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The Literal Height of Fashion: Mountains of Clothes Build-Up

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As the signs could be seen everywhere, the multi-billion dollar industry of secondhand trading clothes has indeed lessened the risk of having fashion garments stockpile over landfills. However, because of the pandemic, merchants have been struggling with their thrift shops and clothing banks as mountain loads of clothes are being stocked outside their shops and in their warehouses. Aside from that, resellers and exporters have been forced to cut down their prices due to the massive lockdown measures, leading to slow business flow. According to Antonio de Carvalho, boss of a textile recycling company in Stourbridge, central England said that his regular expense of 570 pounds ($726) a tonne dropped down to 400 pounds, making it somewhat difficult to collect and store items. Aside from that, his customers also demanded to increase the credit period wherein they would use to pay in 15 days to a staggering 45-60 days, which gave cash flow problems for De Carvalho’s business. 

The Shutdown of Businesses

Antonio de Carvalho’s story is one of many traders worldwide who are experiencing this so-called downfall. Many other recyclers have had to remove clothes banks from their areas and lessen the times they were cleared out weekly. Some owners even had to lay off workers to reduce their expenses and save more money. After interviewing 16 market players, irony seemed to be peaking through the already damaged hole. Problems quickly arose for many such as exporters, traders, and customers for numerous low-end countries solely relying on used clothes. Britain has struggled too, as their exports’ regular weight was half of what they got the previous year. America wasn’t safe either, as a third of their clothes ended up in the markets of developing countries despite their reputation as “the world’s biggest exporter of used clothing.”

The Cries of Kenya

On the other side of the globe, various countries such as Kenya have also felt the wrath set upon by COVID-19. Aside from its fall as a country, things got even worse when their government banned the production and distribution of textiles in March due to its risk of spreading the virus. Despite the ban being lifted in August, traders still couldn’t do anything after the damage COVID 19 has caused. Mutisya and Anthony Kang’ethe are drivers of a secondhand clothes selling shop who expressed their thoughts on the whole matter. According to them, before the pandemic, there used to be five of them. But after everything that has happened, they were the only ones left.

The Devil Does Wear Prada.

Although the second-hand clothing market boomed way back in the 90s, things haven’t gotten better since. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, production for clothing has doubled over the past 15 years because of the public’s demand. It was proven that the fashion industry also produces over 10% of global carbon emissions and is the second-biggest consumer of water. As numerous countries worldwide have been in demand for more clothing such as the United States and Britain, a report made by the Environmental Audit Committee claimed that over 300,000 tons of apparel go straight to the landfills or incineration yearly. According to Anna Smith, a doctoral researcher at King’s College London, she claims that our environment’s sad truth is that the whole problem is getting bigger and people are consuming more.

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8 Ways of Dealing with People You Don’t Like

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It always helps to note that no one in this world is perfect, according to the author of “A Paperboy’s Fable: The 11 Principles to Success,” Deep Patel. That means that everyone, including you, is filled with various weaknesses and strengths that need to be considered when attempting to understand someone else.

Patel highlights several tips for dealing with people you don’t like. He asserts that it is essential for everyone to learn—and remember—these tips, especially since the failure to do so may only mean limiting oneself in the process.

Accept that you cannot deal with everyone

Patel says that it is normal not to like everyone. Each person has his own personality. Some may have a dominant personality, and others may have a timid one. However, this does not mean that you are a “bad person,” which does not mean that the other person is one.

Attempt to find positivity in the other’s words

It is always essential to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone is out to sabotage you, and you aren’t always about to hurt anyone, too. Hence, even when someone else says something hurtful, it may not be meant that way for the other person. Learning to pick through the other’s words of the other person may be helpful, as well.

Stay in touch with your emotions

Patel also mentions that our emotions play a significant role in understanding the people around us. Our feelings can affect how we view others. As they say, when you are in a bad mood, you also tend to see the world as ugly. In contrast, feeling good tends to make us see the world in a more benevolent light.

Try not to take things personally, and put some space

Taking things personally all the time can also hinder understanding. Emotions play a massive part in analysis. Staying objective lets us see the bigger picture and permit empathy to arise. Put some space between you and the person you don’t like, as well. This will further allow you to look at things more objectively.

Calmly express how you feel and find a referee

When you’re about to burst, try to relax yourself first. Spontaneity can be good at times, although saying what you feel when you feel so may further damage communication. Try to soften your words and say things in a quiet, relaxed voice. You can also find a mediator to help you communicate your thoughts better.

Choose your battles

Remember also that not all battles are worth your time. As they say, try not to go down to the other’s level. If you can still ignore them, then you are free to do so.

Never be defensive

Defensiveness means you are on your way to the losing end. It is always best to state facts and avoid having to explain everything you say. As long as you aren’t doing anything wrong, there shouldn’t be a reason for you to explain yourself to anyone.

