• The future is fluid as labels sign up for gender-free fashion
    Style
    The Guardian

    The future is fluid as labels sign up for gender-free fashion

    The future is fluid as labels sign up for gender-free fashion. Pop stars and designers drive a growing trend for non-binary outfits

  • Naomi Campbell: ‘I will not be held hostage to my past’
    Style
    The Guardian

    Naomi Campbell: ‘I will not be held hostage to my past’

    Naomi Campbell: ‘I will not be held hostage to my past’. The supermodel opens up about friends, enemies, taking on the tabloids – and fashion’s new world order

  • The best lip balms
    Style
    The Guardian

    The best lip balms

    The best lip balmsSeeking the holy grail of lip balms is a life’s work, and I take my calling seriously‘The best products can fix winter lips in a day or two.’ Photograph: Alex Lake/The Guardian

  • Bianca Andreescu says she wants Gucci sunglasses for Christmas
    Style
    Alyssa Tria

    Bianca Andreescu says she wants Gucci sunglasses for Christmas

    A Grand Slam Champ and a high-key fashionista.

  • Time is running out to shop Nordstrom's Fall Sale event
    Style
    Kate Mendonca

    Time is running out to shop Nordstrom's Fall Sale event

    Going, going, gone.

  • There's now a 'Frozen' outerwear collection
    Style
    Alyssa Tria

    There's now a 'Frozen' outerwear collection

    Do you want to build a snowman?

  • How to wear a big easy coat
    Style
    The Guardian

    How to wear a big easy coat

    ‘A great coat isn’t just a coat that keeps you warm, it’s a coat that makes you feel great.’ Photograph: David Newby/The GuardianA coat that you love is the best fashion investment you can make. Your coat is what you put on as you leave the house on a cold morning. It is what stands between you and the outside world when the outside world is at its least friendly. A great party dress for a fun night out is the icing on a cake – but cake is delicious anyway. A great coat, on the other hand, is a cup of tea and a jaffa cake when you are cold and tired and hungry.It goes without saying that practicality is paramount. But a great coat isn’t just a coat that keeps you warm, it’s a coat that makes you feel great. It is this that differentiates a great coat from a perfectly serviceable coat. The days when life feels a bit as though you are walking uphill into the wind are the days when you most need a reminder of the poetry to be found in a slice of blue sky, a free Pret coffee, or the comfort of a soft collar flipped up against the elements.Much of this is sensory, but it is also about style. With this winter’s most of-the-moment coats, the two go hand in hand. This year’s coat is soft and unstructured and oversized. A big, easy coat. It is not the formal, Crombie-line tailored type very popular with both men and women a few years ago, which looks a bit like a supercharged suit jacket. The Crombie style is useful because it instantly makes you look smart, but having suit-styled lapels doesn’t keep you warm in the crucial décolleté area (this is why Emmanuel Macron, who favours this style, is such a dab hand with a scarf).The big easy is also distinct from the utility family of coats, of parkas and cagoules with disproportionately prominent hoods. Mega-hoodie coats are cosy in horrible weather, but make you feel like a cave-dweller when you wear them every day.A big easy is both practical and civilised. It could be an unstructured trench, a blanket coat, or just a big soft hug of a woollen coat, like this one. It works best when the supersized volume is offset by minimal styling: a neutral colour, minimal detailing, not too many zips or storm flaps or sleeve detailings. Just a forgivingly sized, easy-to-shrug-on coat that envelopes you in warmth and pulls your look together even when you are wearing two pairs of socks and an extra cardi.Find a coat that you love. They give the best hugs.

  • Club Monaco launches their Heritage Crest Collection
    Style
    Alyssa Tria

    Club Monaco launches their Heritage Crest Collection

    A seven-piece unisex capsule which includes vintage-inspired styles.

