Prelovers, Superfoods, Fur Foibles, & Veganic Farming

from the left: Shelley Whelan - Montreal Retail Manager & Rep, Julia Grieve - Founder & CEO, Colin Seymour - Toronto Retail Manager & Rep

From the left: Shelley Whelan - Montreal Retail Manager & Rep, Julia Grieve - Founder & CEO, Colin Seymour - Toronto Retail Manager & Rep

PRELOVED held their first US in-store event on Sunday evening at the Greenpoint, Brooklyn boutique, ALTER. The Spring ‘o9 collection is made entirely of reclaimed items like bed sheets, shirts, suiting, and even curtains! These items would otherwise end up in a landfill, and have been reconstucted into really gorgeous garments for ladies and gentalmen, alike. Founder and CEO,  Julia Grieve told me that she never intended to be an environemntalist, she just liked working with reclaimed fabrics. But now, as Preloved heads to the forefront of the green-fashion movement, she realized the importence and gravity of making sustainability ‘cool’. Nothing says sustainable like turning trash into gorgeous, head-turning garments. You won’t find find any granola on their runway!

The Zuri Tee $169.00 at ALTER

The line does include wool, but it is recycled from old sweaters that would otherwise be garbage. I’m not going to be complaining about it. Hopefully this trend will catch on, and with styles as awesome as the Zuri Tee, who can resist?

ALTER consists of two boutiques across the street from eachother in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Owned and operated by Roy Caires and Tommy Cole, they carry a great selection of eco and veg-friendly items incuding their own repurposed line “This Old Thing?” as well as Matt & Nat accessories, Melissa shoes, and they have more coming! ALTER is carrying the women’s collecion for Preloved currently, and will be carring the men’s collection within a few weeks.

Speaking of Matt & Nat, I love their new vegan, canvas, Bauhaus bag with 100% recycled lining.canvas-men_lo bauhaus_2

gg125x125.jpgGirlie Girl Army shows us how to get superpowers from superfoods! This is a 101 for anyone who wants to know the basics of the superfood phenomenon! This is for dudes too! Wanna stop chugging sugary, milk-protein-laden workout ‘food’ and get a longer-lasting, healthy high for that extra curl, press, or pull-up? Try these foods! Also, if you didn’t hear Chloe’s sexy visit to the boys at Hot97, click here.

Veganic farming is wha…? Veganic farming takes organic farming and brings it to it’s logical conclusion. Who wants to eat organic potatoes that grew in factory-farm feces and blood? Ugh..  the vegan permaculture movement is taking hold! The Huguenot Street Farm in New Paltz, NY is one successful example. Check out their funny video here, and stay tuned for more updates on the veganic farming movement:

FICA is full of it. The ‘Fur Information Council of America’ insists that fur is the “natural, responsible choice“.

FICA

If you’ve already started rolling your eyes or laughing, you are not alone. In WWD, for the final day of NY Fashion Week (The Feb 20th, 2009 issue), FICA paid for an ad that was disguised as a part of the paper to make it seem as though fur garments were heavily talked-about in the publication.

img_0408img_0410

In fact, aside from one shawl by Issac Mizrahiny, there wouldn’t have been any fur in the publication that day. Boo hiss to Issac for his hideous new fur collection. Also watch his attempt to lose weight eating “vegan” M&Ms.

Imvidblog_2009_0208_lizshow_small

"Peanut M&M's are vegan" ...right

Robert Verdi PictureAlso boo, hiss to TV Host and supposed ‘style expert’, Robert Verdi who I spotted in the lobby, surrounded by plastic fur-hags, wearing this atrocious hood (Did his Court-Dress wig fall back, or was he going for the evil Skeksis look?).

http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/muppet/images/6/6d/SkekAyak.jpg

Skeksis from "The Dark Crystal"

Tim Gunn should give them both a stern talking-to in the ways of educated and compassionate elegance. The only way to look like a bigger jerk is to have tan-lines in the shape of aviators on your head. Oh wait…

What I love (and by love, I mean hate) about FICA’s pretty-in-pink website is the total avoidance of ever mentioning an animal oustside of abstractions like “species” or “populations”. If they did acknowlegde that individual animals with brains and nervous systems existed, they’d have to follow through with logic that would contradict their reference of animals as “natural resources” to be used “responsibly”. I won’t even make the historical comparisons, you can do that yourself.

Best Of: Midtown Eco Showcase

Boho - A New American SpiritThis week in midtown Manhattan, designers gathered at the Agent Red International Showroom who hosted The Green Gallery Eco Press Showcase to showcase eco clothing and accessories ranging from bags and belts to knits and formal wear. I met several of the designers and the stylish brains behind Boho Magazine, which launched at the event. Here are the highlights:

SDN

SDN

SDN is a Brooklyn-based line featuring menswear made from organic cotton, soy, and bamboo. Striped waistcoats, western button-downs and denim jumpsuits were the highlights, as well as the handsome, cuffed chinos. I have to get a pair of those! SDN can be purchased at www.sodafine.com and www.kaightnyc.com. The pants do come with the option of suspenders that have leather detailing, so you can avoid those – and some of the sportscoats incorporate silk in the lining.

