Posts tagged with "U.S."

Rita Azar, 360 MAGAZINE, travel, illustration

Medjet COVID-19 Air Medical Transport Benefits

Medjet, the industry leading air medical transport and travel security membership program, announced today that it has expanded its transport benefits for COVID-19. Effective today, Medjet members who fall ill from COVID-19, and become hospitalized while traveling globally, may now be transported to a home hospital of their choice. In October of 2020, Medjet was the first program of its kind to add COVID-19 transport benefits, but previously had limited transport services to travel within the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

“As more and more countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America have opened their borders to travelers, we have increased our COVID-19 transport capabilities. Our members’ safety is always our top priority, and we continually evolve our services based on member needs,” said Mike Hallman, CEO of Medjet.

The expansion of global benefits will not increase Medjet membership prices, and benefits are applicable to both existing and new MedjetAssist and MedjetHorizon memberships as of July 12, 2021.

“While COVID is still a top concern for travelers, our own internal polling (in May) also showed that members were still very concerned with all the other accidents and illnesses that kept us busy pre-COVID. I think there’s now a heightened awareness of vulnerability, overall, while away from home. We hope that being able to get members back from more destinations, even for COVID, gives them the confidence to enjoy traveling again,” said Hallman.

Despite the increased cost of providing transport for a COVID-19 positive member, Medjet will continue to absorb 100% of all costs associated with the transport, and maintain its “no cost caps on transports” policy. A regular air ambulance transport can cost up to $30,000 domestically, and up to $180,000 internationally. Medjet memberships start at $99.

Updates and restrictions surrounding COVID-19 transport benefits can be found here. Full Medjet rules and regulations can be found here.

ABOUT MEDJET

Medjet was the first company in the U.S. to implement the air-medical transport membership concept. Since 1991, Medjet has forged a global network of air medical transport and security response providers to meet traveler health and safety needs. At any given time, Medjet has access to hundreds of air ambulances, commercial medical escorts, and highly trained security and crisis response personnel, ready to launch from both domestic and international locations. The company most notably differentiates from other players in the market through its commitment to arrange air medical transfer, regardless of medical necessity, to the member’s hospital of choice in their home country. It is the preferred program for virtually every major luxury travel consortia (Virtuoso, Signature, Westa), and thousands of organizations including AARP, Morgan Stanley, and the NFL.

Medjet memberships are available to residents of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and protect members while traveling 150 miles or more from their primary residence (domestic and international travel benefits).

Hot Wheels illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour

2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour Ramps Up with May 20 Virtual Event

  • Hosted by urban car culture icon, DUB magazine, and presented by Mobil 1, the next North American leg of Legends Tour will be live May 20
  • Streaming will kick off at 5:00 PM PDT on both the Hot Wheels and DUB magazine Facebook pages
  • Both Canadian and U.S. contestants will once again see which build has the most garage spirit

The 2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour burns on with the next North American virtual event Thursday, May 20. Returning for another tour, DUB magazine—world renowned for its coverage of urban car customs and celebrity vehicle features— is back to co-host the show.

Open to fans across the United States and Canada, Hot Wheels is ready for the next epic round of custom car submissions. Once again, this event winner will go on to compete for a chance to see their build become immortalized as the next 2021 Hot Wheels Garage of Legends inductee and have their custom vehicle 1:64 die-cast model sold in Walmart stores around the world.

Presented by Mobil 1 and sponsored by Walmart, Dynacraft and Milestone S.r.l, this next stop in the world’s largest traveling car show will be available on the Hot Wheels and DUB Facebook pages starting at 5:00 p.m. PDT. Host Jarod DeAnda will be joined by an array of automotive enthusiast judges, including his co-host, professional racer and stunt driver Collete Davis, Hot Wheels designers Ralph Benitez and Kevin Geralez, as well as DUB magazine co-founder and SEMA’s ‘2020 Person of the Year’ Myles Kovacs. Each will be looking for the entry that best embodies authenticity, creativity and garage spirit.

To watch this premiere automotive livestream event, visit the Hot Wheels Legends Tour Facebook Page or the DUB Magazine Facebook Page.

Dates for future stops will be announced soon, and fans may register or learn more about the Hot Wheels Legends. Live events will be returning to U.S.-based Walmart stores this summer.

