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Does Fast Fashion Need To Slow Down?



Americans buy, on average, almost 70 items of clothing a year, and many of those garments are worn just seven to ten times before being thrown away. This breakneck consumption of clothes is only possible because of “fast fashion,” a system in which clothing is made quickly, sold cheaply, and, for the most part, is considered disposable.

This system has consequences both for the workers who make the garments, and for the planet as a whole, according to Dana Thomas, author of “Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes.”

Of course, clothes were not always as cheap and easily replaceable as they are now. A Bureau of Labor Statistics report found that clothing accounted for 14 percent of an average household’s budget in 1900, 12 percent in 1950, and only 4 percent in 2003. In the not too distant past, if you were not rich, you had to sew and mend your garments to make them last.

Garments cost nearly the same amount today as they cost during the Depression, Thomas said, without taking inflation into account. In 2019, for example, an office dress from H&M costs around $25, much like a “secretary special” back in 1935. Except, with inflation, the 1935 outfit would be about $350 in today’s dollars.

So what happened? According to Thomas: technology and globalization.

Manufacturing moved away from the U.S. as companies discovered that it was much cheaper to produce clothes in Mexico, China and Bangladesh. Companies started to change their designs faster, with new clothes dropping every few weeks, instead of in collections being unveiled twice a year.

And fast fashion became increasingly able to “borrow” ideas from high fashion. Clothes, patterns and ideas can now debut on runways in Paris or Milan, and then can be Instagrammed, scanned and put into production by fast fashion brands within just a few days, so consumers can get trendy designs for cheap prices.

So what are the consequences of fast fashion? To start with, Thomas said, when companies moved garment production to Asia, they left behind a lot American workers. By the middle of the 20th century, American garment workers had unions, workplace protections and relatively decent salaries, and the garment industry was an integral part of many towns and cities.

Garment workers in places like Vietnam and Bangladesh, who replaced American workers, are often not treated well. They are paid a fraction of what American workers would be paid, which has allowed companies to sell clothes cheaply and make massive profits.

Thomas points to Amancio Ortega, one of the richest people in the world — worth $68 billion. Meanwhile, garment workers in Bangladesh were being paid $68 per month.

“[Ortega] had made his fortune on the fingers of these people who were being paid $68 a month and couldn’t afford to house and feed and clothe their families,” she said.

The safety conditions that these workers experience are often terrible, as evidenced by the tragic Dhaka garment factory collapse in 2013, in which over 1,000 people were killed. And according to UNICEF, exploitative child labor remains a big part of the fashion supply chain.

There are also significant environmental concerns, Thomas said. Clothing production accounts for an estimated 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and rivers can be destroyed by chemical runoff caused by garment manufacturing.

“I saw [a river] in Ho Chi Minh that was next to a former jeans processing plant,” Thomas said. “The river was dead. It was thick and black like tar because all this synthetic indigo had been dumped in there.”

Is there another way to buy clothes? Thomas says that there is.

“I do believe that when you find out … that the $10 t-shirt means the person who made it was paid 10 cents; that they can’t even afford to house, clothe or feed their families; that it’s probably been dyed with toxic chemicals,” she said, “You go, ‘Oh my God, I had no idea. Maybe I won’t keep investing in this.’”

Thomas said consumers should advocate for “slow fashion,” including clothes that are ethically and sustainably made. Though garments might have a higher price point, they will also be much higher quality.

“Yes, that t-shirt may cost $50,” Thomas said, “but it’s going to last more than five times longer than the one you just bought that’s just a crummy white t-shirt for $10. And it’ll feel so much softer and better.”

Marc Sollinger is a producer at Innovation Hub. Follow him on Twitter at @HarmonyInHead.


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Harvey Weinstein injected himself to get erection before raping woman, trial hears | Ents & Arts News




Harvey Weinstein was a “seasoned predator” who injected himself to get an erection before raping a woman, a court has heard on the opening day of his trial.

The once-powerful Hollywood producer screamed at the alleged rape victim that she “owed” him sex and forced oral sex on another woman, a jury was told.

Weinstein, 67, is standing trial in New York City accused of raping one woman in a hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting a second woman in 2006.

Weinstein walked into court without the frame he has used at previous appearances

Prosecutors claim that the former movie mogul also raped another woman, Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, in the 1990s but that allegation is too old to be charged as a separate crime.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to five charges against him and insists any sexual activity was consensual. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

In her opening statement on Wednesday, prosecutor Meghan Hast called Weinstein a “seasoned predator” and said his female accusers were “no match” for him.

“He was not just a titan in Hollywood. He was a rapist,” she said.

More from Harvey Weinstein

“It is for his complete lack of empathy that he must be held accountable.”

One alleged victim, former production assistant Mimi Haleyi, has claimed publicly that Weinstein forced oral sex on her in his Manhattan home in 2006.

