Sunday, December 28, 2008

EcoSalon, Serena & Lily Get Green and What Type of Green are You?

There are lots of items on today's agenda. I am so excited to have discovered EcoSalon through an offshoot link from Viva Terra. What a delightful blog! The site really does have something for everybody, so head on over and give them a look.

I also wanted to alert you to two other fun pieces of info (both gathered from EcoSalon...I am LOVING the site!). First, Serena & Lily, one of my favorite retailers for cute bedding and furnishings for children and adults, has added some organic pieces to their collection. View the EcoSalon article here.

Also, marketing researchers have developed a spectrum for determining a person's "green category" and, though I disagree that there are only four types of greenness (perhaps six or seven would be more appropriate), it is a pretty interesting read. You can view the article here.

And with that, I am off to eat leftover cherry pie. Shh, don't tell my trainer.

Santa Reads Eco-Prep

Firstly, I offer my most sincere apologies for the lack of posts over the past week and a half. Things have been quite busy around here with the holiday and all. If I've learned one thing from authoring this daily (or not-so-daily) musing, it's that Santa reads blogs. Not surprisingly, many eco-goodies were under our tree this year. For JMD, I found a fantastic bracelet made from recycled shoe leather. After I went on and on about how much I loved the bracelet, I received one in return. Fancy that. When I find a website where the bracelets can be purchased, I'll post the link. Until then, you'll have to trust me, they're fabulous! I also received a Recycline toothbrush and some other eco-products in my stocking. I collect dishware from schools and clubs, so I was delighted to open a box containing platters, bowls, and plates with lovely insignia from an assortment of institutions.

The largest box under the tree held a pair of antlers carved from wood. They're from my favorite eco-retailer, Viva Terra. I can't wait to find a fun place to hang these (in homage to Hollister Hovey's divine decorating sensibilities, most definitely)!

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday (whichever you celebrate) and that you are all planning exciting New Year festivities. As for us, we'll be going to a fancy dinner downtown and then rushing home to watch the Tigers play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl (Could they not come up with a more interesting title?). Until later, may life bestow upon you peace and laughter.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rave Review: Levi's Eco Jeans

Back in October, I announced that I wanted a pair of Levi's Eco jeans in the mid-rise bootcut style. Though I had vowed not to buy anything for myself until after the first of the year, I snagged a pair of these fabulous jeans at Marshall's on sale for $12.99 because the size had been mismarked. To say that I love them is an understatement. They are SO comfortable! I HIGHLY recommend them!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brand Recognition: Turk+Taylor

Usually, I share individual pieces from eco-fashion designers, but today, I want to let you in on an entire line. Turk+Taylor is a charming line of eco-friendly pieces for ladies and gents. Their fall collection holds strong with deeper autumnal colors, while spring ushers in bright colors and plenty of patterns.

Images: Turk+Taylor.

Presidential Preppiness

GQ's website has an excellent article today about the style of our country's leaders. Not surprisingly, most of the highlighted pieces are preppy. Some examples are JFK's Topsider sneakers and khakis, W's aviator sunglasses, The Gipper's denim work shirt, and Ike's golfing cardigan and newsboy cap.

View the article here.

Monday, December 15, 2008


If you are like me and you're still looking for a party dress for your Christmas and New Years parties, here are two more you might like. They're from eco-fashion house Loyale. You can never go wrong with the LBD!

The Tulare dress:

The Elsamere dress:

Fancy it up with some pearls and snazzy shoes (and a pashmina if you live in a cooler climate) and you're ready to dance into the night at any party!

Green Cleaning

If you are hosting guests this holiday season and you want your house to be sparkling clean, consider using eco-friendly cleaning products. Here are a few good options:

Begley's Best is made from plant-based materials and is great for your all-purpose cleaning needs.

And for polishing the furniture, try Daddy Van's furniture polish, made of beeswax.

Preppy Icon of the Day

Robert Redford oozes cool. He's an icon for the guys and a heartthrob for the ladies. Mr. Redford gets the honor of being today's Preppy Icon of the Day for his ability to seamlessly combine preppy, cowboy and cool. He also gets major points for being uber-green. His Sundance brand is one of the greenest around.

Classic. American. Iconic.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Good Green Things: Sparrow Handbags

If you've not yet heard of Sparrow Handbags, allow me to introduce you. My current longing is the Jasmeen bag, made of 100% organic cotton twill and batting.

The Jasmeen bag comes in the two colors shown.

