All posts by karleighstone2019

Sustainable is fashionable

By Karleigh Stone
Medill Reports

By contributing 10 percent of global carbon emissions, 20 percent of industrial water pollution, and almost 35 percent of microplastics in the oceans, the fashion industry has become the third most polluting industry in the world.

On this episode of Medill Newsmakers local designers, Jamie Hayes of Production Mode, and Lesley Timpe of Squasht Boutique, talk about how they keep production eco-friendly and share tips for shoppers to do so too.

 

Photo at top: Lesley Timpe of Squasht Boutique talks sustainable fashion with Karleigh Stone. (Karleigh Stone/MEDILL)

For pro softball players, it’s not about the paycheck: it’s the competition, camaraderie and love for the game

By Karleigh Stone
Medill Reports

Professional softball players make only a fraction of what major league baseball players do. The highest paid National Pro Fastpitch players cap out at around $20,000 per year, a mere four percent of the lowest-paid MLB player’s salary.

Though it’s a professional sport, the women playing can’t make a living from their paychecks. To pay their bills, many take on additional jobs — still in the softball sphere — like running camps and private lessons or as graduate assistants in college programs.

The instinct to compete, the camaraderie among teammates and a lifelong love for softball keep these women coming back season after season, despite the discrepancies in opportunity and pay.

In this video, we hear what the game means to some its top players.

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With less litter to pick up, Chicago River Day focuses on restoration

By Karleigh Stone
Medill Reports

Over 2,000 volunteers gathered at 66 locations along the Chicago River on May 11th, to clean up litter in the water and the parks and spaces around it.

Plastic pollution on land and in the water not only affects the beauty of the river, it also affects wildlife. Biologist say more than 90 percent of fish in the river are ingesting it.

Eric Anderson, who works in ecological restoration, helped lead a group of volunteers at Clark Park in Avondale. After finding less trash than in previous years, the group was able to focus on restoration efforts like clearing out invasive species .

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Environmentally conscious consumers ponder genuine leather versus alternatives

By Karleigh Stone
Medill Reports

Use of genuine leather in the fashion industry is a topic of dispute among designers and consumers.

Authentic leather is environmentally friendly. Its durability allows it to outlast synthetic options, and that decreases consumption in the high-polluting apparel industry. Leather is also made from natural products — animal hides — which means it biodegrades quickly when it’s  discarded, lessening the impact on the landfill.

But for some, designers’ use of genuine leather raises ethical questions around the treatment of animals. They wonder whether most hides are truly a byproduct of the meat industry, and question if leather should continue to be used for apparel.

Photo at top: Genuine leather is a durable material, particularly for footwear. (Karleigh Stone/MEDILL)

Used as the new black: Environmentally conscious shoppers are choosing thrift stores

By Karleigh Stone
Medill Reports

Rapidly changing fashion trends can be harmful to the environment, according to a recent analysis by a U.N. consortium. In what’s known as “fast fashion,” retailers constantly flip the floor stock to match popular styles. That has led to production facilities creating more clothing than ever before.

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Chicago Bandits players aim for sustainable careers in professional softball

By Karleigh Stone
Medill Reports

Lack of advertising, inappreciable salaries and a shortage of opportunities characterize the state of professional softball.

With only six teams total and pay ranging from $6,000 to $20,000 a year, most professional softball players are unable to make a living out of their athletic career, in contrast to their male counterparts in Major League Baseball.

Despite the odds, women are not giving up and are excited to continue pioneering the National Pro Fastpitch League.

Courtney Gano and Abby Ramirez, two professional softball players on the Chicago Bandits, tell their stories.

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