  • From designer dogs to face masks: this week’s fashion trends
    Style
    The Guardian

    From designer dogs to face masks: this week’s fashion trends

    What’s hot and what’s not in fashion this week. Going up Designer dogs “Belly rubs are modern couture”, according to @dogsinrick, an Instagram account dedicated to pooches wearing Rick Owens. Draped chainmail The strappy backless top you bought from Morgan in 1998 is back. See: young people on the internet. Glovely nails Schiaparelli’s Daniel Roseberry made a glittering version of the founder’s 1936 pair for SS20, complete with red tips. Goodbye chipped manicures! Pockets Stick your hands in to project relaxed vibes – see pics in which the Queen was branded a “badass”. Going down Taking photos So passé. Signs at the entrance to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Oscars afterparty stated, “This is the last picture you’ll take”, according to guest Emilia Clarke. Horn-rimmed glasses It’s all about “squoval” Atticus Finch-style specs, as worn by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to question Mark Zuckerberg. Daytime heels Dead – in London, New York, and Paris – according to Zadie Smith. RIP. Face masks Swap for skin pastes this winter. Leave on overnight: ideal for the time-poor. Soya Food brands will switch to mung beans and hemp seeds in 2020, according to Whole Foods forecasters. Make mine a watermelon seed latte.

  • Kate Spade is having a huge pre-Black Friday sale right now
    Style
    Alyssa Tria

    Kate Spade is having a huge pre-Black Friday sale right now

    With up to 50% off, it's the perfect time to shop for gifts... and maybe yourself, too.

  • Beat Black Friday and save 30% off with Coach's Ready, Set, Holiday sale
    Style
    Kate Mendonca

    Beat Black Friday and save 30% off with Coach's Ready, Set, Holiday sale

    Act fast before your favourites sell out.

  • The rise of the VSCO girl – and how to spot one
    Style
    The Guardian

    The rise of the VSCO girl – and how to spot one

    VSCO girls have ‘a look’. (Posed by models) Composite: Guardian Design; Carol Yepes/akiyoko/Getty Images/iStockphotoThis week, the New York Times published an article advising on what to do when your tween wants to be part of the “VSCO girl” trend – a sure sign that parents have cottoned on, and the trend will be “ovah” by Christmas. Until then, here is what you need to know: What is a “VSCO girl”? The name is derived from the photo-editing app VSCO (say “visco”), a kind of Instagram 2.0 in which everyday images are given added poignancy with filters. In the last year, it has become shorthand for a particular type of teen: typically white, wealthy and eco-conscious – the Cut succinctly described it as “manic pixie ecowarrior”. Being a VSCO girl is often embraced and mocked by those who subscribe to the trend. Add the teen popularity of shortform video-sharing app TikTok, where VSCO girl impersonations are rife, and you have a meme. Is it a fashion thing? Partly. VSCO girls certainly have “a look”: laid-back, beach-ready, youthful. Parodies and “starter pack” memes tend to reference oversized T-shirts, pukka shell chokers, Hydro Flasks, scrunchies (usually several), “ugly” shoes and Carmex lip balm. Brands such as Brandy Melville, Urban Outfitters and the backpack favourite Fjällräven also get a mention. VSCO girls look as if they are always on holiday, but their aesthetic is the opposite of the Fashion Nova-heavy, super-contoured look associated with Instagram influencers. Buzzfeed likened VSCO girl style to that of The OC’s Marissa Cooper, “except the girls wearing the look are too young to have heard of The OC”. Are there any famous VSCO girls? YouTuber Emma Chamberlain, off-duty Ariana Grande and even Princess Diana have all been said to subscribe to the trend. Any other traits VSCO girls share? Like all the best subcultures, VSCO girls have their own language. Commonly used phrases such as “and I – oop” – a reference to the drag queen Jasmine Masters – as well as “sksksk” (a phrase often attributed to black/stan Twitter, which represents a sort of typed shock) are often amplified within parodies. VSCO girl “transformation videos” – another trope of the trend – also tend to feature girls putting their hair in messy buns and eating avocado toast, before admitting that, actually, perhaps they were a little bit VSCO to begin with.

  • The ecstatic rise of rainbow hair: ‘I have one life. I’m going to live it colourfully!’
    Style
    The Guardian

    The ecstatic rise of rainbow hair: ‘I have one life. I’m going to live it colourfully!’

