Weekly Link Roundup

The Case for Buying Less Clothing (The Wall Street Journal): “… the global men’s fashion market has grown 38% between 2008 and 2017, ballooning to a $419.4 billion dollar industry, up from $303.5 billion in 2008 … According to the EPA, 10.5 million tons of textiles wound up in landfills in 2015, so it’s best to donate or recycle instead of adding to that mound … buying less in the first place is even more sustainable.”

How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation (Buzzfeed News): “Things that should’ve felt good (leisure, not working) felt bad because I felt guilty for not working; things that should’ve felt ‘bad’ (working all the time) felt good because I was doing what I thought I should and needed to be doing in order to succeed … Yet the more work we do, the more efficient we’ve proven ourselves to be, the worse our jobs become: lower pay, worse benefits, less job security. Our efficiency hasn’t bucked wage stagnation; our steadfastness hasn’t made us more valuable. If anything, our commitment to work, no matter how exploitative, has simply encouraged and facilitated our exploitation. We put up with companies treating us poorly because we don’t see another option.”

When Honest Women Replace ‘Self-Made’ Men (The New York Times): “Within this story of meritocracy is the promise that anyone can achieve political power and success if they are good enough and if they work hard enough; that elected offices have for so long so wholly rested in male hands suggests simply that men have long been more worthy of them … This narrative of American political power is pervasive enough to be largely invisible. The women who folded themselves into the existing story were perhaps not so much doing it intentionally as acting according to the script on offer, without much space to imagine something different. But as more women have entered the political realm, they have created more space for authenticity over self-aggrandizement. This is especially true as politicians come from a wider diversity of communities and backgrounds, each with different norms around authority.”

J. Crew Factory is running an excellent clearance event: take an extra 50% off 2 clearance styles, an extra 60% off 3 clearance styles, or an extra 70% off 4+ clearance styles with code EVENMORE. A few picks: Bow-Neck Sweater-Dress, V-Neck Cardigan Sweater, Plaid Blanket Scarf, Lily Metallic-Heel Patent Ballet Flats, Plaid Cape-Scarf, and Fleece Coat.

Canada Says, ‘Give Me Your MBAs, Your Entrepreneurs’ (Bloomberg): “In August [of 2018], there were about 570,000 international students in Canada, a 60 percent jump from three years ago. That surge is helping power the biggest increase in international immigration in more than a century. The country took in 425,000 people in the 12 months through September, boosting population growth to a three-decade high of 1.4 percent, the fastest pace in the Group of Seven club of industrialized nations. Canada’s immigration system has long targeted the highly skilled. More than 65 percent of foreign-born adults had a post-secondary degree in 2017, the highest share tracked by members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”

The Exaggerated Promise of So-Called Unbiased Data Mining (Wired): “Good research begins with a clear idea of what one is looking for and expects to find. Data mining just looks for patterns and inevitably finds some.”

Is Marijuana as Safe as We Think? (The New Yorker): “Products or behaviors that have that kind of muddled risk profile are confusing, because it is very difficult for those in the benign middle to appreciate the experiences of those at the statistical tails. Low-frequency risks also take longer and are far harder to quantify … For the moment, cannabis probably belongs in the category of substances that society permits but simultaneously discourages … The advice that seasoned potheads sometimes give new users—’start low and go slow’—is probably good advice for society as a whole, at least until we better understand what we are dealing with.”

The Personality Trait That Makes People Feel Comfortable Around You (The Atlantic): “… affective presence is an effect one has regardless of one’s own feelings—those with positive affective presence make other people feel good, even if they personally are anxious or sad, and the opposite is true for those with negative affective presence.”

Is Bustle the Next Condé Nast? (The Business of Fashion): “One thing that may have set … Bustle Digital Group apart is a rare sense of optimism — that women’s media isn’t on its last breath, that advertising is a good business model, that losing or gaining 5 million uniques here and there needn’t send executives into tizzies. Then, there was the company’s contributor model … Under the approach, a vast network of writers did around-the-clock shifts for low hourly wages to deliver a quota of blog posts that often capitalised on trending Google terms to attract clicks. A large volume of such content, supported by a fast, proprietary CMS, enabled the site to rank high in Google’s search results for a wide range of topics and begin building a loyal following on social media.”

How Nearby Stellar Explosions Could Have Killed Off Large Animals (Quanta Magazine): “A new study suggests that energetic particles from an exploding star may have contributed to the extinction of a number of megafauna … When a star dies, its guts stream out into the cosmos. Among those stellar remains are isotopes … of elements like iron. One such isotope, iron-60, is rare on Earth but abundant in supernovas … Melott hypothesized that a supernova around 2.6 million years ago would have increased the flow of muons streaming through the atmosphere several hundred times over. He and his coauthors estimated that cancer rates could have increased by 50 percent for an animal the size of a human.”

