People are buying fewer clothes, for very good reasons

From Tree Hugger:  http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-fashion/people-are-buying-fewer-clothes-very-good-reasons.html

Katherine Martinko
October 7, 2016

There is a growing trend toward ‘New Consumerism’, which means that people are buying more conscientiously than ever before.

Skinny jeans became popular ten years ago. I’ll never forget the horror I felt, arriving back in Canada after a year in Brazil, to find people walking the streets of Toronto in pants that looked like something my (seriously untrendy) mother would wear. I told a friend, “You’ll never catch me dead in those.” A decade later, she still teases me about that comment, as skinny jeans have obviously become a wardrobe staple.

Since then, nothing terribly big or exciting has happened in the fashion world, according to retailer Urban Outfitters:

“Real changes in fashion which spur the public into spending money on a whole new look are few and far between. In mainstream terms, the last really big trend was skinny jeans… And we’re still wearing them” (The Independent).

It appears that people are less interested in buying clothes than they once were. While they’re spending more money than ever, those dollars are being directed elsewhere, typically more toward food and away from fashion, where retailers are reporting decreases in profit. Seasonal trends are increasingly removed from reality, as people don’t want to spend their money on updates that appear insignificant. The Independent reports:

“There is a world of difference between the ‘seasons’ that fashion editors talk about, with different styles offered up to four times a year, and the real world, where people put on layers and just don’t see the need for a new coat every October.”

Today’s consumers are reassessing their priorities and questioning what they really value. This fits into the growing trend of ‘New Consumerism,’ a term coined by research firm Euromonitor International to describe a widespread movement that prioritizes conscientious shopping over conspicuous consumerism. There are eight key trends that comprise New Consumerism:

1) The circular economy (where everything is use and nothing is wasted)
2) Frugal innovation (eliminating costly, unnecessary features from inventions)
3) Trading up and trading down (willingness to compromise in some areas to be able to splurge in others)
4) The sharing economy (connecting supply and demand, disrupting the traditional way of conducting business)
5) Experiential purchases over material ones
6) Buying time for oneself (an increase in outsourced tasks)
7) Reassessing one’s use of space (i.e. Do I really need to live in a large home?)
8) The ‘gig’ economy (characterized by short-term work contracts and freelancing, as well as the ability to move around)

In the fashion world, writes Business of Fashion, New Consumerism has translated into demand for increased transparency, authentic brand values, sustainable production processes, an embrace of the sharing economy, and unique retail experiences, among other things.

Continue reading at:  http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-fashion/people-are-buying-fewer-clothes-very-good-reasons.html

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Zineb el Rhazoui, Charlie Hebdo survivor, discusses why the world needs to ‘Destroy Islamic Fascism’

From The New York Times Live:  http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/10/18/zineb-el-rhazoui-charlie-hebdo-survivor-discusses-why-the-world-needs-to-destroy-islamic-fascism/

Undeterred by fatwas and death threats, the author has released an incendiary and thoughtful new book, bound to provoke debate

Emma-Kate Symons
10.18.16

She leads a clandestine existence, on the move and under 24-hour guard as France’s most protected woman. Yet Zineb El Rhazoui, the Charlie Hebdo journalist who happened to be in Casablanca on January 7 last year, the day terrorists “avenging the Prophet” massacred nine people at the satirical magazine in Paris, believes she has a duty to defy Islamists desperate to silence her.

Shaken but undeterred by the fatwas and relentless, precise death threats issued via social media to “kill the bitch” since she helped produce the publication’s first survivors’ issue following the attack — and spoke about it in Arabic for the Arab press — the Moroccan-French writer refuses to assume an anonymous identity. Fleeing Paris or abandoning her human rights activism, and her unforgiving critiques of the religion she grew up with, are also out of the question.

“I don’t have the right to renounce my struggle, or to give up my freedom,” says the reporter and sociologist of religion in an interview with Women in the World, during a recent trip to New York, as part of French president Francois Hollande’s delegation when he received the Appeal of Conscience Foundation’s World Statesman Award for 2016. “If the French state protects me it is not little individual me: What is being protected is my freedom to be irreverent, and freedom of expression, so I should exercise this even more because I enjoy this protection.”

“It’s totally crazy. I have done nothing against the law and have nothing to hide, yet I live with security while those who threaten us are free,” El Rhazoui declares with an air of shock and anger that underscores the arbitrariness and brutality visited on a 34-year-old woman condemned to living on the run and mostly in the shadows. “And if you call them by their names you are Islamophobic and racist. I am racist? I can teach them a few things about Arab culture. I can show them how to discover its richness and the diversity of their culture. I believe this culture deserves universality because you can be Arab, Muslim and a free thinker.”