    ‘I view my hair like a canvas’ … Amina Mucciolo. Photograph: Image provided by Amina MuccioloWe are facing the prospect of a few gloomy grey months ahead, with a general election on the horizon, and no end to the Brexit impasse in sight. But one trend has emerged to brighten up these damp winter days.Not long ago you would see rainbow hair only on celebrities such as Katy Perry or Nicki Minaj, or people in the cosplay community. Not any more. What was once a wacky trend is now beloved of ordinary women. Look around your local coffee shop, or observe mothers on the school run, and you may see the rainbow hair trend for yourself. It’s certainly hard to miss.Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s rainbow hair streamed behind her as the Jamaican sprinter took gold in the 100m final of the World Championships this year. The Hate U Give actor Amandla Stenberg sported rainbow box braids at the BET awards in July 2018, while members of the K-pop supergroup BTS rock pastel rainbow hair, to the delight of their teenage fans.Although brightly coloured hair is becoming more socially acceptable, not all employers are on board. Kerry Lawrence-Sutton, 32, from Cambridgeshire, recently had the offer of a teaching assistant job rescinded, after the headteacher objected to her hair. “I was gutted,” Lawrence-Sutton tells me. “I’m really good at my job.”So to rainbow or not to rainbow? We asked five women who have taken the leap. Fiona Sharpe, 53, a communities consultant from BrightonFiona Sharpe: ‘At work, everything is grey, so I think it’s nice to bring a bit of colour into it.’ Photograph: Linda Nylind/The GuardianMy hair is how people identify me: Fiona with the crazy hair. I have to sit in meetings with council representatives and statutory agencies for work, where everything is terribly grey, so I think it’s nice to bring a bit of colour into it. I have had negative feedback: a man once asked me in a meeting when I was going to grow up. I just shrugged and said: “You mean, when am I going to be boring? I hope, never.” He didn’t have a comeback.Apart from my hair, I would describe myself as a not-particularly-adventurous grownup. People can be surprised when they find out I have a serious job – a customs officer in Gatwick Airport once insisted I had to be an artist because of my hair.I have no idea what colour my natural hair is. I have been dyeing it since I was 20. If I had to guess, I’d say it was brown. I have a fabulous hairdresser, who happens to be my nephew. He messages me and says: “Aunty Fi, I have new colours in. Want to play?” Jan St John-Knight, 48, a learning and development professional from the Isle of SheppeyJan St John-Knight: ‘My sense of being different comes out in my hair.’ Photograph: Sarah Lee/The GuardianAbout six years ago, I dyed my hair blue. I was the only mum in the playground with blue hair for a while – until one day, when everyone had blue hair, I went to the salon and had nine colours put in. When I came back I thought: no one will have hair like this.I don’t see myself as a looker. I’m not one of those women who could go around with crap hair and still look nice. I never have been. So getting my hair done has always made me feel good about myself.Five years ago, I was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When you have ADHD, you are different anyway. Growing up, people would always say how unconventional I was. I’m happy with that. I guess my sense of being different comes out in my hair.I’ve had a mostly positive response. Last week, I was in Morrisons getting breakfast and this toddler came up to me with his mum. She said: “My son loves your hair! He wants to give you a kiss.” People tell me a lot that I’m brave, which I find odd. You would wear brightly coloured eyeshadow – why not colour your hair? Amina Mucciolo, 36, an artist and designer from Los AngelesAmina Mucciolo: ‘I have one life, so I’m going to live it colourfully.’ Photograph: Image provided by Amina MuccioloI have always loved colour, but it’s only recently that I have embraced it fully. Being colourful makes me feel the most like myself.Growing up black in America in the 80s and 90s, there was a lot of pressure to meet people’s expectations of how you should dress and look. It was only when I got older that I realised that stuff didn’t matter. I have one life, so I’m going to live it colourfully.I think I have around 27 colours in my hair. I used to do box braids with coloured yarn, but now I use synthetic hair. I do it all myself – it takes four or five days to complete, and I do it once a month. I find the process very meditative.Colourful hair is definitely a big trend. I never saw anyone with hair like mine five years ago, but now I see people my grandma’s age with pink hair! It’s becoming more acceptable, which is awesome.I view my hair like a canvas. I plan it in the way I plan my artistic projects. It’s a living piece of art. Amy Witham, 24, a social media influencer from MiddlesbroughAmy Witham: ‘My hair has actually become my career.’ Photograph: Image provided by Amy WithamMy mum is always getting angry at me for staining the bathtub with my hair dye! The purple dye is the worst. It really makes a mess.I have dyed my hair since I was 12, but went rainbow about six years ago. I do it all myself; I always have. I find it really easy because I’ve been doing it for so long – I can even bleach my roots now without looking in the mirror. I bleach my roots every two weeks, and then top up my colour by mixing some dye into my conditioner every time I wash my hair. Originally, I started out with rainbow highlights, but I found an ombré was easier to maintain. Conditioner is definitely my biggest expense – I spend at least £50 a month.My hair has actually become my career, which I never expected. I used to work at Superdrug! Now, I work with hair and beauty brands, and post sponsored content on my Instagram. It’s funny because when I was younger people used to make fun of me for sitting in my bedroom and taking pictures of myself. But now that’s the norm.Sometimes, people send me photographs of Chinese brands claiming they have done my hair, or my pictures in the window of salons in America. It happens all the time. It’s annoying, because no one else has done my hair. It’s all me.Ayofemi Holloway: ‘This wig is like colour therapy.’ Photograph: Gareth Phillips/The Guardian Ayofemi Holloway, 32, a salon manager from SwanseaWhen I was younger, I would never have worn my hair like this. I was painfully shy back then. My mum used to plait my hair into one braid, and people would call me Rhino Head. I think when you’re a black woman, society wants you to make other people feel comfortable. You have to wear a black wig or a black weave to fit in. But since having my children, I’m so much more confident. If I want rainbow hair, I’m having rainbow hair.I was browsing Pinterest in August when I came across Amina’s [Mucciolo] pictures. I thought she looked incredible. At first, I got rainbow box braids: my mum did them for me, at her salon. They looked brilliant, but I had to take them out in September, and my mum hasn’t had time to put them back in again – it takes eight hours, and she’s a very busy lady.I still love the rainbow-hair look, so since then I have been wearing a rainbow wig every day. For me, this wig is like colour therapy. It just cheers me up. When I have rainbow hair, I feel young and bouncy. I feel fun: like the day’s going to be great.Rainbow hair: how to get started

