Diamonds at Rock-Bottom Prices

Diamonds at Rock-Bottom Prices

February 21, 2019

World-famous diamond company, De Beers, attempts to put competitors in the budding lab-grown diamond business out of work by drastically undercutting their prices.

High quality lab grown diamonds look identical to the real thing, but they offer a special appeal to some consumers, especially Millennials, who want stones that are obtained in ethically responsible and sustainable ways.

Diamonds grown in the lab also sell for substantially less.  Whereas a mined one-carat diamond might carry a $6,000 price tag, a one-carat lab-grown stone averages $4,200.

However, De Beers prices its Lightbox lab-grown line at an average $800 per carat, hoping to further differentiate lab-grown diamonds from “real” diamonds to preserve their status and appeal and also to drive the competition out of business.


Video Spotlight: Are lab-grown diamonds here to stay? (video is included in the article)


This post is based on The Star Online article, Lab-grown diamonds are forever too!, no author given, January 26, 2019; and the Yahoo Finance article, Lab-grown diamonds will survive Big Diamond’s attempt to kill them, startup says, by Zack Guzman, January 14, 2019. Image source: © McGraw-Hill Education/Charles D. Winters.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why do some customers prefer lab-grown diamonds? Continue reading

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P&G’s New Waterless Cleaners: Big Ideas in Small Packages

P&G’s New Waterless Cleaners: Big Ideas in Small Packages

January 30, 2019

Ten years in the making, revolutionary new DS3 cleaning products by Procter and Gamble are liquid-free and have no plastic packaging.

Personal care products like body wash, hand soap, and shampoo as well as home cleaners like laundry soap and toilet cleansers are sold in dry packets.

The removal of water reduces the weight of the product by 80% and the space by 70%, offering sustainability as well as convenience for home use or travel.  Eight DS3 products are due to be in stores in late 2019.

This post is based on the Cincinnati Business Courier article, P&G launching liquid-free cleaning products for home and body, by Barrett Brunsman, December 31, 2018; and the Global Cosmetics News article, P&G to launch waterless, plastic-free beauty brand DS3, by Georgina Caldwell, January 1, 2019. Image source: McGraw-Hill Education.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does the new waterless design relate to sustainability?

Guidance: Since the packets are lighter and smaller, shipping costs and storage space are reduced.  Additionally, the products contain fewer chemicals than those typically used in home cleaners and no unnecessary ingredients.  For instance, these cleaners have no chlorine-based bleaches or phosphates.  Biodegradable and recyclable Continue reading

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Can Automation Save the Bangladeshi Garment Industry?

Can Automation Save the Bangladeshi Garment Industry?

December 10, 2018

Second only to China in the world’s clothing export markets, Bangladesh focuses on efficiency in its textile factories to defend its market in the face of increased competition from Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and some African countries.

Automation helps Bangladesh modernize apparel factories, with two workers able to do the work of 15.  These improvements help offset increasing costs, as the government mandates a 51% wage hike, and Western brands demand better fire and safety standards in the factories.


Video Spotlight: How Automation Impacts Garment Workers in Bangladesh


This post is based on the Nikkei Asian Review article, Bangladesh fights for future of its garment industry, by Mitsuru Obe, November 4, 2018, and the YouTube video, How Automation Impacts Garment Workers in Bangladesh, by Electric Runway, June 7, 2018. Image source: igor kisselev / Alamy Stock Photo.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does the cost of production in Bangladesh compare to that of other countries, and how does it impact the viability of its apparel industry?

Guidance: Currently, labor costs in Bangladesh remain low by global standards, with an average monthly wage of $101, compared to $518 in China.  However, some African countries like Ethiopia have average Continue reading

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