Yellow dye in clothing, maps and napkins contain cancer-causing PCBs

 They’re called polychlorinated biphenyls, and the Environmental Protection Agency banned them about 35 years ago.

PCBs, as they are more commonly referred to, “belong to a broad family of man-made organic chemicals known as chlorinated hydrocarbons,” the EPA says on its website. They were domestically produced from about 1929 until they were eventually banned in 1979.

Over the years, scientists found that PCBs exhibited a range of properties; they varied in consistency from thin, light-colored liquids to yellow or black waxy solids.

Because they weren’t flammable, were chemically stable, had a high boiling point and displayed electrical insulation properties, PCBs were used commercially in hundreds of ways: electrical and heat transfer, in hydraulic equipment, in paints as plasticizers, in plastics and rubber products, in carbonless copy paper and, as the title of this investigation suggests, as pigmentation in dyes.

In short, PCBs were everywhere. In fact, they still are.

Once in the environment, PCBs have staying power

One of the problems with PCBs is their longevity. They are capable of remaining in the environment and in ecosystems for decades. That’s because they do not

Beyonce’s clothing line assembled by ‘slave’ workers

 Beyonce’s new sportswear clothing line Ivy Park, the intention of which is supposedly to “empower women through sport,” is coming under fire for allegedly using sweatshop labor, The Sun reports.

“My goal with Ivy Park is to push the boundaries of athletic wear and to support and inspire women who understand that beauty is more than your physical appearance,” Beyonce said during a recent appearance at London’s Topshop, one of Ivy Parks’s global retailers.

For the garment workers, who are mainly young girls and women, Ivy Park is anything but inspiring or empowering. To manufacture the sportswear, the pop star teamed up with Philip Green, whose investment company Arcadia Group owns several fashion retail chains, including Topshop. For Green, it is not the first time he’s come under fire for mistreating workers.

Beyonce’s clothing line accused of using ‘sweatshop slaves’

The British Tabloid The Sun claims that the clothes are being made by young women in horrible sweatshop conditions at the MAS Holdings factory in Sri Lanka. They work up to 60 hours a week, and earn just a little over $6

Children’s clothing found loaded with endocrine-disrupting chemicals

 Three major clothing lines based in Sweden and Norway are selling products that contain toxic chemicals,reported NewsinEnglish.no. KappAhl and H&M, both Sweden-based clothing chains, and Cubus, a Norway-based company, were caught selling articles of clothing in which one out of three contained DBP or DEHP.

Dibutyl phthalate, or DBP, is a commonly used plasticizer that was banned by the European Union (EU) in 1999 for use in products like nail polish, cosmetics and children’s toys. The United States followed suit, banning the chemical in 2006.

Due to its low cost, Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP, is also used to manufacture plastics. It’s one of six compounds that the EU claimed to remove from the market in early 2011; however, the testing conducted by the Norwegian Consumer Council found this to be untrue.

Researchers also identified the chemical nonylfenoletoxilat (NPEO) in some items, “which breaks down to the endocrine disruptor nonylfenol” and can act as a hormone disruptor.

NPEOs aren’t banned but restricted to limited use in the EU.

The study was completed ahead of a seminar on protecting consumers against toxic substances, held by Norwegian and Danish councils

FINDING CHIC KIDS’ CLOTHES

SYLVANA WARD-DURRETT remembers the late nights well: The former director of special projects for Vogue and mother of two (with one currently on the way) would find herself hunched over her laptop, hunting for kids clothing into the wee hours, the only spare time she had. “I would have no less than 25 browser tabs open,” she said. “You have the mass e-tailers for basics, but for more special and higher quality pieces that will last more than two wears, I’d have to scour the internet for small, indie boutiques.” After she vented to fellow Vogue alum Luisana Mendoza Roccia, a mom of three, the pair realized there had to be a better way. “You’re used to shopping for everything in your life with so many conveniences, but then you enter the children’s clothing market and you’re back to 1991,” said Ms. Mendoza Roccia.

