The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

Weekend Reading: What Do We Do Now?

Hey readers,

Wow. This week has been… I don’t even know. I don’t know how to process it yet.

Maybe you won’t even read this. Traffic to EcoCult started dropping on March 4th, and now it’s at half of what it was last month.

I get it. Honestly, even I would rather be hitting the update arrow on Twitter and The New York Times website over and over like a hamster hitting the food lever. Everything we knew about fashion’s supply chain two weeks ago is now old news, and we’re all holding our breath to see who is going to survive, who will go out of business, who will keep their job, and who will be laid off, and whether this crisis will spur a rethink of our global supply chain for the better, or whether it will destroy the little progress that we’ve made.

My husband and I are sheltering in our apartment in New York City. We’re incredibly fortunate to both have jobs we can do at home, to have a little home that is lovely and safe, to have the means to stock up on food (even though our incomes have both already been cut) to have each other. I’m soothing myself by cooking and cleaning all day, like a jittery domestic goddess. Our friends have rallied to create video group workout sessions, soundbaths, and happy hours. We’re going to be OK.

I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the economic carnage around me, however. My friends: pilots, waitresses, DJs, event planners; they’ve lost their jobs. My heart is breaking for the people in this city who were already living in poverty and can’t withstand another shock. Yesterday I walked an hour to drop my old laptop off with a friend, a social worker, who was borrowing her boyfriend’s laptop so she could host remote sessions with her clients. But I need to do more. Where is the best place to donate to, when the majority of Americans are hurting? I welcome suggestions, with the hope that soon we will have affordable healthcare, affordable housing, and a higher minimum wage. We can’t solve this crisis with charity and the Free Hand of the Market alone. That’s one thing I’ve learned from fashion that I can apply to this situation as well.

As for Ecocult. Well, my contributor and partnerships director, Abi, has done an amazing job this past year increasing our traffic and revenue. And unlike the airlines, I’ve tried to be really careful to stash away some cash for rainy days like this. So I can continue to pay her the full hourly rate for the same amount of work, for now. And we will continue to put out content at about a once-per-week clip. Thank you for sticking with us. If you have any requests or questions, comment below or shoot us a line at

How Coronavirus Is Affecting Fashion

Amazon shut down its Queens, NY warehouse when one of its workers tested positive for Coronavirus, and more than 200 workers staged a strike at an Amazon warehouse outside of Paris on Wednesday.

All fashion events have been canceled through April, including the Copenhagen Fashion Summit.

Target and other large retailers have yet to provide sick leave.

Bangladesh and other producing countries are the losers as brands cancel their orders.

Garment workers are being thrown out of their jobs and into destitution as factories close in Southeast Asia.

But on the bright side, some fashion and beauty brands are shifting production to make masks and hand sanitizer.

Of course, face-mask waste could cause an environmental crisis. | Energy Live News

The question is: Will this crisis further rip apart the industry, or force it to take responsibility for garment workers?

Sustainable Fashion News and Info

This is a great deep dive into lab-grown diamonds versus real diamonds. Just ignore the super-weird comment from Clean Origin’s founder about women and baby weight. | The Guardian

How impactful are sustainable capsule collections really? | Vogue Business

The end of Egyptian cotton. | New Yorker

A follow-up to that article about toxic PFOAs in Thinx underwear. | Sierra

What does it mean when a brand is climate neutral? | Fashionista

The CFDA will be measuring the climate impact of NYFW. | Fashion Network

Researchers have found evidence that microfibers are severely damaging fish. | EcoTextile News

Even luxury fashion houses can be exploitative. Like how they treat Indian embroiderers. | NY Times

The good news is that wool that’s treated so it’s washable biodegrades faster than non-treated wool. | EcoTextile News

Millennials prefer reusable wedding dresses. | Fashion Network

This isn’t surprising, but just because something is made in Australia, doesn’t mean it’s ethical… | ABC Australia

Influencers are talking a big game on sustainable fashion, but fast fashion still rules. | Fashion Network

All those direct-to-consumer companies are imploding. Time to go back to wholesale?  Oh, wait… | Marker

A U.S. bill would ban imports from the Xinjiang region of China, where the Uighur minority are being forced into forced labor for fashion’s supply chain. | EcoTextile News

In good news, sanctions against Uzbek cotton worked! The government abolished state-sponsored forced labor. | Sourcing Journal

How to recycle shoes. | Fashionista

The GOTS certification is firing back on what it says are misleading advertising claims from the bedding brand Parachute. | Sourcing Journal (Learn more about sustainable fashion certifications here.)

Conventional viscose is actually dragging Lenzing down, compared to its more sustainable specialty fibers. | Sourcing Journal

An automatic fiber-sorting machine is on its way to help save us from fashion waste. | Sourcing Journal

These are your sustainable packaging options. | Fashionista

A science reporter interviews the head scientist at Goop. | Undark

“I really appreciate your earnestness, but there’s no black and white in Mexico. There’s no good and bad in Mexico. This has been happening since the beginning of time. For you to want traditional artisans to only ever do their tradition and never evolve is another form of colonialism.” | New Yorker

Premiocre. | The Atlantic

Brands Doing Things

Chanel published a plan for fighting climate change. | Fashion Network

The hugely popular Indian brand Anita Dongre is fighting for sustainability.Fashion Network

This new luxury eco label is backed by the Patagonia of jeans. | Business of Fashion

Veja opened a store in New York City. | Fashion Network

Everlane will switch to all organic Indian cotton by 2023. | Fashion Network

Influencers Influencing

Why Instagram perpetuates outdated gender stereotypes. | Financial Times

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