The Fashion Project Iowa

How a Data Scientist (Who Studied Astrophysics) Ended Up in Fashion

Sandra Greiss at the Lyst office. Photo: Liz Gregg

Sandra Greiss at the Lyst office. Photo: Liz Gregg

In our long-running series, “How I’m Making It,” we talk to people making a living in the fashion industry about how they broke in and found success.

When you visit Lyst and accidentally misspell a designer name or the word “mules,” the website will pull up a page autocorrecting the error, or if you start typing “high waisted jeans” in the search bar, will predictably fill out the rest of your query before you do, like a fashion-conscious Google. All of those minute, convenient details are thanks in part to data scientist Sandra Greiss, who’s been with the company’s engineering department since 2014.

With Greiss’s education — a bachelor’s degree in physics from Paris, and a master’s and Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from the UK — a path towards academia or a job in finance seemed like the safest

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Chelsea Flower Show exhibit spotlights harmful chemicals used in fashion industry

Horticulturalist Lottie Delamain in her garden at Chelsea Flower Show (Dave Watts)

A Chelsea Flower Show exhibitor has used her platform to raise awareness of the harmful chemicals used by the fashion industry by creating a garden made entirely out of plants that can be used to make or dye fabric.

Horticulturist Lottie Delamain created a garden at the world’s most famous flower show for the activist group Fashion Revolution filled with flax, which can be used to make fibre for clothing, and other versatile plants, such as willow, which can be used as a pink dye for clothing.

It is hoped that the garden, which is called A Textile Garden for Fashion Revolution, will remind people of the historical connection between clothing and plants, encourage people to try dyeing with plants at home and consider more sustainable approaches to resources.

Delamain said: “We can have any fabric, material,

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Environmental Impact of Vegan Fashion: Pros and Cons

The fashion industry has spawned no shortage of animal cruelty horror stories, ranging from geese being “live-plucked” for down jackets to crocodiles skinned for luxury handbags and beyond. Brands may have gotten away with such atrocities in the past, but a growing demand for transparency has helped bring the issue of animal exploitation to light. As a result, vegan fashion is thriving.

Instead of animal products such as fur, feathers, wool, skins, and silk, vegan clothing is made from synthetic or plant fibers, and the environmental impact of those fibers is about as varied as the materials themselves. 

Animal Exploitation in the Fashion Industry

Rafa Elias / Getty Images

Animal products have been used to make clothing since prehistoric times. Somewhere along the line, though, the old-fashioned pelt evolved from being a survival essential to a symbol of wealth.

Animal-based fashion continued to be worn and coveted long after the

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Analysis: Fashion Industry Efforts to Verify Sustainability Make ‘Greenwashing’ Easier

Environmental certification programs that claim to verify the sustainability of fashion brands actually facilitate “greenwashing” for the apparel industry, according to a recent report by environmental advocacy organization Changing Markets Foundation. 

The organization, which was founded in 2015 and is based in the Netherlands, seeks to drive change toward a more sustainable economy by exposing what it feels are irresponsible corporate practices. Its analysis of voluntary efforts designed  to reduce fashion’s growing environmental footprint found the programs led to increased pollution instead, and are helping to cement the industry’s reliance on fossil fuels.

“Waste increases, utilization of clothes decreases, and reliance on fossil fuels increases,” said George Harding-Rolls, a campaign manager at Changing Markets and lead author of the report. “Yet, these schemes continue to exist and say that sustainable fashion is just around the corner. This is actually preventing us from taking the more systemic action that we need,

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