• Business leaders more likely to be called Stephen than to be women
    Style
    The Independent

    Business leaders more likely to be called Stephen than to be women

    It will be news to no one that there are more men than women at the helm of British companies, but new research shows the shocking extent of this gender disparity.According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, CEOs are more likely to be called Stephen than they are to be a woman.

  • Baby-boomers have not had it so good, say UK's official statisticians
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    The Telegraph

    Baby-boomers have not had it so good, say UK's official statisticians

    The claim that baby-boomers are living the high-life at the expense of millennials has been challenged by new research that shows they are paying more in tax.

  • GCSE grades explained: what is the 9 - 1 system?
    Style
    The Telegraph

    GCSE grades explained: what is the 9 - 1 system?

    Teenagers across Britain are eagerly waiting for their GCSE results pour in on Thursday, August 22nd after months of revision and summer exams.

  • Amy Schumer features in exhibition celebrating hundreds of postpartum bodies
    Style
    The Independent

    Amy Schumer features in exhibition celebrating hundreds of postpartum bodies

    Hundreds of women, including comedian Amy Schumer and model Christy Turlington Burns, have shared pictures of their postpartum bodies.The images are displayed as part of an exhibition called the Life After Birth Project.

  • Channel 4's Train Your Baby Like A Dog Certainly Divided Viewers – So What Do You Think?
    Style
    HuffPost UK

    Channel 4's Train Your Baby Like A Dog Certainly Divided Viewers – So What Do You Think?

    Channel 4's show Train Your Baby Like A Dog raised concerns before it was evenaired - and it certainly proved to be divisive

  • Blogger faces backlash over 'staged' photos taken during motorcycle accident
    Style
    Elizabeth Di Filippo

    Blogger faces backlash over 'staged' photos taken during motorcycle accident

    "This might be the tackiest thing I've seen this month."

  • Millie Bobby Brown launches vegan, cruelty-free Gen Z beauty brand
    Style
    The Independent

    Millie Bobby Brown launches vegan, cruelty-free Gen Z beauty brand

    Stranger Things actor Millie Bobby Brown has announced that she is launching a Gen-Z beauty brand, revealing that she wants the brand to "represent individuality".On Tuesday afternoon, the actor announced the launch of her cosmetics line Florence by Mills, inspired by her great-grandmother Florence, on Instagram.

  • Walks in the park can boost your mood as much as Christmas
    Style
    The Independent

    Walks in the park can boost your mood as much as Christmas

    It’s time to hit the great outdoors as a new study has found that a walk in your local park will boost your mood as much as Christmas.Researchers from the University of Vermont, US analysed thousands of Twitter messages posted by more than 4,600 people from 160 parks and leafy areas (squares an playgrounds) in San Francisco between May and August 2016.

  • I paid $110,000 to give birth. Stop telling me it's a miracle I'm alive
    Style
    The Independent

    I paid $110,000 to give birth. Stop telling me it's a miracle I'm alive

    They say you can’t put a price tag on life. Our healthcare system begs to differ. The cost of my 40-week pregnancy with complications – none of which were caused by pre-existing conditions or lifestyle – was $111,712.83.In November 2018, much to the surprise of my husband and I, I fell pregnant after being told I was infertile. Though we were absolutely shocked and overjoyed, at five weeks pregnant I became very ill. It seemed as my belly grew with a new bursting life inside me, so did the complications, the illness, and the bills.

  • Victoria’s Secret accused of stealing Agent Provocateur’s lingerie design
    Style
    The Independent

    Victoria’s Secret accused of stealing Agent Provocateur’s lingerie design

    Victoria’s Secret has been accused of copying designs from UK-based lingerie brand Agent Provocateur for its new autumn/winter collection.On Monday, social media account Diet Prada – which posts about injustices in the fashion industry – shared three side-by-side images of models wearing a pair of identical black briefs and a bra.

  • Having children will make you happier – but only once they've moved out
    Style
    Francesca Specter

    Having children will make you happier – but only once they've moved out

    Parents whose children have left home have better wellbeing and mental health.

