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Selvedge Magazine | Issue 100

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Published April 15, 2021

WORDS BY Polly Leonard, Founder & Editor of Selvedge Magazine

"We made it! Welcome to issue one hundred. As one must be to be involved in periodical publishing, I am genetically programmed to look forward, but on this occasion, it is important to pause, reflect on the past and even do a little crystal gazing.

A lot has changed in the world of magazines in the last two decades. The future of publishing now looks brighter than it did in 2003 when I put together our first issue. The business model has pivoted away from magazines being a throwaway purchase, and today the high production values Selvedge pioneered all those years ago are the norm.

Meanwhile, Kate Fletcher is frustrated by the effect the textile industry response to the climate crisis is having. Could the solution be to ration the fibre from which our clothes are made?

We now have many more opportunities for creating audio and video content as well as our beloved print. Selvedge is stronger than ever, as, we head out of the pandemic and embrace an earth first future. The world of textiles has changed too. Back at the turn of the millennium, we were blinded by overconsumption and gave scant regard to the environmental and social cost of mass production. Today championing sustainable solutions is vital to us, as is promoting the work of indigenous artisans whose creativity has been too long overlooked.

The Selvedge community is enthusiastic about a future that is handmade. It, therefore seemed right to focus on cotton this issue, a fibre whose history is entangled with that of slavery and environmental destruction. Alden Wicker explores the human cost of recycled cotton, while Sarah Jane Downing looks back at the impact cotton production had on Manchester during the Industrial Revolution. Across the world, Maddalena Forcella celebrates the use of indigenous coloured cotton in the work of designer Maude Lerayer.

It is not only Selvedge celebrating a centenary, our style icon Iris Apfel turns one hundred this summer. We wish her a happy birthday as we preview some of the exhibitions we can look forward to later in the year."

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