Overhauling air conditioning, and China’s fast fashion war 

A surprising set of materials could soon help make more efficient air conditioners that don’t overtax the electrical grid on hot days.

As extreme heat continues to shatter records around the globe, demand for air conditioning is expected to triple in the next few decades. That’s why the race to build more efficient air conditioners has become increasingly urgent. 

Although some companies focused on improving existing designs, others are looking to entirely new systems that use materials called desiccants. The hope is these systems could cool more efficiently, even in extreme heat and humidity—and, crucially, reduce stress on the grid. Read the full story.

—Casey Crownhart

Shein sued Temu. Temu sued Shein. The war over fast fashion is heating up.

Things are currently escalating between Temu and Shein, two Chinese e-commerce platforms. Last week Temu, the young shopping platform currently bombarding US users with social ads, filed an antitrust lawsuit in federal court against Shein, the older, massively popular e-commerce website.

The accusations in the suit are pretty revelatory if you want to learn more about the state of the “ultra-fast fashion” business. The two platforms are engaged in an escalating legal battle over what each claims is unfair competition. However, airing their dirty laundry so publicly could open them up to even more criticism from eagle-eyed US politicians. Read the full story