  • Millie Bobby Brown responds to fashion trolls: 'I honestly actually feel really bad for them'
    Style
    Hope Schreiber

    Millie Bobby Brown responds to fashion trolls: 'I honestly actually feel really bad for them'

    Millie Bobby Brown, 15, responds to critics who claim her red carpet outfits are "inappropriate."

  • 'Hold on tight': Tessa Virtue shows off sultry side ahead of ice dancing retirement
    Style
    Elizabeth Di Filippo

    'Hold on tight': Tessa Virtue shows off sultry side ahead of ice dancing retirement

    "This gave me heart palpitations."

  • The best fashion deals to look out for this Black Friday
    Style
    Kate Mendonca

    The best fashion deals to look out for this Black Friday

    You'll want to get your credit cards ready.

  • Rise of the topknot: why big buns are everywhere
    Style
    The Guardian

    Rise of the topknot: why big buns are everywhere

    From off-duty models to Instagram yogis, and Rihanna on the red carpet, the messy ’do is a celebrity and influencer staple. Of course you can blame the internet. How did a hairstyle that once signified “off to the garage for some milk” become a fashion phenomenon? Because that’s where we are at with the high bun – or topknot – a hairstyle that is popping up everywhere. The ’do is fast becoming a red-carpet staple, seen on stars from Jennifer Lopez to Katy Perry to Rihanna. At the People’s Choice awards on Sunday, Zendaya wore an unstructured version, while her 16-year-old Euphoria co-star Storm Reid wore a towering bun topped with a star-shaped pin. Last month, when the British women’s team competed at the World Artistic Gymnastics championships in Stuttgart, all six wore the hairstyle. Like its embarrassing cousin, the man bun, it has developed vague wellnessy connotations. It’s the style of choice for Hollywood types doing yoga or posting sweaty but flattering post-gym pictures. For such an easy style, there are countless online tutorials on how to achieve it, such as the one on motherandbaby.co.uk, which promises a “no-wash topknot for busy mornings”. On the catwalk, the style projects an effortless vibe. Last year, 77 of the 81 Chanel models at one show wore a bun, which the hairstylist Sam McKnight said was “inspired by the models themselves – when they grab their hair after a show and shove it up in a messy topknot tied with elastic”. In September, at London fashion week, Victoria Beckham took her bow in hard-working designer mode, wearing a messy topknot; the tonsorial equivalent of rolling her sleeves up. Ursula Stephen – Zendaya’s hairdresser and the mastermind of many red-carpet topknots – described it as “one of those Coachella kind of things. Kind of like no-makeup makeup.” Some of the topknot’s biggest proponents are those who live their private moments in public. On Instagram, it is perfect for casually hanging out in the bath while telling your followers how great your new shampoo is with the tagline: #ad #sponcontent. The Kardashians are big fans, obviously. And, really, it is internet hair. Unlike the ballerina bun, or the chignon at the nape of the neck, it is fully visible from the front. Marni Senofonte – a one-woman social-media trend machine who is best known as “Beyoncé’s Instagram stylist” – wears a 3in-high topknot. Her hair is instantly recognisable, the smartphone era equivalent of Anna Wintour’s bob. The topknot also, of course, has a deep significance in many religions, including Sikhism and Buddhism. Indeed, when you delve into the history of the topknot, it is difficult to interpret its western rise as anything but a borrowing – subconsciously or otherwise – from eastern