A winner has emerged for the 2nd North American stop of the 2021 Hot Wheels Legends Tour!

Paul Kalenian of Santa Fe, New Mexico and his 2020 Lulu will go on to compete with other regional winners from around the world later this year for a chance to have his custom car become the next Garage of Legends inductee and made into a 1:64 Hot Wheels die-cast toy.

About The 2020 Lulu

The Lulu is a one-of-a-kind, fully street legal, race-inspired ride. Garage built–from sketch to street–in just seven months, this heli arc, all aluminum monocoque/bulkhead design features a rear, structurally mounted turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 325 hp and 24 PSI. The brain child of 70-year-old Paul Kalenian, it loosely replicates Mickey Thompson’s 1963 Harvey Aluminum race car. To date, Lulu has already clocked 5,000 miles.

Other outstanding competitors from tonight’s stop included:

  • 1965 Ford Econoline
  • 1962 Ford Falcon
  • 1966 Novetta
  • 1964 Chevy Nova Wagon
  • 2007 Jaguar XK
  • 1998 Honda CR-V / Fiberfab GT40 Avenger Kit Car
  • 1949/2008 Ford/BMW
  • 2020 Chevy C8 3LT Z/51
  • 1996 F250
Hot Wheels Legends Tour 2021 winner: The Lulu image via Taylor Vande Beek (Extension PR) for use by 360 Magazine
Zapata illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Zapata × Team Europe

ZAPATA AND TEAM EUROPE JOIN FORCES TO BRING NEW WAYS OF MOBILITY

Zapata Racing is developing into a provider of individual mobility: technology holding Team Europe, led by Lukasz Gadowski, is supporting the company of French entrepreneur and innovator Franky Zapata. Together, they are striving to develop innovative products and position them successfully on the global mobility market.

Zapata Racing is a worldwide leader in developing and manufacturing hydro-flight and jet-powered flight technologies and products. Franky Zapata – “the Flying Man” – has once crossed the English Channel on his flyboard. With its 2016 invention Flyboard Air, Zapata revolutionized the industry and turned a leisure activity into a new extreme sport. The technological breakthrough JetRacer will shape the future of individual mobility. It will be capable of reaching airborne speeds up to 300 km/h and will be able to carry up to 200 kg.

“I consider Franky Zapata a genius engineer and value his humbleness and kindness and culture of delivery and winning”, says Lukasz Gadowski, CEO of Team Europe. “Together, we aim to make Zapata Racing a global leader. From France, we want to inspire the U.S. and the rest of the world. It’s not what you see today at Zapata – it’s the roadmap that is so exciting.”

Franky Zapata, founder and CEO of Zapata Racing: “Lukasz Gadowski is very experienced in building successful businesses. What started to be a leisure activity for extreme sport fans turned into a professional sport and together with Team Europe, we will now go one step further: we will shape the future of mobility.”

About Team Europe

Team Europe is a global technology holding company with the mission to deliver a better future via technology. Its main areas of interest are “Digital & Platforms”, “Mobility & MAaaS” (Micro Aviation as a Service) and “clean abundant energy”.

Team Europe has been building or actively supporting startups for more than 15 years – including the e-commerce company Spreadshirt, the delivery service company Delivery Hero, the solar company Enpal, the mobility provider Miles, the micro mobility company Bird, as well as Volocopter and Archer, two global leaders in the field of Urban Air Mobility (UAM).

Website Team Europe

The history of Zapata Racing

After 17 years of career as a Jetski and test pilot, Franky Zapata created the ZAPATA RACING brand in 2008. From design to production and development, Franky has invented his own stand-up jet skis and his ZAPATA RACING brand “Made in France” stand-up VNMs. 17 World Champion titles have been won with his brand. Franky Zapata turned himself to the challenges of innovation and differentiation to ensure the future of his company.

With the release of the first Flyboard waterboard and the public’s enthusiasm, success and worldwide marketing were limited only by the quantity produced. As soon as it was launched on the market, Flyboard became a real sport, with the organisation of the first Flyboard World Cup in 2012 in Qatar; until 2018 different countries followed.

