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Tesco launches its first organic and fair trade clothing ranges

Tesco will unveil its first fair trade clothing offer next year and will introduce an organic range under own label Cherokee.

The supermarket told Drapers that it would convert two million units from its core T-shirt and denim ranges into fair trade cotton for spring 08, including men’s, women’s and kids’ T-shirts, jeans and socks.

Category director of buying for womenswear Jan Marchant said: “Customers are demanding more fair trade than organic products, so we’re going to get the message to consumers that Tesco is providing this.”

The fair trade collection will be priced the same as the current range, with T-shirts retailing at £4. Tesco will also launch an organic cotton range under its Cherokee fashion label.

Its organic clothing offer is currently limited to a tie-up with designer Katharine Hamnett, who said she would sever the deal next year after questioning Tesco’s dedication to her Choose Love range (Drapers, September 29).

Tesco’s organic range will initially comprise T-shirts, schoolwear and lingerie. But Marchant added: “It’s a fashion-led range with great potential, particularly in womenswear.”

The roll-out of Tesco’s new shop-in-shop clothing format, which covers up to 16,000sq ft, kicked off last week. The 50 biggest stores are earmarked for the shopfit, including stores in Tottenham Hale in north London, Watford in Hertfordshire, Romford in Essex and Coventry.

Marchant said the concept aimed to create a “destination” retail experience. “Categories such as lingerie, cashmere, kidswear and outerwear will get their own treatment, with different PoS and merchandising,” she said.

The new shopfit features lifestyle images, price information and fashion concepts. The F&F range and menswear sub-brand Stone Bay have been given separate areas.

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