Subscribe to Clean HippieGet an email once a week when I write something new! (I love you too.) Thanks!
Clean Hippie’s Pinterest
Archives by Month
- Around the Web
- Bring it to NYC
- Cool sites
- Failure of the Day
- Going Too Far
- Green Angst
- Moments of Hilarity
- New York
- Places to go
Category Archives: News
The fashion world is abuzz over fashion writer Jenni Avins’ account of killing and skinning her own foxes for a fox fur vest.
Walk around in Soho on any afternoon, and you’ll see parades of girls wearing fur vests in every color and texture, from shaggy and black to cropped and striped. Yet the online community is up in arms.
On Ecouterre, 222 readers voted for “Hell no! Murder is murder,” when asked if trapping and skinning your own fur made it OK to wear it, while the other two options, “Hell yes,” and “Meh, I have no problem with fur,” got a collective 57 votes.
Meanwhile, on Refinery29, the comments exploded into a maelstrom of judge-y, catty comments, like one raising the superb philosophical question of whether it’s OK to kill a baby if it’s “free range” instead of sticking it in a cage. Come on now, people.
You would think going through all that trouble to skin your own pelts would give you some sort of dispensation from the usual screeching over killing animals.
Fur seems to strike a special cord in us. Why? Because we can almost recognize the animal in the fur coat as we pull it on? And yet, we wear leather boots, purses and belts. And we eat meat of all kinds.
Look, when it comes to fur, I treat it like I do any meat–with careful consideration. Call it being a conscious fur wearer. In my mind, if you judge your fur the same way you judge your meat, that gives you three options:
1. Get yourself a used or vintage fur coat. They can be found in almost any consignment shop for a steal.
2. Go with the environmentally friendly nutria fur, which I wrote about for Huffington Post Green.
3. Go free range. Now, I don’t think it’s necessary to participate in the actual skinning of the animal, a la Jenni Avins, but if it were possible to secure a fur vest from the Greenmarket the way you can currently pick up a pork loin or sheepskin rug, I would be all over that option. As of right now, I’m not sure there is a way to do that, unfortunately.
As for myself, I have two faux fur vests, which I’m a little ill-at-ease with because they are synthetic. I have a fur coat I inherited from my mother (with mixed feelings). And I have a yummy, warm fur head piece I got as a gift that I believe is rabbit. I’m not chucking anything, but I don’t have plans to pick up anything new anytime soon.
What are your thoughts on killing your own fur? Would you ever do it for the sake of owning a conscious fur vest?
I apologize for all the fashion talk lately, but it’s that time of year–it’s New York Fashion Week and anorexia and glamour are in the air.
I’m not very much into that scene, but with a little bit of savvy networking, I managed to score a ticket to the Greenshows on Friday morning at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. (This little blogger is growing up!) That’s how I found myself waiting in line outside the Box, a room in the tents at Lincoln Center, where contemporary ethical designers were showing their autumn/winter 2012 ready-to-wear lines.
The Box is not for runway shows, as my friend warned me. It’s just models standing around on podiums, looking bored, until a photographer stops in front of them. They they perk up and give a good fierce face. It’s sort of fun.
While we waited to get in, a fashion consultant popped by to talk to my friend, and it was clear she wasn’t really familiar with the sustainable design scene. “Oh, I’m here for the Concept Korea show. Wait, what’s this? Oh, the Greenshows. Cool, yeah. That’s what I’m here for.”
I got the impression everyone there was just killing time before the big names, seeing what was around. And that’s cool, because I guess that’s what Greenshows is for: to show all the cool stuff that sustainable designers do to people who have no idea. But for me? No way man, I know this shit.
Rewind to Friday morning, as I pawed through my closet looking for an appropriate outfit. I wanted to wear something eco-friendly, yet good enough for NYFW. So I pulled out my favorite pair of The Battalion pocket leggings, a Study NY cropped, cotton sleeveless top, a Theory cropped jacket (not eco-friendly, but a classic), wrapped a Peace Treaty scarf around my neck, and topped it off with an H. Fredrikkson upcycled gray tweed cape. All my gear–the camera, pen, card carrying case, phone, etc.–went into my new, made-in-NYC, upcycled leather and tapestry purse with fair trade ikat lining. Satisfied that I was repping the eco community and didn’t look completely embarrassing, I gave myself a cat eye with tarte eyeliner, applied Afterglow lipstick, and headed out the door.
