The Science of Fashion

This Valentine’s day, whether you’re settled with a significant other, swiping on dating apps, or single in sweatpants, you’re probably going to post about it on social media. If you plan on posing with your boyfriend, best friends, or box of chocolates you’ll need a perfectly Instagram-able outfit. On a graduate student budget, fast-fashion retailers like H&M, Forever21, and Topshop are the go-to for recreating the looks of fashion accounts at a low price. However, it turns out that the small price tag on cheaply made garments comes with a huge environmental cost.

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Someone Call an Exterminator

You turn on your television, and the news anchors are talking about it: “2016 was the hottest year on record.” You’re sitting in traffic and you hear it again: “The outbreak of hurricanes this year is a direct result of climate change.” The causes of these phenomena are always the same. Coal-fired power plants, internal-combustion cars, manufacturing plants. You’ve heard all of these a thousand times over, but has anyone ever told you that a global warming contributor could be the termites crawling around in your backyard, and you didn’t even know it?

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Rumble Down on the Farm

Will Harris is the fourth-generation owner of White Oak Pastures, his family’s 2500-acre farm near Bluffton, Georgia. When he took over the farm from his father in 1995, it was solely a cattle ranch, utilizing modern, industrial methods to raise livestock. However, Harris wanted a more ‘natural’ enterprise, and so began the transition from a modern cattle ranch to an organic, food-producing ecosystem. Today, White Oak Pastures raises cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, and geese in a system that emphasizes animal welfare and environmental stewardship. Unfortunately, his earth-friendly ambitions have also turned his farm into a gory battlefield between Bald Eagle and chicken.

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