Top 7 Bizarre Eco-Fashion Stories of 2013 (Vote for the Weirdest)

by , 12/26/13   filed under: Best of 2013

Do the time warp with us; check out the most bizarre eco-fashion stories of 2012.

 

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Top 7 Recycled Fashion Designs of 2013 (Vote for the Most Creative)

by , 12/25/13   filed under: Best of 2013, Features

We couldn’t include all our refashioned favorites. Drop by our archives for any stories you may have missed.

 

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Top 7 Wearable Technology Concepts of 2013 (Vote for the Coolest)

by , 12/24/13   filed under: Best of 2013

Hankering for more wearable innovations? Plug into our archives.

 

Lead-Tainted Accessories Abound at Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, Wet Seal

by , 12/23/13   filed under: Eco-Fashion Brands, Eco-Fashion News, The Big Idea, Toxic Pollution, Women's Eco-Fashion

lead, lead purses, lead-tainted products, lead poisoning, Center for Environmental Health, Wet Seal, Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, toxic chemicals, toxic pollution, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, fast fashion

Years after signing a legal settlement limiting the concentrations of heavy metals in their products, popular mall-based clothing chains, including Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, and Wet Seal are still hawking lead-contaminated purses, belts, and shoes, according to the Center for Environmental Health, the Oakland, Calif. watchdog that filed the lawsuit in 2010. Although the center’s investigators have recorded a progressive reduction in lead-tainted accessories—retailers such as Guess, H&M, J.Crew, and Target committed zero violations this year, for instance—independent lab tests revealed that purses, belts, and shoes aimed at thrift-conscious young women exceeded safety limits of 300 parts per million of lead in leather goods and 200 ppm in vinyl products hundreds of times over.

PREVIOUSLY ON ECOUTERRE: Why is Walmart Still Selling Lead-Tainted Handbags, Accessories?

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Texas Researchers Design World's First Battery-Powered Invisibility Cloak

by , 12/23/13   filed under: Eco-Fashion News, Wearable Technology

invisibility cloaks, eco-friendly cloaks, sustainable cloaks, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, wearable technology, University of Texas at Austin, Texas, Andrea Alù

Photo by Shutterstock

Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin are working on a battery-powered cloaking device that they claim will boost your invisibility. Working from existing invisibility cloaks that use metasurfaces to deflect and refract light, the team’s design will add batteries to boost the signal and ensure that you really are invisible in all kinds of light and conditions. The cloak is still just a theory though, but the team hopes to build a prototype soon.

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U.S. Government Allegedly Buys Clothing From Overseas Sweatshops

by , 12/23/13   filed under: Eco-Fashion News, The Big Idea, Worker Rights

New York Times, sweatshops, sweatshop labor, sweatshop workers, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, human rights, workers rights, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of State

Photo by Meridith Kohut for the New York Times

When it comes to procuring clothing overseas, the United States government is “flouting its own advice,” the New York Times claims in a damning front-page report Monday. Although the U.S. Department of Labor says that federal agencies have a “zero tolerance” policy on using garment factories that break local laws, American government suppliers in countries such as Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Pakistan, and Vietnam show a “pattern of legal violations and harsh working conditions,” according to audits and interviews at factories. Among the offenses? Padlocked fire exits, unstable building foundations, falsified pay records, child labor, and the looming threat of injury to workers who make everything from the royal-blue shirts worn by airport security to the camouflage pants sold to troops on military bases.

PREVIOUSLY ON ECOUTERRE: House Approves First Congressional Action on Bangladesh Safety Reform

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"Eco-Leather" Made From Plant Oils is a Fashion Game-Changer

by , 12/20/13   filed under: Eco-Fashion News, Eco-Textiles, Vegan Fashion

Richard Wool, bio-based leather, plant-based leather, vegan leather, leather, leather alternatives, faux leather, vegan style, vegan fashion, vegan shoes, vegan accessories, University of Delaware, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, eco-friendly leather, sustainable leather

Tanning leather is a toxic endeavor and also quite fatal for animals, but a new alternative bio-based leather promises to be more environmentally friendly. Richard Wool, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Delaware has been working on an eco-leather alternative made from natural fibers and oils. Flax or cotton and plant oils are laminated together in layers to create a breathable, leather-like material. Companies like Puma, Adidas and Nike are working with samples and with Wool to begin using the product and offer more vegan options.