Recommended Reading

Everyone says they want to "go green" but most of us find getting started to be a daunting task. Here's a book that will jump start your eco-friendliness the easy way.

Penned by Josh Dorfman, The Lazy Environmentalist is a great way to get started going green.

See Josh's website here.
Get the book here.

Just in Case...

you may have missed it the first time around:

Maine Man

Last week, a friend and I were discussing beards and I, in contrast to my general rule of liking only clean cut styles on the brawnier sex, surprised him by saying that I didn't mind a well kept beard in the deep of winter. Then, voila, these pictures came along, giving me examples to prove my point.

Scott Speedman looks rugged yet well maintained in wear. It doesn't hurt that he's wearing timeless pieces.

See the whole slideshow here.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Following Instructions

This year, with the economy treading water, homemade gifts are a super option. If you're looking for something special for that hard to buy for person on your list, chances are Instructables has a set of instructions for how to make it.

I'm planning to learn how to make these bath bombs:

There are plenty of ridiculous things on the site, but there are also a lot of really great ideas! Give Instructables a look!

Friday, December 12, 2008

No Left Turns

Most of us don't give too much thought to the environmental impact of that package we've been waiting so anxiously for, but when you get right down to the nitty gritty, that impact is huge. Thankfully, UPS is doing something about it. They've implemented a software program that eliminates left turns from their routes. Why left turns, you ask? Well, a single left turn doesn't cause much harm, but when you multiply it by the number of big brown boxes on wheels roaming the streets for 8 or more hours a day, it adds up! Idling time wastes gas and money. Click here to read the NY Times story about the elimination of left turns for UPS. The company is also making efforts to use a program that prints the recipient's address straight onto the box, negating the need for all that extra labeling nonsense. Hopefully the other delivery companies will follow suit soon.

Green Can Be Funny

To tickle your funny bone:

From Plenty Magazine. Seriously, this is funny stuff!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Heart Rubie Green

Eco-friendly upholstery fabrics don't have to be boring and unattractive. Nobody knows that better than Rubie Green. The collection, designed by Michelle Adams who was formerly a staffer at perennial design favorite Domino Magazine, boasts colorful patterns that will liven up any room!

Here's the low down on Rubie Green's uber green process:
At Rubie Green our team underwent months of research, trade shows and meetings to find what we believe is the most eco-friendly printing method available. Our upholstery fabrics are made of 100% certified organic cotton, which is whitened without bleach and printed here in the US. We print with water-based, non-toxic inks that contain no volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), and utilize a printing process that minimizes water consumption. In fact, the factory uses only one gallon of water per day! This was an exciting discovery for our team as water plays such an integral role in most other methods of printing. We also wanted to avoid fabric waste so we decided to print only on demand, using heat and pressure to finish our fabrics instead of chemicals.
When we move this coming summer, don't be surprised if some of these fabrics show up in our new digs!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Get Dirt-y

I'm a candle junkie. I admit it. I probably need help for my addiction to candles. Lucky for you, until a program is developed for candle-holics, I'll continue to share with you my new finds. Dirt Candles are made from GMO-free soy wax (organic soy cultivated in the USA) and combined with essential oils, botanical ingredients, and all-natural cotton wicks. The packaging is recycled and is printed with soy inks and labels made from corn. So if you want some Dirt too, visit their website and find out where you can buy a candle (or two) near you.

Something Sweet

A friend of mine has opened up a great little spot in Manhattan's East Village. Lula's Sweet Apothecary will take you back to the good old days, when soda parlors were the place to grab a little something sweet.

The menu can be found here. Read a great little write-up here.

So the next time you're in NYC, go see Blythe at 516 East 6th St (between Avenues A and B) and tell her I sent you.

My Favorite Airport Bag

I have a favorite airport bag. Admittedly, I don't use it for anything else, but I wouldn't consider using anything else as my carry on. The bag is rectangular in shape, but turned on its end so it's longer than it is wide. It's khaki canvas and easy to clean. It easily holds my laptop and a couple books and magazines. It's perfect for time spent in the airport!

I love the old trustworthy airport bag, but this Matt and Nat bag could make me jump ship. It's like an upgrade of the old bag!

The Kahn Bag:
Natural treated cardboard handbag with cognac faux suede lining, cognac stitching, cognac vintage vegan leather trims, antique silver hardware, and MATT & NAT logo bar. The Kahn features 1 main interior compartment with 2 zippers for access, 1 external zipper pocket on front and 1 external open pocket on back. Interior includes zip pocket, cell phone, PDA and a detachable key chain. Comes with detachable, adjustable shoulder strap.
Get it here.

