Thursday, December 27, 2007

Kicking off 2008 - Econista style

It's almost 2008, so let's kick off the year with a bang - make a donation to your favorite environmental or free trade charity today. Next year is bound to be an even better year for the environmental movement than 2007 was. In 07 we saw increased global action about Climate Change - even from President Bush! We saw more companies offering green products, more start ups entering the marketplace and more customers buying their wares. 08 will see the movement grow, and we are at the forefront of it all. Let's give it a nudge with a buck or two.

Conservation International is a large global organization that studies and protects the environment through an extensive, high profile network of scientists, governments and companies. This year, they are doing a year end dollar-for-dollar match for all donations called The Friends and Family Challenge.

Protect "organic" standards with a donation to Organic Consumers Org. They are a non-profit watchdog group that is keeping an eye on all those sneaky multinationals trying to get in on the organic movement and in the process, loosening the definition of organic so they can use the term on more products. We buy organic so we don't have to worry about what we're eating... if you don't want to worry, then donate to a watchdog to keep them honest.

Go Solar this year without putting panels on the roof. Bullfrog is a Canadian alternative supplier which adds electricity to the existing grid and delivers through the existing distribution network. They sell 100% green power, 20% from wind and 80% from Brascan's EcoLogo certified hydroelectric sites. You can pay more for their power instead of paying your normal supplier. Basically, they add what you subtract to the grid through a deal with your local utility.

Take a look at what your money is doing. Do you know what kind of investments you're involved in through your IRA, 401K, mutual funds etc? Are they working for or against the environment? Maybe it's time to find out and move some things around. Social Invest and Ceres are both endorsed by Al Gore. This is something on my list this January.

VOTE this year and write letters to your reps!! It's a big election, I know, we're already sick of it. But there is a lot of important work we need to do. But voting is more than marking down who you want for president, it means getting involved. League of Conservation Voters keeps an environmental scorecard of various government reps. Check it out and be involved this year.

Replace your christmas tree? Plant a tree per month? Plant a tree per day? Planting trees helps reverse deforestation and global warming. Let's start planting.

An environmental charity near you. For local organizations, check out this helpful site.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Levis Eco at JC Penny's

So, it's the holidays and, like everyone else, I've been shopping. My husband likes those Cuban shirts for going out, the Havana brand, so I went to JC Penny's where they sell them (although this year, their selection sucked). But while in the men's department, I found Organic Cotton Levis. They had a few styles and colors and they were reasonably priced! I was psyched!! Such a mainstream, lowest common denominator store had some Eco friendly wares. So, maybe your local JC Penny's carries them too.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Volcom Vco-logical

I was reading "Preen" Magazine recently and saw this illustration and recognized one of my favorite west cost illustrators, Mel Kadel, instantly. Upon reading the caption, it said it was on an organic t-shirt for Volcom's holiday eco friendly collection. I wanted to buy one, of course, so I headed to and didn't find the t-shirt but found out that the skateing outfitter had a whole line of organic cotton T's, jeans and hoodies (I saw only for men, but the ad said the women will have it too... confusing site).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Toms Shoes

I don't know if I would call Tom's shoes "shoes" since they look and feel more like slippers, but this company is doing something interesting, even if their shoes aren't. Tom's will donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair sold. So buying a pair is like donating to a good cause, and you should look at it that way, because they cost almost $70 a pop. Still, it's a great concept and they're doing it for real - check out this charming video of a shoe drop in Argentina.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Velvet Leaf Clothing

Velvet Leaf's spring 08 collection is fun, fresh and feminine. The line's style is youthful with a bit of sophistication, hip with wearability. I'm not sure where you can buy their cloths, but definitely keep your eyes peeled for their wares. Velvet Leaf is committed to 100% sustainability and is certified by EKO SKAL. They use 100% organic cotton and work with internationally certified factories that have a proven record of practicing fair labor.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Charmone Shoes - Fall 07

Charmone Shoes is an Italian shoemaker who uses vegan materials - but you wouldn't be able to tell that the shoes are synthetic because they are designed and made to the ultimate in luxury standards. Their synthetic materials use a process that is less polluting to the environment that the process of tanning, factory farming and processing leather. Plus their materials are free from PCV. The company claims to incorporate sustainable practices throughout the production process including using recycled materials when ever possible.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Recycled Furniture

To break away from fashion for a moment, I recently was surfing design*sponge and one of their guest bloggers, style court, did an interesting post about an interior designer in LA. Ruthie Sommers is a magician when it comes to refurbishing old furniture. The post includes some before and after pics I wanted to share. You can check out the whole post here as well as learn a bit more about Ruthie and her store in LA.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Lara Miller - Wear it Your Way

Now here's a designer who's thinking outside the box. Lara Miller designs transformers - you can wear the garments in different ways. One way on Monday, another on Tuesday. Flowing fabrics can be wrapped, strapped, tied and twisted into different looks. It's an interesting concept and I can't wait to find one of her pieces in the person so I can transform one myself. Some of her pieces are made from bamboo jersey and knits although her website doesn't seem to discuss political and environmental issues. I found a few pieces available at gwg while her website has some pdf downloads of her collections where you can seen some transformations for yourself.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Passenger Pigeon fall 07

I'm in love with Passenger Pideon's Fall Collection. The screenprinting is adorable with birds, trees and windmills in patterns accross their fabrics. The designs are timeless, not trendy, so these outfits will be in your wardrobe for a long time. I think I'm going to pick up the red wrap dress for this holiday season from their online shop. Check out the whole collection here.