And so the pair teamed up to create Maisonette, an online marketplace which launched this week. The site pulls together a carefully edited assortment of kids clothing, accessories and décor from a global network of boutiques and brands. You can find embroidered cotton rompers

NEXT TOP FASHION DESIGNER? A COMPUTER

Apparel seller Stitch Fix recently introduced a coral, sleeveless blouse with a split neckline—and an unusual creative provenance. It was one of three new tops designed with the help of artificial intelligence.

The San Francisco-based e-commerce company, which sends customers boxes of preselected outfits, is leveraging computers to analyze purchasing behavior and learn what elements of style are popular. The software then recombines well-liked sleeve types, cuts and prints into new looks to maximize the odds a client “loves the resulting style,” said Erin Boyle, a Stitch Fix data scientist.

The three tops sold out as part of preselected boxes last year, according to the six-year-old company, and in February, it started selling nine more items designed with the help of computers, including dresses and tops. It plans to sell more than two dozen others by the end of the year. (AI-created styles are priced similarly to human designs, according to a company spokeswoman.)

The “hybrid designs,” as they are known inside Stitch Fix, are part of a movement in the tech industry to develop software that can be creative, and produce content such as songs, logos, videogames, clothing and special

BUYING LUXURY WATCHES FOR THE BUSY MAN

Some of the best-known online retailers include Tourneau and Saks Fifth Avenue. And some watch brands, like Rado and Bulgari, also sell through their own sites. Many others, however, such as Patek Philippe, Breguet, A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet and Rolex, refuse to sell online, either on their own sites or those of authorized dealers.

The reasoning? They’ve spent decades or longer building distribution networks and don’t want to squander that effort. They also believe buying a watch should be a special, emotional experience—one that requires a real-world environment where a customer can speak with a salesperson, try on a variety of watches and leave with the winner on his wrist. I have always purchased new watches in stores. I imagine the feeling I have coming home with a new timepiece is similar to the rush our prehistoric ancestors felt when returning after a successful hunt.

More caveats: First, there simply aren’t that many authorized online sellers. If you Google a watch model, a number of sites pop up, but most fall into the dodgy “gray market” category, sometimes associated with stolen watches or timepieces whose warranties won’t be honored. So,

3 EMERGING TOP DESIGNERS ON THEIR INSPIRATIONS

Rosetta Getty

Growing up in L.A.’s bohemian Silver Lake neighborhood, Rosetta Getty, 46, started making her own clothes as a child: “Fuchsia spandex leotards and tights, little wraparound skirts,” she recalls. Her color palette may have muted since then, but her creative impulse remains intact. A former model and busy mother of four—her husband is actor Balthazar Getty, the great-grandson of oil magnate J. Paul Getty—she founded her eponymous fashion line in 2014, designing sculptural dresses with cutout shoulders; blouses with kite sleeves; cropped, pleated pants and other wearable pieces. She also makes pared-down red-carpet looks for the likes of Alicia Vikander and Patricia Arquette, a longtime friend. Getty tends to design much of her collection at her New York office and then hop on a plane back to her family in California. Perhaps it’s no surprise that she describes her work in terms of movement: “I want to support women to maneuver the way they need to.”

Brock Collection

When Kris Brock, 30, and Laura Vassar, 29, launched Brock Collection in 2014, they focused not on trends but on longevity. “We wanted to create pieces that would be passed on for generations,” explains Vassar,

THE MEN’S SHIRT THAT WILL GET YOU NOTICED

SOME CASUAL OBSERVERS of fashion viewed the arrival of the Hawaiian shirt on high-end runways a couple of years ago with surprise. What place did something that for the most part symbolized boorishness and cultural insensitivity have in a luxury context?

But truly creative designers, like Miuccia Pradaand Dries Van Noten, excel in transforming the outré into the très chic. With their deft encouragement, the world of menswear said a hearty “Aloha!” to the picturesque Aloha shirt, which has stuck around as a stylish, springy piece for a few years.

This season, rather than retreat to a world of safe solids and polite prints (see gingham, madras, Liberty florals), designers have doubled down on in-your-face motifs. “We’re seeing a lot of wild stuff,” said Gabriel Ricioppo, creative director of Richmond, Va. store Need Supply Co. that carries shirts with big-scale florals and other patterns from labels like Obey, Gitman Vintage and Ami.

