Is California the Sustainable Fashion Capital of the US?

Allbirds. Levi Strauss. Nike. The North Face. Patagonia. Reformation. Think of an American brand with an earth-conscious bent and chances are it’s from California. The Golden State’s legacy of environmental protection runs deep. For decades, it has led on pollution, chemical, and conservation policies that have often served as proof-of-concept models for other states and…

US Garment Manufacturers Are Feeling the COVID-19 Crunch

Kathryn Hildebrand watched in horror last week as hundreds of thousands of dollars of production orders went up in smoke in a matter of hours. The president and CEO of the Good Clothing Company, a garment-manufacturing facility, in Fall River, Mass., knew it was coming, but she was still shocked when it did. Worldwide, scores…

Is Recycled Polyester Green or Greenwashing?

When Nike feted World Cup uniforms made from recycled polyester in 2010, the idea of melting down cast-off plastic bottles and spinning them into textiles was still a novel concept. Today, just about every apparel brand, from American Eagle to Zara, brandishes the material as evidence it is “going green.” The appeal is clear: Recycled…

In Denim, Investing in Sustainable Technology Is the New Normal

Eco-friendly denim is more ubiquitous than ever, but bringing it to market hasn’t been easy. Nor cheap, for that matter. While planet-pandering technologies—think Jeanologia’s water-sipping denim-finishing systems, Tonello’s bleach-less OBleach or Archroma’s botanically derived EarthColors—are increasingly available, they also require upfront costs from the mills that employ them. “Sustainability is really linked to research and…

Moda Operandi Co-Founder Returns to Fashion With New Low-Impact Label

In a sea of disposable, unsustainably produced clothing, Katla wants to stand out. Launched late last month by fashion veteran Aslaug Magnusdottir, the San Francisco-based brand seeks to be a force for good in the world—one that not only offers people a more mindful way to dress but also informs them about fashion’s impact on…

The Hidden Costs Of ‘Fast Fashion’

I spoke with Lucy Nalpathanchil, host of “Where We Live” on Connecticut Public Radio on Feb. 7, 2020 about the social and environmental impact of fast fashion, and what alternatives exist.

The North Face is the Eco-Friendly Brand You Didn’t Know Was Eco-Friendly

The North Face is sharpening its focus on sustainability, but don’t call it a pivot. The outdoor-apparel maker has considered its impact on the environment from the start, according to Carol Shu, its sustainability manager. It just doesn’t brag about it. “We’ve been doing a lot of things in the background for a long time,”…

Why Ugly Christmas Sweaters Aren’t Very Sustainable

The ugly Christmas sweater has come a long way, but not necessarily for the better. No longer an embarrassing gift from a well-meaning but aesthetically challenged relative, it’s now something many people choose to buy as a source of irreverent holiday cheer. You can purchase an ugly Christmas sweater that shows Santa using a chimney…

Plastic Hangers Are Fashion’s Plastic Straws

In a world already drowning in plastic, single-use hangers aren’t helping. Experts estimate that billions of plastic clothing hangers are thrown away globally every year, with most used and discarded well before a garment is hung in stores, let alone inside shoppers’ closets. But it doesn’t have to be this way, according to French designer…

Why Fashion Needs Chief Diversity Officers

For the world’s leading fashion brands, chief diversity officers have become a hot hire. And with good reason. H&M appointed Annie Wu to the role after an image of a black boy wearing a hoodie with the words “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” sparked allegations of racism in 2018. Gucci hired its first chief diversity…