Fashion Innovation to Tackle Climate Change

By Teresa Madaleno : madalenomagazine – excerpt

When we break down the basic supply chain of a garment, we have to consider crop production, fiber production, clothing production, and distribution. To bring seed to life requires machinery that is fueled in order to operate, to make fibers, spinning and chemical processing is needed, and garment making calls for power for factories, machines, temperature controls, lighting, and office equipment. As for distribution – freight transportation, which requires fuel power, is expected to triple by 2040.

The good news… more innovators are stepping forward to disrupt traditional processes in the fashion industry to help create a more circular, environmental system. A circular system is designed to eliminate waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, as well as regenerate natural systems.

Here are some innovators you should take a look at:

  • The French company Fairbrics has created carbon-negative synthetic fiber. They sequester and convert carbon dioxide into polyester pellets to make textiles. This sustainable alternative to traditional fabrics still looks and feels just like virgin polyester.
  • tentree is a Vancouver based corporation that sells activewear that is produced from various blends of sustainable textiles. The company plants ten trees for every piece of clothing that is purchased, hence the name.
  • Established in Portland, Oregon, Pact has started to develop a hold in the fashion space. Pact is known for using eco-friendly organic cotton. The production of organic cotton eliminates the need for harsh chemicals and is a soft, comfortable fabric. Organic cotton uses over 90 percent less water than traditional cotton production.
  • Dresst is a Toronto clothing rental business that makes it possible for you to always dress in something new but not be a contributor to what has become our throw-away society. Dresst sources high quality, on-trend fashions. They rent outfits at affordable prices.
  • The NYC-based brand Rag & Bone oozes cool. I had to include them not only because I love New York City, but because Rag & Bone is hip in so many ways. The company marries British style with modern design. The staff makes clothing for women and men. They have a denim recycling program, so you can take in an old pair of jeans and they will turn them into a new pair. How neat is that? Aside from having their own website, Rag & Bone is available on Amazon.
  • Yoga Jeans is a Quebec company that specializes in designing and producing comfy, form-fitting jeans in a sustainable way, including the use of BCI cotton, and water conservation practices.

There are many other great fashion innovators in terms of protecting the environment, but I hope this list of options inspires you to consider sustainable brands and do your own search to find that perfect eco-fit… (more)


America’s Biggest Cities Were Already Losing Their Allure. What Happens Next?

By Sabrina Tavernise and : nytimes – excerpt

The urge among some residents to leave because of the coronavirus may be temporary. But it follows a deeper, more powerful demographic trend.

Even before the coronavirus, Nina Brajovic wasn’t so sure about her life in New York. As a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, she spent most weeks out of town traveling for work. She often wondered whether she could do her same job for cheaper — and more easily — while based in her hometown, Pittsburgh.

Over the past month, she has gotten a sneak peek of that life, moving back in with her parents to avoid the wall-to-wall density of New York and working out of her childhood bedroom. She is now savoring life’s slowness, eating her father’s soup and watching movies on an L-shaped couch with her mom…

The country’s three largest metropolitan areas, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, all lost population in the past several years, according to an analysis by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. Even slightly smaller metro areas, like Houston, Washington, D.C., and Miami grew more slowly than before. In all, growth in the country’s major metropolitan areas fell by nearly half over the course of the past decade, Mr. Frey found…. (more)

A Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients

By Lizzie Presser: prepublication – excerpt It first struck me how different it was when I saw my first coronavirus patient go bad. I was like, Holy shit, this is not the flu. Watching this relatively young guy, gasping for air, pink frothy secretions coming out of his tube.” As of Friday, Louisiana was reporting … Continue reading “A Medical Worker Describes Terrifying Lung Failure From COVID-19 — Even in His Young Patients”

By Lizzie Presser: prepublication – excerpt

It first struck me how different it was when I saw my first coronavirus patient go bad. I was like, Holy shit, this is not the flu. Watching this relatively young guy, gasping for air, pink frothy secretions coming out of his tube.”

