Trash Talk from Emma Watson

Emma Watson in a custom-made Calvin Klein

Emma Watson in a custom-made Calvin Klein

Truly beautiful things should be worn again and again and again,” ~ Emma Watson

Monday night was the 2016 Met Ball Gala – some outfits were outrageous, some sublime – but there was one that stood out, not simply for the style but for the words of wisdom behind the fashion. Emma Watson’s custom-made Calvin Klein dress was a statement about sustainability and preservation from the actress and activist herself. In her Facebook page , Watson explained the design and fabrication of the dress: “Thank you Calvin Klein & Eco Age for collaborating with me and creating the most amazing gown. I am proud to say it is truly sustainable and represents a connection between myself and all the people in the supply chain who played a role in creating it … Continue reading

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“Sustainabilty Doesn’t Mean Compromising Fashion” says Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde Reveals Exclusive Collection with H&M

Courtesy: H&M –  Olivia Wilde Reveals H&M Exclusive Collection

Courtesy: H&M - My favorite look from the collection

Courtesy: H&M – My favorite look from the collection

Sustainability has got a bad reputation, especially in fashion … I hope the collection empowers women around the world who love fashion but want to consume it in a more sustainable way. It gives them the chance to look their best, and also act responsibly. I also hope the rest of the fashion industry is watching.” ~ Olivia Wilde

On April 16, H&M will launch its new Conscious Exclusive collection, showcasing clothing made of sustainable materials. It will be available in about 200 H&M stores and online. The new collection is being modeled exclusively by Olivia Wilde, who is a strong supporter of sustainability in the fashion industry. And Ms. Wilde says that H&M is “doing a great thing by showing people that sustainability doesn’t mean compromising fashion.” I agree. This soon-to-be-launched collection features beautiful pieces: dresses, tuxedo jackets, tops and skirts. My favorite is the halter jumpsuit with sash belt. No compromises here.

The new Conscious Exclusive collection uses sustainable fabrics like hemp, organic linen, silk, and organic cotton. Fast fashion? Maybe not so much. I’m buying it!

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It’s time for a Fashion Revolution!

Oceanna Lott

Oceanna Lott

Wearing something that you know was produced in an ethical manner – whether it’s sustainable fabric, fair trade, or sweatshop and cruelty-free – adds to the enjoyment of clothing and, indeed, to life.”  ~ Oceana Lott

MKG: Oceana, you are the Executive Director of Fashion Revolution; you are an eco-fashion blogger and a writer, an advocate, an organizer, and an educator. How did you get started in this life of purpose? 
Oceana: Since I was 21 years old, when I joined Earth First! I have always been looking for ways to live in a right relationship with people and the planet. For the past 30 years, I have sought to be a stand for what is fair and just, for life to thrive. Continue reading

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H&M Conscious Exclusive collection: Easy on the eyes and the planet!

631x842xhm-conscious-spring-2014-lookbook5.jpg.pagespeed.ic.zLXZiafK-WH&M is proud of its sustainability work,” says H&M’s head of design, new development, Ann-Sofie Johannson. And I am proud of H&M. Scheduled to launch on April 10, H&M’s Spring 2014 Conscious Exclusive collection, made in collaboration with the sustainable fashion and design think tank and publication, Ever Manifesto, uses environmentally sustainable fabrics such as vegetable tanned leather and organic silk. Continue reading

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Melissa meets Melissa

Melissa, wearing her Hudson shorts

Melissa, wearing her Hudson shorts

I relate to Melissa, or ‘Mo’ as she is known to her friends. Not simply because we share the same name, but because our lives have crossed paths in the beautiful part of the country called The Outer Banks of North Carolina. Like Melissa, my family has been spending vacation time here for at least 15 years. But unlike Melissa, I must leave when my week is up and return to my life elsewhere. But Melissa stays. And I am a little envious – maybe more than a little. We caught up today, just one year after we met at her boutique, A Greener Shade of You in the Historic Corolla Village. Melissa shared her story …

I had vacationed here with my family for at least 10-15 years. My parents retired here and after that, something drew me here as well. I decided that this is where I needed to be. I moved here in 1998 with my car and my cat and I never left … Continue reading

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Visiting Daniel’s studio

Daniel, me and Chris

Daniel, me and Chris

Last week NBC’s Fashion Star was an emotional turning point for designer, Daniel. He struggled with the notion of compromising his artistic vision to meet the needs of the buyers. But he managed to stay true to himself and win the hearts of the buyers and his mentor Nicole Richie, not to mention winning a new Fiat! Well done, Daniel. You are an inspiration to designers everywhere!

