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…

PrimaLoft Achieves 100 Percent Recycled, Biodegradable Insulation

At a meeting in 2014, a PrimaLoft product manager recalled stumbling upon a piece of “compostable” packaging. Sitting in a boardroom at the company’s Latham, N.Y., headquarters, a sudden brain wave seized her: “Why can’t we just make a jacket insulation that we can bury in the backyard?” she asked. PrimaLoft is no stranger to…

Is Banning Mohair the Answer to Animal Cruelty?

The images are graphic, violent and difficult to stomach. Livestock workers are jabbing Angora goats with sharp implements, stomping booted heels on their legs and dunking their heads into tanks of caustic cleaning solution. A shearer drags a struggling goat by its horns and clips off its wool so roughly it begins to bleed. Another…

‘Starstruck’ Tells Kids the Story of Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson

What do you do when you’re a self-described “fierce fan” of famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson? Write a children’s book about him, of course. That’s what husband-and-wife duo Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer did with Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil deGrasse Tyson (Crown Books for Young Readers, 2018), a new picture book that tells…

Studio 189 is Betting on African Artisans as the Future of Manufacturing

Whatever you do, don’t call Studio 189 a celebrity brand. “We’re a tiny company with a big idea,” said Abrima Erwiah, the luxury veteran who founded the Ghana-based, artisan-produced label with actress Rosario Dawson in 2013. Well not too little. In June, Studio 189 snagged first place, along with $80,000 in prize money, in the…

Denim Manufacturing Plots Comeback to NYC’s Garment District

One style of jean—just one. That’s all Christine Rucci wants brands to commit to making in New York City. In the 35 years she’s spent working with “pretty much every major designer and denim icon,” including Adriano Goldschmied, Ralph Lauren, and Donna Karan, Rucci has witnessed Manhattan’s historic Garment District transform from the epicenter of…

This Fall, Blue Jeans are Going Green

No, your eyes don’t deceive you. Blue jeans are getting greener—figuratively speaking, anyway. It was only a matter of time before the humble workwear staple-turned-fashion essential reinvented itself. As shoppers begin to look askance at products that don’t dovetail with their values, denim’s reputation as a resource-hungry pollution powerhouse hasn’t served it well. Environmental groups…