Backpacks for Men

The backpack is not just for kids. It’s practical, comfortable, and frees up your hands to do other things like check emails, give high-fives, or run quickly to the subway while eating a bagel and drinking an iced coffee. Finding a backpack that is made fairly using sustainable and vegan materials is a challenge in an industry that worships animal skins and cheap labor, so that’s why I picked out my top 5 favorite backpacks that are made as handsomely as they look.

ECOALF OSLO BACKPACK GREEN BOTTLE346-3-3267_front47956_KEPB

 

 

Swim Again

Riz, United by Blue, Hippytree and Faherty Brand are making some killer swimwear for us. These are my favorites, and they’re all made from recycled materials.
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Click On These

http://www.modo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ECO-2.0-DALLAS_TTBLU_A-1200x481.pngWarm White Crew T - Mens http://www.the300poundvegan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/DC13-copy.jpg

http://fanmail.vaesite.net/__data/516a07e4325db3d3c5e70fb13661409a.jpghttp://bucklersremedy.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Daily-Face-Repair-Internet.jpgImage of MACON&LESQUOY x GOOD GUYS "EYE" loafer

 

The Culinary Collective, New York

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I attended one of The Culinary Collective’s events in Brooklyn and was wowed by a fifteen course, gourmet feast prepared by the much-extoled Chefs Jay Astafa and Angela Lowe. The epic meals are hosted in a lavish Brooklyn brownstone and guests mingle, making new friends and watching in excitement as the food is prepped within eyesight by an impressive staff. The white asparagus panna cotta, mushroom tart, nettle gnudi and cheese plate were exquisite standouts. Astafa even performed his liquid-nitrogen caramel popcorn alchemy while guests gathered around him with oohs and ahs. Wine was poured, laughs were had, and overall these pop-up events are not something to miss. You can book your reservation here .

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Incredible Iceland

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As soon as the airplane had cleared the clouds over Iceland, majestic cliffs cutting sharply into the ocean and a coastline landscape that would make a geologist shed tears came into view. Massive snow-covered mountains lined the horizon over towns with pantone rooftops in blue, red, green, black, and yellow. We arrived in Reykjavik’s downtown with stomachs grumbling. Getting a fresh meal was the first order of business after checking in to our hotel.

From the city to the country, Iceland was as otherworldly as it was friendly. Here are The Discerning Brute favorite sites and bites from the country of Vikings and volcanos.

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Gló
Laugavegur 20b
101 Reykjavík

Gló has a few locations in Iceland and the one in downtown Reykjavik is a cozy, second-story walk up  with plenty of vegan options every day. The creamy cauliflower soup, Thai curry soup, mushroom burger, and potato mushroom salads were definite highlights.

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Pink Iceland Tours
Hverfisgata 39
101 Reykjavík

Pink Iceland is an organization and tour company that offers several excursions to see the natural wonders of the Island. I highly recommend them because the tours are less congested than the mainstream tour companies because it’s a queer organization (although everyone is welcome). We visited waterfalls, glaciers, and historical sites and made several stops for vegan snacks including snúður (which is basically an awesome, chocolate-covered cinnamon roll), and some amazing, traditional turnip soup. Our tour guide was fantastic. She brought us gift bags, drinks, vegan snacks and knew all the secret spots.

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Blue Lagoon / LAVA
Grindavík
240 Grindavik

The Blue Lagoon was named one of the 25 wonder of the world by National Geographic Magazine for good reason. With silica and algae filled geothermal lagoons in bright blue surrounded by a moss-covered lava stone landscape, this place felt like we stepped off a space ship into a different world. We soaked in hot water that contrasted with the cool air, coated our skin in white silica, ate gourmet vegan meals and sipped beer from the local Icelandic brewery, Borg, at their restaurant, LAVA, and slept in minimalist, modern comfort at the Blue Lagoon Clinic. We hiked the nearby mountain and picnicked at the peak where all that remained of an abandoned WWII military site was a single stone fireplace.

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Kopar Restaurant
Geirsgata 3
Reykjavík

Like many mainstream restaurants in Reykjavik, if you call ahead and request a vegan meal, they’ll likely prepare one for you. This was the case with Kopar who made us a fantastic meal and dessert. KOPAR1 KOPAR2

K-Bar
Laugavegur 74,
Reykjavík

We met up with Ragnar Freyer and friends at K-Bar for some awesome tofu bibimbap. Ragnar is a local Reykjavik resident who maintains a really comprehensive list of every place to get vegan grub around the country. Check out his list here.
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Kaffihús Vesturbæjar & Café Babalú
In the western part of Reykjavik is Kaffihús Vesturbæjar, a coffeehouse that offers a really good veggie burger and the best French fries covered in dill as well as soy or oat lattes and plenty of vegan Icelandic beers. Back in the downtown area is Café Babalú, a kitschy place with needlepoint art who make a vegan carrot cake every day. We also spotted the political vegan street art of  Margrét Helga Weisshappel.

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Passion Bakery
Álfheimar 6
Reykjavík

Passion was a little off the beaten path, but worth the trip (and a fun excuse to test out the bus system). Rumor has it that they offer amazing vegan croissants, but they were sold out the day we went and we had to settle for several other fantastic confections including more snúður, chocolate bars called Hràfæðis, and some classic berry oat pastries.

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