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Category Archives: Products
First of all, I want to applaud Solomon Liou for his commitment to good jeans. How many men do you know who would search high and low for the perfect pair of jeans, and when he isn’t satisfied, just go out and make them himself?
That’s what Solomon did, and now he’s raising money on Kickstarter to get Parke jeans started. The jeans will be made here in NYC of selvedge denim, a kind of throwback denim created on antique shuttle looms, that is higher quality and lasts longer than the cheap stuff you see in department stores today. Less than 1% of jeans are made using selvedge denim anymore, though it was the chief mode of production before World War II.
They sound like ridiculously nice jeans, but because Parke will craft and send the jeans straight to you–without middlemen or marketing–they will only cost $125. Eventually they will retail for $195.
- Are locally-made
- Use a higher-quality, vintage fabrication process
- Will last a long time so you won’t have to dump them in a landfill after a year
- Cost less than most designer jeans
- Support local craftsmen and women
- Look damn sexy
To get a pair or two, just pledge to support Parke on Kickstarter. $45 gets you a Parke t-shirt, $125 gets you a pair of jeans, $250 gets you two pairs. $1,000 gets you a pair of custom-made jeans with your name embroidered on them and subway token buttons–for the locavore who has everything.
They need $50,000 by January 18th, and they are only halfway to their goal. Go support them!!
Sometimes you want to put something cozy on, and yet still look a little … bodacious.
Can you tell I like black tights? I sure do. I recommend you skip the ones from Duane Reade and splurge on a pair from Wolford. Those things last forever, where a cheaper brand will run almost immediately. I’ve thrown ones from Kushy Foot, Uniqlo, Leggs and more in the trash. But I only ditched my Wolfords after wearing them for two winter seasons straight. Sadly, they were starting to pill.
The ones in the picture are not Wolford, unfortunately. You can tell because they aren’t solidly opaque the way Wolford tights are. Anyway, I digress. Tell me what you think:
IRO organic sweater dress, Yumi Kim collared shirt [not sustainable], J. Crew belt [not sustainable], Steve Madden shoes [not sustainable], vegan Cornelia Guest bag.
I can be very specific about what I’m looking for, which doesn’t let itself well to green fashion, especially when it comes to bags.
I have canvas bags, I have not-green-at-all leather purses, an upcycled shoulder purse from The Sway that I adore, and I have a vegan, faux leather Cornelia Guest bag that is already losing rivets despite its $150 price tag.
But what I really want is a big, work-appropriate bag that can store my laptop and hits the sweet spot between super-green, well-made and “hot damn!” You know, the kind of bag you imagine your 35-year-old-editor self carrying on her way to meet a celebrity for an interview.
Actually, I found a few. roztayger.com has a carefully “curated collection” of beautiful and functional bags that murmur, “I’m holding a few contracts that will be revealed in the Wall Street Journal tomorrow. Just wait … ”
Not all are eco-friendly. But there are some that are hand-made, vegetable dyed and lined with organic cotton. Sounds good to me. My faves follow (in New Yorker black, bien sur):
Midnight Flea Bag
Fleabags strives to create products that are as green as possible while maintaining high quality and covetable design. They are made with organic and vintage materials, vegetable-tanned and re-purposed leathers, and USA-made parts. All silkscreens use water-based ink. They are fabricated in they NYC area, in Limited Edition, by hand, in small production runs.
Tote Bag by Bonastre
Handcrafted in Spain and designed by Parisian based designer Fernando Bonastre, this environmentally friendly bag is handcrafted using natural, non-treated cattle hides in accordance with ancient vegetable processes (based on oak bark and olive oil finishing, versus the commonly used but highly contaminating chromium tanning).
Large Vene Purse by Samuji
This oversized clutch is made of Italian leather and lined in organic cotton. Samuji is a women’s clothing and accessories line designed by the namesake creative studio based in Helsinki, Finland. It was founded in 2009 by Samu-Jussi Koski, the former creative director of Marimekko textile house. The Samuji accessories collection featured at roztayger is permanent and timeless and not based on seasonal fluctuations. Samuji’s ambition is to produce timeless and sustainable design that serves a purpose yet tells a story. All items are crafted from premium quality materials from European and Japanese suppliers and produced in Europe by carefully selected manufacturers who insist on the highest quality and ethicality.
I’ve been listening to this (admittedly a couple years old) mix on repeat. So good. Listen:
Rivet Book Bag by Frrry
The Rivet Book bag in the “rivet” series by Frrry is made of Italian veggie dyed leather and is designed and assembled in the Netherlands.
Last week, if you had looked closely, you would have thought I was being a huge hypocrite.