  • Prince Harry's ex-girlfriend Cressida Bonas engaged to estate agent
    Style
    Danielle Stacey

    Prince Harry's ex-girlfriend Cressida Bonas engaged to estate agent

    The pair have remained good friends.

  • Pregnant Ashley Graham praised for nude photo showing changing body and stretch marks
    Style
    Francesca Specter

    Pregnant Ashley Graham praised for nude photo showing changing body and stretch marks

    The plus-size model is expecting her first child with husband Justin Ervin.

  • VSCO girls: What is the new trend taking over social media?
    Style
    The Independent

    VSCO girls: What is the new trend taking over social media?

    A new social media term is gaining popularity, and it describes a lifestyle of reusable straws, hair scrunchies, and Birkenstocks. “VSCO girls” are the latest subculture to arise from apps such as TikTok and Instagram, where millennials and Gen Zers are often heavily influenced by one another. The name comes from the VSCO editing app, which is used for its filters that create a consistent social media aesthetic. This is everything you need to know about the latest trend. What does it mean to be a VSCO girl?The term is used to describe female teenagers who dress and act in a certain manner that is virtually indistinguishable from one another, both online and in real life. On Instagram, where the hashtag VSCOgirl has been used on more than 1m posts, the aesthetic is mostly that of a colourful, beachy lifestyle. > View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by ✰ 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒂 𝒗𝒔𝒄𝒐 𝒈𝒊𝒓𝒍 ✰ (@vscogiuls) on Aug 16, 2019 at 9:13am PDT> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Yasmina 🥡 (@minii_minaaaa) on Aug 18, 2019 at 11:15am PDT> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by vsco ✯ (@vscoflwrs) on Aug 18, 2019 at 11:17am PDTSome of the photos are of homemade friendship bracelets, while others show young girls posing in nature or in front of wing murals. Environmental advocacy is also a common trait found in those who identify with the term. > View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Gizem Öztürk (@gizeminneverland) on Aug 18, 2019 at 11:34am PDT> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Kateryna Lopatynska (@__k.aterina__) on Aug 18, 2019 at 11:25am PDTOne 15-year-old YouTuber described the trend as “basic”."The word I would use best to describe it is basic, because everybody wears the same clothes and has the same items," Caiti DeCort told BuzzFeed News.> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Natalia Zakharchyshyn (@natazakh) on Aug 18, 2019 at 11:20am PDTThe term, and the accompanying lifestyle, is also largely exclusionary, as BuzzFeed writer Lauren Strapagiel points out that “VSCO girls are, by and large, white, thin, and have enough money to buy the various high-end items the trend includes”.What do VSCO girls wear?One of the largest commonalities among VSCO girls is their outfits, which often consist of clothing and accessories from the same brands.> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by ✰ 𝙫𝙨𝙘𝙤 𝙫𝙞𝙗𝙚𝙨 ✰ (@lilbeear_) on Aug 18, 2019 at 11:14am PDT> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by ♡sofia cortese♡ (@sofiaa_cortese) on Aug 18, 2019 at 11:00am PDTThe look, which is mostly described as beachy, or laid-back, is usually created with clothing from stores such as Brandy Melville or Urban Outfitters.VSCO girls often complete the look, which requires minimal makeup, by accessorising with scrunchie hair ties, puka shell necklaces, Hydroflask water bottles, and either Crocs, White vans or Birkenstock shoes. > View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by 𝕍𝕤𝕔𝕠 𝕘𝕚𝕣𝕝 💖✨ (@vscogirl89) on Aug 18, 2019 at 10:02am PDTOn YouTube, where teens have uploaded themselves “transforming” into VSCO girls, many of the videos have been watched thousands of times. One video titled “Becoming the ultimate VSCO Girl”, uploaded by a YouTuber named Caiti who runs the channel Caiti’s Corner, has been viewed more than 1m times. In the video, she shows viewers how to dress like a VSCO girl, and then capture the perfect Instagram photo - which she then edits using the VSCO app.The popularity of VSCO girls has also resulted in a large meme culture, where the identity is mocked for its lack of distinctiveness.

