Can Clothing Rental Recover From COVID-19?

For years, sustainability experts have touted rental and resale as eco-friendlier modes of consuming fashion. With a deadly disease ravaging the nation, once bustling thoroughfares reduced to ghost towns, and a long-overdue racial reckoning sweeping all corners of industry, one question looms large: Who has the appetite to shop, let alone the focus to do…

The Ruthless (and Racist) Mom-Shaming of Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle is a duck. Or perhaps she’s a rabbit. It all depends on your point of view. Indeed few figures in modern popular culture have been as polarizing as the erstwhile working royal, who abruptly upped sticks with her husband, Prince Harry, from the United Kingdom to North America in a dramatic whirlwind of…

Plastic Bags were Finally Being Banned. Then Came the Pandemic.

In a back room at his home in Santa Cruz, California, George Leonard is amassing a stockpile of plastic bags. Most of the time he eschews the things. As chief scientist at Ocean Conservancy, an environmental nonprofit based in Washington, DC, Leonard spends his time advocating against single-use plastics that can clog up waterways, suffocate…

While Fashion’s Struggling for Survival, Will Sustainability Pledges Stick?

Sustainability can be a hard sell even in the best of times. With brands and retailers scrambling to keep their bottom lines from cratering amid shuttered storefronts and plunging consumer spending, however, the financial pain inflicted by COVID-19 could complicate hard-fought efforts to keep the fashion industry’s massive environmental footprint in check, if not derail…

What Is The Future Of Fast Fashion? It’s Complicated

Jenna Diioro is someone who lives to shop. A 28-year-old car-dealership manager who lives in South Jersey, Diioro used to spend hours cruising stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, Forever 21, H&M, and Hollister, where she’d spend upward of $200 each week, scooping up tops, dresses, jeans, and activewear. Just last month, she was preparing to…

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…

Those Shoes Were Made by a Uighur Detainee

Mustafa Aksu’s hometown is in an area punctuated by billowy fields of cotton, an agricultural prefecture of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in far western China. As a child growing up in the 1990s, Aksu watched as middle-school-aged Uighur girls around him left Xinjiang under duress to work in garment factories in other parts of…

The Battle Over Jane Austen’s Whiteness

It began, as things sometimes do on social media, with an emoji. A pineapple emoji to be exact. Fans of Sanditon, an eight-part Jane Austen adaptation currently airing on PBS Masterpiece, have been deploying the icon on Twitter as a shorthand for their esteem and support of the show, which padded out the surviving chapters…