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Why is PETA Giving Away Fur Coats?

by , 12/19/13   filed under: Animal Cruelty, Eco-Fashion News

homelessness, animal fur, fur, animal rights, animal cruelty, animal welfare, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Detroit, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, Bethlehem House

Photo by Shutterstock

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been doling out fur coats for free, but not because the infamously provocative animal-rights group has had a change of heart. As temperatures in its home base of Detroit plunged below freezing Monday, the organization partnered with Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries and Bethlehem House to distribute animal pelts—as well as leather, wool, and angora items—to the city’s homeless. Its message? Wearing animals is only excusable if no other options remain. “PETA can’t bring the animals who were slaughtered to make these coats back to life,” says Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of PETA, in a statement. “But we can send a message that only people truly struggling to survive have any excuse for wearing fur,”

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Ioncell-F: A Wood-Cellulose Textile Fiber Derived From Ionic Liquids

by , 12/18/13   filed under: Eco-Textiles, Fabrictionary

Ioncell-F, Marjaana Tanttu, Aalto University, Finland, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, eco-textiles, eco-friendly textiles, sustainable textiles, eco-friendly fabrics, sustainable fabrics, Fabrictionary

IONCELL-F \’īən sel-f’\

n 1 a:  A sticky material made from a mixture of plant material and ionic liquid, known for its strong bonds, that is transformed through a multi-step process into a high-quality textile. b. A more sustainable alternative to rayon and cotton that does not require the water, growing space, or toxic chemical for production as these materials do. c. The world’s first fiber produced from cellulose-based ionic solvents and formed into a wearable good 2a:  The resultant of a breakthrough method for developing textiles, piloted by Scandinavian art and science students in conjunction with Aalto University’s Department of Forest Product Technologies. b. The base material for art student Marjaana Tanttu scarf design; the first product ever made from Ioncell fiber.

 

Penn. Lawmaker Wants to Ban Axe Body Spray From Schools

Penn. Lawmaker Wants to Ban Axe Body Spray From Schools

Legislators in Pennsylvania schools want allergy-prone kids to experience a fragrance-free educational experience by banning scented products from school. Headed by State Representative…

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"Project Runway" Winner Gretchen Jones Joins Pendleton's Design Team

"Project Runway" Winner Gretchen Jones Joins Pendleton's Design Team

What happens when you fuse the talent of a hip up-and-coming designer with a brand that’s been in business for 150 years? How about “heritage chic”? Well, that’s…

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Deadly Fire That Killed 7 at Garment Factory in Italy Had Barred Windows

Deadly Fire That Killed 7 at Garment Factory in Italy Had Barred Windows

Photos by Gianni Cipriano for the New York Times A deadly blaze in a sweat shop in Prato on the outskirts of Florence has left seven Chinese immigrant workers dead- and flared up racial…

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ASOS, Topshop, Stella McCartney Join Angora Ban; Zara Still Holding Out

ASOS, Topshop, Stella McCartney Join Angora Ban; Zara Still Holding Out

Shocking undercover footage of alleged rabbit abuse in China may have prompted several of the world’s biggest apparel brands and retailers to declare a moratorium on sourcing…

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Pollution-Absorbing "PHNX" Garment Reacts to its Environment by Changing Color

Pollution-Absorbing "PHNX" Garment Reacts to its Environment by Changing Color

Lauren Bowker’s beautiful PHNX fashion pieces transform from one color to the next, in reaction to the climate around them.  Using thermochromatic ink, the designer infused delicate…

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LXR & Co. Pop-Up Shop Offers Pre-loved Luxury Designer Goods

LXR & Co. Pop-Up Shop Offers Pre-loved Luxury Designer Goods

LUXE FOR LESS LXR & Co. was launched by Frédérick Mannella, Kei Izawa and Jean-Philippe Robert in 2012 and offers up its luxury pre-owned merchandise through www.lxrco.com and…

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Daniel Widrig's 3D-Printed Jewelry Redefines "Wearable Technology"

Daniel Widrig's 3D-Printed Jewelry Redefines "Wearable Technology"

London architect and artist Daniel Widrig recently showed off Kinesis, his line of customizable 3D wearable sculptures at Design Miami. As implied by the collection’s name, the…

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Canada's Ontario Government Says No to Sweatshop Labor for Clothing

Canada's Ontario Government Says No to Sweatshop Labor for Clothing

Photo by Paul McKinnon/Shutterstock The Ontario government will be taking a giant step toward sustainability and ethical sourcing, by requiring the companies that make uniforms for…

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Stephen Colbert "Not a Fan" of "Planet Money's" T-Shirt Exposé

Stephen Colbert "Not a Fan" of "Planet Money's" T-Shirt Exposé

The Colbert Report Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive “Not a fan of this project. The global marketplace is someplace where we export work to have happen in…

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