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Listen to “The Hidden Powers of a Sheep”

Not only is wool unusually cozy and durable, but its creators (the sheep) can help regenerate the soil, along with the world’s drying, fire-prone landscapes. The good news: a wool revival seems to be underway.

The Hidden Powers of a Sheep

While the fashion industry continues to produce more and more clothing made from synthetics, with all their harmful effects, we’ve ignored the wonders of wool. The material is natural, durable, and endlessly renewable; more important, its creators (the sheep) can help regenerate the soil, along with the world’s drying, fire-prone landscapes. Fortunately, a wool revival seems to be underway.

By JUDITH D. SCHWARTZ

The Bug Whisperer

Mark Sturges doesn’t advertise and clients have to find him by word of mouth, but find him they do. He’s become a master of an agricultural art as old as agriculture itself: basic compost.

By KRISTIN OHLSON
Photography by MARK STURGES and KRISTIN OHLSON

The Kayak’s Cultural Journey

For millennia, indigenous peoples across the world have built and used wooden skin boats to fish and hunt, for sport and travel, even for warfare. Skin kayaks are the unique product of Arctic peoples, but nonindigenous admirers of the craft are making them, too. Does that matter?

By SIMON MORRIS

Watch “Mike Morgan’s Quest to Make Traditional Skin Boats”

Mike Morgan’s fascination with small, traditional watercraft dates back to the ’80s. Building on his decades of experience as a musical instrument maker and repairer, Morgan set out to deconstruct and understand the ancient kayak designs so he could make his own authentic boats.

Listen to “Argentina’s Textile Crusader”

If you want an unusually cozy scarf or sweater made of natural fiber, merino wool or alpaca are the usual choices. But what about the guanaco, the alpaca’s little-known cousin, which grows even finer fleece? For Adriana Marina, the guanaco’s time has come to be South America’s finest source for sustainable textiles.

Argentina’s Textile Crusader

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

Listen to “Eco-Fashion’s Animal Rights Delusion”

In this exploration of the hidden stories behind materials such as wool and rayon, silk and polyester, and vegan leather, writer and sustainable fashion expert Alden Wicker found some inconvenient truths about the animal rights movement.

Eco-Fashion’s Animal Rights Delusion

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

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