When I met Daniel and Chris at 100%NY studio, I was impressed with their warmth and openness. Daniel is the co-founder, designer and creative director, and Chris is the brand manager and an important member of Daniel’s team. Daniel explained to me that he has two managers; one manages Daniel Silverstein, and Chris is responsible for managing the branding strategy for 100%NY. And what is the essence of 100%NY? According to Daniel: “to create beautiful things that don’t have a negative impact on our environment … Our brand is futuristic, but not in the space-movie sense; more in terms of where design is going. The look of our designs are body conscious and tend to use mesh and surface embellishments. But equally important, is that we are making everything in our own studio here in New York City. The goal is to slow fashion down while creating a no-waste environment.” It is also important to Daniel to make a difference for future designers: “I have always loved working with my hands. I want to educate people in the noble work of construction and give them pride and the skills to make their own designs. I would like to bring back to the notion of made in America.”

Chris added that there are several groups in New York City who are helping to facilitate designers. Manufacture NY and Maker’s Row, two such groups located in the heart of the Garment District, are doing just that.

I am looking forward to seeing how far Daniel will go on Fashion Star. But he has already won my heart!

Daniel and Chris with 100%NY Spring 2013 Collection

Daniel and Chris with 100%NY Spring 2013 Collection

Daniel's 'no-waste' creation - constructing a skirt

Daniel’s ‘no-waste’ creation – constructing a skirt

 

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Daniel: A fashion star

Daniel Silverstein, Creative Director, Co-Founder of 100%NY

Daniel Silverstein, Creative Director and Co-Founder of 100%NY

Daniel Silverstein is Creative Director and Co-Founder of 100%NY: Contemporary designer sportswear for the eco-conscious woman. He is also about to raise the fashion stakes for him and his company, as one of thirteen contestants on tonight’s Season Two premier of Fashion Star, on NBC. And guess what? Daniel is only 24 years old!

I sat down with this very thoughtful and talented individual and asked him how he turned his passion for creating beautiful clothes and his vision for a more eco-friendly design environment into a reality. Here is part of my conversation with Daniel …

How young were you when you realized that you wanted to be a fashion designer? Was there a moment?

DS: There’s not one particular moment. I’ve always been a tactile person. I remember growing up and loving movies and Hollywood and The Olympics. The gymnastics uniforms intrigued me. When I was in pre-school a boy came to class with kimonos for show-and-tell and I came home drawing kimonos and cherry trees – I think my mother knew then that I had my own style of expression. I would always find a way to dress Barbies in costumes of tissue and tape, or whatever materials I could find. When I was eleven years old I went to summer camp and had my first sewing lesson. That was the turning point. From that moment, there was no stopping me. The rest is history – it’s more than a decade later (I just turned 24) and I’m still doing the same thing … Continue reading

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Pantheia

The Ancestry Collection: Pantheia ("of all spirits")

The Ancestry Collection: Pantheia (“of all spirits”)

I recently learned about a new company named, Pantheia, and once again, I was moved by the story of sustainable fashion production. It comes from the island of Bali and was the inspiration of a designer named Alisa Kreynes … In 2007, Alisa moved to East Timor from New York City for work. Bali became her escape; it was just a short flight away from the pressures of Timor. Just three years later, in 2010, Alisa had moved to Bali permanently, and started designing jewelry, bags and accessories. According to Alisa, designer and founder of Pantheia: “I was, and still am, enchanted with the Bali and wanted to incorporate some of its magic into my pieces. The concept behind Pantheia designs is simplicity and unity. Unity of different cultures, histories, traditions and beliefs as well as unity with nature and its elements.”