I was at my desk, eating lunch. Slung over my chair was a new, black, ladylike, vegan coat by Vaute Couture. On my feet were black, microsuede, platform booties by Crie de Coeur. And I was eating a chicken salad.
What could account for this odd sartorial/culinary dissonance? Am I a poser, buying vegan just to say I buy vegan while I contribute to the murder of poor little caged chickens with my choice of lunch?
Actually, there is a method to this madness. The chicken salad in question was from the Whole Foods prepared food bar–organic, hormone-free and humanely raised. And the outerwear and shoes in question are more than just vegan.
You see, I have no problem with eating meat as long as I know where it comes from. This is for the usual liberal guilt reasons (I happen to like my Chesapeake bay free of mounds of nitrate-rich chicken poop, thanks) but also out of concern for my own health. More than 3,000 people die each year from food poisoning, and I myself came down with a mild bout after succumbing to the siren call of Perdue chicken fingers at a Yankees game last year. Still, as long as I get my meat–pork, chicken, duck and the occasional hamburger–from a local farm, I feel OK about it. And I’m especially OK with eggs and yogurt from the Greenmarket.
So why go to the trouble and expense of buying vegan products? They’re not even going in my mouth!
Well, when it comes to beauty products, many are vegan as a sort of checkmark in a long line of conscious requirements of the modern consumer: No testing on animals–check. Organic–check. Paraben-free–check. Container made from post-consumer recycled content–check. Vegan/free of animal products–check. So I really just end up with vegan face lotion and deodorant.
But when it comes to clothing, something I’ve found to be almost universally true is that if someone takes the time to ensure their clothing and/or accessories are vegan, they’ve also taken the time to ensure their products are also sustainably and ethically made. Take, for example, these brands:
- EcoCloset shoes are vegan, plus eco-friendly, non-toxic and made in an ethical, sweatshop-free factory in China.
- Beyond Skin shoes are vegan, plus handmade in Spain.
- Olsen Haus shoes are vegan, plus fair trade and sustainably made.
- Elizabeth Detroit shoes are vegan, plus made from recycled plastic in the United States.
- Neuaura shoes are vegan, plus are made in a sustainable factory in Brazil.
- Pansy Maiden bags and accessories are vegan, plus made the U.S. of sustainable materials.
- Matt and Nat bags and accessories are vegan, plus use sustainable and upcycled materials.
- Reveal bags and accessories are vegan, plus made with sustainable materials.
- Vaute Couture outerwear is vegan, plus made in New York.
- Crie de Coeur shoes and accessories are vegan, plus made with sustainable materials.
See what I mean? Yes, I still have plenty of leather in my closet, especially the vegetable-tanned kind. But no, I don’t think it’s weird to pull money out of a vegan wallet to pay for Long Island duck breast. Do you?
Forget the necklace made out of rolled-up paper and the purse crafted from discarded soda pop tabs.
All the best designers and artists are going the eco-friendly route. Behold: a gift for everyone on your list. Each is so cool and stylish, you can keep the fact that it’s fair trade/sustainable/eco-friendly/guilt-free to yourself.
They don’t have to know.
This peach and cream number is so classy and pretty that it could work for almost any woman’s style. Handwoven from 100% linen, it supports Indian artisans seeking economic quality. The designer, Global Goods, is a non-profit that does good work all over the world.
$45 at LivLuna.
You’ll never get the right record for your music-connoisseur bf. (He would never tell you that, you’ll just figure it out when he never plays it.) But he can’t argue with this reclaimed record iPhone skin from Brooklyn-based Wrecords by Monkey. Best of all, it comes in both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 size. (Score extra points by pairing it with the new book Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon, full of insider references to the soul and funk greats and sporting a record cover.)
$14 at Wrecords by Monkey.
For Your Preggers Friend
Just because she’s carrying around an
alien adorable little baby inside her doesn’t mean she can live without some pampering. Stuff her stocking full of toxin-free nail polish (which Well+Good helpfully lists), and slip in a gift certificate to Sweet Lily Nail Spa in SoHo.
She won’t care that the flannel of this robe is 100% organic cotton, just that it’s super soft, in ladylike color and flattering shape.
Aw, she’s growing up so fast! Help her keep time with a surprisingly affordable sustainably-made watch made from corn resin, organic cotton, and bamboo, outfitted with a mercury-free battery.
