What is the Fashion Industry Doing About Microplastic Pollution?

Joaquim Goes did not set out to be an expert on microplastics: those minuscule fragments of plastic, smaller than one-fifth of an inch, that have emerged as the oceans’ biggest invisible scourge. As a marine biologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in Palisades, N.Y., his main concern was phytoplankton physiology and how…

Brave GentleMan’s Bamboo Suits Are Redefining Luxury Men’s Wear

For Joshua Katcher, proprietor of Brave GentleMan, a nearly decade-old luxury men’s wear brand that traffics in sustainable, animal-friendly materials, the search for the perfect vegan suiting might finally—mercifully—be at an end. It wasn’t an easy journey. After experimenting with everything from organic cotton canvas to a recycled cotton-polyester blend he dubbed “future wool,” Katcher,…

Astronauts Could Be Growing Beans in Space in 2021

For freshly grown produce, space is truly the final frontier. But even astronauts will soon be able to abide by their mothers’ exhortations to eat more veggies. Following the much-celebrated harvest of a head of romaine lettuce aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015, astronauts’ vacuum-packed vittles may be kicked up a notch as…

Did the Circular Economy Find Its Groove in 2018?

2018 might go down as the year the circular economy hit the big leagues. Once an entirely novel concept, the idea of keeping clothing, textiles and fibers in use for as long as possible—through strategies like reuse, repair, remanufacture, and, as a last resort, recycling—is finally percolating through the mainstream fashion industry despite its flagrant…

Petite Women Still Need a Leg Up on Clothes That Fit

Size inclusiveness may be trending in the fashion industry, but petite women are still falling short of options. The muse of Seventh Avenue is thin, leggy and Amazonian. Just look at Kendall Jenner, Forbes’ freshly crowned highest paid model, who stands at 5 feet 10 inches. She’s in good company, too. Of the professional clotheshorses…

Is Animal Fur Losing Its Luxury Luster?

Fur is out, at least at Chanel, which last week became the latest in an expanding roster of luxury brands to declare animal pelts déclassé. The announcement marked a stunning reversal for creative director Karl Lagerfeld, who claimed as recently as 2015 that he didn’t understand the fuss over fur. “For me, as long as…

Asos is Banning Silk—Should Other Retailers Follow Suit?

In the grand hierarchy of animal fibers to ban—foremost of which would be fur, obviously—silk doesn’t seem to warrant as much attention. Animal-rights crusader Stella McCartney deploys silk “from traditional sources in Como, Italy,” regularly at her luxury house, so how heinous can it be? Well, plenty heinous, if you care at all about living…

‘Once Upon a Star’ Is a Poetic Exploration of the Cosmos

James Carter would be the first to admit that he is a children’s book writer, not a scientist. “I wrote Once Upon a Star very much as a starry-eyed poet, not an expert!” the U.K. author and songwriter said of his latest book, Once Upon a Star: A Poetic Journey Through Space (Doubleday Books for…

Axing Aniline? Not so Fast

Aniline is a problem for the denim industry. Or it isn’t. It depends on whom you ask. Certainly the chemical, a building block for synthetic indigo, is the cause of some concern for Archroma, a Swiss specialty chemicals firm that debuted a so-called “aniline-free” indigo dye, which boasts undetectable levels of the agent, in May….

Why Hong Kong Wants to be the World’s Center of Sustainable Innovation

Christina Dean remembers the precise moment she realized attitudes about clothing in Hong Kong were finally shifting. As the founder and board chair of Redress, a nonprofit that tackles the problem of waste in the apparel industry, Dean had spent more than 10 years chipping away at what appeared to be an insurmountable issue. Roughly…

To Survive the ‘Apocalypse,’ Retail Must Think Global, Act Hyper-Local

If the spate of department store and mall closings across the country has taught retailers one thing, it’s that brick-and-mortar business cannot continue as usual. Indeed the centralized, top-down approach that defines globalized trade and manufacturing is already beginning to cede ground to newer, more viable business models that better meet the needs of today’s…

Meet the ‘Invisible Workforce’ Brands Aren’t Talking About

There’s a good reason why home workers are known as the “invisible workforce” or the “shadow economy” of the garment industry. Far less regulated than factory work, home-based work—that is, work performed in households and small workshops rather than the traditional four-wall setting—is little understood by brands and retailers and virtually unknown to the general…