“People are looking for that one conversational piece in their wardrobe,” said Chris Olberding, president of Gitman Bros., an American brand known for its prints. And perhaps because men are generally wearing more attention-getting pieces, it’s necessary for designers to go bigger.

WOMEN, FASHION HAS YOU COVERED

It is a truism of the history of dress that decade-defining looks generally don’t congeal until quite late in the period they eventually come to represent. The miniskirts and Crayola colors of the 1960s, the power shoulders of the ’80s, the minimalism of the ’90s — all reached critical mass well into the midpoint of those eras, when whatever had been bubbling up in wardrobes and on sidewalks found its reflection in the wider world.

Well, we have finally reached that stage in the 2010s. The tectonic plates of fashion have shifted. Look around. What do you see?

Look to the runway: During the recent round of fashion shows, suits — and sleeves and long skirts — dominated. Look to the street, and the stores.

“Women who once bought strapless dresses with a little skirt are now buying evening gowns with sleeves and high necks,” said Claire Distenfeld, the owner of Fivestory, the destination boutique on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. “Four seasons ago we couldn’t sell a blouse, and now everyone wants a blouse. Young women who

FASHION DESIGNER SAYS SHE WON’T DRESS MELANIA TRUMP

First ladies have served as a canvas for both established and up-and-coming designers for decades. But it looks like the incoming FLOTUS may have a harder time leaving her fashion mark on history.

Last week, French-born designer Sophie Theallet, whose vibrant designs have been spotted frequently on Michelle Obama, shared an official statement on Twitter saying that she will not provide clothing for Melania Trump.

“As one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom and respect for all lifestyles, I will not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next First Lady,” she wrote. “The rhetoric of racism, sexism and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by. I encourage my fellow designers to do the same.”

Apparently, Theallet isn’t the first designer to distance herself from the Trumps.People reports that during the election campaign, several undisclosed designers refused to provide clothing for Melania or for the president-elect’s daughters Ivanka and Tiffany. As a result, the three pulled wardrobe pieces from Ivanka’s eponymous fashion line, bought them online and “shopped their closets.”

Although no other designers have come forth to outright state they will

EMERGING GLOBAL TRENDS IN LEATHER AND FASHION

As the global population boom, there are inevitable implications on livestock. Demand for food and shelter have grown manifold resulting in an alarming scarcity of land meant for rearing animals, says Satyadeep Chatterjee.

Trends have to be predicted taking into consideration possible drastic changes. Fashion consumers are becoming more conscious of the environment. They prefer eco-friendly material, conservative use of resources, reduced emission of pollutants, greater social commitment and fair treatment of employees in production facilities.

The presence of a large number of players in the sector has intensified the competition to garner a larger chunk of the market share of this lucrative industry. On the demand front, consumers are rapidly aligning towards new designs and innovative leather offerings to ensure they are in sync with changing fashion trends. Another factor that needs to be taken into account is the rise of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies. Their dominant position in the labour-intensive textile and leather industries makes it difficult for other countries to match them.

Owing to high demand, the leather goods industry is on a growth spree. Forecasts are, this vertical will grow

When it comes to clothes, the best-dressed have got it made

On any given day, in downtown lofts, Santa Monica ateliers and dozens of studios across Los Angeles, dressing rooms are filled with men and women who are slipping into suits, dresses and jeans that fit as if they were made just for them — because they were.

They are donning custom-made wedding gowns, dress shirts, even entire wardrobes. Whether they were propelled there by the frustrations of poorly fitting commercial clothes or by a sense of style that isn’t part of the trend du jour, they’ve discovered the rewards of made-to-order clothing.

Before you pull out that credit card, however, it pays to learn the lingo, adjust your expectations and otherwise heed the advice of practitioners. We’ve asked experts in custom-made suits, wedding gowns and other garments to offer their guidance on the custom-clothing process.

Choose the right specialist. A tailor typically concentrates on menswear. A seamstress or dressmaker is usually trained to make clothes according to patterns you provide. A designer may have styles that can be adjusted to suit your preferences. A patternmaker may not be skilled at design but can create or alter patterns to achieve a

Chip could let smartphones see through walls — and clothes

In the not-too-distant future, your smartphone may be able to help you see through walls, cardboard boxes, paper and even clothing.