Resisting terror

Sweeping in to the offices of Women in the World in Manhattan, accompanied by bodyguards, the world-renowned journalist is living proof of her pledge to keep “living her life beyond its limits” as a key way of resisting terror. Elegant and beautiful, with her long, wavy hair flowing freely and in an impeccably tailored black dress, El Rhazoui is reminiscent of 1940s cinema’s cerebral heroines — her eloquence and composure only occasionally betraying the trauma of the past 20 months. Each time we speak about the aftermath of the massacre at her magazine and how she is coping personally her voice quavers, but when the subject comes back to her fight for reform in Islamic civilization she is fearless.

Continue reading at:  http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/10/18/zineb-el-rhazoui-charlie-hebdo-survivor-discusses-why-the-world-needs-to-destroy-islamic-fascism/

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Patagonia Is Completely Shutting Down For Election Day

In a world filled with corporations that don’t give a shit about anything but making money there are some that are exceptions.   They treat their employees like family and are responsible citizens.  Patagonia is one of those companies.

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/patagonia-election-day_us_5813af65e4b0390e69d04160

The outdoor apparel maker is pushing its customers to vote with environmental issues in mind.

Alexander C. Kaufman
10/28/2016

Patagonia said Friday it plans to shut down most of its operations on Nov. 8 in hopes of spurring its customers and employees to vote.

The upscale outdoor gear giant, famous for its environmental activism, said it feared that voters turned off by this election’s vicious mudslinging would neglect to cast their ballots during a pivotal year in the battle against climate change. As such, the retailer plans to close all 29 stores across the country, as well as its headquarters, distribution and customer service centers.

“During a time of catastrophic environmental crisis, when America needs strong leadership to confront the fundamental threat of climate change, voter turnout threatens to reach historic lows as people are turned off by the ugliness of politics,” Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario said in a statement. “As a business, we have a unique ability to take a stand and choose to prioritize the health of the planet over profit, and I think it’s important we take that opportunity when it truly matters.”

The move expands on a marketing campaign, launched last month, called Vote The Planet. As part of the campaign, the company held voter registration rallies at its stores, where it began distributing voter guides detailing where local and national candidates stand on environmental issues.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/patagonia-election-day_us_5813af65e4b0390e69d04160

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‘Nasty woman’ is an insult we know all too well

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/20/nasty-woman-insult-hillary-clinton

Clinton can take pride in being Nasty-Woman-in-chief of the United States. There are few of us who haven’t been called the same at some point in our lives


Thursday 20 October 2016

Little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice but sometimes they grow up and life corrupts them. They metamorphosize from being sweet little girls into Nasty Women.

The most extreme case in point, as Donald Trump helpfully pointed out during yesterday’s debate, is Hillary Clinton. Not only did she get in her pretty little head that she wanted to run for president. She decided to carry on with the charade and answer real questions about policy during the debate. Worse still, she only let Trump interrupt her every few minutes – and I mean, everyone knows how much he respects women, he was just trying to help her out.

So while Clinton was explaining her views on funding social security, Trump decided to go ahead and say what everyone was thinking: Hillary Clinton is “such a nasty woman”.

While Clinton may be the chief Nasty Woman of the United States, we’ve all been there at some point. There are few women out there who haven’t been informed at some point by a man they are, in fact, a Nasty Woman.

It often happens at the bar. A guy comes over to you and pays you a compliment. It’s a real honor; he’s taken time out from socializing with his friends to talk to you! Instead of understanding how much of an honor it is, however, you tell him that you’re not really interested. He informs you that you’re ugly anyway! He informs you, in so many words, that you’re a Nasty Woman.

Maybe you do go home with that guy, though. Maybe you just feel like having sex. Some women occasionally do, I’ve heard. That also makes you a Nasty Woman. You didn’t wait long enough, you see. You’re a slut. A whore. He’s a stud, a player. It’s not double standards. It’s just the way of the world. Deal with it.

Nasty Women aren’t just wandering our bars. They’re everywhere. Walking down the street, for example. A guy catcalls you, yells a comment. You ignore him. He yells after you, a profanity followed by an uncomplimentary descriptor. Why didn’t you just stop and listen to his compliments? Are you really that rude? Why do you have to be such a Nasty Woman?

They’re at work too. Nasty Women speak up too much. They’re too ambitious. Too aggressive. They’re not team players. Let’s be honest, they’re real bitches. They may get to the top, they may climb that greasy ladder, but at what cost? Nobody likes them. They probably never have sex. Their children probably hate them. They probably have no idea how to bake. They’re Nasty Women.

Complete article at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/20/nasty-woman-insult-hillary-clinton

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