"Weekend Reading" is a weekly rundown of our favorite stories from around the web.

Levi’s continues to clean up its supply chain, lead change
"Beyond environmental efforts, Levi’s has also been striving to increase transparency and improve worker well-being programs. Just last month, it announced that it would be piloting its employee engagement program to 12 new countries, hoping to reach a total of 97,500 employees, up from the 29,500 that had previously been impacted by the program."

via: Glossy

Is Ethical Fashion Just This Year’s Model?
"Ethics in fashion covers a broad array of issues, ranging from defending fair wages to developing eco-friendly fabrics to animal rights. Two of the most notable fashion brands in the lead on the issue of ethical standards are American Apparel and Toms."

via: The Daily Beast

How Do You Build a Fashion Empire Without Celebrities?
"Thanks to a booming interest in celebrity red-carpet dressing and street style, the public’s fashion fluency is higher than ever. Because of stars like Dakota Johnson, Hari Nef, and Margot Robbie, a certain kooky, Old Master portrait aesthetic is identifiable as Gucci to even casual fashion observers. Because of Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna, a deconstructed sweatshirt over lingerie is a look to be emulated—not what you’re embarrassed the neighbor will see you in when you go out to get the morning paper."

via: Vanity Fair

Uniqlo: An American Dream for a Japanese company
"When you step into the office of Tadashi Yanai, the 67-year-old founder of the retail clothing giant Uniqlo, it’s clear that the United States has had a deep influence on the man who created this very Japanese brand. The walls of his office, located on the 31st floor of the Tokyo Midtown Tower, are decorated with classic photographs of mid-20th century New York City."

via: The Washington Post

Bumper Bunka
"Renowned for turning out some of the most imaginative designers in the Japanese fashion canon – graduates include couture luminaries Kenzo Takada, Yohji Yamamoto and Hiroko Koshino – Bunka Fashion College ranked eighth on the list of global fashion schools compiled by Business of Fashion in 2016. Its president for nearly 40 years, Sanae Kosugi, spoke to K magazine just before she retired from the post."

via: Kering

R.I.P., Age of Fashion Division(s)
"The changes all add up to a major shift in how fashion is thinking about what consumers want and need. Instead of a lot of style stratification by price, now it’s all about one unified style point of view. It’s an acknowledgment that what makes us desire a piece of clothing, a bag or some shoes — what we are looking for when we go into a store on onto a website — is less dictated by numbers than a clear identity in which we see (literally) ourselves. Only after that exists do the figures come into play."

via: The New York Times

Will Hearing From Garment Workers Finally Change Fast Fashion?
"When I think of my great-grandmother in Japan, the first thing that comes to mind is the perfectly matched shirt and pant sets she wore. A survivor of both World Wars, she sewed her own garments out of necessity. Unlike my great-grandmother, when I need a new outfit, I head to the mall. My inability to sew leaves me wondering, Who is making my clothes?"

via: TakePart

What Makes a Brand 'Cool' in 2016?
But how do the brands themselves do it? Not only are they tasked with producing the next big 'It' thing, but their success also hinges on knowing us, the customers, better than we know ourselves. Within fashion — an industry that has spent the last several years in a state of flux — this poses an especially difficult challenge. But as legacy houses flounder in the face of change, fresh-faced labels like Vetements, Rosie Assoulin, Mansur Gavriel and Monse — as well as Instagram-savvy companies such as Glossier and Revolve — are filling in the gaps.

via: Fashionista

Browns' Dean Cook on the Future of Menswear
Enter Dean Cook, the menswear buying manager who is making Browns a destination for men’s fashion with a capital 'F'. Since joining the company in the summer of last year, Cook has doubled the range and tripled the depth of brands available, from beloved runway blockbusters to obscure Japanese labels. 'You can’t just be a store anymore – you have to have a point of view and it has to mean something,' the Essex-born buyer says matter-of-factly. 'This building means so much to people. Most can find it with their eyes closed. When I think about when I first came to Browns, I remember the mix of designers. Now there’s no one that was around then that is here today.' Cook is passionate about making the boutique a go-to for menswear, whether it’s Gucci, Saint Laurent, HaiderAckermann or lesser-known labels such as Wtaps, Visvim, Facetasm, Neighbourhood and Sophnet.

via: Another Mag

This Nike Collection Is Designed By Children's Hospital Patients
There's a fair argument that we're living in the golden age of sneakers, with at least a dozen exciting styles releasing each and every week. We try to bring you the best of the best—but that represents a small percentage of what's ultimately an unrelenting flood. In the middle of this ongoing ruckus, this year, like every year, Nike is going all in on the Doernbecher Freestyle Collection, a celebration of life and a true injection of inventiveness into the market.

via: Esquire

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