Scientists from the University of Texas at Dallas have designed an imaging chipthat measures invisible terahertz light waves that is small enough to fit on a smartphone and inexpensive enough that normal people could actually afford to buy one.

Terahertz waves can be detected through opaque surfaces such as paper, walls and clothing — enabling a person with an accurate terahertz measuring device to see beyond what our visible eye can see.

Some applications of this technology, which is still in development, include early detecting of skin cancer, finding studs hidden in walls, finding hidden cracks in vases and authenticating documents.

As for the creepy applications (such as seeing through clothes), rest assured that Kenneth O, professor of electrical engineering at UT Dallas and director of the Texas Analog Center for Excellence, who led this research, has considered them.

“The major concern for this technology is privacy, so we’ve made it that you need to place the imaging

Hillary Clinton’s wardrobe, Paul Ryan’s suits: Do clothes matter?

Which designers does Hillary Rodham Clinton wear?

An interviewer in Kyrgyzstan got the equivalent of the hand when he asked the secretary of State that question during a panel discussion in December 2010. Clinton’s response: “Would you ever ask a man that question?”

Her comment went viral Tuesday — way after the fact — when Boston Review posted that snippet from the interview on its Tumblr page.

What’s especially cringeworthy about this exchange is that just moments before, Clinton had addressed a young lawyer’s question about how women could succeed in today’s world. “[I]t requires, for a woman, usually in today’s world still, an extra amount of effort because I think it’s — the fact that women are still sometimes judged more critically,” Clinton answered. “If you are in the courtroom or you are presenting a case, it still is a fact — and this is not just in Kyrgyzstan, this is everywhere — that when a man walks into a courtroom, it’s rare for someone to say, ‘Oh, look what he is wearing.’ But if you walk into a courtroom, or any young woman walks into a courtroom, people

Earth-friendly clothing that doesn’t involve burlap

Eco-conscious and sustainably produced clothing has long been associated with murky-colored, burlap-reminiscent items focused more on sending an Earth-friendly message than on looking runway-ready. So as Earth Day approaches on Tuesday, it’s good to know there are now some chic, sustainable options. From sourcing fabrics to creating hangtags, each of the brands highlighted here considers impact on the Earth in production choices and uses recycled materials as often as possible — in some cases, building an entire line on repurposed materials.

Amour Vert

Based in: San Francisco.

The look: Day-to-night pieces, including splashy print blazers and matching shorts, silk dresses and tailored, menswear-inspired jackets.

The practice: The brand uses only organic and sustainable fabrics, such as organic cotton, linen, silk, tencel and recycled polyester, along with low-impact dyes. Amour Vert packages all products in biodegradable bags.

The price: $75 for solid T-shirts to $300 for tailored jackets.

Side note: A tree is planted for every T-shirt purchased from the line’s T(r)ee collection.

Faherty Brand

The look: Beach-to-street separates for men and women. Plaid button-downs, Baja ponchos, sweatshirts and floral print bathing suits are collection mainstays.

The practice: Each swimsuit

Channel Lauren Hutton’s Boyishly Elegant Denim Look

A REFERENCE TO THE 1970s is nothing novel in fashion. About five years ago, designers began to mine the bohemian and rock’n’roll elements of the decade, and even now, floaty maxi-dresses, cotton eyelet blouses and brown suede jackets continue to line store racks.

As far as denim goes, the era’s jeans (flares, high-waist straight legs) have gotten the lion’s share of attention, but now the spotlight is shifting to the denim skirt. As in this 1974 image of Lauren Hutton, shot in New York for the Daily News’s Sunday Magazine, the fabric, with its workwear roots, takes on feminine allure when draped around a woman’s waist.

This spring, denim and ready-to-wear brands alike are showing variations on Ms. Hutton’s cornflower-hued skirt. From Madewell’s button-fly pencil and Levi’s patch-pocket A-line to Chloé’s light wash, all share a hint of the denim-obsessed decade.

