to learn that her personal style has been reincarnated as a fashion collection for H&M, one of the world’s biggest retail chains.

Luckily, the anarchistic computer hacker with a violent temper is only a fictional character in the books, so she is not about to start smashing department store windows or kidnapping business executives.

The collection has been designed just in time for the Christmas shopping season by Trish Summerville, costume designer for the upcoming American movie based upon the best-selling book: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

The press release for the tough-looking collection says that Salander’s look is “all about individuality as well as survival.” Black leather racing jackets, a hooded wool coat with a diagonal zip that wraps across the body and leather or slashed denim pants are part of the mix.
Photo: H&M

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An online gambling site predicts that the jumpsuit may be the most popular Christmas present in Sweden this year.

The odds are currently 4:1 that jumpsuits for adults youths and kids — like those made by OnePiece of Norway and Zipperall of Sweden– will be the most common gift when Santa comes calling in December, according PAF, an online gaming company based on the semi-autonomous Finnish island of Åland.
Swedish people have for years favored “hard packages” in the Xmas season. The last time a “soft” present emerged as the favorite was 2003, when the knitted cap was Christmas present of the year.

The pricey Nespresso coffee brewer poses the biggest challenge to the Onepiece, entering the field with 5:1 odds.

“Sure, the Swedes are techno-geeks, but after the touchscreen was named last year’s Xmas Gift of the Year, electronics will take a back seat this year,” predicts PAF spokesman Anders Sims.

This is the fourth consecutive year that PAF has been taking bets on Christmas gift of the Year in Sweden. Prior to the gift-giving season in 2010, the online gaming company correctly identified the touchscreen as the hottest present.

OnePiece is the brainchild of three Norwegian guys in their twenties– Thomas Adams, Henrik Nøstrud and Knut Gresvig –who had the idea of sewing their hoddie top and tracksuit bottoms together on a hungover Sunday morning back in 2007. Today, they are sold throughout the world. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Elton John, Jude Law and Justin Bieber have all been photographed lounging around or performing onstage in OnePiece garments.
Check out the interview I did with one of the company founders last year when OnePiece opened up a new concept store in Stockholm.

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Everybody gets excited about H&M’s spectacular collaborations with world-known designers like Versace or Lanvin. But you shouldn’t miss Bruno Pieters’ collection for another Swedish label: Weekday.

Bruno Pieters represents Antwerpian fashion with all its best characteristics: architectural, elaborate cuts, prudent forms and an emotional touch. The designer graduated in 1999 and has since then worked for such labels as Martin Margiela, Christian Lacroix and Hugo Boss. His own ready-to-wear and couture collections have brought him enthusiastic reactions from fashion gurus like Suzy Menkes and Karl Lagerfeld.

Pieter’s collection for Weekday—which is actually owned indirectly by H&M– combines extraterrestrial androgyny with a retro feeling. The clothing is both classy and extremely modern. Suited to a hectic urban life or a walk in a desolated moon landscape.
Text: Verónica Fraticelli
Photos from http://www.weekday.se

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Fio-Fio Design is the brainchild of Stockholm-based artist Veronica Alkmim Franca, who comes originally from Brazil. After research into the potential of Brazilian natural colored cotton and other materials, Veronica and other modern designers have developed an elegant line of handmade jewelry and accessories.

Swedish fashion addicts have for many years been averse to bright colors. But tourist travel to tropical destinations has created a taste among some Swedes for spicy flavors… and dramatic fashion brands like DeSigual, Save the Queen and Custo Barcelona.

I don’t think that Swedish women have lost their basic preference for clothing which is simple, functional and of high-quality, but the wearing of bright colors or decorative details no longer requires gigantic amounts of courage.

Fio-Fio will in the coming weeks make it its debut in Stockholm. We can expect to see more eye-opening, dramatic colors and designs defying the chilly grey of minimalism this winter.

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The postal service in Denmark today unveiled two fashion stamps at City Hall in Copenhagen which pay tribute to the contribution to Danish culture made by fashion designers. Accessories by Silas Adler, the founder of the Soulland menswear brand, are featured on one of the stamps, while a sketch by Malene Birger of a design for women appears on the other. These aren’t the only designers in the Nordic region who can brag about stamp tributes. Minna Parikka, the queen of sexy high-heels, was recently honored with a postage stamp in home country Finland.

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Part of Versace for H&M collection

The hysteria among fashion addicts sparked by H&M’s recent collaboration with Lanvin has hardly subsided. Now H&M has snagged another celebrity. The Swedish fashion retailer announced today that its autumn 2011 designer collaboration will be with Donatella Versace.

The collection will include ranges for women, men and selected pieces for the home. It will be available from 17 November in some 300 stores worldwide, as well as on-line. In addition, Donatella Versace has also designed a pre-spring collection for H&M which will be exclusively available in countries with H&M on-line sales from January 19, 2012.

“Versace is one of the most important brands of recent times, and their collection for H&M will be glamorous and flamboyant – everything Versace stands for. Donatella Versace is sharing with us iconic designs from the archives. This is such a celebratory collaboration and it is perfect for the party season,” says Margareta van den Bosch, creative advisor at H&M.

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Pirjo Suhonen

IvanaHelsinki, one of Finland’s most popular and successful fashion brands, is no longer in legal conflict with Ivana Trump, the former wife of real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Ivana Trump had filed a lawsuit against Paola Ivana Suhonen, creative director of the fashion label, charging that Suhonen had improperly used her Ivana trademark.

According to Finnish evening paper Ilta Sanomat, the American celebrity had sought tens of thousands of dollars in damages and a certain percentage of the revenues from clothing sales.

IvanaHelsinki founder and CEO Pirjo Suhonen– the sister of the label’s designer– says that the legal fireworks are over.

“We have agreed to no longer use IvanaHelsinki as a single word, and will instead put a space between Ivana and Helsinki,” she told the newspaper. The only people who benefited from the lawsuit were the lawyers, she added.

Ivana Helsinki will be showing its Velvet Lake collection for Fall/Winter 2012 on February 17 at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NY. It is not known if Ivana Trump is on the guest list.

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That was the reaction of a journalist friend, upon learning that The Rolling Stones will be on center stage in a new campaign to promote Dressmann, the largest menswear chain in the Nordic region.

Dressman has 400 shops in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Latvia, Iceland and Germany.
In February, Dressman will re-launch with a new logo, a new store concept and a new message, reports media watchdog Dagens Media.

“We contacted Universal with our idea about fusing music and fashion and they went for it right away. The Rolling Stones wants to develop their brand in fashion,” Dressman marketing director Thomas Behring told the trade paper.

The clothing chain, which is part of the Norway-based Varner Group, has created a Rolling Stones-inspired collection, with a special series of T-shirts called “As Worn By” based upon garment worn by band members back in the day.

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