cultures. This is most clearly demonstrated by the version seen on celebrities, such as Miley Cyrus, or off-duty models doing chakrasanas on Instagram. In kundalini yoga, wearing a knot on top of the head, for energetic effect, is part of the practice. Photographs of celebrity fans, including Russell Brand, wearing topknots while meditating, may well have seeped into the western zeitgeist. Like the man bun, which tends to be worn a little lower down the crown, this version of the topknot seems to bring with it a hazy sense of enlightenment and urban creativity. It’s popular in Hollywood. For Susie Lau, a fashion writer and street-style star who has been wearing her topknot for about a decade, adopting the style did not feel hugely groundbreaking because in Japan and Hong Kong, where she has family and frequently travels, “it feels less of a style statement and more like an everyday hairstyle”. Lau points out that the hairstyle looks similar to that worn by men in China during the Ming dynasty. Yet in the UK, it was not really fashionable until fairly recently, according to Rachael Gibson who runs an Instagram account dedicated to the history of hair. Historically, western up-dos, such as the apollo knot of the 1800s, were intricate and extravagant, a straight-up sign of “conspicuous consumption”, indicating their wearer as “lady of leisure”. On the contrary, she says, the modern topknot ties into a different modern aspiration – the “dread of the salon blow-dry – people wanting to move away from looking ‘done’”. Topknots are particularly popular among teenage girls and women in their early 20s. The hairdresser Charlotte Mensah agrees that the buns are getting higher. “It’s such a thing. My daughter, who is 18, loves wearing her hair like that. All her friends at uni do.” For young fans the inspiration might be Zoella, the YouTube star who has very long, very thick hair, and whose “ How to: Messy Bun” tutorial has been viewed more than 12m times. Or it could be the Love Island star Molly-Mae Hague, whose bun is “a celeb in its own right” according to Cosmopolitan. A tutorial posted by Hague in the summer underlined the class issues inherent in the topknot. Without expensive extensions to twist into a luxuriant bun, some fans claimed that the slick-sided ’do made them “ look like Miss Trunchbull”. Gibson warns against classifying the style as democratic. “It is always clean, thick hair, artfully done on Instagram. You wonder if people would have a different opinion if they saw a normal working-class woman wearing a topknot. If I put my hair up like that with no makeup on to take the bins out, people are not going to say: ‘She looks incredible.’” For some hair types, though, it is genuinely easy – and cheap – to achieve. Lau, for one, advocates it for difficult weather. “I remember the first time I did it. I was in Stockholm in the winter and it was snowing really hard and super windy – it was more a practical thing.” Mensah says it can save women a lot of time. It works well on hair that is “lived in”, perhaps because it hasn’t been washed for a couple of days. “The knottier and more mussed the hair the better.” For afro hair, it is “a great look for second- or third-day twist out”. Stephen even believes it gives “an instant facelift”. No wonder it is popular. It is likely to stay that way, too, because its silhouette so perfectly suits the lens of a front-facing camera. Because, in 2019, if you can’t see your bun on social media, did it even happen?

  • Is carbon neutrality the silver bullet fashion has been hoping for?
    Style
    The Guardian

    Is carbon neutrality the silver bullet fashion has been hoping for?

