The Future of Clothing
We buy 60 percent more clothes these days than we did a decade ago, and we keep them half as long. To feed this demand, polyester and other synthetics have become almost ubiquitous, leaving a trail of pollutants that’s almost impossible to clean up. This has created a fashion and textile industry that’s become increasingly unsustainable—both for the environment and for the animals and humans who live in it. But there is still hope. As the articles in this issue make clear, a lot of mistakes could be fixed if we revived some old production methods that have been nearly forgotten, while adding in a few very promising innovations.
Amidst the fashion world’s growing interest in the luxuriously soft fabric that can be made from South American camelids like alpaca, one member of this family with uncommonly fine fleece has been largely ignored: the guanaco, the alpaca’s feisty cousin. Enter Adriana Marina, who is fighting for the guanaco’s place on the commercial stage.
By ALDEN WICKER
In southern Norway, in a small workshop at the bottom of a verdant, postcard-perfect valley, Annemor Sundbø gathers remnants, paintings, and authentic reproductions of traditional Norwegian sweaters. Her collections—along with her seven books on the subject—provide a window into the myths and meaning that were long woven into this legendary Nordic craft. Now she’s trying to bring back the sheep that grew Viking Norway’s unusually hardy wool.
Story by SARAH POLLOCK
Photography by MIKKEL AALAND
Only a handful of artisans still practice the centuries-old craft of rust printing on fabric. Of those who do, even fewer use the traditional stone mangle, or press, on handwoven, raw hemp fabric, yielding textiles that can last for centuries. The Marchi family printworks, in Italy’s Romagna region, may well be the only place left in the world that still produces authentic, rust-printed textiles that are fully handmade.
Story and Film by LUISA GROSSO
When you put on a stylish jacket made of rayon, vegan leather, or even recycled plastic, are you sure you’re helping the planet more than if you had bought one made of animal leather? In this journey down a very twisted rabbit hole, sustainable fashion expert Alden Wicker, founder and editor-in-chief of EcoCult, finds answers that may not be particularly comfortable for the animal rights movement.
By ALDEN WICKER
Other Topics In This Issue
Most economic experts say the pandemic didn’t cause today’s supply chain disruptions; it simply brought them to the surface—and made them worse. Meanwhile, Harry Moser has been quietly working, for more than a decade, to bring manufacturing back home, with some stunning successes. Could COVID have finally created “reshoring’s” moment?
By TODD OPPENHEIMER