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This odd editorial in Bloomberg requires a discussion. Basically, it explores the problem of fast fashion and particularly its environmental impact. Fair enough, these are problems. But the framing is bizarre because it bemoans the decline of the international used clothing market, where rich white people used to just dump their unwanted clothes on the […]

Slow Fashion?

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On December 11, 2015

In case you thought the Slow Food movement wasn’t white and elite and privileged enough, we now have the Slow Fashion movement. So why not slow clothing? That’s what then-33-year-old weaving t

When we think of terrible labor standards in the 21st century economy, we may very well think of Wal-Mart and for good reason. But the real villain in the international clothing industry is Gap. That company has done more than any other to push back against any meaningful reform, including in the aftermath of the […]

Civil War Underwear

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On November 27, 2012

I am happy to argue that a discussion of Civil War underwear is at least as interesting as a movie about Abraham Lincoln and far more interesting than battlefield tactics. This is especially true when

I like Tom Philpott’s work at Mother Jones, but this piece connecting Americans’ disposable society and clothing with malnutrition around the world had one point that bothered me. I think in principle the article’s idea is a good one. Our clothing purchases have skyrocketed in the last 50 years, far faster than income growth. We […]

Socks and War

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On November 7, 2011

Although I don’t identify as a historian of technology per se, I have presented at the Society for the History of Technology before. And the technologies I deal with in my work are seemingly mun

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