The outdoor and the now popular "athleisure" industry has long been struggling to find the balance between performance fabrics and sustainability. That’s because many of the fabrics do not break down in nature. Add to it, they have finishes made of chemicals. Ironic for an industry that’s centered around nature and the outdoors.
Some of India’s textile factories are finding that improving their employees’ lives is good for the bottom line. In a small industrial complex in Puducherry, India, sits the Mandala Apparels textile factory where sewing machines hum, and women chatter as they stitch fair-trade clothing. Rows of fans cut through the hot, humid air. A breeze wafts through the open doors.
He listened first, then designed products for the world's poorest people long before the term 'social entrepreneur' came into use. Paul Polak has been the Johnny Appleseed of many ideas now used by the poorest of the poor around the world. They include the treadle pump, a simple irrigation device that's enabled millions of $1-a-day rural farmers in places such as Bangladesh and Zambia to produce bigger crops. Paul Polak designs rarely go beyond $40.