As of Friday, Louisiana was reporting 479 confirmed cases of COVID-19, one of the highest numbers in the country. Ten people had died. The majority of cases are in New Orleans, which now has one confirmed case for every 1,000 residents. New Orleans had held Mardi Gras celebrations just two weeks before its first patient, with more than a million revelers on its streets…

I work 12-hour shifts. Right now, we are running about four times the number of ventilators than we normally have going. We have such a large volume of patients, but it’s really hard to find enough people to fill all the shifts. The caregiver-to-patient ratio has gone down, and you can’t spend as much time with each patient, you can’t adjust the vent settings as aggressively because you’re not going into the room as often. And we’re also trying to avoid going into the room as much as possible to reduce infection risk of staff and to conserve personal protective equipment.”

“But we are trying to wean down the settings on the ventilator as much as possible, because you don’t want someone to be on the ventilator longer than they need to be. Your risk of mortality increases every day that you spend on a ventilator. The high pressures from high vent settings is pushing air into the lung and can overinflate those little balloons. They can pop. It can destroy the alveoli. Even if you survive ARDS, although some damage can heal, it can also do long-lasting damage to the lungs. They can get filled up with scar tissue. ARDS can lead to cognitive decline. Some people’s muscles waste away, and it takes them a long time to recover once they come off the ventilator(more)

This report on the uptick in COVID-19 cases 2 weeks after Mart Gras in New Orleans seems to give some credence to the 2 week period of incubation of the virus. We may expect to see similar stories of young people returning from spring break in Florida getting sick. Share with whoever should see this. I was also looking for some information on what the long term damage should be and found it here. So far the only stats being shared with the public are the death tolls and recovery numbers. No information on long term effects of the disease until now. If this is any indication of what recovery looks like, survivors will need long term care.

One year later, Amazon’s HQ2 drives massive housing shortage in Virginia

inman – excerpt

Since the retail giant announced plans to build an HQ2 office in Arlington County, Virginia, home prices have grown 32.9 percent year-over-year. Meanwhile, active listings are down 49 percent.

Last fall, Amazon changed Virginia forever when it announced its decision to locate a much-hyped HQ2 office facility in the state’s Arlington County.

And now, exactly one year later to the day, the impacts of that announcement on the area’s real estate have come into focus: There are inventory shortages, skyrocketing prices and “a blistering pace of sales.”

That’s the verdict of a new report, released Wednesday, from The report ultimately concludes that Amazon’s announcement had an “immediate effect” on the area’s housing market, and that “the aftermath has been felt throughout the area since then.”… (more)

National Trends Organic Urbanism is the Cure for New Urbanism By Douglas Newby : newgeography – excerpt

Organic Urbanism is the Cure for New Urbanism

By Douglas Newby : newgeography – excerpt

The New Normal. Who needs trees when you can have cranes and 100’s of thousands of new neighbors?

New Urbanism is like a virus. For 50 years it keeps coming back in mutated forms. It needs a cure.

First, the only thing new in New Urbanism is the new construction that tears down the organic city. A form of New Urbanism has been around for 50 years. Like I said, it is a virus that keeps coming back in mutated forms. But the scheme, of more density, new mixed-use construction, and fixed rail transit, replacing existing homes remains constant. The desire of planners to determine where you live and where you work also remains constant. New urbanists increasingly do not like single family homes, which most Americans prefer… (more)

Gavin Newsom Won’t Block Building in High-Fire Areas

By Kathleen Ronayne : nbclosangeles – excerpt

A desire to live near nature is embedded in California’s ethos, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday as he explained why he doesn’t want to block home building near forested areas at high risk for wildfires.

“There’s something that is truly Californian about the wilderness and the wild and pioneering spirit,” Newsom said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I’m not advocating for no (building).”

Newsom on Friday released a report outlining the challenges of California’s growing wildfire threat that suggested local government “de-emphasize” building in high-risk areas around forests. But he told the AP it was a loose suggestion aimed at starting a debate about how Californians can build smarter and closer to urban centers and economic hubs.

More than 2.7 million Californians live in areas state fire officials say are at a very high hazard for wildfires, according to an AP analysis of census data and state fire maps. Nearly 180 cities and towns are in those very high hazard areas…(more)

Good of Newsom to avoid more state regulations on local communities be they urban or not. Fires do not stop at city limits. One can hardly label Santa Rosa and the Oakland Hills as rural areas and the worst damage in an earthquake is often caused by fires and water used to put them out.

