Helsinki fashion week to ban leather as vegan fabrics catch on | Fashion

Fashion has been somewhat slow to mastermind viable – and desirable – animal-free alternatives to materials such as leather and suede, but this week the resolve picked up momentum.

On Tuesday, Helsinki Fashion Week banned animal-based leather as of 2019. The decision was said to enable “an active stand against cruelty to animals and the damaging environmental impacts that the use of animal leather brings with it”, said its founder, Evelyn Mora. Later in the week, the sustainable Paris-based trainer brand Veja showed that consumers are willing to do the same, as it revealed its turnover for 2017 increased by 60% year-on-year to €18 million. Its vegan collection, introduced in December 2016, features materials such as B-mesh made from recycled bottles, synthetic suede, wild rubber and recycled jute and is a significant part of its offering.

Despite being established in 2003, the 13-year-old French label – which also sells trainers made from real leather – has proved to be one of the most covetable brands in the last two years, buoyed by its ethical credentials, which are being increasingly sought by the fashion industry.

“Ultimately, brands still need to show great design and good quality, as well as sustainable credentials, so we’re very thoughtful about who we pick up. It’s a joy to come across Veja who have the whole package,” said Lisa Aitken, retail fashion director at Net-a-Porter, which launched the label in January. The online retailer also stocks Budapest-based Nanushka, established by London College of Fashion graduate Sandra Sandor in 2005, which has introduced a quilted vegan leather jacket (£460) in her pre-autumn/winter 2018 collection which is machine washable.

According to Rachael Stott, Senior Creative Researcher at The Future Laboratory, who notes “a global boom in plant-based lifestyles”, Gen Z is “a key driving force” in the demand for vegan alternatives. “They are conscious shoppers who want to know where and how their products are made and are actively using social media to cultivate a new dialogue around sustainability issues. As a result, they are voting with their wallets and are buying goods aligned with their ethics.”

Several companies have made headway with vegan alternatives. Stott cites Pinatex, which has created a mass-market synthetic leather made from pineapple leaf fibres (a by-product of the pineapple harvest), and Modern Meadows, which has developed a bio-fabricated leather made from a genetically engineered strain of yeast that produces animal collagen, as innovators paving the way. She also notes that the material MycoWorks which is grown from mycelium, the vegetative tissue derived from mushrooms “is not only sustainable, it can also be grown to almost any size and shape with a customised texture”.

The trend should, however, be pursued with caution, she says. “Fashion brands should be commended for taking steps towards a cruelty-free supply chain, but the elimination of all animal products, regardless of whether they are ethically sourced, sends out a confusing message … It can give rise to low-value synthetic alternatives such as plastic based PVC or ‘pleather’, which harbours its own environmental and ethical issues.

“The manufacturing processes used to create these involve toxic chemicals and cause pollution in surrounding rivers and landfill sites. Currently there is no safe way to produce or dispose of PVC products, therefore consumers can be misled into thinking ‘vegan’ is entirely environmentally friendly.”

Until now, Stella McCartney, who has never used animal products in any of her collections, has been the most famous advocate of vegan materials in the fashion industry. Her bestselling vegan-leather Falabella bag, which currently retails for £720, has remained on the the top 10 must-have fashion lists since its inception in 2010.

But other luxury brands are also getting on board with alternative options, such as Barcelona-based M2Malletier. Its first vegan leather collection, which has just launched with prices starting at £475, aims to offer a “cruelty-free choice for the conscious shopper, as well as aiming to use sustainable leather-free manufacturing to curb deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions from farming cattle”, according to a spokesperson for the brand. Elsewhere, NAK, which stands for No Animal Killed, has its shoes handmade in Italy by local artisans in a move to provide “opportunities for traditional craftsmanship to flourish in a new era of fashion design working with new materials”. They start at £200.

There are increasing high-quality options at lower price points too. Montreal-based Matt & Nat – who recently started lining its vegan leather bags with material made out of 100% recycled bottles and bicycle tyre – start at around £70 for bags, £60 for shoes and £30 for small vegan leather goods.

“Up to this point,” says Stott, “the primary problem with sustainable leather alternatives has been scalability. Viable concepts are developed in a lab, but mass-producing them at an accessible price point has proven difficult. As the technology becomes more mainstream, and prices drop, more brands will follow suit.”

