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Virginia Postrel and Adam Minter

The Future of Clothing Isn't in Tatters

The global trade of new and used garments is sorting itself in surprising ways.
Durability is key.

Durability is key.

Photographer: JIM YOUNG

There are two textile-obsessed columnists at Bloomberg View. One, based in Kuala Lumpur, is writing a book about used goods, including the global trade in secondhand clothes. The other, based in Los Angeles, is also writing a book – about textiles, technology and trade. So we asked them if they’d want to discuss how they see global trends playing out in the coming years. Here’s what they said.

Adam Minter: Years ago, I visited a Chinese factory where several hundred workers spent long days using sandpaper and razor blades to distress jeans manufactured for a U.S. apparel brand. As you’ve mentioned, Levi Strauss is now replacing that hand labor in its production of distressed jeans with lasers and automation.