After more than a dozen patents filed and the resounding success of the hydro-propelled machines, Franky Zapata is turning to a new major challenge by realising his dream: to create a redundant flying machine, extremely compact. He decided to name it FLYBOARD AIR.

In 2016, he became famous by achieving the Guinness World Record for the distance covered by hoverboard. Since then, Franky Zapata and his Flyboard Air have travelled all over the world participating in shows such as F1, Moto GP, FIA WEC and Red Bull Air Race.

In 2019, he took part in the 14th of July Parade by giving an aerial demonstration in front of the French President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and several other heads of states.

Franky decided to take up the crazy challenge of crossing the English Channel in homage to aviation pioneer Louis Blériot, who, 110 years earlier, had accomplished the same feat. This prowess was the subject of a documentary produced by Etoile Noire called “Flying”. After a first failure on 25th, July 2019, Franky Zapata did not give up. Thanks to the commitment of its entire team, he rebuilt his machine in a week. In August, the 4th, he made his crossing Channel in 22 minutes.

Surrounded by engineers and supported by a solid Research and Design office, the company Z-AIR continues its ascension by designing and developing new products, with the aim of changing the mobility of the future.

Among several of his confidential projects, one attracts attention, the JetRacer flying machine. This invention is expected to carry out the first official tests before Summer 2021.

Website Zapata Racing

Award illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

MDEEC Recieves Recognition from Silicon Valley

MDEEC excels at their services, granting the company recognition from Silicon Valley.

There are very few companies that can boast of quality customized training and solution-based videos for their clients­–not only in India, but also in Asia and the US. These two crucial and special services are provided eloquently by one company: Mehul Darooka Engagement and Entertainment Corporation, which is headquartered in Pune, India. Recently, the company was recognized with a letter of recognition for their services by several companies that MDEEC were serving in Silicon Valley, California.

The company is helmed by Mehul Darooka, who has the distinction holding an MMS (Master of Management Science) from Pune University–one of the prestigious universities in the world.

Mehul himself is an accomplished corporate trainer, internationally published author, and short filmmaker. He has trained 20,000+ people from various corporatations, institutes, and companies around the globe. He is also the founder of the Global Connaissance Exchange Festival, an online festival between countries and continents in which knowledge is exchanged amongst world leaders.

Mehul has authored three books on entrepreneurship, with his second book released in three editions. Two of his books are written in English and the other is composed in in Marathi. His Hindi edition, as well as other language editions, will be released soon.

In August 2019, Mehul also had the privilege and rare feat of releasing his third book in Silicon Valley amidst an esteemed panel and well-known entrepreneurs.

MDEEC has also been instrumental in contributing to some of the most prolific mega-events, corporate films, stage shows, radio shows, and plays. One of the most notable performances was the mega singing and dancing competition for 250 colleges in association with the reputed Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts. MDEEC has scripted almost 200 stage shows, corporate seminars, workshops, public gatherings, and 500 plus poems. Mehul also represented one of his clients on a radio channel based out of California in a show called “Saturday Swag,” which has a listenership totaling half a million viewers.

MDEEC’s recognition comes in the wake of serving clients from multiple industries. The most challenging industry was serving the Criminal Justice System of California for 15 counties as a training specialist.

“We are happy that we could cater to such a unique and different line of work, and supported [our clients during] such a tough and difficult area of work” says founder Mehul Darooka with a proud smile.

They have also been phenomenally successful at providing customized video and filmmaking solutions. Some of their global and esteemed clients include Suzlon Energy, Trimble INC, Loreal Cosmetics, Solix Tech, Emagia, Draexlmaier, Fujitsu, S&N, Schaeffler India, Cummins India, Symbiosis Institute, Indira, and many more.

Mehul and his company have also been applauded and decorated with awards. They have won the certificate of excellence from the reputed National Film Development Corporation in Mumbai. The company has also been granted recognition from reputed universities and colleges based out of India and US.

Mehul Darooka has also had the extraordinary and amazing opportunity to interview great industry leaders and stalwarts from all walks of life. Some of the dignitaries interviewed by him are Dr. Ganesh Natarajan­: former CEO of Zensar, Mr. Girish Chitale: owner of Chitale foods, Mr. Sidharth Jain: CEO of the biggest book to screen company in India, Mr. Vishal Furia: well known Indian film director, Mr. Kailash Katkar­­: CEO of Quick Heal, Ms. Shubhra Chaddha: CEO of Chumbak, and many more.