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Scary Skinny Tara Reid Slurs Her Words, Stumbles In Bizarre TV Interview

Is Tara Reid ok? This Friday on an interview with Today Extra, the American Pie actress was caught tumbling over, slurring her words and squinting her eyes in exhaustion!

For the appearance, Reid, 42, wore a sequin black top that emphasized her shoulder bones. As she struggled to answer questions about Sharknado 6, the wild party girl mumbled in confusion, only maintaining a frozen smile on her face.

“It’s my favorite one. It’s so ridiculous, it’s so bad that it’s good,” she finally said of the film. “It’s just out of control, like, the movie, it… it does, it takes every step to the next level.”


As readers know, Reid has been worrying fans with her skeletal frame and disheveled appearance as of late.

In recent months, she’s been spotted rocking crazy beach outfits and showing of her shrinking frame at wild Hollywood bashes.

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In 2008, the star checked herself into rehab for alcohol addiction. She’s also recently been caught enjoying beers with friends while on vacation!

Do you think Tara Reid is doing ok?

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee obituary | World news

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who has died aged 93, was the most important politician in 20th-century India not to be either a current or former member of the Congress party. His political life spanned almost the entire period of Indian independence.

Vajpayee had a gift for ambiguity. Nobody could be completely sure whether he was a lone liberal among Hindu fundamentalists or simply a plausible salesman for religious nationalism. It was perhaps his command of Hindi, the most widely spoken language of India, that allowed him to conceal his true beliefs from so many for so long. He became prime minister first in 1996 for less than a fortnight. Then, in March 1998, the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), long considered a pariah in Indian politics, welded provincial parties into a workable coalition. Vajpayee again became prime minister.

In power, he burnished his rightwing credentials. His popularity soared when the government detonated a nuclear bomb under the sands of the Rajasthani deserts in the teeth of international disapproval. A month later Indian forces won a decisive victory over Pakistani soldiers in the Kargil war.

These two events led to Vajpayee being re-elected in 1999 and he went on to lead the first government not dominated by the Congress party to complete a full five-year term. In doing so, Vajpayee became the first Indian who did not hail from the Nehru-Gandhi clan to be sworn in three times as prime minister. He also proved an able diplomat, working discreetly to woo President Bill Clinton, who had denounced India’s nuclear tests in 1998 but went to India two years later – the first visit by a US president to the country in more than two decades.

Yet, domestically, Vajpayee often appeared not to be in charge. His attempts in 2001 to forge better relations with Pakistan’s military ruler General Pervez Musharraf were undermined by Hindu hardliners. While Vajpayee tried to build bridges, the religious right simply burned them down.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee shakes hands with Bill Clinton in 2005 during a visit by the former US president to New Delhi.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee shakes hands with Bill Clinton in 2005 during a visit by the former US president to New Delhi. Photograph: EPA

His lowest point came in 2002 when Vajpayee told a party rally that “wherever Muslims are living they don’t want to live in harmony. They don’t mix with the society. They are not interested in living in peace.” This was just six weeks after about 1,200 Muslims met their deaths during pogroms in Gujarat at the hands of mobs organised by the state government – run by the BJP’s Narendra Modi. Fingers were pointed at Modi, since the constitution vested in him power over the police and the administration. Vajpayee could either have dismissed Modi or suspended the state government. He did neither. A swaggering Modi now runs India.

Vajpayee was born into a high-caste Brahmin family in Gwalior, in central India’s cowbelt; his father, Shri Krishna Behari Vajpayee, was a teacher. A Marxist in his youth, he abandoned that creed for rightwing Hindu politics as a student. It was a visit to a camp run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS – National Volunteer Service), an organisation inspired by European fascism, that converted him. The RSS is the moral compass for Hindu nationalism, a political ideology the young Vajpayee openly endorsed. Yet outwardly, he appeared an instinctive moderate who professed admiration for Gandhi and condemned the Mahatma’s assassination by a member of the RSS. Vajpayee cited Richard Attenborough’s film about the independence leader as one of his favourites. He was, in private, a liberal, likable man who enjoyed a scotch and had to deny eating beef, a serious charge against a Hindu politician. Despite his protestations of being a bachelor, it was widely rumoured he had a long-term lover.

