Planning for the circular economy

July 1, 2017

Economics is an older science than ecology, created (if not perfected) during times when there were no scarcities of natural resources (and no wild-eyed college freshmen running around flashing their “Earth Day 1970” buttons at each other). In ecological science, there really is no concept of unlimited resources. Economics is necessarily focused on short time …

The only strategy

June 1, 2017

At the recent MMPA (Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association) Summit & Expo, focused this year on digital publications, I attended a session on how to enforce trademark and copyright laws when much of the public feels that anything found online is free for the taking. According to our speaker, a patent attorney, if you find …

The radishes strike back

May 1, 2017

Some weeks ago, I listened to my cousin’s husband Fred as he told a tale of shopping and marital compromise. Apparently he’d gone out to run some errands, was attracted by a nearby brewery, and completely forgot that he’d been firmly instructed to pick up some cat food. Wishing to maintain household harmony, Fred sent …

Beware the local radishes

April 1, 2017

Whenever anyone says something about being on Cloud 9, I have to wonder about the populations of Clouds 1–8. Are there predestined atmospheric locations for those having a bad hair day, a flat tire, two flat tires, a screenwriting career? Is Cloud 1 the lowest level, or does it continually sow discord by boasting the …

From custom to customer

March 1, 2017

Manufacturing USA—the new name for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation—has established nine manufacturing innovation institutes, with six more planned in 2017. These public–private partnerships each have distinct technology focus areas but work towards a common goal: to secure America’s future through manufacturing innovation, education and collaboration. The mission of the Advanced Functional Fabrics of …

Recurring revenue

February 1, 2017

Twenty years ago, while working as an editor at my first publishing company, I was working with a group of other editors that were mostly 9–10 years younger than I was. (Generation X was the term used, the generation born after the baby boomers, often perceived to be disaffected and directionless.) With the usual enviable …

Adjust to fit

January 1, 2017

During the MMPA’s annual gala in November, Specialty Fabrics Review magazine won six awards from the Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association: Bronze Awards in Feature Design (“Textiles in space,” Feb. 2016), Regular Column (“Perspective”) and Overall Design; a Silver Award for Overall Excellence; and Gold for Best Feature Article (“Making the rounds,” Oct. 2015)—and for …

Shared value

December 1, 2016

Last month, I was writing an editorial before IFAI Expo to be read after the show—a form of journalistic time travel. Today I am writing after doing my civic duty, but before the United States chooses a new president. I made some predictions about Expo, but I won’t venture into political prognostication. (Much.) After more …

Develop and diversify

November 1, 2016

By the time you read this magazine, IFAI Expo 2016 will have passed; but as I write this, it’s still 10 days out. The magazine will go to the printer before I have a chance to say anything about what I learned, or learned to question, in Charlotte. At this time of year, I’m always …

Water Repellency highly possible without fluorine

October 18, 2016

Carlo Centonze, CEO of HeiQ, says repellency is all about outdoor textiles staying clean and dry. Centonze was a presenter Oct. 18 at the IFAI 2016 Expo in Charlotte, N.C. Because consumers are beginning to perceive fluorine-based garments as negatively affecting the environment, the textile industry continues to explore fluorine-free options. He adds, “Nature can …