‘The Girl Who Named Pluto’ Stars in New Picture Book

Eleven-year-old Venetia Burney was eating breakfast at her home in Oxford, England, on the morning of March 14, 1930, when her grandfather delivered some exciting news. Clyde Tombaugh, an eagle-eyed assistant at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, had discovered visual proof of a long-theorized “trans-Neptunian object” on the edge of the solar system. The…

Promising or Problematic? Agri-Waste Fibers Emerge as an Eco-Alternative

Waste not, want not. More than a maxim for picky children, the phrase has become a kind of raison d’être for a new breed of textile manufacturer that is spinning agricultural castoffs into business gold. Certainly the strategy has its environmental appeal. Millions of tons of fibrous crop residues are chucked after every harvest, according…

What Will It Take to Scale Up US Hemp Production?

Federal legislation of hemp may have finally made its long-awaited arrival in the United States, but obstacles still abound before the hippie-approved agricultural crop lives up to its hype. Blame a little something called states’ rights—the same ones advocated by famed farmer (and president) Thomas Jefferson. Individual states still have decide how they want to…

Does the Ethical Fashion Community Have a Diversity Problem?

Son de Flor, a line of cotton, wool and linen dresses from Lithuania, traffics in the kind of twee, Baltic fairy-tale aesthetic that has become an Instagram genre unto itself. The brand is especially beloved by women who espouse the virtues of organic fabrics and slow lifestyles. In one of Son de Flor’s Instagram posts,…

Hemp or Hype?

Industrial hemp is in the spotlight again, and for good reason. The new Farm Bill that the Senate passed 87-13 in December now legalizes the commercial production of hemp, freeing it from the shackles of the Controlled Substance Act and severely curtailing the number of restrictions that have prevented farmers from raising it as a…

The Resale Market Will be Bigger Than Even Fast Fashion

Traditional retailers might want to brace themselves: Not only has the apparel-resale market grown 21 times faster than its retail counterpart over the past three years, but it’s also poised to more than double in value from $24 billion today to $51 billion in 2023, according to a new report from a leading secondhand e-tailer….

How Levi’s and Outerknown Reclaimed Hemp from the Hippies

Rare is the San Francisco party where Paul Dillinger, head of global product innovation at Levi Strauss, isn’t accosted by “some hippie” extolling the wonders of industrial hemp and demanding to know why the denim giant isn’t doing more with it. “The answer is always, ‘Well, just look at yourself hippie,’” Dillinger told Rivet with…

Kenya Wants to Revive Its Cotton Industry, But It Won’t be Easy

Kenya is a country at the crossroads of its own past, present, and future. Once a leading producer of seed cotton, the East African republic found its market dominance throttled in the ‘90s after a “structural adjustment program” from the International Monetary Fund, championing free enterprise, opened the spigot of cheap imports. Local farmers couldn’t…

ESA Seeks New Spacesuit Material for Lunar Astronauts. But It Has to Be the Right Stuff.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is searching for potential spacesuit materials that would best protect future lunar astronauts from the inhospitable conditions of the moon. On Jan. 19, the Paris-based intergovernmental organization signed a two-year agreement with Comex and its partners the German Institute of Textile Technology and Process Engineering and the Austrian Space Forum…

How Traditional Retailers Are Adapting to the ‘No Ownership’ Trend

Is access the new ownership? Even traditional retailers are bracing themselves for the day when leasing clothing becomes as natural as as hailing an Lyft or cueing up a song on Spotify. Take Express, for example. In October, the mall fixture launched Style Trial, a service that allows customers to borrow up to three pieces—with…