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Listen to “Historical Clothing’s Comeback”

A collection of sewing enthusiasts, dedicated to the anachronistic art of making old-fashioned clothes, stumbles onto a path that revives quality, comfort, ecological consciousness—and respect for the female form in all its varieties.

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…

The Secret to Vintage Jeans

In November, 2017, the doors closed in North Carolina on Cone Denim’s White Oak plant, one of the first, and (for a while) the last, big textile mill in the U.S. to make vintage-style denim. When our correspondent first visited, he discovered that the secret to classic jeans has long come from a strange mix of obsolete machinery and American mythology. Now, after following other companies that moved manufacturing overseas, traditional Made-in-USA jeans might be coming back.

By BRIAN HOWE, with updated reporting by TODD OPPENHEIMER

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.

The Human Cost of Recycled Cotton

Everyone in the fashion world wants to find a more sustainable, environmentally friendly way to make cotton clothing—or a benign (and equally comfy) alternative to it. In Scandinavia, an enterprising cadre of materials scientists is on the brink of succeeding. But almost no one appreciates these innovations’ social costs.

Story and photography by ALDEN WICKER

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 “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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