As soon as I walked inside the box, I found myself in front of an H. Fredrikkson model who was wearing my cape, but in a brown wool. Here’s what I’m wondering: Are fashion shows kind of like marathons? As in, it’s such a faux pas to wear the race shirt the day of the race. So is it a a similar faux pas to stand in front of a model and take her picture, to realize you are wearing the exact same pants? I mean, not that anyone could tell. They look a wee bit different on a professional model. I’m 5’2. On a good day. I’ll just, you know, take it as a sign of my impeccable taste.
But it left me scratching my head a bit. Are these designers not turning out anything new for this fall? Some of it looked really familiar, especially the plaid Study NY cape. I was worried someone would look at my stuff and realize it was so last season. Nope, looks like it’s next season too! Well, that’s sustainable right? Not running out to buy something new every season is fine by me.
Alright, let’s get to the goodies. Here are the the pictures from the show:
Bamboo By United Bamboo
Bamboo By United Bamboo
Not pictured: Luis Valenzuela, Victoria Simes jewelry, Natalie Frigo jewelry, Nettie Kent jewelry, Ursa Major Collection jewelry, East Fourth Street jewelry, Shannon South Remade in the USA handbags, Collina Strada handbags.
Fracking is such a great name for natural gas extraction. It sounds mean, unsavory, and harsh. And that’s exactly what it is.
And they want to do it in Upstate NYC.
Now, normally we New York City residents do a lot of ignoring when it comes to Upstate New York. It seems to exist solely for trips to see fall foliage and farmers market apples. But in this case, what happen in upstate will show up in your tap. If we aren’t careful, instead of drinking the water from your tap, you could be using it to light your oven.
Let’s back up for a moment and explain what fracking is. Fracking is a method used to get natural gas out of the ground. It involved pumping a proprietary (read: secret) mix of chemicals into the ground to force natural gas out.
While proponents make the usual rallying cry of, “It creates jobs!” many are pointing to disturbing instances of poisoned groundwater and lax regulations across the United States. The movie Gasland, from what I hear since I haven’t seen it my self, does an excellent job of driving home the substantial risks inherent in pumping chemicals into the ground, no matter how safe the disposal is reported to be. And honestly, if the New York Times cries foul, I’m inclined to agree.
Why does this concern you? Well, New York City gets it delicious clean tap water from upstate. And if fracking is allowed to happen up there, you might see the result right in your own apartment. Even putting that aside, if you like apples and milk from upstate, you would still oppose fracking, since it’s usually the farmers who have the land to lease to natural gas companies, who then poisons their cows and grounds.
New York Governor Cuomo is all for letting fracking happen. Why wouldn’t he be? Energy companies are outspending environmental organizations four to one.
But you can participate in this process. Today from 1:00 to 4:00pm and 6:00 to 9:00pm, there will be a public hearing on the subject. Go, show up, register your displeasure! It’s at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center at 199 Chambers Street.
Yeah, yeah, everyone is on Gilt Groupe. You simply cannot be part of the fashionable elite without logging on exactly at noon and accomplishing the digital equivalent of running shrieking through a sample sale and tearing dresses out of the hands of other girls in your sprint to the register for amazing deals.
I call B.S. I did the Gilt Groupe thing with enthusiasm, but of the five items I bought from Gilt — that despite being discounted were still very expensive — I’ve collectively worn them, oh, six times. Talk about unsustainable! I got rid of two of them, returned another, and decided to at least practice some modicum of moderation with my budget: I unsubscribed and haven’t looked back.
Started by John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell and Patrón Spirits, JP Selects aims to help the fashionable live a more socially and ecologically responsible lifestyle, from fashion-forward clothing, to unique jewelry, luxe beauty products, artisan-produced foods, and premier home décor.
Here’s how it works:
Then, on the 16th, the first sale will launch with exclusive discounts from spiritual and pretty Nialaya Jewelry, followed a few days later by Stewart + Brown, one of my favorite sustainable clothing lines. (To see my other eco-friendly fashion pics, check out this slide show.)
The products will be sold at a discount for 72 hours, after which you can find them at retail prices and start anticipating the next luxuriously-eco sale. It’s a nice change from the buy-it-NOW mentality of Gilt that breeds such poor shopping choices. And each product is carefully vetted by both the board and the founder John Paul. (Thus the name, JP selects.)
