The New Allbirds Sneaker Is Made of Rice Hulls and Citrus Peels, and Other News

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Plant Pacer sneaker by Allbirds

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The New Allbirds Sneaker Is Made of Rice Hulls and Citrus Peels

After developing what it claims to be the first leather alternative made entirely from plant-based ingredients this past year, Allbirds returns with two new sneakers putting its green insights to work. The sustainable footwear brand recently dropped the Plant Pacer, a completely plant-based and leather-free sneaker made using a natural formula of rubber, plant oils, rice hulls, and citrus peels. The impact on its carbon footprint is staggering: it produces 88 percent less carbon than sneakers using animal leather and 75 percent less compared to synthetic pleathers. A canvas version, meanwhile, is being made with organic cotton.

Material innovations startup Natural Fiber Welding, which helped develop the plant-based leather, assisted in the Plant Pacer’s construction. Allbirds initially invested $2 million this past February to support development of the new leather, called Mirum, and aimed to launch a sneaker later that year, but applying the novel material to a new silhouette and wear-testing the style took longer than anticipated. Still, it marks a step forward in the fashion and footwear industry’s embrace of natural alternatives to plastic-based vegan leathers, which are often derived from fossil fuels and are a prime example of greenwashing. —Ryan Waddoups

The Pritzker Prize unveils a documentary honoring Francis Kére with the laureate.

“Honoring the 2022 Laureate, the Burkinabé architect Francis Kére, the Pritzker Prize has released a ceremony video from the recently opened Marshall Building at the LSE, designed by the 2020 Pritzker laureates Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara. The documentary includes remarks by the awardee, Tom Pritzker, and previous laureates such as Alejandro Aravena, Norman Foster, Anne Lacaton, and Jean-Philippe Vassal. This ceremony presents Kéré with the 2022 Pritzker Prize medallion, certifying him as a laureate for his extraordinary work with communities and architectural ingenuity.” [H/T ArchDaily]

The inaugural Vogue World festivities suggest the future of fashion is entertainment.

“The ornery, enduring truth about New York City is that it’s all always right here—the talent, the beauty, the energy, the vitality, the smarts, the grit and the peerless cinematic backdrop of what the director Milos Forman once called “the only city which in reality looks better than on the postcards.” All that’s needed to bring it together is a focus and a frame. For several hours on Monday evening, Vogue World provided those elements in the form of a multiplatform extravaganza cast with A-list attendees. “We wanted it to reflect the heart of the city and of a great fashion capital,” Anna Wintour, the global chief content officer for Condé Nast, said Monday evening of a singular event whose commercial ambitions were much larger than that. The reality is that the future of fashion is entertainment.” [H/T The New York Times]

William Klein, New York photographer who brought fashion to the streets, dies at 96.

“The photographer, filmmaker and fearless multi-disciplinary artist William Klein died on Sept. 10 at his home in Paris. He was 96. His death was confirmed by Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York, which represents him (and where his photographs taken in Africa in the 1960s are currently on view, until Sept. 17). Klein was best known for his photography, which encompassed and intertwined a wide array of subjects including candid street photography, kinetic fashion shoots and high-contrast abstract work. He also maintained robust filmmaking and painting practices.” [H/T The Art Newspaper]

Meow Wolf Denver. Photography by Kate Russel

Meow Wolf opens its phantasmagoric new location between three Denver viaducts.

“Meow Wolf has collaborated with 300 artists to create a series of immersive installations made from mostly salvaged material for its Shears Adkins Rockmore Architects-designed venue in Denver. Known for its psychedelic design gallery in New Mexico, Meow Wolf has expanded its programming by opening the Convergence Station venue in a narrow gap between three viaducts near downtown Denver. The Denver space aims to expand on Meow Wolf’s mission to enliven art communities and make art more accessible and appealing to people. Meow Wolf, which is a certified B-Corp, commissioned more than 120 local artists and some artists from New Mexico, for a total of 300, to complete the diverse array of permanent and temporary installations within the venue’s gallery spaces.” [H/T Dezeen]

A massive railroad project in Mexico leads to the discovery of an ancient Maya city.

“The ancients are once again haunting the $8 billion Maya Train project, which has struggled to lay tracks around Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula since construction started in 2020. As part of president Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s regular news briefing last Thursday, Diego Prieto, director of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), told press that an archaeological survey along section 5 of the project, between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, has uncovered an “impressive” archeological site of more than 300 buildings, “some of which are over 8 meters high,” wrote Mexico Daily News.” [H/T Artnet News]

Natural gas interests are threatening the “world’s longest art gallery” in remote Utah. 

“Remarkably well-preserved depictions of animals, symbols, and human figures adorn the sleek red rocks of Nine Mile Canyon, composing what experts refer to as the largest continuous collection of Indigenous rock art in North America. Located in the Book Cliffs mountain range three hours south of Salt Lake City, the canyon takes its name from famed explorer John Wesley Powell’s mapping triangulation of a nearby area. Since the discovery of rich natural gas reserves on the nearby West Tavaputs Plateau, conservationists have been at odds with regional energy interests pursuing these resources.” [H/T Hyperallergic]

Goku no Kimochi’s new udon-inspired comforter

Today’s attractive distractions:

A new book celebrates Amsterdam’s rule-free haven for kids to play.

This ultra-warm Japanese comforter is modeled after udon noodles

Research shows that society may collectively be over the poop emoji.

A NASA rover is making breathable air out of the Martian atmosphere.

All Stories