As the impact of climate change becomes more difficult to ignore, advocates for a more sustainable fashion industry are finally getting the legitimacy they seek. The United Nations announced Tuesday that it was joining forces with Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical (NICE), a joint initiative by the Nordic fashion industry to address socio-environmental issues, to develop the first sector-specific initiative under the Global Compact, which helps businesses align their operations with fundamental principles of human rights, labor, and the environment.
In a video shot secretly by human-rights activists and obtained by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Uzek service, young children are seen toiling in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields. The Uzbek government forcibly sends upwards of 2 million children—some as young as 7—to work in the fields for 10 hours a day, for two to three months each year, according to the Responsible Sourcing Network, which rallied more than 60 of the world’s leading apparel brands and retailers in October to boycott cotton knowingly harvested using child laborers in the Central Asian nation.
Photo by Olivier Saillant for Chanel
As if fashion wasn’t already synonymous with environmental excess. Karl Lagerfeld commisioned a life-size aircraft to house Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2012 couture show inside the Grand Palais in Paris on Tuesday. Subtlety has never been the designer’s strongest suit—this is the man who flew a 265-ton glacier to the City of Lights on a whim, after all—but the display of such extravagance in a depressed economy feels gauche even by the most liberal standards. Set designers didn’t just spend five days constructing the plane (or at least, the innards of one) from anodized aluminum. They also outfitted it with an extra-wide 164-foot aisle, 180-degree swivel seats for 250 high-profile guests, double-C monogrammed carpet, a holographic cockpit, and a slatted roof that revealed a vista of clouds. Mon dieu!
New Hampshire, whose state motto is “live free or die,” has a new champion in state representative Michele Peckham, who thinks that her constituents should live free of the consequences of other people’s poor decisions. The politican is the primary sponsor of House Bill 1444, a piece of legislation that would ban state employees from wearing perfume or scented products on the job, particularly if they deal with the public. “It may seem silly, but it’s a health issue,” Peckham tells the New Hampshire Union Leader. “Many people have violent reactions to strong scents.”
If former Real Housewives of New York City star Cindy Barhop didn’t think she was in enough hot water, the spa owner now compares her fox-fur bikini treatment to a cure for cancer, according to The Cut. The semi-permanent procedure, which involves affixing neon-colored fur or feathers to one’s ladyparts, are only designed to last three days—more if you avoid washing your nethers (sexy!). “It’s like buying an extra set of lingerie or a fun shirt a different pair of glasses,” Barshop, who runs Completely Bare on Madison Ave., says. “This is that fun thing that gives you a little pick-me-up.”
Even the icy plains of Hoth wouldn’t pose a challenge for the Nupste Fur IV by The North Face. Tootsies remain dry in a water-repellent sheath of down-insulated, recycled-polyester ripstop, while ankles stay extra-snug in a faux-fur swaddle of 100 percent recycled PET.
Note: May contain goose down.
Clad in a seam-sealed canvas-and-rubber shell—and lined with a removable “InnerBoot” made from recycled polyester felt—the 1964 Premium Canvas boot by Sorel is rated for temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. Plus, the low-profile herringbone outsole is grippy enough for perilous icy patches that threaten to thwart your dignity at every turn.
HIGH AND MIGHTY
As bespoke as you can get—without the vertiginous prices, that is—Patagonia’s Fiona offers tough-as-nails recycled-nylon ripstop, a supportive arch shank, and stretchy neoprene at the rear for a custom fit. The knee-high boot also includes a recycled polyester lining and synthetic PrimaLoft Eco insulation for a one-two punch of warmth without sending feathers flying.
We’ll try not to judge. If UGG-style booties are your jam, take the animal hide out of the equation with the Neauara’s Robin which comprises waterproof synthetic suede (derived from recycled plastic bottles, natch) and the cushiest faux fur lining this side of the Tundra.
GREAT WHITE NORTH
Made in Canada, where people know cold, the Alexandra by Kamik features a quilted nylon upper, cushy fleece-and-foam insulation, and a molded felt insole for plush underfoot comfort. Bonus: You can send the boot back to Kamik for recycling when it’s ready to shuffle off the mortal coil.
Note: May contain fleece.
Sure, the Kelly Vinter by Tretorn may look like an old-fashioned rubber rain boot, but the faux-fur and post-industrial mesh lining would beg to differ. An EcoOrtholite insole, made from non-food bio-oil, completes the cushy setup.
Originally published Jan. 5, 2012
Sweatshop isn’t your average online cow-clicker. As its name implies, the game places you on the floor of an offshore factory that cranks out merchandise for high-street retailers in the West. Your job as manager: to hire workers to assemble hats, shoes, bags, and shirts at various speeds according to their skill level (or lack thereof in the case of the child laborers you also employ), all while keeping your corporate masters happy by raking in the big profits.
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