31 December 2009

Reduce. R.E.U.S.E. Recycle

As the resolutions become daily rituals of a new year and a fresh start I have been thinking of more ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. As each day passes I have become increasingly aware of my affect on the earth. While I was cleaning out my closet in a last ditch effort to organize and give to the goodwill I noticed how many pairs of jeans I have.
Let's face it most women's comfort zone rests in denim threads. Jeans have always, and continue to be my favorite. Especially the worn in pair that seem to mold to me like they were designed exclusively for my body. They are comfortable and can be worn with just about anything. However most of them, I am a little ashamed to say, are not environmentally friendly. There is no way I'm giving my lovely hip hugging denim to goodwill. So as I gather the bags on the way to be reused I wonder...Where in the world can I find recycled or environmentally friendly denim jeans? After just a little research I stumbled upon http://www.reusejeans.com/. "Step into a smaller carbon footprint one leg at a time." That is the first thing I saw and there is no arguing with that! These fabulous finds are made from sustainable 80% recycled premiere quality denim. In an effort to help reduce the effects that the fashion and textile industry have on the environment R.E.U.S.E. jeans have discovered a way to take one of the most popular items in anyone's closet and make it coincide with eco-fashion. A belief in a greener lifestyle does not have to stop at the closet door. So, a new item is added to the green resolution list, R.E.U.S.E. jeans! I can still have my favorite denim and feel confident about my green lifestyle choices "one leg at a time."

28 December 2009

Sole Power

Tis the season where my boots become my second skin. Between tromping all over the city in my constant attempt to improve my petroleum karma, and a probable bum boot zipper, it pains me to say I've worn through two pairs before even getting through December. Besides looking for a creative re-use for my boots gone bunk, I'm on the hunt for a pair that will walk the walk when it comes to quality, and look darn good doing it. Harder than I thought to find, especially on a budget. However as I do the math, it doesn't take Honors Accounting to figure out that it's going to cost me more to buy three so-so pairs a season verses one quality, timeless pair.

On my search for the perfect boot for life's daily adventures, I came across the California designed and Mexico made (fair trade, of course) Green Bees. Designed from locally sourced materials by the daughters of a decades old shoe manufacturing company, these boots bring together the best in buzz words that will perk up the ears of eco-fashionistas everywhere. Green Bees upcycles old tires into new shoe soles, getting four soles from every one tire otherwise doomed to the dump.

Though these shoes aren't vegan, the leathers used are traditionally processed without any heavy metals or formaldehyde, which for me is a toss up that I am always weighing in my head. My past two boots that I've quickly worn through were man made materials, which means none of the materials involved were made from animals. At the same time, they didn't last or hold up to the elements well at all, which means my materials “boot print” is accounting now for three pairs of boots a season instead of one for (hopefully) several seasons. As anyone rocking a quality vintage pair of leather cowboy boots knows, good leather lasts, and so the energy and resource use of production, transportation, packaging, and all that jazz doesn't need to be expended again with new pair after new pair. I declare this issue hereby open for debate (oh the beauty of the comments box).

Green Bees will also plant a tree for every pair of boots purchased, and you just can't argue with that. The classic design of these boots and beautiful tonal colors will transcend trends while being hip enough for your tucked in skinny jeans or spunky skirt of the season. While I'm still on the prowl for what else the brilliant world of eco-forward footwear could bring, I love the idea of upcycled, fair trade, and too cute to boot!

25 December 2009

Green Personal Care

Have you ever thought about how many plastic items you use everyday? After the holidays are over, the trash can is often loaded with wrapping paper, plasticware, and plastic packaging. Many items we use and rely on everyday are plastic (toothbrushes, razors, etc.) and it's often impossible to find alternatives. The Preserve company is taking steps to improve this issue. Preserve makes personal care items, plasticware, and kitchenware from all recycled plastics. Whenever you're done using the products, Preserve provides free shipping so the consumer can send the products back to be recycled again! The products are brightly colored and affordable, and can be found easily at local retailers such as Target and Whole Foods. Preserve is taking the necessary steps to bring recycling to the mainstream consumer in an affordable way.

18 December 2009

Green Holiday

The holidays have arrived. The mailbox is filled with glittery greeting cards. The gifts have been purchased and wrapped. Now, it is time for the little details that make holiday get togethers something to remember. And, if you are like me then ambiance is a big deal. Lighting, music, centerpieces,candles and of course your outfit, all play a huge role in creating the perfect environment for catching up with old friends and staying close with relatives. This year make your holiday event environmentally friendly. Use organic items from the backyard like pinecones, herbs and fruit to decorate. If you live in wintry conditions you can order a guilt-free flower centerpiece from organicbouquet.com. Switch to energy efficient LED light bulbs to save on electric. To add some extra ambiance use soy or beeswax candles opposed to traditional candles that emit toxic soot into your home and lungs. I know the pile up of dirty dishes is something everyone dreads. As an alternative visit http://www.worldcentric.org/ for compostable plates, cups, napkins and utensils. Most importantly, the outfit. Show how important green living is with the clothes on your back. Jonano has some beautiful and ethical dresses that are sure to spice up your night. And remember recycle, recycle, recycle...Happy Holidays!

11 December 2009

A Gift Worth Giving and Hats off to Humble Heros

Each year at this time I like to meditate and ground myself as we speed into the holidays, and this year, on to a new decade. I take an inventory of the year’s events, achievements and struggles, and spend some time with reflecting on life and the ultimate goal for me, happiness.

Here at eco Couture we like to search out the gems in the world that are mindful in their design choices as they walk this planet. Today I would like to talk about one special person who looks, not to clothe for profit, but instead for inner peace and a profound connection with his brothers and sisters.

I offer Hazzah to Holocaust survivor Henri Landwirth.

Henri knows what it means not to have clothes - to be stripped of dignity and to give up all hope. He founded Dignity U Wear to create real change in the lives of children and adults in need by distributing brand new clothing to them through their not for profit nationwide organization. He has known the struggle of having everything stripped away and the depths of despair and has made it his mission in life to try to restore broken spirits and restores hope, dignity and self-esteem.

With the struggles so many families are facing this year and winter’s cold at our doors, Dignity U Wear is specifically in need of new baby clothes and outerwear to give to those in need this season. Designers who would like to donate new and unworn clothing from their showrooms and stockrooms can contact Dignity U Wear at 888.364.1305.

This year you can contribute to Henry’s mission and shop for your friends and family at the same time through the Dignity U Wear – Jonäno/Sami Baby partnership. For every Sami Baby clothing item you purchase through December 23rd, Sami Baby will donate a brand new item of baby clothes to the good folks at Dignity U Wear.

Sami Baby makes cute, organically grown and ethically sewn baby clothing that’s gift ready. Thanks Henry and thank you all for checking in regularly to see what we here at eco Couture are so passionate about – beauty from the inside out!