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Under Armour is pushing ahead with its turnaround plans Cheap Nike Free , and at least one of its wholesale accounts has given it the seal of approval.On Wednesday, Dick's Sporting Goods reported first quarter earnings, and on a call with investors and analysts, CEO Ed Stack said the company is "very pleased with what's going on with Under Armour and the direction forward." While he declined to go into specifics, he said "the progress that Under Armour has made, especially in our men's business, is really quite good."The callout was notable in part because Dick's blamed the athletic brand's strategies for its own weak sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2018. At the time, Stack said the company "experienced continued significant declines in Under Armour sales as a result of their decision to expand distribution." He added, "We are very confident our sales trajectory will improve next year as these headwinds are expected to subside.”Indeed, the national sporting goods retailer kicked off the fiscal year with earnings and sales that topped analysts' expectations, though its stock closed down more than 5%, possibly due to a wave of downbeat results reported throughout the retail sector.Under Armour, too, came in ahead of forecasts for the first quarter, posting profits of $22.5 million, or 5 cents per diluted share , compared with the loss of 1 cents per share analysts had predicted.Wall Street's assessments of the company remain mixed: Susquehanna Financial LLLP analyst Sam Poser reiterated the firm's "negative" rating on the stock last month, calling out the threat of the brand's competitors.“Our industry checks indicate a lack of enthusiasm and interest for Under Armour product from retail partners,” Poser wrote in a research note. “With Nike firing on all cylinders and heritage brands such as Champion, Fila and others re-emerging, we see little sign Under Armour will reclaim lost shelf space anytime soon.”JPMorgan analyst Matthew Boss is more bullish on the firm's fate, particularly as it has put its restructuring plans into action.Earlier this month, Boss appeared on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report,” and said “the fire seems to be back” for the company.“They rationalized SKUs by 50%, they’ve cut their vendor base by 30%, [and] they’ve shortened the lead times by 25%,” he said. “They’re overhauling the marketing heading into next year, and we expect the new product to match the inventory reduction of 24%, and so you see more full-price selling with the expense base rationalized.”He upgraded the retailer's stock from neutral to overweight and lifted his price target to $29, from $23. Currently, Under Armour's share price sits at $22.80.Want more?5 Things We Learned About Under Armour During Investor Day Consumers aren’t the only ones going green. The manufacturers of high-quality materials used in shoes are, too , as sustainability standards continue to rise around the globe. To meet the environmentally conscious demands of footwear and apparel brands, market-leading textile producers are seeking new ways to generate eco-friendly fabrics without compromising on performance.At textile and thread manufacturer A&E, for instance, sustainable threads are available in four variations, each utilizing Repreve, an entirely recycled polyester fiber made from plastic bottles. The firm’s premium thread for apparel, Perma Core using Repreve, provides strong colorfastness and sewability, while the newest addition to the range, Anefil Poly using Repreve, is a multifilament thread popular for footwear applications.“As cause-driven issues have moved to the forefront for today’s consumers, people like to wear what they believe in and support,” said Jacob Blackburn, global marketing at A&E. “Working closely with Unifi, the maker of Repreve fiber, we have developed a comprehensive line of recycled polyester sewing threads.”At Coats Cheap Yeezy , an industrial thread firm, the use of recycled materials extends to its range of bobbins. The new Ecobobs Y2 bobbin is performance-focused, promising to improve productivity by 10 percent due to precision winding and increased capacity. Developed specifically for footwear and accessory production, the bobbin also reduces thread waste by 20 percent.“The environmentally friendly design means Coats can rewind Ecobobs bobbins up to 20 times, then recycle the plastic cores into other products,” said Andrew Morgan, head of sustainability at Coats.While recycled materials are a popular way to achieve eco-friendly status, production practices are also being updated. A recent focus for fabric manufacturer Faytex has been the mass introduction of waterless dyeing across several products. Originally used at limited scale to reduce color bleeding, Faytex has expanded it across the Dri-Lex Eco Line to promote water conservation.“We hope in the future that most of our line will be dyed this way — rather than through traditional dyeing practices — because of the benefits of using less water, less harmful chemicals, less energy and lower CO2 emissions, as well as achieving better color matching and colorfastness results,” said Katie Stangl, marketing and sales coordinator at Faytex.Production practices are increasingly under scrutiny but also easier to track with the emergence of sustainability monitoring tools such as the Higg Index, a collection of resources developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. This drive for transparency has led many companies to produce reports on their individual performance in a bid to strengthen their positioning as environmentally focused brands.“Coats identified target areas by first considering the values and ethics that are most important to our employees, customers and investors Cheap Yeezy From China , as well as the end consumer,” said Morgan. “These key groups are making increasingly influential demands for action on sustainability across all markets and industries.”Coats’ 2018 Sustainability Report lays out the company’s commitments for 2022, including a reduction of water usage by 40 percent compared with its 2018 baseline. Meanwhile, in its own 2017-’18 Sustainability Report, A&E noted that it has reduced its carbon footprint per kilogram of thread by 11 percent since 2006.“A&E has a long-held mantra: ‘It’s simply the right thing to do,’” said Jimmy Summers, VP of environmental health and safety. “A&E’s Eco-Driven initiatives are a concise way in which these sustainable business practices are summed up and communicated.”A common challenge across the textile industry has been developing new technologies while managing cost and minimums. However, the growing demand from consumers for ethical and sustainable offerings has helped to push the popularity of these materials at the product development level. Claims like “100% recycled” and “sustainably manufactured” are actively promoted as customers seek to be better informed of their purchases’ origins. Moreover, sustainability has become an important component of brand identity for many manufacturers.“We have teamed up with many other well-known companies that have these eco-friendly offerings,” said Stangl. “This way, we know we can trust the product we are utilizing in our line, while giving our customers the brand names that their consumers know and trust.”Want more?How Brands Can Really Make their Businesses SustainableSustainability & Smart Tech Dominate the NE Materials ShowRecycled Plastic Fibers Get a Performance Upgrade With New Technology

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