    From left: a model on the runway at the Gabriela Hearst show SS20, a Sheep Inc wool jumper, and a Ganni lurex top. Composite: PixelFormula/Sipa/Rex/ShutterstockTiny clutch bags, conceptual knitwear and carbon neutrality – the ideas that fashion chooses to embrace each season aren’t always those you might expect. But thanks to a recent shift, no doubt spurred on by the “Greta Thunberg effect”, carbon – as well as the practice of offsetting it – has become a hot topic for many of the biggest names in the fashion industry.At New York fashion week in September, luxury fashion designer Gabriela Hearst staged fashion’s first carbon-neutral catwalk show. Hot on its heels, Gucci announced it would go carbon neutral with chief executive, Marco Bizzarri, stating that “the planet has gone too far”. Next up, luxury fashion conglomerate Kering, owner of big-name brands such as Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta, announced that its entire group would offset 2.4m tonnes of carbon dioxide in a bid to “become carbon-neutral within its own operations and across the entire supply chain.”It’s not just high-fashion that is looking to cut the size of its carbon footprint. In April, footwear brand Allbirds announced it would impose a carbon tax on itself. Not long after, San Francisco-based fashion company Everlane reported it had come up with a pair of carbon-neutral trainers.Sheep Inc. Photograph: Publicity ImageA small section of the industry is going one step further. October saw the launch of a brand called Sheep Inc, which is hoping to be the “world’s first carbon negative brand”, offsetting tenfold its emissions via investment in biodiversity projects. Another recent innovation has seen the creation of clothes made from what have been gorily called “carbon-sucking organisms”.Defined as “calculating your total climate-damaging carbon emissions, reducing them where possible, and then balancing your remaining emissions, often by purchasing a carbon offset: paying to plant new trees or investing in “green” technologies such as solar and wind power,” carbon neutrality is something some labels have been talking about for years. US brand Reformation has been describing itself as carbon neutral since 2015 and Ganni, a mid-range Scandinavian brand popular with millennial floaty frock lovers, introduced “climate compensated” clothing in 2016. Its website explained: “In order to do business, we can’t completely eradicate our emissions but we monitor our impact, reduce what we can and climate compensate the rest.”Reformation AW19. Photograph: Publicity ImageCarbon neutrality as fashion must-have hasn’t happened in a vacuum. The industry, which is responsible for “around 10% of all global greenhouse gas emissions,” according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, has come under increasing scrutiny. If it were to continue to grow at current rates, it could use more than a quarter of the world’s annual carbon budget by 2050.But is carbon neutrality and offsetting, with which brands are hoping to repent for decades of wrongs, the silver bullet many will be hoping for?“Carbon footprint” – an oft-repeated phrase that attempts to simplify the idea of how much carbon any given activity emits into the atmosphere – is far from simple to calculate. Flights are an easier prospect – as Maxine Bédat, founder of the New Standard Institute, recently told Vogue: “You can calculate the carbon footprint of a flight, but in terms of [the carbon footprint of] a fashion show, that data doesn’t exist.” Gabriela Hearst, for instance, factored in production, design, catering, power, waste and more.Ganni. Photograph: GanniIt can also prove tricky to calculate carbon emissions when it comes to clothes themselves. “Historically, brands have not had very good oversight or control of their supply chains,” says Alice Wilby, a sustainable fashion consultant. “How are you going to start implementing environmental audits like this? You’ve got to consider absolutely everything, from where your material is grown or sewn through to how it is turned into fabric, how it’s manufactured and how it’s transported.”Gucci acknowledges these difficulties, but is keen to push past them. “If we wait to be perfect, in terms of the calculation of impact or methodology, to me it’s just an excuse for not doing it,” said Bizzarri at the time of the brand’s carbon-neutral announcement. “More and more, we just need to act.”There have been problems with the offsetting schemes too. Companies carrying them out on behalf of the brands have come under fire – for reasons including claims of fraudulent activity, to causing damage to the communities living around their projects. With a lot of offsetting happening in developing countries, “there’s a track record of environmental and human rights abuses occurring,” says Wilby, “because of offsetting projects being set up in areas where indigenous rights are not respected and lands are used without approval.” Since the WWF and others set up Gold Standard, an organisation designed to ensure the integrity of these projects, the hope is that these schemes are improving.For its critics, offsetting can distract from the task of reducing carbon output in the first place, even when done responsibly.“It is important to note that offsetting isn’t actually tackling the reduction of a company’s footprint,” says Ilishio Lovejoy, project manager for policy and research at Fashion Revolution. “It is making the overall global situation ‘less bad’ by ‘doing good’ somewhere else.”Many of its naysayers also note the fact that offsetting prioritises lessening guilt over reducing actual harm. There is a privilege involved in being able to pay away your carbon, whether as a consumer or a company. Writing on the broad subject of carbon offsets as far back as 2006, Guardian writer George Monbiot compared it with the ancient Catholic church’s practice of selling indulgences.The Gabriela Hearst show SS20 at New York fashion week. Photograph: Pixelformula/Sipa/Rex/Shutterstock“It can send the message that, if you have enough money to buy your way out of the damage you are causing, you don’t need to take action or act as quickly to change your own practices,” says Lovejoy. Sara Arnold, a member of Extinction Rebellion’s fashion wing, says that “it’s better for companies to do it rather than to not do it, but let’s call it what it is: CSR [corporate social responsibility]. And that CSR shouldn’t be used to make people feel like their purchases don’t have an environmental impact.”For Sheep Inc’s founder Edzard van der Wyck, one problem is that carbon neutrality falls short. With the fashion industry growing more rapidly than the efforts to improve its environmental impact can keep up with, “the idea that we’re talking about carbon neutrality as this alpha and omega of sustainability is troubling”. Steps will need to be bold if fashion is going to clean up its act. Van der Wyck is sceptical of companies’ altruism. “If you look at how Gucci recently said it had invested $8.4m in a carbon-offsetting project … that’s 0.2% of their earnings … then Notre Dame catches fire and the next day [they donate] €200m.” He also thinks that companies need to be making sure their manufacturing is running on renewable energy, using the right, recyclable, materials.Carbon neutrality might, says Wilby, sound sexy – and she believes “it can work as part of a larger programme” – but without reducing carbon output “it cannot be the final goal. It just can’t.”