Welcome to the Gilded Age

Not long ago, I blogged about the craftsmanship of days gone by and my deep desire to find companies who make eco-conscious apparel and accessories that are both attractive and durable. I think I've struck gold with Gilded Age. Sadly, for now, the boys get to have all the fun.

Gilded Age uses age-old methods to assemble their products which gives each piece a uniqueness that you can't find in mass produced items. The company also implements organic fabrics and vintage leather into their collection.

And the best news of all? THEY'RE DEVELOPING A WOMENSWEAR COLLECTION! Yep, you read it right. There aren't many things that could make me happier!

View the men's Fall Collection slideshow here and the Spring Collection slideshow here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Barbour...The Green Green Jacket

Barbour is known for their waxed cotton jackets, with green being the predominant color of choice for wearers. But could the green jacket really be green? You bet! Barbour says that all of their labor is done in Europe (they don't use sweatshops) and their waxes are totally animal-friendly. Plus, their products are designed for long term wear so you won't need to buy a new coat every year!

Here and Nau

Outdoor apparel and activewear retailer Nau has officially reopened after a hiatus for restructuring. There's no reason why your wardrobe shouldn't have a lighter effect on the planet all the time...even when you're skiing, or snowshoeing, or during participation in whatever other winter activities you fancy. Do it right, do it Nau. (Yes, I really did think that was witty and clever when I came up with it.)

From their website:

Our design philosophy is built on the balance of three criteria: beauty, performance, and sustainability. Far from mutually exclusive, the integration of these concepts defines a new standard for apparel. Many people make exceptional clothing that embraces one of those criteria. A select few manage to combine two of the three, at the most exacting levels. As far as we know, no one has made a dedicated effort to integrate all three with unflagging commitment to each. Until now.

Do good here.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ace in the Hole

The Ace Hotel must be doing something right. The hotel chain's new take on a budget-boutique hotel is getting rave reviews from everyone and their stylish yet unassuming rooms are garnering lots of attention. Each room is filled with quaint details that include vintage furniture and accessories, catapulting the hotel onto the list of all things green and chic.

Ace Hotel has locations in Portland, Seattle, New York, and (soon) Palm Springs.

Company Done Right

Alabama Chanin is certainly a company that deserves to be on the radar.

From their website:

Sustainable Life - Sustainable Style

Alabama Chanin is a lifestyle company that focuses on creating an array of products through focusing on slow design and sustainability. We craft limited-edition products for the individual and the home. Our products are made-by-hand using a combination of new, organic and recycled materials. Each piece is constructed with care by talented artisans who live and work in communities in and around Florence, Alabama. Our products come numbered in one-of-a-kind or limited edition series and signed by the artisan that made it. We dedicate ourselves to producing quality products that become a part of daily life in this generation and beyond. From farmer to fiber to artisan to home, our products are “grown-to-sewn” in USA.

Well Vers-ed

The Vers iPod speaker dock is one of the most eco-friendly speaker systems around.

Here's why:

Natural - as in the quality of sound and the use of real wood, crafted and finished by hand. Natural - as in the selection of sustainable materials and efficient components. Natural, however, doesn't come easy. The hand craftsmanship required to create a Vers system takes time - more than a week to build one cabinet. There are plenty of ways to build a sound system faster, but few better.

Wood vs. Plastic
The wood used in Vers displaces 80% of what otherwise been plastic. When chosen from carefully managed plantation sources, wood can be a very sustainable, renewable material. There's a reason why many musical instruments are still made of wood; nothing sounds as warm, as rich - or as natural.

Screws vs. Snaps & Glue
All Vers systems are assembled with screws, not adhesive or impossible-to-disassemble snap features. This allows the unit to be easily broken down into component materials to ease recycling.

Recycled from the Start
Simply having recyclable packaging isn't enough - you need to start with recycled materials and use them where ever possible. All paper packaging material is both 100% recycled and 100% recyclable.

Energy Saving Amplifier
The class D amplifier in Vers is 80% more efficient than other amplifiers, meaning it uses about half the power to produce the same sound and volume. Class D amplifiers generate less heat as a result.

Find it here.

Match Rugby

Via RL Press Release:

This Fall, RUGBY Ralph Lauren will launch a new initiative, MATCH RUGBY, to support young social entrepreneurs. By matching good resources with good ideas, MATCH RUGBY will be a full marketing platform that strives to bring awareness and support to organizations and individuals in their efforts to create a better world. RUGBY will make grants to aspiring social entrepreneurs, helping them start and develop their businesses, through the creation of the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation’s MATCH RUGBY FUND.