$30 at Sprout
She lives in Brooklyn, her fridge is filled with artisanal cheese and jam, and her Spotify list is a treasure trove of indie bands. Give a necklace that will get her compliments all night long at the warehouse party and make her feel like a badass. It’s made of cruelty-free porcupine quills, turquoise howlite, bullet casing and a vintage brass chain. BONUS: Get 10% off with the code SHOPHEARTS10! (Expires 1/1/13)
$148 at Hearts
He’s a class act with impeccable taste. And with any luck, he’ll pour you a glass of this Brooklyn-made bourbon for a toast to your awesomeness as a daughter.
Find a list of liquor stores that carry it at the Kings County Distillery website.
Even if she hates cooking, she’ll still want to display these Portland-made measuring spoons in her kitchen.
$30 at Alder & Co.
So, I may have a few first dates coming up. Just a hunch–I possibly gave my number out this weekend and last weekend to a few very eligible guys.
Luckily, I have guidance on my first-date outfit. Greta Eagan of FASHIONmeGREEN shows off some ensembles that will have him taking you home to meet the parents in no time:
Certain things make green life worth living. Here’s what I’m loving this week and want to share with every single person in my life:
About maybe a year and a half ago, suddenly, there was argan oil.
It started showing up in product roundups of celeb favorites, and now it’s in all these random products from various mainstream companies–it’s like the acai of beauty products, except without the weird pyramid scheme.
You have proof that it works the first time you smooth it over your hair. It’s got an appealing, musky scent, and leaves your hair kick-ass shiny while fortifying it. Plus, if you get it from the right place, it’s organic and benefits female workers in Morocco. Do. not. get. knock-offs.
If you’re like me (or thousands of other New Yorkers), you enjoy a good mixed cocktail from the likes of Apotheke, Death & Company or PDT. Well, when I picked up A Perfume Organic to test at ABC Home, the rich, spicy scents actually reminded me of a hand-crafted cocktail from one of these establishments. I’m not saying I want to smell like alcohol … I’m just saying this USDA organic and vegan perfume smells delicious. If you’re not sure which scent to get, do like I did and buy a sampler first.
Tired of eating your quinoa salad style? Make it a little naughty by frying it up into crunchy quinoa patties. Damn, are these things good. And every time I reheat them for lunch, somebody (a coworker, a dog) follows be back to my desk to ask me what I’m eating because that smells so good. (Well, the dog just stared at me while I ate it. That would never happen with a quinoa salad.) I suggest being generous with the olive oil in the pan–the patties hold together better that way.
Find the recipe by Heidi Swanson at Epicurious
Don’t Go, by Justin Martin
This weekend I was supposed to meet up with friends on Saturday night. But because I got ready so slow and couldn’t find a cab (don’t hate me, there is no good way to get from 24th Street to Meatpacking) they were already inside Le Bain.
I really didn’t want to stand in line by myself. So I marched right up to the bouncers on the non-line side. They were in the middle of telling a pair of girls that they couldn’t get in if they weren’t on the list. “Hi, my party is already inside,” I said, and name-dropped a meaningless name. The bouncers exchanged a glance, took a look at my vintage 90s peekaboo dress and ushered me inside. “Sorry ladies,” one of them told the girls. “She’s on a list.”
There is never a list.
Anyway, this song played at some point during the night and I liked it. A lot.
I discovered the new designer Avery by Wang through the recently defunct EcoSalon (R.I.P.!). She’s only shipped her first collection in late September. But her earnestness and class–just read her email updates–shows through in her pieces. They are simple, pretty without being saccharine, and possess a soft utility.
I preordered this washable silk dress, nervously crossing my fingers that this untested designer would deliver.
It arrived neatly rolled and tied up in its sash in a biodegradable shipping bag, which is so refreshing compared to the overdone packaging of most brands and stores! I slipped the soft silk on for a day at work. And I can say I’m so pleased with it that I’m going to order some of her simple silk tops next … when I build my shopping budget back up.
I chose this track because it’s soft, pretty and feminine and yet still cool–like this dress.
Dress, Avery by Wang; tights, Uniqlo (they ripped quickly, so I would recommend investing in Wolford tights that will last a whole season), oxford pumps, Steve Madden; vegan purse by Cornelia Guest, available at Compassion Couture; sunglasses, Eco Optics; wrap bracelet/necklace, Snash Jewelry, available at Artist & Fleas in Williamsburg or on Etsy; lipstick, Jane Iredale.
We’re solidly into fall, so this post could have come a bit earlier. But honestly, I need to space out the self-aggrandizing street style posts, which is why I waited so long to put this up. I hope you enjoy it regardless. There are some eco-friendly goodies in this one:
Fair trade striped top by LemLem, skirt by Topshop (one of the less egregious fast fashion stores); leather necklace by Brooklyn artisan, vegan purse by Cornelia Guest, available at Compassion Couture; Fendi shoes; Aid Through Trade bracelets.