Vajpayee was an aspiring author, and wrote vivid, dreamy poetry. He had a sharp pen, honed in his early years as a trenchant journalist on an RSS magazine. When the 33-year-old Vajpayee was elected to parliament for the RSS’s political wing, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, in 1957, he discovered his true gift: public speaking. Jawaharlal Nehru, one of the world’s greatest orators, noticed the rising star on the opposition benches and predicted that one day he would hold high office. As early as 1960, Vajpayee warned of alienating Muslims and other minorities in a country as diverse as India. He wrote that restricting his party’s base to just one creed did not make electoral sense. He practised what he preached. In his own parliamentary constituency of Lucknow, Shia Muslim households in the city displayed pictures of Vajpayee alongside one of the Ayatollah Khomeini, who led the Iranian revolution in 1979.

It was not until Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi misread the public mood by suspending democracy and throwing the opposition into jail that Vajpayee emerged on to the national stage. When the emergency was lifted, Gandhi lost power and Vajpayee became foreign minister, in 1977. His stint was distinguished by peace missions to India’s neighbours. Vajpayee met Pakistan’s military dictator Zia-ul-Haq in 1978 and a year later visited Deng Xiaoping in China. Both trips were seen as diplomatic breakthroughs but Vajpayee’s spell in power was over in months when the government collapsed after bitter infighting.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee meets the Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad, 2004.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee meets the Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad, 2004. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

As a response, in 1980 Vajpayee and his longtime political partner Lal Krishna Advani founded the BJP. It was a long march back to power. The turning point was the destruction in 1992 by a mob of religious bigots of the Babri Masjid, a mosque supposedly built by the Moghul emperor Babur in the 16th century over the birthplace of a Hindu deity, Ram. This sparked riots that left more than 1,000 people, mainly Muslims, dead. It also thrust the BJP into the limelight.

Vajpayee’s achievement as prime minister was to present a fresh vision of India in the world. This new self-image was at odds with the Nehruvian idealism of the past, and emphasised economic and nuclear strength. The BJP’s ascent also symbolised the passing of India’s secular identity. By the late 90s Vajpayee promised the BJP was a “party with a difference”. However Vajpayee’s BJP proved as corrupt and opportunistic as any other. In 2004, the BJP campaigned on his economic accomplishments, coining the slogan “India Shining”. However voters did not feel as rich as the BJP thought they were.

It was Indira Gandhi’s daughter-in-law, Sonia, who triumphed over the octogenarian Vajpayee in 2004. By then his health was fading, and doctors dissuaded him from campaigning in the 2009 election. It is unlikely that it would have made much of a difference: Sonia Gandhi’s Congress won an emphatic victory.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, politician, born 25 December 1924; died 16 August 2018

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Danielle Staub’s Hubby Leaning On ‘RHONJ’ Nemesis Margaret Josephs, Source Says

The ultimate betrayal!

Danielle Staub’s estranged husband is leaning on her Real Housewives of New Jersey co-star nemesis Margaret Josephs after an emergency temporary restraining order banned him from their home, exclusively learned.

In Staub’s TRO, Marty Caffrey was not allowed to enter the Englewood, New Jersey home they shared, and when he filed his own restraining order she was banned from entering the home where he was living, which he listed a “private” on the court documents exclusively obtained by Radar.

Now a source spilled to Radar that Caffrey sought refuge with Josephs, despite the bad blood with her husband, Joe Beningo.

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“Marty is leaning on Margaret, who lives just down the street from his house with Danielle,” the snitch claimed.

“She is beyond shocked that he would go to Margaret after everything that happened during filming.”

Caffrey’s car had been spotted at Josephs’ home frequently since he was barred from the residence where he and Staub lived together until their weekend blowout.

Despite Radar’s source close to the situation, Caffrey denied he’s leaning on the Josephs. “I’m not leaning on them,” he said. “They called me once after I called Joe [Margaret’s husband] because I have wine stored in their cellar and I want to get it.”

When contacted by Radar, Bravo declined to comment on the matter.