Learn more here and here.

New Year, New Calendar

As the new year approaches, so does the need for a new calendar. Cavallini's wall calendars are truly works of art. My favorite is the vintage world maps calendar. View the whole collection here.

They've also got a line of smaller easel calendars for your desk or countertop. See them here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sidling to the Bar in Penny Loafers

From The New York Times. May 5, 2007. Click to enlarge.

Pink Shirts Welcome

Here's another of my favorite articles from the (more recent) vault. Published in May of 2007, this article highlights Bar Martignetti's uber preppy clientele. Read it here.

Great Green Cards

Red Stamp is one of my favorite stationery websites and they've got a great selection of eco-friendly holiday cards this year! View them here. I'm particularly fond of the Colorful Berries Holiday Card (below).

Friday, December 5, 2008

Haspel Turns 100 (almost)

Seersucker season has come and gone, but it's never too early to start thinking about next year. Today's focus is on the company considered the King of Seersucker: Haspel. In 2009, Haspel will be celebrating its 100th birthday. The century-old company has been producing fine quality seersucker suits since 1909 when Joseph Haspel started making them in New Orleans, responding to a genuine need for lightweight clothing that satisfied the problem of maintaining one's style in a warm climate before the days of air conditioning.

Today, the Haspel line boasts well-made suits of linen, madras, poplin, pinfeather, silk and, of course, original seersucker. They're still based in Louisiana, just a short drive away from where the original Mr. Haspel began the seersucker revolution.

Eco-Conscious Furniture

Until recently, furniture had not found a way to be both sustainable and attractive. Cisco Brothers is leading the way in making aesthetically pleasing green pieces.

This striped chair would look great in any living room:

And I'm really hoping this Chesterfield-style sofa comes in cognac:

Take a peek at the entire collection here.

Dapper and Dashing

A friend of mine who is interested in ethical fashion recently let me in on these two pieces for the gents: a pair of dashing brogues and a plaid-lined parka. Have a look!

This Day in History

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the end of Prohibition. USA Today has a great piece on the anniversary here.

But more importantly, Pat O'Brien's is celebrating 75 fantastic years! Next time you're in New Orleans, stop in and tell them hello!

Happy Feet

Cozy up by the fire in your favorite flannel lounge pants and a pair of these great slippers.

"This Acorn® original has been on U.S. space shuttle missions since 1982. It's easy to see why: the classic Ragg sock upper, full-grain leather sidewall and suede outsole make for extraordinary comfort and durability on earth as well as in space. Memory Foam midsoles cushion every step."

As an aside, these slippers also got a five-leaf ranking from Get them here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Inside the Designers' Lair

Just wanted to call your attention to a post by Mrs. Blandings (from August) featuring the New York apartment of Kate and Andy Spade. For your viewing pleasure, click here.

Appreciating the Unique and Unusual

Since I was small, I've had an appreciation for unique and unusual decor. My design leanings were ingrained in me from birth by my mother, who likely missed her calling as a decorator in favor of a career in the service of educating small minds and, later, administrating this-and-that for the local school system. I love to spend time in my parents' house, the house I grew up in. I could spend hours upon hours looking at the wall of bookshelves of fabulous books and notions. I hope to someday be able to expand my own half wall of bookshelves into a full wall (complete with centrally located fireplace), but until then, I will settle for putting my own unique and unusual notions in other places around my character-filled apartment.

I'm always on the lookout for oddities and unusual knickknacks. I love the notions on Paris Hotel Boutique's website. I'm currently lusting over this vintage British trolley bus sign:

Lynn of PHB also has a cute little blog where you can keep up with her musings.

Billy Reid Does it Right

In a world where many clothing stores are boxy, cold and impersonal, Billy Reid's approach to selling clothing is revolutionary. The designer's shoppes have an aesthetic that evokes the feeling of visiting an old friend. Each store has pieces of Reid's exquisite collection and a unique assemblage of furnishings. His most recent opening is a brick-and-mortar store in Nashville's Hill Center. Recently, Garden and Gun Magazine profiled Reid's line (here) and just today, the Nashville store was profiled in The City Paper (here).

Carry On

Just found these great pink and green totes at The Container Store. They are made from 15% recycled materials and are recyclable with household products, if you ever decide you no longer need such a cute bag.

Get one here.

Then and Now: L.L. Bean Flagship Store



Different storefront, same great service.