How the Humble Fleece Jacket Became High Fashion (The Wall Street Journal): “For decades, lightweight fleece jackets could be found somewhere between the carabiners and walking sticks at any self-respecting outdoor retailer. But the normcore trend … also conferred new cachet on fleece.”

At LVMH’s Watch Division, Experience of a Different Kind (The New York Times): “Stéphane Bianchi started his new job as head of the Watch Division … without a logical prerequisite: experience in the watch industry … Many watch insiders don’t see Mr. Bianchi’s lack of industry experience as a liability.”

Buying a New Purse? This Startup Wants to Help You Pay for It — but Could Also Get You into Debt. (Vox): “While young shoppers are earning less and may be wary of adding to their already steep debt loads with lines of consumer credit, they’re more likely to take out personal loans. Point-of-sale installment payment services aimed at young consumers and their particular tastes are proliferating.”

With Its Anti-Fur Fight Gaining Progress, PETA Sets Its Sights on Wool (Fashionista): “It would be comforting to think that reducing harm to animals is an overall win, but the circumstances manifest more of a zero-sum game, at least according to dissenters. The counter-argument to stopping the use of wool posits that choosing synthetic materials over animal products may be better for animals, but those same synthetic materials are harmful to the environment.”

♥ One of my favorite shoes, the Cole Haan Tali Bow Ballet Flat (reviewed here; highlighted here), is currently on sale in a smattering of sizes on Amazon. If you are in the market for flats, check to see if your size is on sale; any price under $90 (retail is $150) for a “classic” color is reasonable, imo.

MacKenzie Bezos and the Myth of the Lone Genius Founder (Wired): “… thinking about the divorce as an opportunity for MacKenzie to become the richest woman in the world is a strange way of describing her situation … She is already the richest woman in the world, because she’s half of the richest couple on Earth … Empires like Amazon and Apple are not created by a single man in a vacuum; they are the product of a mix of luck and contributions from an entire team—including from a founder’s spouse.”

The Instagram-Husband Revolution (The Atlantic): “An Instagram husband can be any gender and sexual orientation, and he doesn’t have to be your actual husband … being an Instagram husband in 2019 doesn’t just entail taking a few iPhone photos while you’re out … a full-time Instagram-husband capacity, has taken on operational and business aspects of … production.”

Bye-Bye, Bendel’s (The New Yorker): “Eight years ago, Bendel’s ceased selling apparel in the store. Four years ago, they quit selling third-party merchandise altogether, transforming the hallowed space into a scattershot funhouse of Lucite clutches, statement necklaces, and window decals. It was no surprise to learn, this past September, that, in January, Bendel’s will shut its doors. Those with longer memories might argue that the store began its downward spiral back when it shifted locations and renovated, in 1990, or in 1985, when the store was acquired by L Brands.”

Winning in an Era of Unprecedented Disruption: A Perspective on Us Retail (McKinsey & Company) “The US retail industry, far from being moribund, is experiencing disruption—and reinvention—at unprecedented speed. It’s not a story about the malaise of an entire sector but rather a tale of two worlds. A confluence of trends has changed the playing field, forcing retailers either to adapt and innovate or to suffer painful losses or imminent demise.”

Does It Pay to Be a Writer? (The New York Times): “… the median pay for full-time writers was $20,300 in 2017, and that number decreased to $6,080 when part-time writers were considered. The latter figure reflects a 42 percent drop since 2009, when the median was $10,500. These findings are the result of an expansive 2018 study of more than 5,000 published book authors … Strictly book-related income — which is to say royalties and advances — are also down, almost 30 percent for full-time writers since 2009 … The decline in earnings is also largely because of Amazon’s lion’s share of the self-publishing, e-book and resale market … The conglomerate charges commission and marketing fees to publishers that … essentially prevent their books from being buried on the site. Small and independent publishers, which have fewer resources and bargaining power, have been particularly hard hit. Book publishing companies are passing these losses along to writers in the form of lower royalties and advances, and authors also lose out on income from books resold on the platform. In some ways, these changes are in line with a general shift toward a gig economy … to make up for the lack of a stable income. But the writing industry as a whole has always eluded standardization in pay.”

Can You Pull Off a Beret if You’re Not French? (The Wall Street Journal): “Revolution is built into this charged hat’s DNA … the beret has re-emerged in these politically turbulent times … While the hat is oft associated with quintessentially French women … its sweeping background proves you needn’t be Parisian to pull one off.”

♥ Recently purchased: Tory Burch Something Wild Espadrille Flat, Rebecca Taylor Vivianna Vine Silk Tie Top (there are so many great new arrivals, I especially like the Rebecca Taylor spring styles…), Veronica Beard Nora Dress (loving all things VB atm), and Jonathan Simkhai Asymmetrical Sueded Jersey Faux Wrap Dress.

Have a great week, everyone!

p.s. posting will be erratic for the next little bit, but sale updates and link roundups will continue to be shared weekly.

Hi, I am Elle!

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