With a team of passionate and experienced trainers, facilitators, and consultants, MDEEC is for sure to grow and reach even greater heights. They also boast of an enthusiastic and experienced team of technicians like cinematographers, actors, editors, and more to support the creation of the perfect corporate film for your product, process, or company. You name it, and MDEEC will offer you the best service at the most competitive prices, leaving their customers delighted.

Eating disorder illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Eating Disorders × Covid-19

Eating Disorders and Covid-19

More than 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from eating disorders

COVID-19 can be a nightmare for thembecause of the following triggers:

  • Empty grocery shelves
  • Feelings of uncertainty and loss of control
  • Social media messages about avoiding the “Quarantine 15” pound weight gain are especially harmful to those with existing eating disorders.

A recent study conducted by the International Journal for Eating Disorders found that symptoms worsened across the board for people with anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders nationwide since the lockdowns in March. Among respondents, 62% of people with anorexia have experienced more severe restriction and food fear during the pandemic, while 30% of those with bulimia and binge-eating disorder reported experiencing more binge-eating episodes, and a greater urge to binge.

Some of the facts about eating disorders are sobering:

  • 9% of the US population will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime
  • Almost 1% of us suffer from anorexia nervosa
  • Between 2-3% of us have bulimia nervosa
  • Binge eating disorder (BED) is experienced by between 2-3% of us
  • 10% of those with eating disorders lose their lives as a result
  • Eating disorders are second only to opioid overdose as the deadliest mental illnesses
  • About 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide

Eating Recovery Center is the nation’s largest eating disorder treatment center (with offices around the country, & virtual treatment options).  Eating Recovery Center provides comprehensive treatment for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and other unspecified eating disorders.

Healthy Eating illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Food Insecurity

Michelle Obama‘s New Show Addresses Food Insecurity,

Recent Survey Findings Validate the Crisis Behind it

Six in 10 Americans have faced “food insecurity” at some point in their lives, and of those, 73% experienced it for the first time since the start of the pandemic, according to this new research. The ongoing issue of food insecuritycontinues to receive more attention from celebrities and programming, like Michelle Obama’s new Waffles and Mochi show, which is directed at children to learn how to eat and prepare healthy meals. 

To understand the true impact and severity of the food insecurity crisis, recent findings from a new study launched yesterday from Feed the Children, a nonprofit dedicated to ending child hunger around the world, and Herbalife Nutrition, not only validate the crisis that’s happening today, but also shows how the U.S. compares to the rest of the world

The global survey of 9,000 respondents in 21 countries touches on families experiencing food insecurity for the first time, how they are managing to keep their families fed, along with some of their biggest concerns.


Below are a few of the U.S. stats that have come out of the survey: 

  • 73% of Americans surveyed experience food insecurity for the first time during the pandemic.
  • 31% of which have said their family has had to skip meals
  • 59% of parents are concerned their children will have lasting health effects as a result of food insecurity
  • 78% of parents rely on their child’s school meals to ensure their kids receive healthy meals
  • 63% of parents feel the government should promote flexible working hours to parents, so they can ensure their kids are eating balanced meals
Passport illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Airlines Urged to Issue Refunds

Consumer Reports & PIRG Urge Airlines to Provide Full Refunds for Flights Canceled During Pandemic as Voucher Expiration Dates Approach

Groups Call for Airlines to Extend Voucher Expiration Dates Through At Least End Of 2022

With the one-year anniversary of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown approaching, Consumer Reports and U.S. PIRG sent a letter to ten domestic airlines today calling on them to provide full refunds to consumers whose flights were canceled or affected by the pandemic.  At the very least, the consumer groups are urging airlines to extend the expiration dates for vouchers they issued for canceled flights to the end of 2022 or longer.

“Millions of Americans who booked flights in good faith in 2020 were prevented from flying because of government lockdowns and safety concerns brought on by a once-in-a-century global pandemic,” said William J. McGee, Aviation Adviser to Consumer Reports.  “The airline industry has received very generous support from taxpayers while stiff-arming its customers and treating their hard-earned dollars as interest-free loans.  It’s time to provide consumers with the long-overdue refunds they rightfully deserve.”