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The astonishing about-face by Caffrey blindsided his estranged wife.

“Danielle is stunned that Marty is leaning on Margaret. She feels so betrayed,” the insider told Radar.

Caffrey and Benigno had a huge blowout at the end of RHONJ filming and Benigno ended up throwing Caffrey into a swimming pool.

The women were closer earlier in the year, with Josephs even acting as a bridesmaid for Staub during her tropical wedding to Caffrey, but they had a falling out as RHONJ filming progressed.

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The bitterly fighting newlyweds are living separately since their August 13, 2018 fight, which ended with police being called to their home twice and Caffrey escorted off the property.

Staub’s restraining order documents obtained by Radar noted that Caffrey “appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, agitated and confrontational,” during the early morning fight.

In his documents obtained by Radar, filed hours later the same day, Caffrey hit back at Staub and said she threatened to “stab him in the neck .”

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Both TRO requests were granted and Staub and Caffrey were ordered not to “stalk, follow or threaten to harm,” each other.

Caffrey was “prohibited from returning to scene of crime, prohibited from future acts of violence,” according to documents obtained by Radar, barring him from the home he shared with Staub.

What do you think of Marty leaning on Danielle’s nemesis Margaret? Sound off in comments below.

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Chelsea v Arsenal, La Liga and Serie A kick off: football countdown – live! | Football

Hello world!


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Heavy Metal Rocker Jill Janus Dies By Suicide At 42

Huntress frontwoman Jill Janus has died at 42.

A Facebook post from former bandmate Casey Wood confirmed the news. “I’m in shock and can’t stop crying. My X best friend, singer has left the world. She was the biggest sweetheart and I hope that her Legacy lives on as it should!”

He continued, “You were supposed to be on your way back here Jill Janus. I love you I miss you, and my door is still open for you always. Rest in peace my sister.”

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The band also released a heartbreaking statement about Janus’ passing and revealed to fans that mental illness is what ultimately led to her demise.

“It is with crushed hearts that we announce that Jill Janus — frontwoman for the California heavy metal band Huntress — passed away on Tuesday, August 14. A long-time sufferer of mental illness, she took her own life outside of Portland, Oregon. Janus spoke publicly about these challenges in hopes of guiding others to address and overcome their mental illness.

“Janus was a truly special creative involved with numerous musical projects including her role as vocalist for female metal/hard rock cover bands TheStarbreakers and Chelsea Girls. In addition, Janus was co-composer and creator of an upcoming rock opera with Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Angus Clark and had a decade-long career as NYC DJ Penelope Tuesdae. Her musical career began in childhood.

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“Beyond her accomplishments in the music world and her advocacy for mental health issues, she was a beautiful person passionate about her family, animal rescue and the world of natural medicine. She will be missed more than she could have ever known.”

May she rest in peace.

If you or someone you know is in an emotional distress or suicidal, please call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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Turkish lira volatile as US warns of more sanctions – business live | Business


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Bethenny Scores Legal Victory In Custody Battle Before Jason’s Bad Mom Accusations

Jason Hoppy’s bad mom claims against Bethenny Frankel were a direct result of her scoring a big win in court on Thursday, exclusively learned.

Just days after her boyfriend Dennis Shields died of an overdose, The Real Housewives of New York City star faced off with her ex-husband in a Manhattan court to hash out the details of their custody fight over their daughter, Bryn Hoppy.

According to an insider, Frankel filed documents in December 2017 asking for a trial to gain primary custody as well as full decision-making rights for Bryn. The judge granted her wish and a trial was date set for March 2019.

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With the legal win, the insider claimed Hoppy turned bitter and lashed out at Frankel, accusing her of being a bad mom.

“She filed back in December to ask for a trial to gain primary custody, as well as full decision making for Bryn. Jason went to court today totally fine with how the custody agreement already stood. He walked in there like ‘Bethenny is a great mom, everything is fine, there is no problem, let’s just leave the agreement as it is.’”

“When Bethenny filed back in December, there was enough information for a forensic expert to be called in,” the insider told Radar.

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“That was the next step. Now the forensic custody expert and the judge awarded Bethenny exactly what she asked for today — which was another trial to happen in March,” the source explained to Radar.

