We Might be Descended From This Horrifying Sea Creature with No Anus

If you’re looking for new nightmare fuel beyond, oh we don’t know, the dissolution of democracy as we know it, meet Saccorhytus, a tiny H.R. Giger-esque monstrosity that scientists say could be our earliest-known ancestor. Going back some 540 million years, it’s also believed to be the most primitive example we have to date of…

New Super-Thin Film Acts Like ‘Air Conditioner’ for Buildings

Engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a thin, artificially structured “metamaterial” that can cool objects without the use of water or energy. The film works to lower the temperature of the surface beneath it through a process known as “passive cooling,” meaning that it vents the object’s heat through thermal radiation while…

H&M’s Anna Gedda: Fair Wages Are Something the Whole Industry Must Drive

The first thing you should know about Anna Gedda, H&M’s head of sustainability, is that she’s unflappable. Speaking in clipped, dulcet tones from a couch at the Westin Paris, where the Swedish retailer held court with a cadre of journalists last month, Gedda is serenity personified. Certainly she cannot be immune to the slings and…

Haunting “Trashion” Gowns Illustrate Senegal’s Pollution Problem

A collaboration between photographer Fabrice Monteiro and fashion designer Jah Gal, The Prophecy is a series of haunting tableaus illustrating Senegal’s widespread environmental crisis. The African country, nearly half of which is classified as semiarid, is locked in a constant battle against desertification that is exacerbated still by deforestation, overgrazing, and slash-and-burn agriculture. Refuse lies…

Reality Show Sends Young Fashionistas to Work in Cambodian Sweatshop

A young blonde woman weeps openly on camera, her manicured fingers perched wanly against her cheekbones. “I can’t take it any more,” she sobs in Norwegian. “What sort of life is this?” Her name is Anniken Jørgensen, one of three young fashion enthusiasts who “star” in a five-part online reality series about the horrors of…

New Campaign Calls Out “Hypocrisy” of Toxic Yoga-Apparel Brands

In “Gandhi Does Yoga,” a tongue-in-cheek video by College Humor, ol’ Mahatma himself rises from the dead to visit the “world’s least Hindu gym.” The yoga instructor, lithe and blonde, considers Gandhi with a tight smile. “Maybe next time try and wear appropriate attire? Maybe a Lycra top?” she asks. Gandhi protests. “This is a…

Inditex, Zara’s Owner, Announces Plan to “Close the Loop” on Fashion

The world’s largest apparel retailer wants to close the loop on fashion. Cribbing a page from H&M’s playbook, Inditex is teaming up with Lenzing, the Austrian textile manufacturer behind plant-based manmade fabrics such as Tencel, to commit to the “circular economy” model in all phases of its production. Speaking at the Spanish firm’s annual general…

FIT Students Turn Algae, Fungi Into Biodegradable Textiles

A group of students from New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology have developed a biologically derived filament that can be knit, whether by hand or machine, to create a new breed of textile. Composed of alginate, a polysaccharide found in the cell walls of brown algae, the material led the so-called “Bioesters” team to…

Is the African-Inspired Fashion Trend a Form of Cultural Imperialism?

Fashion and cultural appropriation are more than passing acquaintances. The latter, which is typically bandied about with terms like “borrowing” or “inspired by,” refers to the unauthorized adoption of elements from another, often minority, ethnic group. The issue came to a head in February when the Navajo Nation sent Urban Outfitters a cease-and-desist letter demanding…

Bhava’s Vegan Convertible Boot is Three Shoes in One

Bhava’s newly launched convertible boot was made for mileage. Crafted in Spain from 100 percent vegan-friendly materials, including a solid wood heel, the “Editor” is three boots in one. The secret to its versatility? A pair of stirrup-like shafts, which transform the shoe from an ankle boot to a knee-high or over-the-knee boot in a…

Stella McCartney Releases First Environmental Profit & Loss Account

“No leathers, feathers, or fur.” That’s the Stella McCartney promise. It’s also an ethos that helped make 2015 its most profitable year to date, according to the British fashion label, which published its first global Environmental Profit & Loss Account this week. Despite laggardly growth in the United Kingdom, plus a 35 percent reduction in…