The consumer groups’ letter notes that complaints to the U.S. Department of Transportation about airline refunds have jumped dramatically over the past year.  In 2019, consumers submitted a total of 1,574 complaints about refunds to the DOT.  Last year, that number increased 57-fold to 89,518 refund complaints.

Consumer Reports has been contacted by numerous customers frustrated that they couldn’t get a refund during lockdowns and who are concerned that they might not be able to travel before vouchers expire. An analysis by TripAction, a travel management company for businesses, found that 55 percent of vouchers for unused tickets will expire in 2021, and 45 percent will expire in 2022.

Many passengers were prevented from flying because of government restrictions, public health notices, or serious medical conditions that made flying during the pandemic unsafe. Far too many of the trips they booked will never happen, due to the cancellation (not postponement) of conferences, conventions, weddings, graduations, and family reunions.

While passengers on flights canceled by airlines are entitled to a full refund under federal law, a congressional analysis found that some carriers offered vouchers as the default option, requiring passengers to take extra steps to get a cash refund. Many airlines waited until the last minute to cancel scheduled flights, prompting concerned passengers to cancel their tickets and forfeit their legal right to a refund.

“It’s insulting and unfair that airlines haven’t offered refunds to all customers affected by the pandemic,” said Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog Director for U.S. PIRG. “Consumers certainly couldn’t have foreseen a once-in-a-lifetime global crisis. Our research has shown that travelers whose plans got canceled have to wade through refund policies likely written by a team of lawyers. They’re faced with figuring out the difference between a flight credit or a trip credit or a travel voucher and similar offers the airlines make to avoid giving people easy-to-understand cash in their pocket.”

A Consumer Reports review of airline voucher policies found nine different policies among ten different airlines.  Many of these policies are hard to find on airline websites, and the airlines’ descriptions of their policies can be quite confusing and at times contradictory, based on conflicting rules for various dates of booking, travel, and cancellation. The consumer groups’ letter was sent to the CEOs of the following scheduled airlines: Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines.

Money illustration for 360 Magazine

China’s Social Commerce Sales

China’s Social Commerce Sales to Soar by 36% to $363 Billion in 2021, Ten Times the U.S. Figure

Though the U.S. social commerce market is growing at a rapid pace, China is not likely to lose its position of dominance in the near future.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Finaria, the total social commerce sales in China was worth $242.41 billion in 2020, accounting for 11.7% of online sales. It will grow to $363.26 billion in 2021 and account for a 13.1% share of the eCommerce market.

The U.S. will take the lead in retail sales in 2021, with $5.506 trillion against China’s $5.13 trillion. But China’s eCommerce sales will outperform the U.S. by a $2 trillion margin.

52% of China’s Retail Sales Will Happen Online in 2021

The total number of social buyers in China was estimated to be 357.2 million in 2020. It is forecast to increase to 392.2 million in 2021, 420.0 million in 2022 and 446.8 million in 2023.

The commerce market’s performance is partly attributable to China’s smartphone-driven culture. Most social buyers U.S.e mobile devices to shop and most digital storefronts start out on mobile layouts.

WeChat’s Mini Programs is among the most popular platforms for social commerce. In 2020, the platform facilitated transactions worth 1.6 trillion yuan ($250 billion). That was double its 2019 transaction value. WeChat hosts around 2.3 million Mini Programs, compared to Apple App Store’s 1.96 million and Google Play Store’s 2.87 million.

Based on a study by WeForum, China accounted for over 50% of global online retail sales in 2020. The share of online sales in the country’s retail sales went from 20% in 2016 to 44.8% in 2020. Comparatively, the UK had a 27.7% share while the U.S. had 14.7%.

Lastly, according to eMarketer, 52.1% of China’s retail sales in 2021 will take place online. It will be the first time that a country records more sales online than offline. South Korea will follow with a 28.9% share while the UK will be third with 28.3%. The U.S. will have a 15% share.

More statistics and information can be found on Finaria’s website.

