When Second Hand Doesn’t Mean Second Best

Estelle Sidler

Not so long ago, buying second hand was seen as a last resort. Charity shops were there for the people who really needed them – though there have always been bargain hunters who love seeking out gems amidst the faded tea sets and battered copies of The Da Vinci Code. The only time buying second hand had any sort of glamour attached to it was when you were ‘going vintage’ or shopping for antiques.

Things have changed. We’re now starting to see that buying second hand benefits more than just our wallets; it’s a way for us all to do our bit for the environment. Buying second hand means things get used for longer. There’s less production, and therefore less waste. 

Looking at the clothing industry, “if it continues on its current path, by 2050, textiles production will use over

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Earth911 Reader: EV Savings, Cooling Clothing, Saving $50 Trillion Over 30 Years

In Sustainability

Buy An EV, Save up to $14,500 on Fuel

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently released a study of the economic benefits of driving an electric vehicle compared to an internal combustion vehicle. The research found that over 15 years, an EV owner will pay $14,500 less for energy than a gasoline vehicle driver. Of course, the environmental benefits of an EV depend largely on

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Imagine clothing that stretches or shrinks to fit you

Estelle Sidler

Imagine clothing that stretches or shrinks to fit you

As everyone who has painstakingly straightened their hair knows, water is the enemy. Hair carefully straightened by heat will bounce back into curls the minute it touches water. Why? Because hair has shape memory. Its material properties allow it to change shape in response to certain stimuli and return to its original shape in response to others.

What if other materials, especially textiles, had this type of shape memory? Imagine a T-shirt with cooling vents that opened when exposed to moisture and closed when dry, or one-size-fits-all clothing that stretches or shrinks to a person’s measurements.

Now, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a biocompatible material that can be 3D-printed into any shape and pre-programmed with reversible shape memory. The material is made using keratin, a fibrous protein found in hair, nails, and shells. The researchers extracted the keratin from

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Marks & Spencer to cut 7,000 jobs as clothing sales collapse

Estelle Sidler

Marks & Spencer will axe 7,000 jobs over the next three months, delivering another blow to the struggling UK economy as the pandemic changes the way people work and shop.

The venerable UK retail chain, which sells clothes, food and household goods, said in a statement Tuesday that cuts to its 78,000-strong workforce will be made in support functions, in regional management and in its UK stores, “reflecting the fact that the change has been felt throughout the business.”

“It is clear that there has been a material shift in trade and whilst it is too early to predict with precision where a new post Covid sales mix will settle, we must act now to reflect this change,” added the company, which was founded in 1884 and now operates in 62 international markets.

The retailer said it has learned that employees can work more flexibly, and that some can transition

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Unmade in America | MIT Technology Review

Estelle Sidler

In July, St. Louis was still scrambling to raise $500,000 to buy machinery that would allow him to test the fabric used in masks. Meanwhile, he refers inquiries about mask testing to a company in Nevada—the lone private laboratory in the US certified by the CDC to perform such tests.

Meanwhile, 40 miles south of Conover, in the town of Belmont, the Textile Technology Center at Gaston College specializes in what the industry refers to as “yarn.” Give Dan Rhodes a small sample of a novel polymer, and he’ll figure out how to extrude it into a filament, and how to fine-tune the process to see whether the material can be made to work in high-speed manufacturing. Rhodes and his colleagues are working with a manufacturer of coronavirus test kits to make the fiber wicks that siphon saliva samples into a blend of testing reagents. Another client is an Ohio-based

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This Indigenous Artist Designs Traditional Clothes for a Virtual World

Estelle Sidler

This year, the Santa Fe Indian Market went virtual. The annual event typically sees Indigenous artists from across North America gather in New Mexico to sell their authentic works across hundreds of booths. While this summer’s lineup looked different, it was still a real place for discovery. The schedule, spread out across the month of August, included everything from a shoppable online marketplace, where consumers could find authentic Indigenous-made goods, to a virtual fashion show that showcased the works of seven Indigenous designers, including veteran Diné designer Orlando Dugi.

During the virtual fashion show, which was held last week, the designers combined traditional craft with modern finishings, all of which challenged the idea of what Indigenous design can be. One artist in particular stood out from the lineup: Skawennati, a Mohawk artist based in Montréal, Canada. Originally from Kahnawake, which is Mohawk territory, Skawennati has been producing her multimedia art

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The CEO striving to make vintage, secondhand clothing as popular as fast fashion

Estelle Sidler

This is an installment in a special series, Startup Year One, interviewing startup founders about the major lessons they learned in the immediate aftermath of their businesses’ first year of operation.

a person smiling for the camera: Thrilling CEO and Founder Shilla Kim-Parker.

© Courtesy of Thrilling
Thrilling CEO and Founder Shilla Kim-Parker.

A Harvard College and Harvard Business School graduate, Shilla Kim-Parker launched her career as an investment banking analyst at J.P. Morgan. Kim-Parker went on to lead the strategy and business development group at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where she helped launch new business verticals including fashion, publishing, visual arts, food, and consulting.


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Driven by environmental concerns, Kim-Parker saw an opportunity to create a space that would aid in the reduction of pollution in the fashion landscape. Passionate with a desire to help local small businesses—which are majority-owned by women—survive in a fiercely competitive, digital-first world by reaching new consumers worldwide, Parker cofounded retail startup Thrilling

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Wait, Amazon’s New Wearable Needs to See Me in My Underwear?

Estelle Sidler

4 min read

This story originally appeared on PCMag

To get the most out of Amazon’s new wearable wristband, you’ll need to send the company semi-nude pictures of yourself. 

The Halo is a fitness tracker that promises to improve your health. But to fully enjoy the benefits, Amazon needs some personal data, including how much fat is on your body. The company could’ve just asked for your weight and height. However, the health experts behind Halo want to instead calculate your body fat percentage, citing it as a better indicator for health and longevity. 

The Halo fitness band and app. (Credit: Amazon)

To get an accurate measurement, the company created “Body,” a feature in the app for Halo that uses computer vision and machine-learning algorithms to estimate your body fat percentage. The catch? The technology only works if it can actually view images of your semi-nude self.

In a blog post, Amazon Medical

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The next step for workplaces

Estelle Sidler

The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep the world and create problems for businesses and industries in its wake.

It does not have a definitive end date, and as such, businesses in Australia are making changes in order to adapt, comply with restrictions, and continue operating as best they can.

The use of newer technologies, such as wearable devices, is being considered as a way to assist with some of the issues businesses are facing during COVID-19, including adhering to social distancing expectations.

Generally speaking, the use of wearables in the workplace has been attracting increased interest for some time, as such devices can be used to improve organisation efficiency, increase employee productivity, monitor staff health and wellbeing (for example, track heart rate and manage fatigue), and create an overall safer work environment.

Wearable technology has been applied to proximity monitoring and detection applications which can assist with workplace safety.

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The 1st “Smart” Online Clothing Marketplace Powered by AI

Estelle Sidler

The Future of Online Clothes Shopping is here.

TORONTO, Aug. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ – Now more than ever, the shift to online retail is inevitable and consumers will miss the fitting room experience. FMRU Clothing is a luxury clothing and accessories marketplace that uses AI measuring technology to offer users the most accurate size recommendation in the world for all of our clothing products. We deliver an online shopping experience that is as confident as if you were trying clothes on in person and we are so excited to announce the website’s official launch.

How it works?

FRMU’s set-up process is very user friendly; all users need to do is upload two images of themselves, a front & side profile (instructions for taking & uploading the images are included on the account page). Once the images are uploaded, your body measurements are calculated in under a minute, then compared

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