Greening the Last Mile of E-commerce: Pipe Dream or Possibility?

The first and last miles are something of the Olsen twins of the logistics world. On a good day, you can tell them apart. The first mile describes the trek a product takes from its manufacturer to the distributor or fulfillment center, while the last refers to its final schlep to the customer’s doorstep. You…

Despite Animal-Welfare Concerns, Down’s Popularity Still Up

Ecoalf is calling foul on fowl. As part of its commitment to “people, animals and planet, the Madrid-based brand is swapping out the goose down in its puffer jackets, coats, and vests with a synthetic alternative. Its goal? To become “100 percent feather-free” by 2020, according to Javier Goyeneche, its founder and president. To that…

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…

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….

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…

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…

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,…

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…