Rita Azar illustrates fashion article for 360 MAGAZINE

Tips For Supporting Ethical Fashion 

There is no time like right now to make the switch to ethical fashion, with the report Future of Consumer Demand showing that the vast majority of Americans place a high importance on buying goods that are ethically produced. When it comes to fashion, the exact definition of ‘ethics’ is difficult to provide, since it extends to a wide array of issues – including fair working conditions, sustainability, support for upcoming creators, animal welfare, and fair trade. A recent Futerra survey showed that around 90% of consumers in the U.S. and the U.K. want to make a positive difference with each purchase they make. They feel that their actions can be part of a big wave that reduces pressing problems such as global warming. If you are ready to start supporting companies that are ‘giving back’, what qualities should you look for in your chosen brands?

Ethical Working Conditions

If you are drafting a list of fashion and accessory companies you would like to start supporting, spend time getting to know their policy on working conditions. For instance, if you are buying luxury gems such as diamonds, ensuring they are conflict-free and ethically sourced is key. More than 99% of accessible diamonds meet Kimberley certificate standards. However, this certificate is a logistic document that states a rough diamond was exported from a specific country under the stipulations of the Kimberley process. It does not tell you if the mine a specific diamond was obtained from provides local jobs or funds opportunities for diverse groups such as women. Therefore, inquiring about these matters can help you make a decision when considering various brands or jewelry houses.

A Passion For Sustainability
It is very easy to see which brands are 100% committed to lowering their carbon footprint. Truly green brands such as Stella McCartney have been raising the bar in terms of the use of organic, recycled and upcycled materials practically since their launch. Brands should do more than release the odd sustainable collection. They should have published policies regarding energy use, water saving, ethical sourcing of materials (i.e. materials should not hail from endangered forests), and the establishment of strict quality and sustainability standards. They should also commit to reducing oil-based synthetics during the manufacturing process.

Supporting Innovation

Check out the efforts made by each brand to support the Planet. Some have come up with innovative ways to put an end to problems such as plastics. Pangaia, famed for its über-chic tracksuits, use material obtained from recycled bottles. The fabric obtained is then colored with natural botanical dyes, and ‘freshened up’ with natural peppermint, which battles bacteria. Reformation (which manufactures swimwear) also creates items made with recycled plastic, while Isbjörn of Sweden uses fish trap to create resilient items that are also 100% PFC-free and bluesign certified.

Design For Life

Ethical fashion should also aim to be used by several owners so as to prolong the life cycle of every item and reduce the amount of waste that is overburdening landfills. Essén is one such label; it produces all collections in small batches, moving away from the idea of short-term trends and seasonality. The aim is for every single item to be used throughout the year, with minimalist looks holding sway in the summer and layering being embraced to stay warm and cosy during the winter. Another interesting minimalist brand is Working Title. In order to reduce its carbon footprint, this company only sells made-to-order items, meaning that every single outfit they make is fully desired and cherished. When purchasing items for a new season, go with items you think will stand the test of time. Ensure you have wardrobe essentials such as a ‘little black dress’, a white tailored top, black trousers, and a good coat you can dress up or down. You can still stay in trend, buying a couple of ‘in’ clothing items and accessories but mainly sticking to items you know will look good just as good next year as they do this year.

Choosing Durable Items

Genuinely sustainable items should be able to withstand plenty of wear and tear if it is to stand the test of time and be worn a lifetime or passed down to various users before being thrown away. Isbjörn, mentioned above owing to its innovative spirit, also has a big focus on durability. All items are made with materials built to last, and have sewn-in labels with space for three kids’ names (the aim being that every piece should be used by at least three people). The company goes a step further, offering to replace any items that are broken. Why buy a new coat when your favorite comfy coat can be repaired and look as good as new? Companies should ideally offer customers tips to increase the lifespan of clothing. These can include information on how to repair and wash items. They can also include suggestions on where to donate clothes once customers are done with them. The brand Vaude, for instance, has a free online platform called iFixit, which provides instructions on how to fix various products.

Embracing Diversity

Sustainable companies that truly desire to make a difference should take other ethical considerations into account, one of which involves embracing diversity. The 21st century is arguably the first to embrace different races, body types, and ages in advertising and fashion. Brands should do more than simply market themselves as ethical; they should also put their money where their mouth is, releasing collections in sizes that reflect the diversity of their customer base. Just a few brands that have already done so include Adidas, Apiece Apart, and Diane von Furstenberg. The latter’s iconic wrap dresses are now available in sizes 14 to 24, thanks to its recent partnership with Honoré.