Mimi Haleyi (left) spoke at a news conference with lawyer Gloria Allred
Mimi Haleyi (left) has spoken publicly about being allegedly assaulted by Weinstein

The other accuser in the case alleges that she was raped by Weinstein in a Manhattan hotel in 2013.

Prosecutors told the jury that the alleged rape victim found a needle in a hotel room bathroom after being attacked and realised Weinstein had injected himself to get an erection.

On another occasion, after the woman told Weinstein she had a new boyfriend, he allegedly dragged her into a bedroom while “screaming at her that he owed her one more time,” Ms Hast said.

“He ripped her jeans off so forcefully that it left scratch marks,” the prosecutor added.

It was claimed that Weinstein later told the alleged victim: “I just want to apologise for what happened earlier. I just find you so attractive, I couldn’t resist you.”

In a separate allegation – not included in the charges – prosecutors said Weinstein attacked Sopranos actress Sciorra after giving her a ride home to her Manhattan apartment and forcing his way inside.

“She told him to get out. She told him no. But Harvey Weinstein was undeterred,” Ms Hast said.

Prosecutors are expected to call up to three other women, who are not mentioned in the charges, to give evidence in support of their case.

Ms Hast said: “They will each describe their fear, their shame and their humiliation – the struggle each went through to push their trauma down and show a brave face to the world.”

Defending Weinstein, his lawyer Damon Cheronis told the court that the alleged rape victim sent his client a request that year asking for “time privately” with the producer.

He also claimed she sent Weinstein another message telling him: “I got a new number. I just wanted you to have it… Always good to hear your voice.”

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 22: Harvey Weinstein leaves with his attorney Donna Rotunno at New York City Criminal Court on January 22, 2020 in New York City. Weinstein, a movie producer whose alleged sexual misconduct helped spark the #MeToo movement, pleaded not-guilty on five counts of rape and sexual assault against two unnamed women and faces a possible life sentence in prison. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Weinstein left court using his walking frame

“These aren’t our words,” Mr Cheronis said. “They’re hers.

“It is not a relationship based on fear. You are going to see that.”

During the prosecution’s opening statements, Weinstein sat quietly at the defence table, occasionally sipping water from a plastic cup or writing on a legal pad.

Prosecutors showed pictures on a TV in court intended to convey Weinstein’s power, including one of him with former US President Bill Clinton.

Around 100 people were packed into the courtroom for the opening of the trial, which has been described as the biggest of the #MeToo era.

Weinstein entered the courthouse in New York City on Wednesday without a walking frame, which he has used at previous appearances.

Asked by reporters on his way into court whether he thinks he will get a fair trial, Weinstein replied: “Yes.”

When asked why he believed that, he added: “I have good lawyers.”

As he left court at the end of Wednesday’s proceedings, Weinstein told the reporters he believed the day had been “good”.

Since 2017, more than 80 women, including several famous actresses, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades – although his New York trial involves only two allegations.

He has denied the claims, saying any sexual encounters he had were consensual.

Weinstein’s lawyers say they have “dozens and dozens and dozens of loving emails” from women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 22: Harvey Weinstein arrives at New York City Criminal Court on January 22, 2020 in New York City. Weinstein, a movie producer whose alleged sexual misconduct helped spark the #MeToo movement, pleaded not-guilty on five counts of rape and sexual assault against two unnamed women and faces a possible life sentence in prison. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Weinstein could be jailed for life if convicted

The allegations against Weinstein helped fuel the #MeToo movement, in which women have gone public with misconduct allegations against powerful men in business, entertainment and politics.

But judge James Burke told potential jurors at a previous court hearing: “This trial is not a referendum on the #MeToo movement.

“You must decide this case on the evidence.”

It is expected Weinstein’s trial could take more than a month.

His lawyers applied to have the court case moved out of New York City after claiming it had turned into a “media and entertainment circus”, but the request was rejected by a judge.

Once the New York trial is over, Weinstein faces additional rape and sexual assault charges in Los Angeles which were filed earlier this month.


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Is Sucralose Sweetener Keto Friendly?




We all want to be healthier and have improved overall wellness and quality of life. As such, it is no longer surprising that people will go for food diets that can help them reach their health goals and targets. Some of these diets include the Paleo Diet and the Atkins Diet which promise not just weight loss but also an overall healthy lifestyle. One of the more popular diets, though, which is the ketogenic diet can be quite restrictive to dieters. This is because for the ketogenic diet to be successful, dieters need to maintain what is called a state of ketosis. This means that food items and ingredients need to be chosen carefully in order for individuals to not get kicked out of the said state. So, one important question for keto dieters would be “Is sucralose sweeteners keto-friendly?” In this article, we answer this question so read on to find out more!