This week I wanted something fun for this fun outfit. This song isn’t by any means new, but there’s a good chance you haven’t heard it. Enjoy!
I am certainly not the first to fall in love with ABC Carpet & Home. In fact, my own mother has been wandering the several floors of sumptuous rugs and carpets since she lived in New York in the 70s. I myself remember visiting during my first time in New York when I was 12. It was almost as important as my first Broadway show or brunch at the Plaza. I wandered around the giant showroom floor, fingering exotic pillows and getting caught up my mother’s excitement as she gasped and sighed over weighty embroidered fabrics and delicate furniture.
ABC has only improved since then under the direction of Paulette Cole, most notably through its graceful evolution into a conscious retailer and the addition of a restaurant that refines farm-to-table dining into an haute art. In fact, let’s start there, with the delicious part.
Dan Kluger and I at ABC Kitchen in March
If you are fortunate enough to get a reservation at ABC Kitchen (it’s only gotten harder since Obama held his $35,800-a-plate fundraiser there) you will be beguiled as soon as you walk in the door. The color scheme is a sort of shimmering, rustic white evoking a snowy wood. Once you’re seated, flip over the seasonal menu and observe the exhaustive listing of exactly where all your organic, local food comes from, and even where the furnishings, art and place settings come from too–all local artisans. (And then go buy it in the home store.)
I was lucky enough to visit twice. Once, with a large group of family and friends whose opinions were split on the merit of the chocolate bacon dessert, but unequivocally loved everything else. The second time I came in with a friend who is big on the food scene a couple days before Obama’s fundraiser in March. Head chef Dan Kluger, credited with bringing his expertise on local food to the Jean-George masthead, was nice enough to take a seat at our table after he was done in the kitchen for the night. I was starstruck. (It doesn’t take much.)
But you don’t have to settle for just a chef if you’re looking for famous faces. ABC Kitchen also caters to the rich and famous set, including supermodels, artists like Adele and, of course, President Obama. The food, (ah, yes, the food, of course) takes advantage of the nearby Greenmarket. Whatever food is left over you’ll see in compost bins outside the next morning.
Even if you can’t afford a meal at ABC Kitchen, you can set the bar a little lower and dine under the panoply of chandeliers at adjoining Pipa for tapas, or even just get coffee or a quick lunch at Au Bon Pain, the affordable organic franchised cafe nestled into the side and opening straight into the store.
When you’re done enjoying a light salad and sparkling water there, walk straight back into ABC Home. Give yourself at least an hour. The first floor is artfully arranged into vignettes of pretty yet quirky place settings, organic makeup and skin care, scented candles, lots and lots of Buddhas, more chandeliers, fanciful throw pillows, stuffed children’s toys and much, much more. (Wasp nests stuffed with purple crystals anyone? Sounds ridiculous, but somehow I want it.)
It even has a jewelry counter stocked with delicate jewelry fashioned from conflict-free, rough diamonds and reclaimed metals that fit in with the rest of the store aesthetic: out of the ordinary while still tasteful. Prices on this floor range from $15 for a tiny vial necklace to hundreds for pillows and thousands for the diamond jewelry and Asian art. Overall, ABC is very expensive, yes. But you can always find something to suit your budget.
I am personally the proud owner of two handcrafted ottomans, matching throw pillows, a necklace, a ring and fair trade, organic argan oil, all from ABC Home.
Once you head up to the to the upper levels, you’re in the serious business of furniture. People always seem to describe ABC Home along the lines of wandering into a well-traveled aunt’s home. I would say, think younger. How about a young, childless couple who tends to throw chic dinner parties at their huge rustic dining room table where they discuss current policy with great minds, before repairing to the living room over organic cocktails made with local bitters. Fine. Perhaps I am projecting my dream life onto ABC, but visit and tell me if you disagree. I didn’t think so.
And the best part? Every piece of furniture is labeled with its sustainable credentials like cruelty-free, organic, goodwood, local economy and many other feel-good designations.
Other things to know and love: The original carpet and rug store across the street is worth a visit. Or sign up for the email list for events at Deepak Homebase in the back above ABC Kitchen, which hosts conversations with notables like Arianna Huffington and Mark Ruffalo about current events and culture.
If you’re more into worldly than spiritual goods, then you can also make the trek up to ABC’s outlet in the Bronx for some deals (a car may be required). I have not been, but is reviewed nicely on Yelp, if you believe what people say there.
So, ABC. You have delicious food, home goods and even an event forum for sustainable and spiritual discussions. I have only one more request:
Do a hotel next?