If you are ready to make more eco-conscious fashion choices, a good place to start is by checking out the sustainability policies of your favorite brands. Those that do value ethical working conditions, the environment, and other issues such as animal welfare, will usually share their values with you via their website and social media channels. Be vigilant about shopping for jewelry as well, since truly ethically sourced diamonds have more to them than simply complying with the Kimberley certificate standards. When choosing a brand to support, also think about the extent to which they are truly making an effort to effect change. Efforts can range from choosing innovative materials right through to improving durability and educating customers on how to increase a product’s lifespan. Finally, this millennium is one that is firmly focused on diversity. Ethical companies should support the idea that all human beings have a right to look and feel like their best selves through the clothes they wear. Companies can show their commitment to diversity by employing models with varying ages, races, and body types. They can also make collections in various sizes so that their garments can be worn by a truly representative group of people. One of the best ways to find out more about fashion brands is to check out their websites. If they are truly serious about sustainability and ethics, they will most likely have a sustainability section in which they list the many steps they are taking to change the superficial reputation that fashion can sometimes have.

Veterans illustration by Kaelen Felix for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Postal Inspection Service Lists Scams Targeting Veterans

As Veterans Day approaches this Wednesday, Operation Protect Veterans is alerting more than 17 million U.S. veterans to scams that are specifically targeting them. OPV is a joint crime prevention program created by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and AARP.

Some of these scams are listed as: 

  • Secret Veterans Benefits Scam: Veterans are told they qualify for “secret” government programs or benefits that offer thousands of dollars. But first, they attempt to collect personal information or a fee.
  • Pension Poaching Scam: Scammers often offer veterans lump sum payments up front, in exchange for signing over all their future monthly benefit checks.  
  • Bogus Employment Scam: Scammers post fake job descriptions to collect personal information from a veteran’s job application, or they charge an employment fee.
  • VA Loan Scams: Offers to refinance VA loans at extremely low rates. 
  • Update Your File Scam: An imposter, claiming to be from a government agency, attempts to get a veteran’s personal information to “update their file,” so they can maintain their benefits.
  • Aid and Attendance Scam: Veterans (or their family members) receive an offer to move their assets into a living trust so that they can qualify for financial assisted Iiving benefits.

According to research conducted by AARP, veterans are twice as likely as the general public to be victims of scams. What can veterans – and those who care about them – do to prevent being taken advantage of by scammers? 

The Postal Inspection Service advises every veteran do the following:

  • Visit the Postal Inspection Service’s website (www.uspis.gov) to learn about scams targeting veterans and what they can do to prevent becoming a victim.
  • Check out any offer with a trusted family member, friend or your local veteran’s affairs office before acting. 
  • Don’t be pressured into acting immediately. If you are dealing with a legitimate outfit, they won’t try to pressure you to act before having a chance to check it out and think about it. If they do, just say “no” and hang up.
  • Get an answering machine and caller ID display. Then, let the machine answer the phone for you. If you don’t recognize the person leaving a message, don’t pick up the phone! 
  • Contact your telephone service provider, and ask them what kind of services they offer to help you block unwanted calls.
  • Report if you believe you have been the victim of a scam. Contact your local police or AARP (protectveterans@aarp.org or 877-908-3360).
  • Get credible information on how to qualify for veterans’ benefits by contacting your state veterans’ affairs agency. Visit www.nasdva.us, and click on “Links.”

“Veterans have access to special benefits and share a special bond that scammers know and use to take advantage of them,” said Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale. “The Postal Inspection Service works hard every day to stop scams targeting veterans, but we need everyone to become better informed, so they can help spread the knowledge to the veterans they know and love. 

“I encourage all Americans to make this Veteran’s Day not only a day of remembrance and thanks for our veterans,” Barksdale continued, “but also to make it the start of learning about, and helping to spread information on scams targeting veterans.”

For more information on scams targeting veterans and other scams, visit www.uspis.gov. To learn more about the U.S. Inspection Postal Service, visit www.uspis.gov. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.