By Leila Nathoo BBC political correspondent These are external links and will open in a new window Conservatism and conservation are "natural allies", Prime Minster Theresa May has said, praising her party's "proud heritage" of protecting the environment. She pointed to the 1956 Clean Air Act to tackle smog in London and Margaret Thatcher's early warnings about the dangers of global warming. But more recently, have the Tories been blowing hot and cold about the green agenda? David Cameron championed the environment as a key issue for his party when he took over as leader in 2005. "Vote Blue, go Green" he urged voters the following year in local elections, promising a "green revolution" under the Tories, who were to get a new logo in the form of a scribbled tree. Mr Cameron memorably went to the Arctic to see first-hand the effects of climate change and to be pictured on a dog-driven sled. "Hug a husky" - as the episode came to be known - became one of the defining images representing his attempts to modernise and rebrand the Conservative Party to broaden its appeal. The Conservatives went into the 2010 election promising to be the greenest government in history. Image caption David Cameron drove a dog-sled on the island of Svalbard, Norway, in 2006 There were pledges to reduce emissions, to promote low carbon technology, to conserve natural habitats and an offer of a so-called Green Deal to improve energy efficiency in homes. But once in power, in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, critics say, David Cameron's enthusiasm for the green agenda began to wane, and some questioned his genuine commitment to the cause.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42654268
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Leading the round is Partech, with the participation from U.S.-based FJ Labs. Existing backers Northzone, eEquity, Jonas Norlander, and Filip Engelbert also followed on. Founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneur Jarno Vanhatapio, NA-KD is an online direct-to- consumer (DTC) fashion brand for women, specifically targeting millennials with “stylish yet affordable clothes”. The company’s wares are mainly marketed through social influencers. After two years, it claims to already be one of the most quoted online fashion brands on Instagram in Sweden and Germany, powered by what NA-KD describes as a “highly scalable fashion collaboration platform with star influencers”. This, says the company, has seen its second full year of operations achieve a revenue run-rate close to $75 million, growing 150-plus percent compared to 2016. Meanwhile, I’m told the new funding will be used to accelerate the growth of the company as it aims to become a preferred fashion brand for millennials. As part of this, NA-KD plans to launch 9 new localised sites in the coming months. It is also hiring across the company, and developing new collection collaborations with “leading worldwide social influencers”.
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But if weak brand identity is behind Gap’s failing, then look closely at the brands it hopes to keep the company afloat. Old Navy is basically Gap-lite and Athleta is a poor-girl’s version of Lululemon. In its most recent financials, Guess reported dismal results in its Americas Retail segment, with a 13.1% decline in U.S. dollars through the third quarter 2017 and comp sales dropped 12% including ecommerce. In 2017 Guess? shuttered 60-odd stores and is expected to close another 100 to 120 stores in 2018 , leaving it with about half the brand’s foot print from just a few years back when its stores numbered 400. With such a dramatic comp sales decline, however, one can only guess if the pace of store closures will accelerate this year. J. Crew continues to take on water, even as its new CEO James Brett tries to bail the company out. Through the third quarter J.Crew sales were down 10% and comp store sales declined 11%, following a 9% drop in the first nine months the year before. Like Gap Inc., J.
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