53 percent of Californians want to leave the state, according to new survey

By Alix Martichoux : sfgate – excerpt

Dreaming of greener (read: cheaper) pastures? You’re not alone.

According to a new survey by Edelman Intelligence, 53 percent of Californians are considering moving out of state due to the high cost of living. Millennials are even more likely to flee the Golden State — 63 percent of them said they want to.

Bay Area residents surveyed were especially sensitive to affordability issues, and it’s no surprise. The median home value in San Francisco is $1.37 million, according to Zillow, and $1.09 million in San Jose. In Edelman’s survey, 76 percent of Bay Area residents say they consider cost and availability of housing to be a serious issue.

It’s not just people fleeing the Bay Area — these businesses are leaving, too

Why people leave the SF Bay Area besides housing costs (more)

What Happened When I Bought a House With Solar Panels

By Esmé E. Deprez : bloomberg – excerpt

Third-party ownership and decades-long contracts can create real headaches.

On a rare rainy day early last year, my husband, Alex, and I toured what, with any luck, would become the most exciting and daunting purchase of our lives: a cream-colored bungalow-style fixer-upper, built in 1924, a few blocks from our rental in Santa Barbara, Calif. What the house lacked in curb appeal, it more than made up for in charm and utility: the original built-in cupboards in the dining room, the way the light streamed in from copious windows, the fenced backyard for our wirehaired mutt. Moldy linoleum in the bathroom would be easy to rip up. A shower head inexplicably hanging above the kitchen sink would be easy to rip out. The location was a big draw, as was, at least initially, the fact that the red pitched roof of the two-car garage was outfitted with 17 solar panels. We’d get to do our bit for the planet…

I’d soon learn that the system was tied to the title of the house. It appeared that if we bought Jug’s place, we’d have to assume his lease arrangement with Sunrun. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this as a buyer, but it definitely piqued my curiosity as a journalist. I set out to examine the value proposition carefully…

There’s more to the story, including the fact that Jug’s solar panels never worked at full efficiency. This was because of what Sunrun characterized as “severe shading” caused by the next-door neighbor’s tree. That’s right: Sunrun installed the system beneath a big old tree. This makes me again question the judgment of Jug’s salesperson. Sunrun has a production guarantee—if the system underperforms, you get a credit. In Jug’s case, $203 was credited to his account on July 17, 2017, half a year after his death… (more)

We need to push the state legislators to fix the”severe shading” problem caused by both trees and higher denser buildings going up nearby solar panel powered roof systems. Now that they are required on some homes, they should be protected from shadows. Perhaps this is a case for the courts to decide?

Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same

By Justin Fox : bloomberg – excerpt

Cheap stick framing has led to a proliferation of blocky, forgettable mid-rises—and more than a few construction fires.

These buildings are in almost every U.S. city. They range from three to seven stories tall and can stretch for blocks. They’re usually full of rental apartments, but they can also house college dorms, condominiums, hotels, or assisted-living facilities. Close to city centers, they tend toward a blocky, often colorful modernism; out in the suburbs, their architecture is more likely to feature peaked roofs and historical motifs. Their outer walls are covered with fiber cement, metal, stucco, or bricks…(more)


Can California Afford Everything Gavin Newsom Wants?

By Joe Garofoli on Political Punch: sfchronicle – (includes podcast)

San Francisco Democrat Phil Ting has a powerful seat as the head of the Assembly’s Budget Committee. Ting will be extra busy when budget hearings start in a few weeks especially with Gov. Gavin Newsom proposing all sorts of new programs, from offering a second free year of community college to expanding the earned income tax credit to a million more people.

The good news for Newsom is that there’s a $21 billion budget surplus this year. And Ting said that there is money for many of Newsom’s priorities.

But, Ting cautions, just because the Democrats have a two-thirds-plus supermajority in the Legislature doesn’t mean all those Democrats are San Francisco progressives. On an “It’s All Political” podcast with Chronicle senior political writer Joe Garofoli, he ticks off what bills have a good shot of making it through the Legislature and which ones will have trouble. Listen here.

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