Scott Russell, Director of Marketing for Pantheia, shared more with me about the purpose and intention of this extraordinary company … “Pantheia was born in 2010 and expanded internationally in late 2011. The philosophy and values are centered around making unique and quality jewelry, clothing, bags and accessories, using the skills and techniques of Balinese artisans and craftsmen …

By utilizing local artisans to produce our products and traditional, responsible production techniques, the manufacture of our products helps support local communities in Bali.  Each item is made with special attention to detail and pride, and is infused with the ancient essence of Balinese culture. For example, we produce unique knitwear made from spun bamboo thread (rayon from bamboo), and our signature Banana Leaf Boxes are fashioned in a small village in Singaraja where natural banana leaves are dried, cleaned, and folded by hand …
A few days ago, we launched our newest collection called Ancestry. Not only is the collection beautiful, but it is also linked to one of our philanthropic initiatives, something that is close to our hearts at Pantheia. We have decided to donate 15% of the profits from Ancestry to the Sacred Childhoods Foundation. These donations are used by the Sacred Childhoods Foundation in Indonesia to provide instructors, tools, and materials to teach marketable skills, including knitting and crocheting to women who have had no other option than to beg for money on the streets of Bali. The Sacred Childhoods Foundation focuses on improving the lives of children, and adapting its programs to the changing needs of its beneficiaries, as well as developing sustainable long-term reductions in poverty as opposed to fostering aid-dependency.”  Scott Russell
What Alisa and Scott and the Pantheia team have accomplished is heartwarming and commendable. As Alisa says, “Real beauty doesn’t emerge from a fleeting trend. It sits inside each one of us waiting to be discovered.”
I couldn’t agree more. What do you think?
Pantheia jewelry production

Pantheia jewelry production

Pantheia resin jewelry production

Pantheia resin jewelry production

The signature Pantheia banana leaf box

The signature Pantheia banana leaf box

 

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More sustainable fashion news …

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Chris Yura, Founder and CEO of SustainU
Photo courtesy of SustainU

Here is a fashion story with heart: Notre Dame football star and graduate becomes the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of a company that produces American-made, 100% recycled t-shirts. Chris Yura says that he “always felt called to think of ideas” and that the Notre Dame community encouraged him. He was speaking to Joan and Liz Hamburg on WOR Radio/NYC. Every Monday, Joan’s daughter, Liz, an entrepreneur herself, hosts a segment called Launchpad, where entrepreneurs discuss their ‘big ideas’ and business ventures.

Mr. Yura’s story fascinates me. After graduating from college, he was scouted to become a fashion model, and moved to New York City where he worked for Ford Models for five years. It was during that time that he started to understand how clothing is made and says that it was this information from “my years in fashion” that sparked his desire to create sustainable, American-made clothing. He researched the process and materials extensively, and eventually, his company, SustainU, was born.

Mr. Yura says that his clothing is not only good for the planet, but good for workers and for consumers. His tees are affordable and sell for approximately $20 retail. He also contends that if he stays true to his business model; that everything must be made in America, that all clothing must be made from 100% recycled materials (not simply partially-recycled materials), and that he manufacture in places where people need the work, SustainU will stay successful, even when up against its competitors. Anyone can order on-line at SustainUClothing.com, and in 2013 SustainU plans to be in NYC area retailers and throughout the United States. They are also planning to produce other types of clothing, including fleece and performance and children’s wear.

As a football player, Mr. Yura understood the importance of depending on his teammates. Similarly, he relies on his teammates at SustainU; they are a young and agile company and always open to new ways of manufacturing. “I’m at the tip of the iceberg now … I am starting to see what’s possible.” ~ Chris Yura

Good for you  – good for us! And thank you to NYC treasures Joan and Liz Hamburg for bringing Chris Yura’s story to our attention.

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Dare!

nicole-kidman-harper-s-bazaar-nov-2012-nicole-kidman-32420357-600-400

“Dare To Go There”
Nicole Kidman, Harper’s Bazaar November 2012

It happened: We lost power during the forces of Hurricane Sandy. Without power, there is little to do. As soon as the darkness gave way to a somewhat lighter morning and I first checked to see that my family was alright and my house was in working order, I opened the November issue of Harper’s Bazaar that my friend Jean lent meand I began to read. And read. And read!

Here are some interesting fashion tidbits:

– Bottega Veneta is going vegan exploring new mediums with a line of eco-friendly handbags (more news on creating sustainable fashion) Continue reading

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