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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 Folk School Movement and ‘Slow Economics’

Rather than looking to big corporate employers for economic stability, could more rural communities welcome a less obvious, slower growing, yet more sustainable economic partner? In the far western tail of North Carolina, the road leading to the John C. Campbell Folk School narrows from a six-lane highway to four lanes, then barely two. It…

Cathy Hay vs. Her Followers

In mid-September, two historical dress experts with ties to India complained publicly, and fervently, about Hay’s Peacock Dress project. Their complaints provoked even more tension, revealing an even darker history behind the project than anyone knew. First, the costumers argued that no matter how beautiful or unique the dress was, it still symbolized the destruction…

Listen to “Rebecca Burgess on Slow Fashion and Place-Based Economies: a Craftsmanship Artisan Interview”

Rebecca Burgess is the executive director of Fibershed, an internationally recognized nonprofit focused on transforming the clothing and textile system, the author of two books, and a vocationally trained weaver and natural dyer. She sat down with Craftsmanship Quarterly to talk about price and privilege when it comes to “slow fashion,” why the world can…

Listen to “The Human Cost of Recycled Cotton”

Organic, recycled, or synthetic: As the fashion industry scrambles to find more sustainable textiles, what’s the future of cotton? And what is the true cost? Editor’s note: This story was updated from the original by the author for re-release in our Fall 2021 issue.

Listen to “Alden Wicker on Sustainable Fashion and Toxic Clothes: a Craftsmanship Artisan Interview”

Alden Wicker, award-winning journalist, sustainable fashion expert, and founder of EcoCult, talks about her disillusionment with the idea of “voting with your dollars;” why the cotton industry is in disarray; and some concerning new research around toxicity and chemicals in fashion. This episode is part of our series of “Artisan Interviews,” in which we bring…

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

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