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Tag Archives: sustainable fashion
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!!
The Event: Allison Parris‘ launch party for her fall line
The Venue: 1 Oak in TriBeCa
The Date: Wednesday, February 8th, 11pm
The Scene: Asian chicks (?), downtown in-crowd, uptown party girls, and a few very attractive men. Heavy beats from a DJ, and $24 cocktails after the open bar closed at midnight. Yes, I agree. No drink should be $24. Ever.
Here I am with Allison in her own spangly creation. This is what happens when a 5’2″ girl stands next to someone who should by all rights be a model.
Meet Justine McCarthy. She wore an Allison Parris creation for her 25th birthday and has been hooked ever since. And you know what? Justine had no idea until I said something that Parris is a sustainable designer.
Poor Aveed. I made her come out with me on a Wednesday night for an event that started at 11pm. She’s a true friend, because I ran around taking pictures and talking to people about Parris and she sort of tagged along, while wistfully looking at the above-mentioned hot guys who never found an opening to talk to us. You can see it in her eyes in this picture. “Take the damn picture. Alden totally owes me for this. $24 drinks. Sheesh.”
Whenever I need a classy clutch, this is my go-to. It’s eco-friendly, and purchasing one means a donation is made towards buying backpacks and school supplies for children in Cambodia. It comes with a chain too, in case you’re tired of carrying it/don’t trust your drunk self not to leave it on the open bar while you dart after a cute boy.
The Sway Purses
This NYC-based company makes my other go-to purse when I want something more casual and edgy. It’s made from reclaimed leather, and the cross-body strap means you can dance crazily. It’s roomy enough for a wallet, phone, keys and even a pair of fold up flats.
I put every cute thing I find on Pinterest. And when I say cute, I mean it. I don’t put up anything that is eco-friendly but ugly (of which there is a lot).
I can’t blog about everything, so if you’re in the market for a new dress or a DIY project, you can find what you need by following my pins. I put a special emphasis on NYC-based companies.
tarte Eye Makeup
I had given up on finding effective non-toxic eyeliner and resigned myself to Cover Girl … until I found Tarte’s little pot and brush for the best cat eyes ever. Combined with this tutorial, I’m looking pretty fierce. And then I discovered the Amazonian clay mascara, and was roundly hooked. You can find it at Sephora and Henri Bendel.
For breakfast, on slices of empire apples from the farmers-market, with a drizzle of Brooklyn-rooftop honey.
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.
International Playground Sale
You can find organic, upcycled and just plain cool clothing and accessories at this downtown-chic boutique (that’s me in an upcycled cape above). Not everything is sustainable, so make sure to ask the sales associate for the goods. The sale includes sustainably made Osborn embroidered Aztec canvas oxfords for $100 (were $158). Bring your bf too, they sell men’s clothing that will make your single friends jealous.
13 Stanton St (between Bowery and Chrystie St)
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop
Never buy new, when you can get vintage for less! Bonus: you’ll be contributing to a good cause; sales on vintage and designer goods go toward cancer research and education programs. You can find hermès scarves for $185, Hermes ties for $85, a Bottega Veneta briefcase for $550, and Jimmy Choo pumps for $125. Seriously, this is about as guilt free as you can get.
1440 Third Ave between 81st and 82nd Sts.
Read more here.
Sustainably NYC continues to mark down eco-friendly merchandise. If you are lucky enough to have a compost bin in your backyard, now is the time to grab a steel compost pail for $37, among other goodies.
139 Ave A (at 9th St)
Good Food: Lobster Love, Sushi Secrets, and How We Can Save the Seas with Smart Eating
Does every visit to your local sushi place feel you with a vague sense of guilt? Learn more about how your seafood and sushi affect the long-term health of the seas.
Bestselling author Trevor Corson draws on the experiences and knowledge he gained while researching and writing his two books–The Secret Life of Lobsters and The Story of Sushi. He’ll discuss his passion for marine science and fishing, the hilarious social life of lobsters, the surprising secrets of sushi, and the current plight of the endangered bluefin tuna, as well as share some entertaining underwater video footage and scenes of fishing vessels and global seafood markets.
10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn
Making Brooklyn Bloom
This year’s Making Brooklyn Bloom focuses on the ways gardening can build communities and strengthen relationships among neighbors, schools, service organizations, and beyond.
The free event features fifteen workshops—covering topics in urban sustainable horticulture including rooftop farming, citizen science, and caring for street trees—all presented by community leaders in urban greening, members of BBG’s horticulture staff, or experts from other environmental organizations in New York City.