  • Ashley Graham praised for nude photo showing off stretch marks
    Style
    The Independent

    Ashley Graham praised for nude photo showing off stretch marks

    Ashley Graham is being praised for promoting body positivity after sharing an unedited nude photo that shows off her stretch marks. The plus-size supermodel, who announced this week that she is expecting her first child with husband Justin Ervin, shared the photo to Instagram on Sunday. Graham captioned the picture, where she appears to be sitting down: “Same same but a little different.”In less than an hour, the picture had already been liked more than 400,000 times, and received hundreds of comments from people thanking Graham for sharing the “honest” and “relatable” photo. “You make me feel like my stretch marks are normal and not ugly,” one woman wrote. > View this post on Instagram> > same same but a little different> > A post shared by A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@ashleygraham) on Aug 18, 2019 at 9:07am PDTAnother said: “Thank you! This could easily be a picture of me and I love that!”“Thanks for this,” someone else commented. “I wish I would’ve seen these types of photos when I was growing up!”Graham has frequently been outspoken about the need for accurate representations of female bodies in the fashion industry. In March, the supermodel criticised publications that airbrush and called on women to “demand respect”.

  • Why Do We Call It 'French Kissing'?
    Style
    HuffPost UK

    Why Do We Call It 'French Kissing'?

    The English language contains many "French" terms: fries, manicures, braids,toast and the tres sexy "French kiss

  • Cara Delevingne said she and Ashley Benson "weren't looking" for love when they met
    Style
    Cosmo

    Cara Delevingne said she and Ashley Benson "weren't looking" for love when they met

    Plus, an in-depth timeline of their relationship

  • The problem with ‘vegan leather’ – is it really more sustainable?
    Style
    The Independent

    The problem with ‘vegan leather’ – is it really more sustainable?

