The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

Weekend Reading: The Big Problem With Recycling Clothing Is That a Lot of Clothing Is Toxic

Hi readers,

I’m back from another beautiful week in Oaxaca, Mexico, one of my favorite places in the world. (That’s me sitting on the edge of Hierve el Agua, a petrified waterfall and mineral spring.) I was there celebrating Day of the Dead, catching up with Hannah of MZ Fair Trade and friends from Oaxaca and LA, practicing my rusty Spanish, and dancing all night to my husband’s DJ set in a new local club.

It may appear that my partying with the dead is the reason for my lack of output as of late. And, well, ok, that’s partially true. But I’m also just working on projects that take some time to develop, and hinge on the ability of overworked editors to get back to me, and sources to respond to my requests. Make no mistake, there’s a lot of stuff in the pipeline. In the meantime, here’s the news from elsewhere:

Sustainable Fashion News

H&M is facing a problem with recycled fabrics: the fabrics being recycled are often too toxic for H&M’s own standards. | Fast Company

Why don’t climate activists take fashion seriously as a problem? | The New York Times

There’s been some news coverage of this vegan cactus leather. They don’t say what’s in it, but since it’s PVC-free and partly biodegradable, I’m going to guess it’s cactus combined with PU, joining an entire cornucopia of food-based leather alternatives. | Fashion United

Consumers are turning away from fur; is leather next? And then silk? | Vogue Business

In the past month, I finally went hard in on The RealReal, buying a nice wool coat and some Louboutin nude flats. I figured that they would be well made and since it’s resale, a sustainable choice. I love my coat, but the first day I wore my Louboutin flats, they cut up my feet so badly after 20 minutes of walking that my feet were bleeding. So I was actually pleased when I got home and realized the red paint had peeled off the soles, because that meant they were fake, and I could return them for a full refund. Well, turns out I’m not alone, as this investigation reveals that there are actually a lot of fakes on The Realreal. That’s what happens when you overburden copywriters with authenticating luxury fashion — shocking, I know. | CNBC

These small brands are sustainable, they just don’t use that word. | Business of Fashion

Jia Tolentino takes on Reformation.  | The New Yorker

Fish skin: the new frontier for sustainable fashion. | Fashion United

Prada is the first fashion brand to sign a financing deal predicated on sustainability. | Vogue Business

How to borrow across cultures for your luxury fashion brand. | Business of Fashion

Blood gold. | The New Yorker

I had heard rumors about how sustainable and ethical Catbird is. Now it’s confirmed! | Fortune

H&M’s CEO warned of terrible social consequences if people stop shopping so much, and people are pissed. | Bloomberg

A lot more people are calling their fashion sustainable. But is it really? | Sourcing Journal

Plastic Watch

Quartz did a whole week on plastic, including the futility of recycling plastic, and environmental expert’s solution to plastic, and can design get us out of this plastic soup?

Chemical company Eastman (maker of acetate that goes into sunglasses) says they’ll be able to recycle all plastics except for PVC next year. | Sourcing Journal

Big Ideas

The oil lobby’s new tactics to deny climate change are doom-ism and what-about-isms. | The Guardian

Influencers Influencing

“One need not actively court sadness, but nor should sadness be something we simply plough through – grinning and bearing – on the path toward happiness. People in sad moods, according to Forgas, tend to be more persistent and hardworking in complex mental tasks than happier people, not only attempting more questions but getting more of the questions correct than their happier counterparts. Sadness is a sharpening emotion. It keeps us alert. It makes us investigate ourselves more profoundly and more unsparingly. To be sad is to be keenly attuned to the world.” The activist’s case against performing and pursuing happiness for social media.Aeon

“People who do really good stuff have flaws…I do get a sense sometimes now, among certain young people — and this is accelerated by social media — ‘The way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people. And that’s enough. Like if I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right, or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself.'” Now the Insta activists are turning against Barack Obama of all people.

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