900 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn
Learning About Tibet
You might have heard about the Dalai Lama retiring from politics. Well now is the perfect time to learn more about the Tibetan people, as they reluctantly decide who could possibly replace his holiness to be their leader. (In contrast to other areas, where those pesky leaders just won’t step down!) Check out these three different exhibitions that delve into Tibetan art:
“Body and Spirit: Tibetan Medical Paintings”
The 64 Tibetan medical paintings (or tangkas) on display are reproductions of late 17th-century scrolls that illustrated the medical knowledge of the time.
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West (at 79th St)
“Rugs and Ritual in Tibetan Buddhism”
Through Sunday, March 27th
Buddhism’s tenet of detachment from the body is referenced in these magnificent carpets, which often depict the splayed pelt of an animal in a manner that oscillates between representation and abstraction.
1000 Fifth Ave (at 82nd St)
“The Nepalese Legacy in Tibetan Painting”
Through May 23rd
Rubin Museum of Art
The Beri style of art making, which is now Tibet’s preeminent aesthetic in traditional art, in fact originates in Nepal. In the 13th century, when Indian Buddhism was eliminated, Tibetan artists, seeking inspiration, turned to their neighboring country’s culture. This exhibition traces the legacy of this artistic development.
150 West 17th Street
The idea of FashionStake is intriguing on its own: you vote for pieces, winning designs show up in the store, you can to buy pieces from that designer. It’s a fashion democracy, which is quite refreshing, actually, after years of being told by designers what we should like.
But there’s even more reason to like the website. Four of their handpicked designers have an eco-friendly facet to their work.
There is Frock Los Angeles:
Issy Salomon reworked vintage jewelry:
And built-to-last laptop bags from Plaid Doctrine:
You all know by now that this blog is all about balancing a sustainable life with a life well-lived. I have my convictions, but there are a few lines I just can’t cross. Eating bugs, for one. Being a freegan, for another. And finally, wearing nothing but organic clothing.
Why is that? It’s because organic clothing is, by and large, ugly. It’s for a 45-year-old woman who wears nothing but yoga clothes and run a holistic healing business. It’s for Brooklyn hipsters who want to prove to the world that they don’t care what anyone thinks about their baggy vintage clothing and slashed shirts with shoulder pads. (They do, believe me.) It’s for flower children who wander from music festival to music festival, selling pipes out of their van for a living.
This fall, I wanted two very basic items of clothing: a pair of black cropped pants, and white shorts. I went to 25 different sustainable fashion websites. (For a complete list, you can look at my Delicious page.) You know what I found? Black, flowy yoga pants, insanely expensive hand-made shorts at Etsy, and hiking pants with cargo pockets. There was nothing there that appealed to my Audrey Hepburn or East Coast prep side. Such a simple request, and yet there was nothing to be found!
It was disheartening. I gave up and bought a pair of pants from Banana Republic, and the shorts from BCBG. I felt guilty, and sort of let down too. Every time I see a post about a great new sustainable designer, I’m always disappointed. It’s all edgy, too edgy. It’s all beautiful and loose with a hand-made air. But where is the pieces that will last from season to season? After all, as Michael Kors says, “The greenest thing you can do in fashion, is to buy something great that you’re going to use for years.”
If I buy an edgy, organic piece, chances are I will look at it in a year and say, “Who was I trying to be when I bought this?”
I scrolled through the pictures from fashion week, like this slideshow from Huffington Post Green. Two of the outfits there I might try on. Or how about these pictures from Inhabitat? The top one is promising, with outfits by John Patrick of Organic, but then it’s downhill from there. Same story with these hippy-dippy offerings.
I am an American with a distinct green bent. I’m willing to go the extra mile, search things out, take the train down to Alphabet city across town just to do my Christmas shopping at Kaight. So when I look at your stuff and say, “I wish I could but I can’t,” it’s pretty obvious the general public won’t go for it either.
So here is my appeal to designers: Give me basic. Give me classic. Give me beautiful. I know you don’t want to be boring, I get it. But at least give me some options that I can wear to brunch with my mother, to work, to an interview without looking like a nut. Mix some soft, classic, cream knits in with your deconstructed, pink shirt dress that doesn’t have a waist. Give me black pants to wear with your animal print bat-wing tops from South America. Put some construction in there, instead of wrapping a belt around a sheath every time. Give me details, long lines, and flattering shapes.
First sustainable designer to do so gets all of my spring shopping money.
(PS: If you know of a designer doing good stuff, let me know in the comments! I would love to be proved wrong.)