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The fashion industry is built from a hundred individual specialties: manufacturers of trim, buttons, and fabric; designers of niche lines for outerwear, footwear, neckties, jeans, lingerie, swimwear; and retailers built around those same niche markets. But the latter two categories wouldn't exist without the first, so on today's show, we'll hear from Benita Singh, co-founder of a speciality textile website Source4Style. Source4Style exists as a virtual marketplace, connecting textile suppliers with designers, and ensuring responsible production and fair trade in the process. With this weekend's tragic factory fire in Bangladesh, the importance of transparency in the production chain is underscored, and Source4Style is fulfilling an essential role within the industry by offering designers the opportunity to purchase with ethical confidence. On today's show, Benita will talk about how she and her colleagues met and began Source4Style, some of their global partnerships, a few educational initiatives they offer, and some details about their selection of fabrics. Plus, I have the latest in articles and news coverage on the Bangladesh factory fire, as well as some all-too-infrequent good news from the headlines of the ethical fashion industry. And I've got a great playlist prepared, featuring two new acts from the UK, more Sufjan-style Christmas, and even a clip from comedian Tig Notaro. Another hour of style + substance coming your way, on BTR!
BTR talks to author Steve Young about a thoroughly American idea from a thoroughly American company.
Sure, Facebook stocks went public last weekend, and Zuckerberg got married (the day after, ew), but he doesn't have the entrepreneurial field cornered. There are so many other innovative minds and projects going on in every field today, including fashion! For example… the boutique franchise Apricot Lane! Brainchild of two former firefighters, Ken Petersen and Tom Brady, Apricot Lane is a national chain of over 90 unique storefronts. Each one offers its owner the opportunity to make decisions for themselves about inventory and presentation, yet the have the undeniable benefits of stability and support that come along with an established name. Stores from MN to TX, NY to CA stock brands like TOM'S, Sanctuary, 7 For All Mankind, and Lucky Brand Jeans, alongside smaller up-and-coming local labels and designers. It's a revolutionary retail model that is taking the U.S. by storm, and on today's show, founder and CEO Ken Petersen will tell the story of going from firefighting to furniture to fashion, who the Apricot Lane women (and men) are, some of the lessons he's learned as the stores have grown, and an exciting new project that the company has launched in Cambodia. Plus, new music from several under-the-radar talents, including Kelly Hogan, King Tuff, and River City Extension! So turn up that radio, and get ready to be inspired!
This week on Sew & Tell, we're taking a look at one of the best fashion accessories out there: the wristwatch. Watches blend form and function like almost no other wardrobe item can, doing double duty by offering exquisite style and substance. Surprisingly, there are relatively few independent watch designers on the scene today, but I was fortunate to sit down and chat for a bit with not just one of the only, but one of the best. Martine Ilana launched La Mer in 2001, when, out of her own frustration with the dearth of fashion-forward women's watches, she designed one for herself. That set her on a path to revolutionize the market, and thanks to her efforts and exquisite designs, La Mer is now carried in many of the big-name boutiques and retail chains, worldwide. Utilizing a mixture of materials from metal to leather, and lucite to diamonds, Martine creates unique designs for every time of day, every season, and every type of woman. On today's show, she'll talk about the frustration and passion that got her started, the travels that inspire her designs, and the amazing website she built, which allows visitors to become genuine "time travelers" as they explore her collections. Plus, there's a whole playlist of time-centered music on the show, including tracks from a lot of my favorites - Damien Jurado, Tom Waits, Sun Airway, Timber Timbre and more. So get your weekend fashion on early with BTR and La Mer - it's about time!

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