You are in control of your own happiness

In the end, you are the one in control of yourself—and your own happiness. Never let anyone dictate how you act or feel. When you let others irk you to no end, you are merely allowing them to control you.

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Black Designers Celebrated During the Milan Fashion Week

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Five designers were part of the Black Lives Matter campaign in the Italian fashion group of the event. A name inspired by the international movement trending worldwide as a form of protest against racial injustice. However, due to the pandemic, the event was one of the first fashion week’s virtual shows. The digital event named We are made in Italy was filmed at Milan’s grand Palazzo Clerici and hosted the summer/spring 2021 collections of Joy Meribel, Karim Daoudi, Mokudu Fall, Claudia Gisele Ntsama, and Fabiola Manirakiza. As Manirakiza was initially from Burundi, Mokodu Fall and Claudia Giselle Ntsama grew up with a family of tailors from Cameroon. At the same time, Karim Daoudi was born in Morocco, and Joy Meribel grew up in Nigeria. The five designers were mentored by the only black member of the Italian fashion council, Stella Jean. The Italian-Haitian was also campaigning against racism in the industry. According to Jean, Made in Italy used to represent itself around the world as a white concept. However, now it is no longer like this as the new Italy doesn’t want to be part of it.

Going against the grain

According to the Italian high fashion black designers, they believe that it is essential to show the world that Made in Italy doesn’t correspond to any particular color.  They want to abolish the prejudice of being Italian means being white. They claim that this world we live in is a world that only a few know of its existence, and even fewer are able to enjoy it. 

However, since the show was dedicated to black Italian designers of Milan’s fashion week for the first time, it’s debut was the marking point in the official calendar. A strong move of the organizers in the hope of highlighting the lack of diversity in the industry. 

According to Stella Jean, it is quite depressing to think that most Italian brands enjoyed by worldwide attention have a mass amount of influence on billions of people who don’t even realize that an entire generation in Italy is asking for a voice and space.

Jean demands that the sector governing body support black designers and have called out Italian fashion houses to confront racism.

Making a permanent mark

Some may even say that predominantly, Italy has shown blindness to horrifying racing hiding underneath its skin. 

Jean claims that it is unfair that some people remain invisible. Italian brands tend to pretend not to see them and give most of their attention in an inappropriate way towards the Black Lives Matter movements outside of Italy. Instead, they would focus on things happening in the United States while ignoring things happening in their own country. She believes that Italy has a serious racial problem, and if we don’t open the wound now to heal it, it will never heal. 

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Covid -19 and its Effects on Nightmares

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 Published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the study conducted by researchers showed that after crowdsourcing the sleep and stress data of over 4,00 people in Finland. It was found that around 800 shared information on how the virus has contributed to their anxieties. According to Dr. Anu-Katriina Pesonen, head of the Sleep & Mind Research Group at the University of Helsinki, she claims that it was quite thrilling to observe various dream content associations of individuals who have shared their thoughts on the chaotic ambiance of the COVID-19 lockdown. Personen also added that the results had enabled them to track dreaming in extreme circumstances, which showed visual imagery and memory traces of dreams sharing a mindscape across individuals.

Interpretation of Dreams

Transcribing the dreams from Finnish to English, Personen and her team then fed the data to the A. I algorithm, which scanned for word associations that frequently appeared. The computer then came up with what researchers called “dream clusters,” which were dream particles instead of the entire dream. 

After collecting the information, over 33 dream clusters were built in which twenty percent of these were grouped as bad dreams while fifty-five percent of those were pandemic related. Content such as coronavirus, social distancing failures, dystopia, personal protective equipment, and apocalypse were classified as pandemic specific. Word pairs that were labeled under “Disregard of Distancing” like hug-handshake, mistake-hug, handshake-distancing, handshake-restriction, distancing-disregard, distancing-crowd, crowd-party, and crowd restriction. 

Personen also claimed that they hope to see more assisted A. I helped dream research in the future as the computational linguistics-based, AI-assisted analytics that they used was a novel approach in dream research.

How it goes down

Aside from providing information on how the pandemic was related to a person’s dreams, the study also offered insights into people’s sleep patterns and stress levels during the pandemic lockdown. More than half of the respondents claimed to be sleeping more than before the lockdown, while ten percent claimed to have a much more difficult while more than a quarter reported having more frequent bad dreams. 

More than half of the participants also reported having an increase in stress levels, which could explain the sleep patterns of having less sleep or bad dreams. Most of them even claimed to have numerous pandemic related nightmares. The study can provide valuable information for medical experts and researchers regarding the effect of COVID-19 on a person’s mental health. According to Personen, sleep is the main factor in mental health issues, wherein intense nightmares come from post-traumatic stress. Although things happening in dreams aren’t entirely random, they can also help determine how experiencing any form of stress, trauma, and anxiety contributes to nightmares Personen added. 

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