The Ketogenic Diet: A Brief Backgrounder

Observing the keto diet means avoiding the intake of foods that are high in carbs such as processed food items, desserts, and starches. This is critical since to be able to achieve the state of metabolism known as ketosis, the body needs to transition from a carb-burning machine to a more efficient fat-burning one.  

The Ketogenic diet will also require that the individual lower their consumption of sugar which means that it can be quite difficult to make certain food items such as dressings, sauces, baked goods,  and beverages sweetened. Fortunately, there are a number of different sweeteners that are still low in carbs that individuals can enjoy on a keto diet.  

Sucralose: Benefits And Side Effects

Sucralose is a form of sweetener that is artificial. It does not undergo metabolism which means that it can pass through the body without being digested. As such, sucralose does not have any added carbs or calories. One of the most popular sweeteners that are sucralose-based is Splenda. This brand is popular in the market as it does not have any taste or flavor that is bitter compared to other sweeteners that are artificial. 

This sweetener was first discovered in the 1070s and it was only accidentally discovered by Leslie Hough and Shashikant Phadnis. It all started with a misunderstanding by Phadnis where instead of testing the powder they had developed, he had the powder tasted. Both researchers noted then that sucralose was sweet and can be used as a form of sugar substitute. Splenda the brand was then introduced in 1999. The world loved the said sweetener due to their sweet taste and the absence of a bitter aftertaste that other sweeteners encounter. 

Some of the health benefits of sucralose may include:

  • Sucralose is neutral for people who want to lose weight: There is evidence to suggest that people can use sucralose and experience neutral BMIs


  • Sucralose can be better for blood sugar levels compared to regular ones-This reduced or better management of blood sugar can help improve levels of blood sugar that can lead to problems such as heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.


On the other hand, below are some of the possible side effects of sucralose include:


  • Sucralose contains other components: While sucralose may be sweet, it can contain other additives such as maltodextrin.


  • Insulin resistance and blood sugar level: Due to some of the said additives found in sucralose, it is safe to say that it can still cause spikes in blood sugar levels


  • Not ideal for heat and baking-  It is best that people do not use sucralose for baking as it cannot tolerate the heat and result in harmful compounds. 



Sucralose does not have any severe side effects but it can produce compounds that are harmful when high temperature is applied to it. Hence, sucralose is not suitable in terms of baking and cooking. Sucralose, then, is much more ideally used as a sweetener that is low in carbs to make food and beverages sweeter such as yogurt and oatmeal.

In addition, while sucralose does not contain any sugars, Splenda has some added dextrose and maltodextrin, two (2) types of carbs that can provide around three (3) additional calories and a gram of carbs per serving.  It must also be noted that while sucralose can be used in recipes as a sugar substitute using a ratio that is 1:1, sucralose that is pure can be a couple of hundred times sweeter than white sugar which means that only a small amount is needed to make one’s beverages and food items sweet.

Other Possible Keto Sugar Alternatives

Listed below are some of the other possible sugar alternatives for those who want to observe a low-carb diet such as the keto diet:


This sweetener is a natural one and can be obtained from the plant known as Stevia Rebaudiana. It is also classified as a sweetener that is non nutritive which means that stevia does not or has significantly reduced levels of carbs or calories. Compared to regular table sugar, studies conducted on human beings and animals have shown that the said natural sweetener may aid the body in having blood levels reduced and lowered. Stevia can also be acquired in powdered and liquid form and can be utilized to make desserts and drinks sweeter. Stevia, though, is also significantly sweeter compared to table sugar so reduced amounts of stevia are required to get the same sweet taste per serving of regular sugar. In fact, one only needs four (4) grams of stevia to equal the sweetness of 200 grams of sugar.


This sweetener is a form of sugar alcohol which is a class of compounds that are naturally occurring which can lead to the stimulation of the receptors on the tongue to imitate how sugar tastes like. It is around 80% sweet just like table sugar but it only contains 0.2 calories per gram which are just 5% of total calories present in sugar. In addition, while erythritol contains carbs in the amount of 4 grams per tsp (teaspoon), there is evidence to suggest that it can lead to reduced levels of blood sugar. It also does not cause any issues or problems with the digestive system like other sugar alcohols due to a molecular weight that is smaller. This sweetener is ideal for many different recipes as a sugar substitute and can be utilized for cooking and baking. It must be noted though that this sweetener can provide a mouthfeel that can be quite cooling and unlike sugar, does not dissolve that easily. This can result in certain food items having a texture that is a bit gritty.


Similar to erythritol, Xylitol is another form of sugar alcohol and is commonly used for certain products like mints, candies, and gums that are sugar-free. Its sweetness is comparable to that of sugar but it only contains 4 grams of carbs and 3 grams of calories per 4 grams of serving (Teaspoon). However, just like other sugar alcohols, xylitol carbs are not counted as net carbs as these do not increase the levels of sugar in the blood as well as the levels of insulin compared to regular sugar.


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