exploring the intersections of sustainability, style & social change

fashion revolution day

Starting A Fashion Revolution

01/22/2014

It’s about time.

It’s about time getting dressed in the morning didn’t force us to think about the questionable conditions under which our clothes were made.

It’s about time our drive for newer, cheaper, faster was replaced by a respect for quality and craft.

It’s about time that workers in the garment industry had access to basic human rights: safe working conditions, gender equality, a living wage.

It’s about time we eliminated toxins, saved water, and simplified supply chains.

It’s about time we saw clothing as less disposable and more as an investment.

It’s about time brands became responsible.

It’s about time consumers became conscious.

It’s about time for change.

In the past few months, I’ve joined a movement to help create that change. We’re calling it a Fashion Revolution, and it’s happening on April 24, 2014 — the first anniversary of the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh.

Fashion Revolution Day is an opportunity to celebrate fashion as a positive influence, raise awareness of the fashion industry’s most pressing issues and show that change is possible. We intend to rally fast fashion, luxury, innovators, media, the public, activists, makers, wearers — and everyone in between.

Fashion Revolution Day is not about naming and shaming. Rather, it’s an opportunity to imagine what’s possible if stakeholders from across the apparel industry — consumers included — committed to creating positive change. Read More

cfl lightbulbs

Behind The Label: Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs

10/15/2013

Originally published on EcoSalon.

As incandescent light bulbs are being phased out, compact fluorescent light bulbs are stepping in to take their place. But are CFLs really the most environmentally-friendly alternative?

Thomas Edison may have been on to something when he invented and popularized the modern incandescent light bulb in 1878. But 135 years later, the world is in desperate need of an environmentally-friendly upgrade. Enter, the compact fluorescent light bulb, or CFL.

CFLs have been on the market since the 1980s, but they didn’t enter the mainstream until President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which initiated the gradual phase-out of incandescent light bulbs on the U.S. market. The 100-watt bulb was discontinued in 2011, followed by the 75-watt bulb earlier this year. The 60- and 40-watt bulbs are slated to disappear in January 2014.

The law does not ban the use or purchase of incandescent bulbs, but it does require that new bulbs be 25 percent more energy efficient. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that consumers replace their old bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs. But is that really the most environmentally-friendly alternative? This week’s Behind The Label investigates. Read More

uniqlo fast fashion

Behind The Label: Uniqlo

09/23/2013

Originally published on EcoSalon.

If you don’t shop at Uniqlo, you will soon. The Japanese retailer has already captivated urban centers like New York and San Francisco with ambitious plans to expand to 1,000 U.S. stores in the next decade.

Uniqlo’s specialty is cheap but quality basics, presented in a rainbow of the season’s trendiest colors. But despite the chain’s quick-moving inventory and bargain basement prices, Uniqlo has somehow managed to escape the fast fashion stigma slapped on competitors like H&M, Forever 21, Zara, and Old Navy. This week’s Behind The Label looks at why. Read More

natural organic moisturizers

Natural Organic Moisturizers For The Change In Seasons

09/16/2013

As the days get cooler and the air gets more brisk, it’s time to think about adjusting your beauty routine to fit the change in seasons. For me, that means heavy moisturizing. Here’s a peek at what I’ve been using these days:

Body: Nourish Organic Body Butter in Fresh Fig

This heavy-duty body butter is dense enough to protect against winter’s rougher days. Made from a blend of certified USDA-organic ingredients, including shea butter and sunflower, coconut, and olive oils, Nourish products are cruelty-free and made in the U.S.A. Plus, the $9.99 price tag is difficult to beat. Read More

bangladesh garment protest

5 Consumer Activism Campaigns That Changed The Garment Industry

09/10/2013

There is hope that [the Bangladesh Rana Plaza] tragedy will force fashion brands to insist on better conditions and stricter regulations in the factories where they do business. And there is reason to believe that these campaigns will be successful.

Read the full story on The Street.

[Photo Credit: Derek Blackadder]

safe sunscreen

Behind The Label: The Safe Sunscreen Debate

09/02/2013

Originally published on EcoSalon.

Every summer for the past decade, the media has issued staunch advisories reminding consumers to wear sunscreen. But this year, their tone has changed. Studies are showing that not only are many sunscreens filled with potentially harmful chemicals, but also that sunscreen wearers can actually be more susceptible to dangerous skin cancer strains like melanoma. Too much time in the sun can increase the risk of damage, but too little can lead to vitamin D deficiencies. What gives? This week’s Behind The Label attempts to explain the current debate around sunscreen, just in time for Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Read More

IMG_0441

Bloggers Need Breaks Too

08/31/2013

After a much-needed blogging hiatus, I’m back.

A lot has changed over the past few months.

I hung up my writing hat, ending contracts with Gadling, EcoSalon, TheStreet, and the myriad other outlets I’ve worked with over the past few years.

I sold the remaining items in the Cambodia Collection, the selection of ethical accessories I sourced and sold on this website.

I traveled across Europe and into Africa (with a Princeton reunion, a New Orleans conference, and several Rockaways beach excursions thrown in for good measure).

Dave and I moved to Brooklyn and furnished our new apartment in the most socially responsible way we could figure out (hint: there was a lot of building).

And a few weeks ago, I had my first day of school at the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

It’s been a summer of change, but one thing that hasn’t changed is my curiosity about the world of social responsibility and eagerness to share my findings with you. Next chapter, here we come.

elsa & me sleeveless dress

Treasures: The Elsa Dress From Elsa & Me

05/25/2013

The Elsa Dress from Elsa & Me is kind of genius.

Take one versatile, figure-flattering, work-appropriate — but still feminine — silhouette. Add a healthy dose of GOTS-certified organic cotton. Manufacture it with skilled tailors in New York City. And voila: the perfect power dress for any occasion.

Inspired by the ’50s and ’60s aesthetic of her Grandma Elsa, Swedish founder Maja Svensson developed the Elsa Dress while working in corporate Manhattan.

elsa grandma

“The primary reason I began designing clothing was that I saw a lack of conservative, yet stylish and feminine business wear for the career woman who didn’t want to look like a man at work,” Maja told me.

The Elsa Dress certainly bucks that trend, and it has earned legions of “Women In Elsa” fans. And now, the Elsa is available in a sleeveless version, just in time for the change of seasons. Each dress is custom-fit and made-to-order, with “Friday Fitting” events at local venues across the city, or private fittings at your home or office. I just had a private fitting and ordered one of each — the Original in Sweet Potato and the Sleeveless in Black. I couldn’t be more excited to rock them this summer.

elsa and me dress colors

The Original Elsa is available for $279 and the Sleeveless Elsa for $259 at shop.elsaandme.com.

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