    The fashion industry is not one to jump on trends. It prefers to start them.But that’s not the case when it comes to vegan leather, a material that owes its zeitgeist stamp to the increasing popularity of plant-based diets and sustainable living.Because as more people reduce the amount of animal products on their plates, they’re beginning to take a similar approach to their wardrobes, prompting greater demand for “vegan” garments such as leather. And the brands that are taking note have flourished as a result.Earlier this week, shoe brand Dr Martens announced its profits had surged by 70 per cent in the year to the end of March thanks to the success of its vegan range of boots.The British label follows in the cruelty-free footsteps of Topshop and Adidas, both of whom have added vegan shoes to its collections in the last year. Meanwhile, labels that have always championed vegan leather, such as Veja, continue to be prosper among the street style set.Ethically, it makes sense to choose faux leather over the real thing, with animal rights campaigners pointing to the treatment of cattle that are farmed for beef and milk, of which leather is a byproduct. It's environmentally dubious too, given that no animal is reared purely for its leather and therefore producing it leads to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation just like beef and milk production. And that's before you’ve considered the consequences of tanning leather. While methods have improved, there are still some tanneries around the world, such as in Bangladesh, that use noxious chemicals such as chromium to tan their leather, which are filled in giant vats and often dumped into rivers once the process is complete.But vegan leather is also problematic, least of all because the term itself is an oxymoron. “There is no such thing as vegan leather,” says Dr Kerry Senior, director at the UK’s leather trade federation, Leather UK. “The term leather is defined by British, European and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards and refers only to the skins or hides of animals, tanned to be imputrescible,” Senior tells The Independent, describing the phrase as an “abuse of the term leather” that continues to be a bugbear for those working in the leather trade.Amy Powney, creative director of sustainable luxury label Mother of Pearl, explains that most leather alternatives are made using synthetic materials, hence why she prefers to use real leather instead. “If you are buying faux leather then you need to consider you are buying plastic,” she tells The Independent, adding how she prefers to use “best practice leather” that is long-lasting and has been made using natural tanning agents.In October, Patrick Grant, creative director of Saville Row tailors Norton & Sons made a similar remark when he criticised eco-conscious brands such as Stella McCartney for "encouraging us to use plastic instead of leather".> There is no such thing as vegan leatherDr Kerry Senior, Leather UKPlastic polymers polyurethane (PU) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are the most commonly used to produce faux leather fabrics thanks to their supple, vinyl and sometimes wrinkled texture. But both pose serious environmental threats given that they are usually manufactured from fossil fuels and are not biodegradable. Equally, these garments tend to have a short lifespan, meaning consumers may dispose of their faux leather items faster than a long-lasting hand-me-down, resulting in them being sent to landfill.Stella McCartney has admitted to using polyurethane and polyester as an alternative to leather in its products, which it says on its website are “not without concern”. But by using recycled polyester and producing garments that are not machine washable (meaning it avoids the issue of microfibre shedding), the brand claims to have a lower environmental impact than labels who choose to use real leather, citing a calculation from its Environmental Profit and Loss account. > View this post on Instagram> > Super-skinny Alter-Nappa boots with platform crepe soles, captured behind-the-scenes of the Winter 2019 Runway Show in Paris. ⁣ ⁣ Dedicated to the ones we love in the past, present and future. ⁣ ⁣ ThereSheGrows> > A post shared by Stella McCartney (@stellamccartney) on Mar 5, 2019 at 9:01am PSTThat said, like many others, the luxury British label is looking into new ways of producing faux leather fabrics that aren’t quite so environmentally questionable. These include lab-grown leather, which is being spearheaded by biofabrication companies such as Modern Meadow. Elsewhere, there’s Piñatex, a leather alternative made from the cellulose fibre of pineapple leaves that was recently used by H&M in its latest Conscious Collection.But there is development happening in the real leather trade as well.> Leather ticks all the boxes for a sustainable materialRachel Garwood, University of NorthamptonRachel Garwood, director at the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies at the University of Northampton, tells The Independent genuine leather is nowadays far more environmentally friendly than faux alternatives.“It ticks all the boxes for a sustainable material. The problem leather has is that it retains the stigma of historical production methods,” she says, pointing to contemporary methods used by modern tanneries – such as vegetable tanning – that are far less harmful than previous chemical-based processes involved in leather production.“Chemical companies and tanners are working closely with brands to offer reassurance of the clean technology and ethics in leather manufacturing,” Garwood adds, noting that various initiatives such as the Leather Working Group (LWG) rate tanneries on their environmental and ethical practices that help retailers and brands to better identify good practice in their supply chain.> View this post on Instagram> > Looking to complete your Nisolo collection? Our Summer Warehouse Sale begins tomorrow in Nashville. Follow @nisoloshowroom for live updates and consider a road trip to save on exclusive styles this weekend only. 📸: @stylethislife> > A post shared by Nisolo (@nisoloshoes) on Aug 9, 2019 at 10:40am PDTMatt Stockamp, impact associate at US-based footwear brand Nisolo, is constantly trying to improve his supply chain to ensure the leather he uses is ethically sourced and durable. “We know that a lot of our leather comes from farms in the US and northern Mexico,” he tells The Independent. “The majority of our tanneries are also certified by the LWG for their social and environmental practices, which includes a regular, thorough inspection of their water treatment facilities. Diving further into this is an ongoing priority of ours for 2019.” Nisolo’s leather products are designed to last for many years, Stockamp adds. “We’ll need to conduct thorough testing to make sure that any vegan materials also meet our brand’s standards for quality and longevity.”If you want to invest in a real, long-lasting leather garment but you’re not sure about the company’s supply chain, Leigh Mcalea, head of communications at anti-waste organisation Traid tells The Independent the best way forward it to forget about buying something new altogether. Instead, she advises championing circularity by making the most of the ample secondhand options available at charity and vintage shops: “Choosing secondhand displaces the loss of life to animals, environmental destruction and worker exploitation.”

  • Here's why you should really try not to swallow swimming pool water this summer
    Style
    Marie Claire Dorking

    Here's why you should really try not to swallow swimming pool water this summer

    Could swimming be making you sick?

  • What is spurgling and why do experts have concerns about the sperm stealing practice?
    Style
    Marie Claire Dorking

    What is spurgling and why do experts have concerns about the sperm stealing practice?

    Are cases of spurgling on the rise?