New on THE KINDCRAFT
Events — North America
Events — Asia + Australia
Business + Entrepreneurship
In case you missed these articles...
"The Itsy-Bitsy, Teenie-Weenie, Very Litigious Bikini" has the twists and turns of a tall tale—and it's all true! Masterful storytelling by Katherine Rosman here... grab a mug of your favorite hot beverage and savor this one!
I was moved by this interview with Jo Malone, who talks candidly about starting over after selling her namesake brand.
Funny timing: I saw an article called "Everlane joins the list of fashion brands that want you to spend more than you have" on the same day Lauren received an order from them (she assures me we're fine...). Elizabeth Segran makes a sensible case for just buying less instead of consuming more on the installment plan, but I can't help wondering: Might this model ease the path for customers who want to buy ethically-made products, but feel prices are out of their reach? What do you think?
What Exactly Is Fair Trade, And Why Should We Care? — This quote from Nest's Rebecca Van Bergen is one good answer: “Craft based work is the second largest employer of women in developing economies after only agriculture.”
Sustainability + Labor
Our Round Up of Notable Stories
The New York Times debunks the whole "fashion is the second-most polluting industry" trope — and it's very good to see Alden Wicker get some credit for leading the charge to dispel sloppy statistics from our conversations about sustainability. 👏
When I saw Smithsonian Magazine's headline "Was History Fair to the Triangle Waist Factory Owners?", I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. The Smithsonian's editors must've felt the angry mob approaching, as they soon changed it to read "Why the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Makes for a Complicated History" and asked the author to add additional text that might "expand on his thinking". 🤷🏻♀️
Garment worker pay continues to be a massive global issue. Two places where it's reached fever pitch are Bangladesh and Cambodia (currently teetering on the brink of a trade status downgrade by the European Union). For every report that shows some progress towards living wages for workers, I see another where workers fear retaliation for demanding better pay. It's good to remember that corporate culture is a primary driver of the pay problem. The apparel industry has long rationalized "chasing the cheap needle" from country to country as a necessary evil to compete in global markets. But the verdict is in: Businesses which require cheap goods made by cheap labor to make a profit will—almost ineluctably—hurt workers over the long haul. And whether it's in Bangladesh or right here in the USA. we'll continue to see the same sad stories until we incentivize a different kind of business model.
The growing movement to reduce plastic usage continues to make news: Journalist Lucy Siegle, author of a new book about the subject (and previously interviewed by us here) brings her message to HuffPo readers with 'Our Plastic Addiction Has Reached A New Crisis Level', while Fast Company details the $3 billion race among startups trying to address consumer demand for less plastic. Established brands are making news as well, with Adidas announcing it will only use recycled plastics by 2024.
Some good news — Stella McCartney to launch a UN charter for sustainable fashion.
Finally, The Guardian's Tamsin Blanchard looks back on sustainability in 2018 with "Bright future? Fashion's watershed year as it moves from waste to woke".
Wrapping Up / Looking Ahead
I like people who read things all the way to the end!
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