English Retreads

English Retreads

English Retreads was started by Heather English almost a decade ago. Her bags and accessories already have over 60,000 miles each! Tough, green, and bad-ass, my favorites are the wallet, the Bentley, and the Large Beetle. ER also does dog collars and belts!

reVINYLized

revinylized

revinylized messenger

REVINYLIZED accessories are made from used billboards that would otherwise add hundreds of pounds each to landfills. The tote, the messenger bags, and the toiletry bag are my favorite picks. Many of them are lined with organic or recycled cotton.

Threads For Thought

Threads For Thought

Threads for Thought is one of the only companies doing organic cotton board shorts! Combine that with an organic tee with a well-designed message and you’re good to go!

Fresh Friday Finds

1. Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization
Amazing article from Adbusters on the counter-cultural void that is Hipsterdom.

2. The Vegan Collection
Affordable, sweatshop-fee, vegan shoes for men. The Vegan Collection is versatile – dress it up with a suit, or go with a pair of jeans. They’re under $50, and 25% of profit goes to animal advocacy.

The Lincoln, The Vegan Collection
  • The Lincoln Black, The Vegan Collection
  • 3. Hey Alaska, Stop Murdering Wolves!

    http://www.motherearthbeats.com/wp-content/themes/the%20hobbit/images/wolf097.jpg

    As many Alaskans already learned via media reports, 14 one-month old wolf pups recently were killed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in a practice known as “denning”. Denning is the practice of killing wolves in or around their den, in this case by shooting them in the head. 14 adults were also killed. Please, as soon as possible, contact Alaska Governor Sarah Palin expressing your objections to this unethical and illegal decimation of Alaska’s wolf population.

    4. Green Depot
    Perhaps an alternative to Home Depot (formerly known for it’s use of old-growth timber, and now it rampant greenwashing – among other shady practices) can inspire people to consider the enviroment when making home repairs and adjustments. Green Depot promises to be a good steward…that is aside from those “eco-friendly” insect killers and wool rugs. Maybe the best solution is to just not buy anything new at all. Check out Build It Green in New York – an entirely recycled/thrift Depot-style, DIY store.

    click here to shop

    5. Vegan, Lesbian Hollywood Wedding!
    Newlyweds and newly-vegans Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi got married and had a totally vegan wedding featuring a vegan red velvet cake by Sweet Lady Jane. How was I not invited?

    Ellen & Portia's Wedding Album | Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossihttp://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj125/adeebasabr/RedVelvet.jpg

    6. Fur Real?

    Gwyneth Paltrow recently turned stomachs when she appeared draped in fur and exotic skins in a campaign for Tod’s. The strangest thing about it is that she surrounds herself with vegan and vegetarian friends and family including her very own vegetarian husband Chris Martin of Coldplay. Friend Stella McCartney is pissed, Moby is pissed, and I am pissed too. Vaginally and anally electrocuting a struggling fox until it is dead is the furthest thing from sexy. Hey Gwyneth, you might want to brutally bludgeon and stomp my dog, then turn him into a giant set of furry ear-plugs to block out all the shit you’re gonna hear for doing this campaign.

    7. AuH2O

    http://www.auh2odesigns.com/images/mens/full/fm_3.pnghttp://www.auh2odesigns.com/images/mens/full/workshirttee.jpg

    New York’s East Village is home to the recycled eco-boutique AuH2O. They even do custom alternations on the spot with no charge!

    84 E. 7th St.
    (b/t 1st and 2nd Ave)
    New York, NY 10003
    (212) 466-0844
    E-mail: kate@auh2odesigns.com

    8. Star Wars’ Environmentalist Origin

    Derrick Jensen is an amazing, truthful, and brilliant writer. But comedian? Who knew? Derrick files his grievances with the ineffectiveness of “non-violent civil disobedience” and many other the useless hoops activists jump through to change those who are destroying the planet.

    9. Need a reason to boycott the Olympics? How about several reasons…?

    Title abstract image of the Adopt 2008 project

    A Shocking Look Inside Chinese Fur Farms

    2008 OLYMPICS NO PROGRESS ON RIGHTS

    10. Olympic Judo Medalist is Vegan. NBA star is Vegetarian.

    Ronda Rousey

    I can’t tell you how many times people insist that it is not possible to be a veg athlete. Who was the first NBA player to win championships with three different teams? If you said John Salley, then bravo. But you know what else John Salley is? A vegetarian. Also, Beijing 2008 Gold Medalist Ronda Rousey, who is the first US woman to win an Olympic medal in Judo, is a vegan. Click here to learn about other veg athletes.