  • Is this find the world's most flattering tank top? Amazon shoppers think so — and it's on sale for only a few hours!
    Style
    Julie Tong

    Is this find the world's most flattering tank top? Amazon shoppers think so — and it's on sale for only a few hours!

    This best-selling Amazon tank top has hundreds of shoppers flocking to buy it!

  • Jane Seymour: ‘Not every designer will dress someone my age’
    Style
    The Guardian

    Jane Seymour: ‘Not every designer will dress someone my age’

    The actor on sharing clothes with Donatella Versace and whether re-wearing outfits is acceptable. This dress was created for [the 1986 TV mini-series] Crossings, which was based on a Danielle Steel novel, but I also wore it to the People’s Choice awards in 1996. In those days, it was part of my contract that I was given all the costumes, so I had an amazing collection. Crossings was costumed by Nolan Miller, who was famous for designing the clothes for Dynasty. I was playing a very glamorous character and was going for that Rita Hayworth look. Around that time, actresses, instead of models, started showing off the fashion of the era. Unless you are a model, it’s not something you’re really equipped to do but, when you put a gown like that on, you become a character, even on the red carpet. You can’t come in like a church mouse. Nolan became a personal friend of mine – he knew that I used to design and make all my own clothes, so we collaborated on my costumes. When I was younger I didn’t have any money so I’d buy good fabric from Liberty – the offcuts that nobody wanted – or I’d go to vintage stores, bring-and-buy sales or church sales, and turn them into outfits for myself. I was never paid by a designer to wear anything, although nowadays not every designer will dress someone my age. I don’t care whether re-wearing clothes is acceptable or not – if I’m feeling the dress and the occasion, and if it fits, then I’ll wear it again. In the 80s, Escada loaned me a lot of gowns – I was the unofficial muse of Brian Rennie, the designer. Gianni Versace used to lend me gowns that were made for Donatella because we were the same size. One was a beaded, all-in-one that you thought you could see through, but really you couldn’t. Although, if you looked carefully, maybe you could! My boyfriend at the time, who was a famous rock’n’roller, had just broken up with me. We went to an event together and I thought: ‘Dammit, I’m going to wear it’ – and it worked. Everyone was trying to give me their phone number and I was like: ‘OK, bye-bye!’ But I have to admit that, looking back, I can’t believe I wore it.

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    Style
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