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.

 

“Sprucing” Up the Place With Sustainable Decor

Patrick LaDuke joins The Discerning Brute’s lineup of incisive contributors and shares his take on interiors and furniture that dignify principled aesthetics.

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  • Ranging from furniture to interior, LA’s District Millworks is the perfect alternative for an eco friendly household. As stated in their blog, ” We use reclaimed wood sources along with FSC wood and materials. We finish our projects with eco friendly materials. Our goal is 100% eco friendly and sustainable products.” Not only can one get a table made from wine barrel inserts, but also lighting made from the barrels’ rings. They even offer reclaimed wood floors.

  • NYC’s Voos Furniture supports local designers by showcasing and selling their work. Their eco friendly options inculde discarded construction material, reclaimed wood, and recycled cork just to name a few. Check out the wine rack made entirely from waste material from the wine cork industry pictured above.

  • Score+Solder is a simple green option by merely housing your plants in a very modern way. Handmade to order, these terrariums and planters are simply glass and lead-free solder.

Patrick LaDuke is currently a fashion design student. He focuses on sustainability and ethics in all of his work, and is passionate about all things vegan. He has been a vegan since 17 and is always in search for the latest in sustainable design. He is also an aspiring musician, artist, and pastry chef.

Uhuru Designs New Museum Sustainable Cafe

UHURU, a Brooklyn-based  design + build furniture company dedicated to sustainability has crafted some gorgeous furniture for The New Museum‘s cafe. The cafe’s new design will feature communal tables, as well as intimate settings for conversation, enhancing the New Museum’s Lobby as a gathering place for visitors and the creative community. The newly designed tables and stools were commissioned especially for the New Museum. The stools are made from scraps of hardwood collected from local wood shops and the tables are crafted from high-percentage, post-consumer recycled steel and aluminum and finished with a zero VOC powder coat. Attentive visitors will notice the shape of the New Museum building playfully seeded in the top of each puzzle-like Stoolen. The cafe’s counter top, which displays baked goods, is IceStone, a durable surface made of 100% recycled glass and cement, also manufactured in Brooklyn.

After looking at the cafe’s menu (designed by Birdbath, an “environmentally conscious” division of City Bakery) I noticed that livestock products like butter and eggs were still being used in the baking. Here at The Discerning Brute,  I applaud any effort to further sustainability, but I also must point out that the largest impact for sustainability exists within the food itself, and whether or not dairy is local or organic, the impact that the livestock have ecologically can simply never be considered sustainable. The ease with which those products can be replaced with more sustainable options is nearly seamless. Here’s to hoping they include their vegan on the menu also! Heck, why not go all the way and make the entire menu vegan?

DBTV Valentine Special: TODD OLDHAM HEARTS YOU

Don’t be jealous! Ever since I watched a green-haired Todd Oldham on “House of Style” back in the nineties, I knew that I had to get crafty with him one day. So, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, Todd and I got together at his downtown NYC studio to show you how to make some heart-shaped gifts that come from the heart. We both agree that this holiday is all about affordable, DIY craftiness.

From his features in ReadyMade & Dwell, to crafting Amy Sedaris’ interactive vaginal diagram on the Chelsea Lately Show, and with a line of vases for FTD,  a classic menswear-inspired carpet collection, and design book series called Place Space, Todd is a royal of the creative world. To top that, he is a photographer, filmmaker, interior designer, fashion designer, and can see through walls …well, maybe not the last part.

Mr. Oldham is no stranger to being ethically handsome, either. A vegetarian and environmentalist, he has worked with Peta on undercover investigations, encouraged the sales of plantable oak trees through FTD, and even raised money for the NRDC. He continues to find innovative ways to use eco-friendly, recyclable, and animal-friendly materials (from soy based inks, to un-coated, recycled cardboard) in his products, and one thing we agree on is that having mainstream skills along with aspirations for environmentalism, animal rights, and social justice, is a recipe for making change from the inside.

