Furniture for You and Your Little Dog Too

by Patrick LaDuke

The infamous Finnish furniture company Artek founded by Alvar Aalto, whose work is viewable at MoMA, has started a website for used furniture as part of a new environmental strategy. Artek 2nd Cycle and Vintage is a collection of their iconic furniture given a new life. Their goal is to raise the issue of conscious consuming whilst supporting their original and timeless design. They also manage to carry a few found pieces from other designers as well, such as Eames (make sure to read the details of any with upholstery in case they happen to be wool/leather).

Neroko is another Finnish design company, but for dogs. They produce sustainable design that doesn’t detract from your decor, but rather adds interesting minimalistic pieces to your interior. They offer wonderful alternatives such as wooden beds with changeable upholstery, ceramic drinking bowls, birch bowl stands, and even a natural jute dog toy! All of their products are transparently made in Finland.

Brackish is a furniture company based in Seattle. They use salvaged materials that they source from the Pacific Northwest. Each product is made to last, made to order, and produced locally. They will also do custom work.


Victim versus Violence

by D. R. Hildebrand

Six years ago star quarterback Michael Vick was sentenced to two years in jail for promoting, funding, and facilitating a dogfighting operation, then lying about the details of his involvement.  He served his sentence, paid his fine, participated in community service, and eventually returned to the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Now Vick has written an autobiography, Finally Free, with the hope of articulating his gratitude for second chances.  He was recently set to sign copies of the book at book stores but cancelled when “reported protests escalated into threats of violence” not only against Vick but his family, his publisher, and the retailers that were scheduled to host him.

Michael Vick Humane Society
(Photo: Raleigh News & Observer/Getty)

Debating Vick’s crime, his sentence, the degree to which he is remorseful and so on will likely continue for some time.  My own opinions about these issues have vacillated, even unexpectedly, the more I learn and the more I consider.  It is the bigger picture, though—the response to it all and the context of it all—that I find consistently, relentlessly baffling.

Vick’s crime was heinous.  No one I know disputes that.  The reaction that has surfaced from it, however, is the wrong one.  Our discussions are focused almost exclusively on the victims and not on the pathology of violence.  We are angered because they are dogs, not because we permit and perpetuate a vast culture of abuse.  These events would not, six years later, still sit at the fore of our thoughts had anyone been mistreating any other animal—including, even, humans. Read more…

A John Bartlett Summer

• Summer tees and tanks for you and your pooch have been released by John Bartlett, featuring the iconic Tiny Tim logo, a three-legged dog rescued by JB who has a rescue fund in his memory where 10% of all profits directly go. Bright colors, neons, and Tiny Tim camo and Hawaiian prints bring the spirit of summer. Don’t shy away from a sexy swim brief!  Here’s some of my personal faves:


Hot Belts, Bartlett’s Rescue & The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger

Elvis and Kresse SliderElvis and Kresse Double Card HolderElvis and Kresse Big YellowElvis and Kresse West End

• The Elvis & Kreese collection of recycled fire-hose tube accessories is now on sale at Bourgeois Boheme!

• John Bartlett, renowned designer and animal activist, will be hosting an animal adoption event at his 7th Ave Store. The North Shore Animal League is bringing their unit full of adoptable mutt-igrees as well as a couple of puppy mill rescues. I snapped the image above of Bartlett’s rescue pup Tiny Tim the last time I swung by his studio. Look at that face!

Saturday July 31st
Noon – 5pm
143 7th Avenue South
New York, NY 10014

Get your tickets now, and get up to the gorgeous Woodstock, NY! The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (GOASTT) is the new project by Sean Lennon and his musical partner and girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl. Their first album “Acoustic Sessions” is due Oct. 26 and being released by Chimera Music. Listen to samples here. Opening for GOASTT will be an acoustic set from Undersea Poem, followed by Woodstock locals Jonathan Donahue (Mercury Rev) and Amy Helm (Levon Helm’s band and Ollabelle) performing as a duo called Love Is For The Birds. The concert will be held on an open lawn at the Sanctuary in Willow, NY, directions here.

Fashion Offenders, Every 9 Days & Animal Cruelty Syndrome

Osborn shoes offers one vegan style for guys with cotton uppers and rubber soles. They are fair trade, small-scale, and pretty freakin’ cool. I wish all their soles were rubber!

• Treehugger recently published a list of 7 unethical companies with the most abusive labor conditions. Who made the list?

  1. 1. H&M: sweatshop  fire recently killed 21, organic cotton fraud, trashing unsold clothing.
  2. 2. Abercrombie & Fitch: sweatshops in Saipan, exploitative worker contracts, zero-transparency according to Corporate Responsibility, ILRF’s Hall of Shame
  3. 3. The Gap (Old Navy & Banana Republic): New Delhi child labor, Saipan sweatshops labeled as “Made in USA”, Forced abortions on female factory workers.
  4. 4. Nike: Human trafficking and indentured slavery, anti-union policies,  sweatshops and unpaid workers.
  5. 5. Limited Brands (Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, Express and The Limited): Jordanian sweatshops, human trafficking & slave labor.
  6. 6. Phillips-Van Heusen (Calvin Klein): violent sweatshops, forced labor in Saipan.
  7. 7. Wal-Mart: criminal labor practices, sweatshops.

Cleanup workers toiling on the beach at Grand Isle, La.

• A New York Times article today reports on the grossly underestimated amount of oil gushing into the Gulf. “A government panel on Thursday essentially doubled its estimate of how much oil has been spewing from the out-of-control BP well, with the new calculation suggesting that an amount equivalent to the Exxon Valdez disaster could be flowing into the Gulf of Mexico every 8 to 10 days. The new estimate is 25,000 to 30,000 barrels of oil a day. That range, still preliminary, is far above the previous estimate of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day.”

• The New York Times Magazine, this week, has a heart-wrenching and though-provoking feature article on a phenomenon many psychologists, criminologists, prosecutors, veterinarians, and law enforcement professionals have suspected for a very long time: cruelty towards animals is directly connected to violence towards other people. “… a growing sensitivity to the rights of animals, another significant reason for the increased attention to animal cruelty is a mounting body of evidence about the link between such acts and serious crimes of more narrowly human concern, including illegal firearms possession, drug trafficking, gambling, spousal and child abuse, rape and homicide.”