The lingering influence of the era is understandable. “The ’70s is one of the first times women wore T-shirts and trainers and denim and casual clothes,” said Jessica Lawrence, head of design and brand for M.i.h Jeans, a London-based denim brand. “Dressing was so formal up until the late ’60s.” Fittingly, the decade’s icons

Do You Know What Toxic Chemicals Lurk in Your Clothing?

You know that if you eat that sugar-filled cookie, it might spike your insulin, and if you put on cosmetics with chemicals in them, they will probably end up in your blood. But have you ever thought twice about putting on your favorite T-shirt, or snuggling into your cotton sheets?

A growing number of parents are demanding organic cotton clothing and diapers for their babies. Many don’t stop with clothing, but have furnished their homes with organic flooring or carpeting, organic mattresses, organic linens, organic window coverings etc. Are they fanatics or do they have scientific evidence to support their lifestyle changes?

Cotton has long been considered by consumers to be the most natural, healthy fabric and they have made it the most popular clothing material. It has been easy to forget that cotton is a crop and as such, it is subject to the same issues as other crops normally considered as food. The last time you drove by a cotton field, did you consider that many of the foods you eat contain a by-product of this very plant?

The cotton plant is comprised of 40% fiber and 60% seed by weight. Once separated in the gin, the fibers go

Always wash new clothes before wearing

Several decades ago, the Dupont logo had the following text attached: “Better living through chemistry.” Since then, many of us have come to realize we are living worse in a toxic environment that includes chemically polluted air, water, food, so called “medicine,” and now even clothing.

Dupont had created Rayon, a synthetic fiber used for much of our clothing. So it made sense to team up with the timber industry to ensure hemp was banned in the late 1930s. Rayon and paper could continue to be made by chemically processing wood from trees without competition.

Clothing clings to skin, our largest organ. Toxic chemicals are used excessively for processing garment fibers and also for manufacturing clothes. Asian and third world countries manufacture most textiles and clothes.

But they supply American and other multinational brand name labels with those clothes to yield high profits based on cheap production in regions without even shoddy regulatory agency protection.

What’s in your new brand name clothing?

After clothes are made, they are often covered with formaldehyde to keep them from wrinkling or becoming mildewed during shipping. Formaldehyde as a preservative also adds to vaccines’ toxicity.

Several severe allergic reactions to formaldehyde have been reported.

New ‘Stealth Wear’ clothing collection protects wearers from drone detection

It may look like something out of a cheap science fiction film, but a new line of clothing developed by a New York City-based fashion designer can reportedly protect you from prying electronic eyes.

The inspiration for the “Stealth Wear” collection of hoodies, burqas and hijabs lined with “metalized fibers that reflect heat, thus evading thermal imaging technology used by drones,” came from several sources, says creator Adam Harvey – Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) research, a trip to Afghanistan and, according the Air Force Times, a “particular interest to challenge authoritarian surveillance.”

“It all came together last year after working with similar materials I use for the pieces now and experimenting with a thermal camera I have on hand,” he told AF Times, adding that inspiration coincided during a trip he took last year, in which he spoke with CBSreporter Mandy Clark about his research.

“She said to me, rather matter-of-factly, that averting surveillance like this is something that happens in the battlefield, that people were using space blankets in the desert to deflect detection,” he said.

‘Leader in privacy technology’

Harvey said he worked with designer Johanna Bloomfield on material that is flexible and metalized, in

Clothing company forced to remove ‘Gluten Free’ T-shirt after 53,000 angry

The Western world has obviously been at peace for far too long and has prospered far too much, because these days we have so little to actually worry about, apparently, that too many of us sit around and wait to be “offended.”

In past tumultuous times, when Europeans and Americans were fighting for their very lives, trivial things were just that – trivial – and what’s more, we could all tell the difference. If something did bother us, we were mature enough to realize that a) there is no global requirement that says every person, everywhere, has a right to never be offended; and b) at some point in time something we all say or do is likely to offendsomeone else, because that’s just the way life works. Or rather, that used to be the way life worked.

As you read this story, try to imagine someone in some bombed-out Syrian hellhole caring much about it.

As reported by the UK’s Daily Mail, clothing retailer Zara pulled a T-shirt emblazoned with a “gluten-free” slogan from shelves after whiny customers complained that it was insensitive, among other things (when in reality, that’s not at all what the company was going for).