Afternoon Coffee: Apple in Talks to Buy Cobalt Directly from Miners, Why Millennials aren’t Buying Conscious Clothing

The future of the smartphone relies on a secure supply of cobalt, and Apple is preparing itself. As the South China Morning Post reports, the maker of the iPhone is in talks to buy long-term supplies of cobalt directly from miners. Increasing interest from automakers in electric vehicles, which also require cobalt for batteries, has driven prices for the mineral up considerably, forcing companies such as Apple to compete for long-term supplies. 

Conscious Clothing

Millennials are supposedly the eco-friendly and ethical sourcing-focused generation, but new research indicates this characterization has little to do with their actual buying behavior. As Sourcing Journal writes, price and ease of purchase far outweigh claims of sustainability when millennials are shopping, possibly indicating that there aren’t enough options in the market that offer the mix of product choice, price and uniqueness that ultimately influence fashion choice.

Diesel Ban

A federal court in Germany is set to rule next week on whether major cities there can ban heavily polluting diesel cars, Reuters reports. The home of Volkswagen and BMW is reacting even more critically than other nations to the 2015 emissions cheating scandal and has caused a reckoning of sorts for the German industry.   

Eurozone Activity

And finally, an economic update: Manufacturing activity in the eurozone cooled in February, according to Reuters, with the IHS Markit PMI falling to 57.5. Despite the toll of higher commodity prices and a stronger currency, however, companies reported their highest level of optimism in five years.

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