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By ALDEN WICKER

Italy’s Last Maker of Traditional Wooden Hat Blocks

An homage, in film, to a third-generation Italian artisan who is the last maker of the traditional, handcarved wooden shapes used as hat blocks.

Story and Film by LUISA GROSSO

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

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

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

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

Led by the Nose

If you’re tired of smelling like everyone else, you can say ‘no’ to the big perfume houses, and their overpriced, generic scents. In a growing number of kitchen labs and small shops around the globe, small-scale perfume artists are bottling a world of intoxicating new scents. Some seem to give new meaning to the concept of time travel.

By BARBARA TANNENBAUM

The Soul of French Invention

Woodworker and author Gary Rogowski makes the case for the Musée des Arts et Métiers as Paris’ best museum, and offers a guide to its extensive holdings.

By GARY ROGOWSKI

Spoonism

“How I stumbled upon the world’s most perfect eating utensil”: Owen Edwards pays homage to the humble, essential spoon, particularly the version designed by the legendary Massimo Vignelli.

By OWEN EDWARDS
Photography by CLAIRE BLOOMBERG

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