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Gap has decided to close 175 stores across North America over the next few years as it attempts to turn around the business.

A “limited number” of European shops would also close, the retailer said in a statement.

In addition, the San Francisco-based will also cut about 250 jobs from its head office.Gap to close 175 stores

Gap has been struggling with falling sales as it competes with the likes of Europe’s H&M and Zara.

Like-for-like sales for the Gap brand fell by 15% in April, compared with a 3% rise in the same month last year.

Gap CEO Art Peck said: “Returning Gap brand to growth has been the top priority since my appointment four months ago.

“Customers are rapidly changing how they shop today, and these moves will help get Gap back to where we know it deserves to be in the eyes of consumers.”

Gap store closures will mean a loss of sales worth about $300 million, the retailer said, with one-off costs expected to be between $140 million to $160 million.

The retailer did not say how many employees would be laid off as a result.

A revolutionary Kickstarter project – carbonized coffee fused into futuristic socks – promises to spell the end to stinky feet as it filters and adsorbs sweat and odor.

UK’s Ministry of Supply (MoS), who designed the garment, hope for £20,000 ($30,000) of funding but with more than two weeks to go until the opportunity to back them ends, they have already surpassed their goal four times over.

MoS’ previous inventions include the £65 ($100) Apollo 2 dress shirt, a revolutionary garment that got widespread recognition.

The shirt is made using anti-microbial fabric with moisture wicking qualities and NASA heat-regulation technology.

The high-tech firm has now turned their hands to socks for their latest sartorial innovation.

Named Atlas, MoS once again evoke ancient Greece for the name of their invention. The garment comes with a promise of cool and comfortable feet thanks in part to coffee.

The socks are made from a mix of cotton, recycled polyester and carbonized coffee which filters and absorbs sweat and odor to keep feet cool. MoS say that this is exactly how a Brita water filter works.

MoS Atlas socks infused with coffee promise to spell the end to smelly feet

MoS Atlas socks infused with coffee promise to spell the end to smelly feet

Carbonized coffee “attracts molecules” (composed mostly of carbon) with its spongy structure. The trapped molecules are released in the wash, ready for a whole new dose of smells the next time they’re worn.

The coffee is reclaimed from coffee roasting factories and shops and then subjected to a pharmaceutical process to remove oils and that coffee smell. It is then infused into the company’s recycled polyester yarns.

Atlas has undergone lab tests that MoS claims showed it to be three times more effective at absorbing smells than regular cotton.

The firm used 3D strain analysis to visualize how the skin stretches in 3D and adjusts, so that the sock doesn’t have to bend and stretch to accommodate foot movements as conventional socks do.

They also used pressure mapping to locate points that require extra support, a similar to technology used in the production of customized orthotics. This technique combined with thermal imaging identified hot spots and help improve ventilation.

They “hope to provide new levels of comfort that were not previously possible”.

MoS says the socks are durable, easily passing the eight month stress-test.

Manufacturing will be outsourced to specialist textile mills that use techniques such as robotic knitting, which MoS says is like 3D printing but for knitwear.

MoS has poured as much clothing technology into ATLAS as it can, even down to the robotic knitting machines it uses to make the coffee socks.

Robotic knitting machines are like 3D printers for clothing, and offers the same level of precision and customization industry 3D printers provide.

The sock project is now fully funded on Kickstarter four times over, so the MoS team’s goal to product the garment in a variety of colors other than black is most likely to become a reality.

The Atlas performance dress socks, a “Brita filter for your feet”, will come in medium and large and will cost £18 ($28) for two pairs. The project is still open for funding on Kickstarter for another 15 days.

Wool & Prince shirt you can wear 100 days without washing or ironing

Wool & Prince shirt you can wear 100 days without washing or ironing

Mac Bishop got tired of wearing the same button-down shirts to his job in marketing every day and he has invented a shirt that stays clean even after 100 days of wear.

The garment resists odor so effectively that it even smells fresh after being worn during rigorous exercise.

It is also said to need no ironing because it is made of wrinkle-free material that can withstand even the roughest of treatment.

 “They were Brooks Brother cotton, button-downs,” 24-year-old Mac Bishop told FOX 411.

“They wrinkled or smelled after a couple wears and needed cleaning.”

Mac Bishop thought there had to be a better way to meet his office’s dress code without having to take his shirts to the dry cleaner after one use. So, he decided to experiment.

“I had some vintage wool button downs in my closet, and I started wearing those to work. They were more of a flannel, heavier [material]. They got by on the…business casual meter. I started wearing those, and they didn’t wrinkle. They didn’t smell,” he said.

“[I thought] <<This is really cool. I hate doing my dry cleaning, and now I don’t really do any dry cleaning because I am wearing these shirts>>.”

Mac Bishop quit his job and decided to focus on creating a “better-button down.” The idea, he explained, was a shirt made entirely of wool, which was formal enough to wear to work but wouldn’t wrinkle or smell like cotton shirts. Something, he said, the wool shirt market was missing.

“I ended up wearing one of these shirts for 100 days,” he said, explaining the shirt he experimented with came from his family’s woolen mill, in Oregon.

“It performed well. I threw a lot at it,” he said.

After the 100 days, Mac Bishop challenged people to feel and smell the shirt and recorded their reactions. He posted a video of the results on the project-funding website Kickstarter, in the hopes of raising $30,000 to create a business casual shirt out of the same material.

Now, his Wool & Prince fashion label has raised more than $300,000, and he has presold thousands of shirts, priced at $98 each. The label’s website has a waiting list for those hoping to get their hands on one of the low-maintenance shirts.

“It’s an overwhelming amount of hype for not having a completely finished product,” Mac Bishop said, adding the first batch of shirts are being produced in Asia and will ship to buyers in December.

Mac Bishop said those looking for an easier business casual shirt will likely be please with his product, but he still advises wearers wash it… at least every once in a while.

“I don’t recommend that guys wear this shirt for 100 days. I’m not really a smelly guy but I’m pretty active,” he said.

“I think guys can expect to get more wears out of this shirt than their cotton shirts. We’re going to learn a lot about what guys think about the shirt when it ships.”

Wool & Prince sent researchers around the world wearing the shirts doing everything from backpacking in the Andes to dancing in sweaty New York nightclubs to test their design.

The shirts are made of wool which lasts six times longer than cotton. Laboratory tests have shown that wool fibres resist tearing and can bend back on themselves more than 20,000 times without breaking. Cotton breaks after 3,200 bends.

Wool is also highly resilient to wrinkles because it has a natural crimp.

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