Hails & Fails – September 17th 2021

As the UK celebrated its first grand slam women’s title in decades, PR campaigns provided lots of other ‘ace’ headlines this week. Supermarket Tesco committed to cutting down on plastic waste, Kew Gardens broke a world record, and Sainsbury’s announced an extra day off for staff over Christmas. It was also a week that fashion house Balenciaga would rather forget as they suffered a backlash over ‘racist’ £860 sweatpants.


Tesco to sell products in reusable packaging on ‘Loop’ aisle

Tesco has started to sell 88 products, from Persil washing powder to Tetley tea bags, in reusable containers to cut down on plastic waste.

The move follows a successful trial and the supermarket hopes to roll out the new service nationwide after the trial in the Midlands and eastern England.

Customers can buy products in reusable packaging that can be returned to the store when finished with so it can be cleaned, refilled and used again.

The prices include a fully refundable deposit for the cost of the packaging.

The packaging cost will add £1.60 to the average item on purchase, from 20p for Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water to £5 for the Finish Powerball Quantum Ultimate Lemon Dishwasher Tablets.

It’s a brave and bold move that has won headlines everywhere this week.

Tesco to sell products in reusable packaging on ‘Loop’ aisle

Royal Botanic Gardens breaks record for largest plant collection

Kew Gardens has set a new record for the largest living plant collection at a single site, according to Guinness World Records.

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew had 16,900 unique plant species as of May 2019 – making it the most diverse collection of living flora at a single-site botanic garden.

Richard Barley, director of horticulture at RBG, called the award “a fantastic accolade”.

As you’d expect, the story has attracted a lot of media attention this week.

Royal Botanic Gardens breaks record for largest plant collection

Sainsbury’s to shut all stores for TWO DAYS over Christmas in thank-you to staff

Sainsbury’s will shut all its stores for two days over the Christmas period – staying closed on Boxing Day this year – to thank its hard working staff for their efforts throughout the pandemic.

This includes all of its supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol filling stations across the country as well as All Argos and Habitat stores.

The closure means that 170,000 staff will be able to enjoy a break, having the opportunity to celebrate with friends and family.

Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive, said: “Christmas is a really special time for so many, but because of lockdown restrictions last year, lots of us weren’t able to celebrate in the way we wanted.”

Great news and massive coverage to boot.

Sainsbury’s to shut all stores for TWO DAYS over Christmas in thank-you to staff


Balenciaga suffer backlash over 'racist' sweatpants

High-end fashion label Balenciaga is facing a backlash, after critics said that a £860 pair of sweatpants it sells rips off black culture.

The Trompe L’Oeil pants have a built-in pair of boxer shorts poking out from the waistband, – a style popularised by hip-hop musicians.

Black culture experts and social media users have called the brand out with some raising concerns the pants could be deemed ‘racist’. 

Balenciaga said it often combined wardrobe pieces into a single garment.

Examples include “jeans layered over tracksuit pants [and] button-up shirts layered over t-shirts”, said chief marketing officer Ludivine Pont.

“These Trompe L’Oeil trousers were an extension of that vision,” she said.

The headlines that followed would have been a nightmare for any marketing team, however.

Balenciaga suffer backlash over 'racist' sweatpants

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