We Have No Idea How Bad Fashion Actually Is for the Environment

My journey down the rabbit hole started with this fact: “The global fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world.” You’ll hear this repeated at panels, on blogs and news sites, and anywhere else sustainable fashion is being discussed. Intuitively, it sounds true. But when I searched for the source, I couldn’t find it. No study, no official report. I asked every sustainable fashion industry expert I knew. Several said they would get back to me. A couple of experts pointed me to the Danish Fashion Institute, which in turn disavowed the fact.

Conscious Consumerism Is a Lie

As a sustainable lifestyle blogger, my job is to make conscious consumerism look good. Over the course of four years Instagramming eco-friendly outfits, testing non-toxic nail polish brands, and writing sustainable city guides, I became a proponent of having it all—fashion, fun, travel, beauty—while still being eco-friendly. So when I was invited to speak on a panel in front of the UN Youth Delegation, the expectation was that I’d dispense wisdom to bright young students about how their personal purchasing choices can help save the world.

Barring a massive change in how we fish, there won’t be any sushi left by 2048

These days, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself at a Michelin-starred restaurant, it’s an almost foregone conclusion that the ingredients will be sourced locally, seasonally, and sustainably.

But amid all the devotion to local terroir, foraging, heirloom produce, and pasture-raised meat from coddled livestock and fowl, there’s one segment of the restaurant industry that remains stubbornly in opposition to the slow food movement. In fact, when it comes to seafood, many of the world’s best restaurants fly in an endangered species for its patrons to feast on a nightly basis.

Witchcraft is the perfect religion for liberal millennials

What ties together crystals, feminism, polyamory, lapsed Catholicism, and tarot cards?

Besides being increasingly of the moment, they are all related to modern witchcraft, a movement that is being propelled out of the forest and into the mainstream. The hook-nosed, broom-riding, pointy-hat-wearing, cackling witches of yore have transfigured into hip, feminist, millennial women with slick websites and soothing advice on manifesting your dreams. Instead of a bubbling cauldron filled with eye of the newt, they’re slinging essential oils seeped with wild herbs.

FAST FASHION IS CREATING AN ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS

Visitors who stepped into fashion retailer H&M’s showroom in New York City on April 4, 2016, were confronted by a pile of cast-off clothing reaching to the ceiling. A T.S. Eliot quote stenciled on the wall (“In my end is my beginning”) gave the showroom the air of an art gallery or museum. In the next room, reporters and fashion bloggers sipped wine while studying the half-dozen mannequins wearing bespoke creations pieced together from old jeans, patches of jackets and cut-up blouses. This cocktail party was to celebrate the launch of H&M’s most recent Conscious Collection. “H&M will recycle them and create new textile fibre, and in return you get vouchers to use at H&M. Everybody wins!” H&M said on its blog.

It’s a nice sentiment, but it’s a gross oversimplification. 

The Harsh Reality Of When Mass Retailers Find Indie Designers

It’s an up-and-coming designer’s dream. You’re laboring over handcrafting earrings or oils or needlepoint in your apartment to sell at flea markets and on your Etsy shop, and then you receive a single order from a retailer (one you’ve actually heard of!) for more units than you’ve sold in the entire time you’ve been making them. Validation! 

Then…panic.

Is This New Housing Trend Bad For 20-Somethings?

I’m at Pure House, a so-called millennial commune in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg. It’s one of several millennial communes currently operating or under construction in New York City. One commune in the Financial District, The Loft, seems to revolve around drinking and other bro-tastic activities. Pure House sounds a bit more like me. It offers the opposite: fresh juice, discounts on activities like yoga at its event space in Williamsburg, plus spontaneous dinners and brunches in a positive community of like-minded, creative people. 

Sex, Drugs, And V-Neck Tees: Inside The Cult Of American Apparel

A CEO who has run into so many PR disasters and has a dismal financial track record? Of course he should be fired. But then, American Apparel is unlike any other fashion brand out there, as I found out after speaking with current and former employees, Dov Charney’s supporters, and Charney himself. Because, despite the endless lawsuits, the sexts he allegedly sent employees, the viral video of the ex- CEO flaunting his penis in front of staff, the cult of Dov Charney lives on at AA. 

The Last Millennial In The Garment District

If she fails to find a way forward for Johnny’s, it doesn’t bode well for the Garment District, for young designers who rely on the neighborhood to launch their careers, or for NYC as a fashion capital. But, if she succeeds, she could carve a space for other young people like her to succeed the older generation and keep the Garment District going for a few more decades.

FROM UNKNOWN TO PLAYING CITYFOX IN SIX MONTHS: JUSTIN MARCHACOS' STORY

Justin Marchacos came out of nowhere to play an acclaimed live set at the Cityfox New Year's Eve party. We thought maybe we just hadn't been paying attention, but when he told us that was his first set ever, we were floored. We visited him in his studio in Queens on Superbowl Sunday, getting a private live performance and hanging out talking for hours. Turns out, Marchacos loves telling stories. So we'll let him explain in his own words his biggest inspiration, how he landed on the Cityfox label, and how he came this close to messing up his very first performance in front of 1,500 people.