Fed up with facial recognition cameras monitoring your every move? Italian fashion may have the answer

By Elliott Gotkine

Tel Aviv(CNN)The red-headed man wearing what looks like the ultimate Christmas sweater walks up to the camera. A yellow quadrant surrounds him. Facial recognition software immediately identifies the man as … a giraffe? 

This case of mistaken identity is no accident — it’s literally by design. The sweater is part of the debut Manifesto collection by Italian startup Cap_able. As well as tops, it includes hoodies, pants, t-shirts and dresses. Each one sports a pattern, known as an “adversarial patch,” designed by artificial intelligence algorithms to confuse facial recognition software: either the cameras fail to identify the wearer, or they think they’re a giraffe, a zebra, a dog, or one of the other animals embedded into the pattern. 

“When I’m in front of a camera, I don’t have a choice of whether I give it my data or not,” says co-founder and CEO, Rachele Didero. “So we’re creating garments that can give you the possibility of making this choice. We’re not trying to be subversive.”

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Not so faux: How the ‘fake’ fur industry is secretly selling you real fur

Faux fur is a staple of the fashion industry. But what’s marketed as fake might actually be all too real. 

By Tove Danovich

It started with raccoon dogs. They have the bandit mask of a raccoon but are fluffier, like wild Pomeranians. Most consumers in the United States were unlikely to have heard of the species — before 2005, when a video began circulating on the internet showing a raccoon dog being skinned alive in a fur market in China where millions of them are raised and killed for their pelts every year.

But where were the pelts going? The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) began looking into what raccoon dog fur was being used for because it’s not heavily marketed like fox or mink fur.

“That was when we saw [advertising copy] saying it’s a raccoon, Finnish raccoon, Asiatic raccoon,” said PJ Smith, director of fashion policy for the HSUS. “What was worse, we saw it coming in as ‘faux fur.’”

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Fashion And Tech Join Forces To Create A Dress That Signals When People Get Too Close

By KELLEY DICKENS

Would you wear a dress that signals to people that they’re standing too close to you?

Or how about a shirt that changes color when it senses a change in your mood?

Those are actual creations Dutch fashion designer and engineer Anouk Wipprecht has been working on for 20 years.

Her distinctive “fashion tech” designs combine couture, interactive technology and artificial intelligence.

“So, on a day I am coding and designing, I am sewing and anything and everything that has to do with the body and technology and electronics,” Wipprecht told Morning Edition.

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This vegan leather made from cactus is a genuinely green alternative

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This is Desserto by Adriano Di Marti, a vegan leather made from cactus that is an eco and animal-friendly alternative to animal leather or synthetic leather. Like the aforementioned leathers, Desserto has competitive features, such as elasticity and it’s also customizable and breathable. It’s also biodegradable, flexible, non-toxic, and doesn’t stain.

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Harvard scientists invented a material that ‘remembers’ its shape

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Still trying to wrap my head around this one, to be honest.

Scientists at Harvard are claiming they’ve invented a new “wool-like” fabric that changes shape and, if I’m being completely honest, I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. First off, how the hell can a fabric have a memory and, secondly, what does that even mean?

A post on Harvard’s website uses hair as a metaphor in an attempt to clarify. If you straighten your hair — and your hair gets wet in the rain — it eventually goes back to its original shape, whether that’s curly or wavy or whatever.

Apparently that’s because hair has “shape memory”.

Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have created a fibrous material that does much the same thing. The hope? This new material could be used in clothes to help reduce waste in the fashion industry. The example the Harvard article uses: a one-size all fits t-shirt that could automatically shrink or expand to fit to a person’s specific measurements. Or how about self-fitting bras or underwear?

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Meet the teenage ‘beauty boys’ coming for the cosmetics industry

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Gen-Z boys online are chipping away at the taboo against men wearing makeup – with or without the makeup industry’s help

In March of 2019, 17-year-old Elliot Ceretti walked into his local convenience store with a couple of friends. He had been re-watching the 10th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and one of the show’s drag queens, Aquaria, had inspired an unfamiliar but exciting longing in Ceretti.

He loaded his basket with the cheapest makeup products he could find, and a glue stick to glue down his brows. When he got home that night, he waited until his mother and sister were asleep and locked himself in the bathroom, applying makeup like he had seen on the show. That night, he brought Ella Souflee, his drag persona, to life for the first time.