    Interview: John Patrick of Organic

    John Patrick in Peru

    New York-based designer John Patrick has a taste for rouge gamblers. He also approaches his clothing like an artist, a scientist, a politician, and an activist. From growing his own organic cotton, to building fair-trade, sustainable industries, to voicing skepticism of materialism, GMOs, and Free Trade policies, John Patrick is a force to be reckoned with. His vision of new school freedom and sustainability speaks to young people in a way that addresses the invalidity of tired, self-important cris de coeur. I interviewed John Patrick recently about his clothes, his involvement with the Green Revolution, and his plans for the future. Here is the interview:

    DB: What is it about clothing that keeps your driven?
    JP: Its one of the last “personal” spaces we solely occupy. but even then the consumer is dictated to as to what they are able to choose to wear. I am driven to keep the choices open and to create a dialogue that also includes the thought “you are what you wear”. Stop and think about it; textiles drenched in chemicals and dyes. 500 years ago you were lucky if you had a piece of cloth to wrap yourself in and a wooden or metal utensil to eat. So “you’ve come a long way baby” is still relevant, but creating relevant 21st century choices that are “smart” is what drives me.

    Organic Spring 2008

    DB: I’ve heard you grow some of your own organic cotton, how did this come about and why?
    JP: I worked with 10 farmers in the amazon jungle who grow not only cotton but fruits and vegetables and roots. The jungle is the last “supermarket” to the world and needs to be protected so slash and burn farming doesn’t take over any more than it has. Free-trade agreements are disrupting the natural order of things drastically and the farmers know it outside of the USA. They know that cheap corn from North America will come, and so will GMO seeds and chemicals. We guaranteed a higher price for the 10 farmers for 5000 kilos of cotton, and in turn another 190 farmers were able to command the same price from bigger buyers who the year before paid very little per kilo. So, it became a win-win situation for an entire region. I am working on securing funding to make the project bigger in the future and hire an engineer to live and work in the jungle and help the farmers protect WHAT IS THEIRS. They are the stewards of the earth and without them the “green movement” is meaningless, in my opinion. I will be traveling this spring/summer to Georgia, and visiting a conventional cotton gin and trying to see if I cant start a small project with the gin to encourage them to transition to organic cotton. 1/100th of 1% of the cotton grown in the USA is certified organic. Small percentage, right? This is an area we need to change if we truly want to be able to say there is a Green Revolution.

    DB: What was the inspiration behind the menswear in the Fall 2008 collection. Do any artists, writers, philosophers, etc.. inspire your work?
    JP: My main inspiration was a rogue gambler who had a huge heart – who was compassionate about living life to the fullest and not being afraid to lose sometimes because in the end it was a huge win. Joseph Bueys is a great inspiration to me because he had many obstacles to overcome, yet there was a profound message in his work that is still being revealed today. I think that he was very forward in his use of organic materials in his art and traveling to New York and staying in a gallery with a dog. His “menu” is even more relevant today than ever.

    John Patrick Fall 08

    DB: How have other people (including press and other designers) responded to your use of organic, repurposed materials and your vision?
    JP: I hope Organic inspires people to work hard on the ethical aspect of the design industry. From LEED Certified buildings to supporting CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). I am just doing my work and what I believe in.

    DB: Who are your clothes for? Do you have an agenda?
    JP: My clothes are for the people who make them and the people who wear them. My agenda is to do the next right thing that gets put in front of me.

    DB: You mentioned you have three offices and no computers. How do you keep it together?
    JP: Good orderly direction.

    DB: I noticed there was no fur in your collection. What is your opinion of the commercial fur and exotic animal-skins trade?
    JP: I support the Animal Rights people.

    John Patrick Spring 08

    DB: It seems there is an entire generation of young people who want accountability and to redefine that “cool” is more than just the way things look. What is your definition of cool, of chic, and of luxury?
    JP: In my opinion, those adjectives are from the late 20th century and have no relevancy in The Now. The Now is about sustainability, individualism and mindful thought as to how we are living. We can be who we are if we think about it. It takes thought to be a responsible consumer and citizen. The Now Generation has rejected the old school materialism in favor of a new school freedom. Just look at the streets of Williamsburg.

    DB: If you could change one thing about the fashion industry, what would it be?
    JP: It seems perfect in its imperfection. It allows everyone to do what they feel is right. There are a lot of amazing young designers now working and emerging who will push the change in the next 100 years.

    John Patrick Fall 08

    DB: What was the most recent book you’ve read?
    JP: Ways of Seeing by John Berger. A quote: ” seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak”.

    DB: Where do you see your focus and creative development heading in two years?
    JP: I want to continue my archeology and dig more and more and more and find the things that speak to me.

    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