Plastic Hangers Are Fashion’s Plastic Straws

In a world already drowning in plastic, single-use hangers aren’t helping. Experts estimate that billions of plastic clothing hangers are thrown away globally every year, with most used and discarded well before a garment is hung in stores, let alone inside shoppers’ closets. But it doesn’t have to be this way, according to French designer…

Why Fashion Needs Chief Diversity Officers

For the world’s leading fashion brands, chief diversity officers have become a hot hire. And with good reason. H&M appointed Annie Wu to the role after an image of a black boy wearing a hoodie with the words “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” sparked allegations of racism in 2018. Gucci hired its first chief diversity…

Behind One Gap Alum’s Quest to Build a Circular, Sustainable Travel Wear Brand

Patrick Robinson was fed up. After his unceremonious dismissal from from Gap in 2011, the veteran designer was ready for some soul searching. He left New York to backpack across national parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone, where his commune with nature only amplified the disconnect between his personal life and professional one. “I’ve always lived…

Denim’s Resale Revolution

Used. Secondhand. Thrifted. Pre-loved. Whatever you call it, resale is becoming big business. The proof is in the statistics: Not only has the clothing re-commerce market grown 21 times faster than its retail counterpart over the past three years, according to secondhand e-tailer ThredUp, which crunched the numbers with analytics firm GlobalData for its 2019…

Eternal Life: How the Denim Industry is Pushing Circularity

Few garments are as tailor-made for the circular economy as denim. When Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss invented rivet-reinforced blue jeans as we know them in 1850s San Francisco, they conceived of them as workwear for prospectors in the grip of the gold rush. For circularity pundits, who want to keep resources in circulation as…

How Important are Partnerships to Moving Sustainability Forward?

The fashion industry loves a good sustainability initiative, and no wonder. As the dire effects of climate change increasingly become front-page news, and throngs of protestors like Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future take to the streets, brands with reputations to lose want to be seen doing something—anything—other than fiddling while the world burns. But…

Is Your Greta Thunberg T-Shirt Contributing to Climate Change?

If Greta Thunberg acts like someone who has no time to lose, it’s because she doesn’t. Already, the world is feeling the effects of the climate crisis, which is raising sea levels, fueling extreme temperatures and increasing the frequency of flooding and drought. And so in the span of a year, the 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl…

For Denim, Progress Makes Perfect

It’s hard to tell when denim decided it wanted to be a sustainable product. Perhaps it was in 2010, when reports of a “silicosis epidemic” that cost the lives of sandblasting workers hit the mainstream press. Or maybe it was after Greenpeace investigators described blackened rivers in China, India, and Mexico marbled with fetid plumes…

Halloween Costumes Have a Size Problem

When Disguise Costumes released a “sassy”—read: “sexy”—Ursula-style costume for The Little Mermaid fans in 2012, it only came in straight sizes — no plus sizes. Critics immediately fired back. Ursula, as they rightly noted, is a sea witch of substance. “It’s outrageously exclusionary,” a blogger named Tavie wrote at the time. “It basically tells fat…

Plastic Waste is Everywhere in Grocery Stores. Can They Cut Down?

Plastic packaging can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s usually deployed to protect food, preserve freshness, and prevent spoilage and waste, which are all good things. At the same time, supermarkets can’t seem to help themselves from overpackaging items to the point of perversion, like a single banana—which already comes in its own…

How Much Did Closing for the Climate Strike Cost Businesses?

Angry masses of young people weren’t the only ones protesting climate-change inaction on Friday. Several brands and retailers, including Allbirds, Burton and Patagonia, temporarily shut their doors in a show of solidarity. Allbirds, the B Corp shoemaker beloved by Hollywood A-listers and Silicon Valley types alike, said it did so to allow employees to participate…

The Environment and Economy are Paying the Price for Fast Fashion

The fashion industry, if you haven’t already noticed, is a dreadful mess, and big-toe shoes and other go-home-fashion-you’re-drunk trends are the least of its problems. Apparel and footwear production currently accounts for 8.1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, or as much as the total climate impact of the entire European Union. Euromonitor analysts warn…