Chocolate Heart Cake

Jodi Taylor

Organic, Vegan, Cake by Joshua Katcher & Todd Oldham Photo: Jodi Taylor

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
• Two 9″ heart-shaped baking pan
• 3 cups organic all-purpose flour
• 2 cups organic, unrefined sugar
• 1.5 cups organic cocoa
• 2 tsp aluminum-free Baking Powder
• 1.5 tsp Baking Soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 cup organic coconut oil
• 1/4 cup organic canola oil
• 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
• 1/2 cup prepared egg-replacer (Energie or Brand)
• 1 Tbs vanilla
• 2 cups almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
• 2 cups cold coffee
• 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
Icing
• 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
• 1/4 cup coconut oil (not melted)
• 1/4 cup Earth Balance (or other non-hydrogenated margarine)
• 4 cups organic powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 1/4 cup soy creamer
(for pink, add 1/8 cup beet juice or 3 drops of red veg-based food coloring)
Marzipan
• 1 cup marzipan
• Natural veg-based food coloring
• Small cookie cutters

CAKE DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 375º, and coat your pan with non-stick cooking spray or canola oil.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl: Flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, & salt.
3. In a separate bowl (or using a mixer) beat the coconut oil, canola oil, shortening, egg replacer, and vanilla until fluffy.
4. Pour the coffee and almond milk onto the dry mix, then add the whipped oil and egg-replacer, and stir in the chocolate chips until the mixture is smooth.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes (or until edges pull away from sides of pan).

FROSTING DIRECTIONS
1. Beat the shortening, coconut oil, and margarine until smooth.
2. slowly add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
3. Finally, add vanilla and soy-creamer and beat for about 5 minutes until fluffy.

*Once cakes have cooled, take out of pan. If storing prior to decoration, line pan with wax-paper, then put cakes back in tins.
SEE VIDEO FOR DECORATING INSTRUCTIONS!

Jodi Taylor!

Alternate decorating idea! photo: Jodi Taylor!


Heart of Flowers

hearcarnation

Heart of Flowers by Todd Oldham & Joshua Katcher

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
• 20 carnations
• heart-shaped pan (at least 2″ deep)
• 2 – 4 bricks of floral foam
• water
• scissors

DIRECTIONS
See Video (above)

Fresh Friday Finds

Better World Shopping Guide1. The Better World Shopping Guide.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a resource that graded (A+ through F) companies on their practices affecting ecosystems, people, and animals? My sister recently pointed out a great resource: “The Better World Shopping Guide” by Ellis Jones. Dr Jones has 2 books out. The Better World Handbook is a big book that catalogues the many ways one human being can make a difference in the world around a wide range of social and environmental problems. You can read nearly the whole book RIGHT HERE.

2. Pureology Styling Products
PureologyPureology is a biodegradable, vegan, cruelty-free haircare product line used by top salons and stylists. I got my hair cut at Beehive in Williamsburg, and my stylist Kay made me fall in love with their nano-wax! Smells really good too. Pompadour heaven.

3. Reclaimed, recycled, repurposed furniture from Brooklyn!

Reclaimed Pine BenchReclaimed Table

Founded in 2004, by Bill Hilgendorf and Jason Horvath, Uhuru is a small design + build furniture company dedicated to sustainability and creating timeless designs and interiors. Uhuru builds each piece by hand, in their Red Hook Brooklyn studio.

4. Soy Undies
Soy UndiesSpotted these 2(x)ist man-briefs made from SOY! According to the 2(x)ist website, soy is “more luxurious than cashmere, breathes like cotton… and is a ‘green’ fiber”. Locate them HERE.

5. Bergmans Organic Pima Cotton Collection
Bergman's I’ve had a lot of people ask me where they can get nice organic dress shirts, khakis and such. Check out this organic collection from the respected Bergman’s, who’s been on top of the organic cotton game since 1986! If you don’t know why conventional cotton is so terrible, you much read my previous post: White Gold

Organic Cuffed Khaki
Organic OxfordOrganic Polo