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Resale market expected to be valued at $64 billion in 5 years, as used clothing takes over closets

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A ThredUp warehouse.

KEY POINTS

  • The secondhand apparel market is valued at about $28 billion today and is forecast to reach $64 billion within the five years, according to a new report by ThredUp and GlobalData Retail.
  • “Resale is here to stay,” said ThredUp co-founder and CEO James Reinhart. “The next question is who wins and who loses.”

Despite the coronavirus pandemic upending much of the retail industry and putting a damper on apparel sales, the secondhand clothing market is expected to boom, according to one online resale marketplace.

The secondhand apparel market is valued at about $28 billion today and is forecast to reach $64 billion within five years, ThredUp said in its annual report, which is completed in a partnership with the third-party research firm GlobalData Retail.

It said the resale market grew 25 times faster than the overall retail market last year, with an estimated 64 million people buying secondhand products in 2019.

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Face mask designed for a surreal future where wearing PPE is humanity’s new norm

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 Whether we like it or not, masks are the new normal at least for the foreseeable future. It is now a universal guideline that everyone has to wear a mask when they step out. Designers, architects, fashion brands all over the world are using their software, laser cutters and 3D printers to make mask production faster (mass-k production, get it?) to fight shortages. New York-based designer Joe Doucet envisions the face shield creatively and takes it from being a symbol of our toughest days to a seamless part of our everyday fashion. When asked what influenced him to create the conceptual face shield, it was this question – how do we encourage the mass adoption of an unwanted necessity?

Due to the longterm effects of COVID-19 on our lives, the way we dress and interact will evolve. Till a vaccine is available globally, we will be governed by the laws of social distancing, and wearing PPE is crucial for our safety and of those around us. Studies show that visors & face shields are more effective than surgical masks but happen to be uncomfortable and obtrusive-looking. The ability to adapt and evolve are also the pillars of good design, so Doucet has designed a face shield that people will actually want to wear instead of feeling awkward or conscious about it. Just like everyone, Doucet is also in quarantine and has been learning new 3D design tools, he says “I modeled these in Fusion 360 and rendered in Blender, no photoshoots happening these days.”

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New Harvard study fights fat with salty, icy injections

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Injecting an icy saline slurry into fat deposits could be a new fat-reduction technique

It sure sounds like a pop-up ad you’d see online, but scientists have created and tested a new treatment that melts away belly fat. The new technique, developed by researchers from Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), involves injecting an icy saline solution directly into fat deposits to shrink them by half.

The new process sounds simple enough. It uses a sterile solution made up of saline, glycerol, and between 20 and 40 percent small ice particles, giving it a slushy texture. This mixture is injected directly into fat deposits, such as around the abdomen, where it crystallizes and kills the fat cells. Over the course of a few weeks following the treatment, the body will flush out the dead cells.

The team says that this process could be used to reduce fat stores in basically any part of the body, at any depth, as long as it can be accessed by a needle or catheter. Importantly, it doesn’t seem to have any adverse effects on other tissues, such as muscle.

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Scientists create lightweight 18-carat gold using ordinary plastic

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Researchers with ETHzurich have successfully used plastic to create lightweight gold that retains its purity, according to a recent announcement from the institution. The lightweight gold is ideally suited for products like jewelry and watches — things that would benefit from a reduction in weight without a loss in gold purity or beauty.

The gold found in jewelry is made with metallic alloys that help reduce the weight, though some pieces of jewelry may still be too heavy to suit some buyers. The newly created 18-carat gold replaces the metallic alloy elements with a ‘matrix of plastic,’ reducing the density from a typical 15 g/cm3 to 1.7 g/cm3.

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Uniqlo’s robots have already replaced 90% of its human workers at its flagship warehouse, now they’ve cracked the difficult task of folding T-shirts

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Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo.

Uniqlo is coming close to full automation at its flagship warehouse in Tokyo, according to a new report from The Financial Times.

According to The FT, Uniqlo’s parent company, Fast Retailing, has partnered with a Japanese startup that develops industrial robots to create a two-armed robot that is able to pick up t-shirts and box these up, a task that could previously only be done by a human.

This is an important innovation as it could enable this factory, which has already replaced 90% of its workers with robots, to roll out a fully automated process.

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