“The minute that the judge gave Bethenny what she wanted today, that’s when Jason started to go off. The judge said this in court — ‘you were fine with this a few minutes ago and now you’re throwing grenades.’ He didn’t bring up anything…no Dennis, no drugs, no nothing when he walked into the courtroom.”

Hoppy’s displeasure at the trial date ruling was evident, but the source said justice was on Frankel’s side.

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“They felt that there was enough information that warranted her to be able to get a trial to have a case for custody. It was a win for her in that she got what she asked for today. So, do you think a judge, if he had any thoughts that maybe she wasn’t a fit mom, he was going to give her a trial?”

Hoppy’s attorney had brought Dennis Shields’ overdose into the picture.

“Dennis Shields, died as a result of a drug overdose. It’s been reported that he was addicted to Oxycodone,” Robert Wallack told Radar. “Considering Mr. Shields’ addiction, we have real, legitimate concerns that Ms. Frankel was allowing him to be around Bryn, and to take care of her. This doesn’t just constitute a lapse in judgment, this was downright dangerous parenting.”

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The source close to Frankel dismissed Hoppy’s criticism of her and her parenting.

“If there was any problem at the beginning of the hearing today, why didn’t the lawyers bring any of this up at the beginning? Why was it brought up in the end?”

The insider told Radar that Frankel was reluctant to marry Shields before his tragic death even though she was sporting a large diamond ring on her right hand during court.

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“There’s a reason Bethenny didn’t accept his proposal right away, she knew. She’s not a drug addict nor is she an unfit mother.

“Think about the engagement story that Dennis proposed to her and that there were things or hurdles to overcome before she would agree to marry him.

“She’s smart, she’s not stupid. She knows what the environment was or the issues going on, that she knew it wasn’t the right time to take that next step and take that relationship to the next level.”

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Hoppy’s allegations were slammed by the insider.

“She’s clearly of sane mind to know what atmosphere her and her child should be in. So, for anyone to accuse her or remind her of those allegations is unfair,” the source told Radar.

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Australian boy who hacked into Apple network admired the group, court told | Australia news

A 16-year-old boy hacked into Apple’s mainframe, downloaded internal files and accessed customer accounts because he was a fan of the company and hoped to work there one day, a Melbourne court has heard.

According to The Age newspaper, the boy’s lawyer told the children’s court in Melbourne on Thursday that his client had hacked into the Apple network on multiple occasions over one year because he admired the company.

The boy, who studies in a private school, stored the saved information in a folder titled “hacky hack hack”, the newspaper said.

Despite the court being told that the teenager had downloaded 90GB of secure files and accessed customer accounts, Apple – the world’s most valuable company – has denied that customers were affected.

The company said it identified the security breach and notified the FBI, which in turn referred the matter to the Australian federal police.

“At Apple, we vigilantly protect our networks and have dedicated teams of information security professionals that work to detect and respond to threats,” a company spokesman told Guardian Australia in a statement.

“In this case, our teams discovered the unauthorised access, contained it, and reported the incident to law enforcement. We regard the data security of our users as one of our greatest responsibilities and want to assure our customers that at no point during this incident was their personal data compromised.”

The Age said customer data had been accessed, and that the boy managed to obtain customers’ authorised keys – their login access.

The AFP searched the teenager’s home last year and seized two computers. The serial numbers of the devices matched those of the devices that had accessed the internal systems, a prosecutor told the court.

The boy also shared details of his hacking with members of a WhatsApp group.

Apple would not specify to Guardian Australia what information had been accessed by the boy, or how they identified the breach.

The boy pleaded guilty and will return to the court for sentencing in September.

Dr Suelette Dreyfus, a privacy expert from from the University of Melbourne’s school of computing and information systems, urged against a punitive sentence.

“I have researched a number of teen hacker cases internationally,” Dreyfus said.

“Almost all these teens grew out of the technology boundary-pushing of their youth, and then went on to live useful lives and contributing to society. Putting them in prison is often a waste of that potential.

“Young people often make mistakes when they are exploring and rule-breaking especially online – including boasting about their exploits. It’s not right, but for tech teens, it can be a part of growing up … there’s usually a really worried teen and family at the end of this sort of court case.”

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