Life's Blueprints: Levi's Takes a Cue From Bees To Make Stronger Jeans

Levi's is seeking inspiration in the way bees build their hives to improve the durability and strength of its clothes.

The discipline of biomimicry—defined by Biomimicry Institute founder Janine Benyus as "a way of seeking sustainable solutions by borrowing life's blueprints, chemical recipes, and ecosystem strategies"—has produced wind turbines shaped like whales' tails, solar panels modeled after butterfly wings, and cities and companies organized after mushrooms. Now Levi's is seeking inspiration in the way bees build their hives to improve the durability and strength of its clothes.

The company recently took a multidisciplinary team of designers, technical and sustainability experts from across various departments and sent them out into the Montana wilderness with Benyus to look for ideas.

"One thing we looked at was where in nature the reaggregation of fiber is performed," explains Paul Dillinger, senior director of global design for Levi's. "Bees. They collect resins from plants and create cross-linking natural resin to make short fibers. When we looked at bees closer, we realized they’re performing the same function as us, but doing it just by flying around and sucking on flowers."

Now, Dillinger says the company is continuing to look at how it could take a page from the bees' book. "We think there’s an application [of bee-based technology] that will strengthen our fabric and make it even more durable," Dillinger says.

Mother Nature is also providing inspiration for the company's design processes more generally. "One key area we examined was systems solutions," Dillinger says. "Natural ecology is a closed system where all materials are used and recycled. An industrial ecology uses an open system where many materials are wasted. Using nature as our inspiration, we are actively finding more ways to model nature’s closed system in our designs."

Specifically, the company is currently working on ways to recycle cotton, upcycle cotton and use more recycled cotton content in its products.

"The great thing about biomimicry is that there are a whole bunch of ways you can observe nature," Dilligner says. "And different solutions will emerge depending on which eyes are looking."

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Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

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Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

This election cycle, six women threw their hat in the ring for president, but is their gender holding them back? Would Americans feel comfortable with a woman leading the free world? Based on the last election, the answer is a swift no. And a new study backs this up. The study found that only 49% of American men would feel very comfortable with a woman serving as the head of the government. By comparison, 59% of women said they would feel comfortable with a woman in charge.

The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which measures attitude towards women leaders, evaluated the attitudes of those living in the G7 countries as well as Brazil, China, India, and Russia. 22,000 adults in those 11 countries were surveyed on their attitudes about female leadership in 22 different sectors, including government, fashion, technology, media, banking and finance, education, and childcare.

Only two countries, Canada and the U.K., had a majority of respondents say they would be more comfortable with a female head of state. Germany (which currently has a female Chancellor), Japan, and Russia were the countries least comfortable with a female head of state.

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

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via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

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"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

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Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.