I hope this website can live up to its own high standards – after all, luxury, style, and sustainability aren’t oft found together. But when they are, it’s a seductive combination.
It may still be clogged with slow-moving, picture-taking, Applebees-eating tourists, but at least the air is cleaner!
Grist reports that nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide, which were the highest in the city two years ago in Times Square, have since dropped by 63% and 41%, respectively. The cause of this wonderful news? The new pedestrian plaza, of course, which was installed in April of 2009.
Image Credit: La Citta Vita on Flickr
You might have heard about some of the furor over the new Park Slope bike lane, which runs along Prospect Park West. It’s done a lot of good things, including:
- Dropping the number of cars who speed from 74% to 20%
- Making it safer for pedestrians
- Making it safer for cyclists
- Reducing accidents by 16%
- Reducing injuries by 63%
- Satisfying of the majority of Park Slope residents
Well some people are pissed about it, mostly because they can’t speed through that street anymore, and they can’t find a place to park their cars. And they have hired a very expensive lawyer to buy back their parking spaces. If you would like a clear view of the whole debacle, as usual, you can rely on our friends from across the pond to tell the story right.
Seriously? If you want to own a car and drive it everywhere, you should move to Long Island.
Transportation Commissioner Janet Sadik-Kahn isn’t letting the minority of car owners in NYC run her over, even if they do have some very moneyed interests on their side. She defended the bike lane on Wednesday morning to a crown of bike enthusiasts, saying, “You may have heard about it; it has done extraordinarily, I guess, controversial things, like dramatically reduced speeding.”
What do you think about the bike lane? Is it elitists plot by food co-op members to take over the city? Or is it a rational answer to car accidents, air pollution, and the a-holes that sit outside my apartment and honk all day long?
Patagonia launches a playlist for the environment. (Good)
How to clean a burnt pan with vinegar, baking soda, and water. (Re-Nest)
The Republican House voted to bring back styrofoam because other containers are too expensive. You know what else would save money? Ditching bottled water. (MSNBC)
SRSLY? Del Monte is starting to sell bananas in individual plastic bags. No, really though? That’s a joke, yes? (Daily Mail)
Altering clothes is sustainable. Break out those scissors girl. (EcoSalon)
You spend money and effort keeping your apartment free of chemicals…and then you step outside.
Yes, New York was ranked by Forbes at the fourth most toxic metropolis in the US, with 4.1 million pounds of toxic on-site releases reported in 2009 alone, and air quality that isn’t so hot.
You can read the rest of the story and see how other metropolises stacked up here.
Oh crap, Apple isn’t perfect. (Good)
Eating vegetables makes you more attractive. (Treehugger)
You love oysters? Me too! But bad news: they are disappearing…. (NYTimes)
Oysters could also help clean up the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn… (Grist)
Speaking of, beside being full of PCBs and other nasty chemicals, the Gowanus Canal has a couple sunken boats and other interesting treasures. (NYTimes)
The average UK woman owns 22 pieces of clothing she never wears. I suspect American women are worse. (Ecouterre)
Where to meet a hot environmentalist. Hint: it’s not in the local sports bar. (Grist)
When it coming to bicycle lanes, painted lines just aren’t enough. (Good)
I flitted outside this morning to breathe in some fresh, cool air and take these photos. Yes, it’s snowing yet again. What is this? Upstate New York? What happened the the city being a heat sink?
Well, the New York Times offered an explanation yesterday: this isn’t a sign of impending doom (even though a group of crazies in the subway yesterday claims the end is in March…pack your bags!), it’s a result of the arctic air breaking through a sort of fence and rushing down here, while our warmer air streams up into Alaska and Canada, giving them a (relatively) warm winter. I’ll let the NY Times explain:
The immediate cause of the topsy-turvy weather is clear enough. A pattern of atmospheric circulation that tends to keep frigid air penned in the Arctic has weakened during the last two winters, allowing big tongues of cold air to descend far to the south, while masses of warmer air have moved north.
The deeper issue is whether this pattern is linked to the rapid changes that global warming is causing in the Arctic, particularly the drastic loss of sea ice. At least two prominent climate scientists have offered theories suggesting that it is. But others are doubtful, saying the recent events are unexceptional, or that more evidence over a longer period would be needed to establish a link.
So there is the big question: is this a temporary glitch in weather patterns? Or is something else (um, global warming) afoot?
Read the rest of the story here.