Category Archives: fashion

Levi’s Jeans, Looptworks, & Patagonia: Clothing Companys Do Us Right with Green Initatives.

Levi’s Getting it Right: Hitting the pavement last weekend I was pleased to find great clothing companies doing some great things for us and the environment. While wandering 14th Street towards Union Square I caught this sign outside the Levi’s store. Yeah, I’ll admit to keeping it yellow myself. This is the TRUEbluegreen.  Turns out, from an article I read recently, Levi’s has the best construction, threads per inch, with a high score on the rub test, not as sexy as it sounds sadly. They also make pretty much everyones a#* look awesome! With their Water<Less campaign they look even sexier, even if they keep it mellow.

By changing their typical manufacturing process they were able to save an average %28 water. They also partner with the Better Cotton Initiative to use less water and prevent chemicals from getting into the water stream. Watch the very catchy PSA video “Why Waterless?”.

Patagonia and Looptworks Lead: Moving right on downtown, I stopped in the Patagonia SoHo store and found this startling fact on the tag of a laptop case. Looptworks, 100% upcycled clothing, gets it right by diverting fabric scraps and turning them into some pretty hot digs.

I also learned, from the friendly sales rep Kevin, about Patagonia’s  The Footprint Chronicles, which equally awesomely allows you to do a life cycle analysis, tracking the environmental impact of a certain product from design to delivery. This is really just one of the many programs and Patagonia undertakes to affirm their position as a sustainable brand, with solid environmental and CSR practices.

AND I am still looking for the perfect running shoe and was stoked when Kevin showed me the Specter, a women’s  running shoe made with recycled content. I’m conducting my own life cycle challenge with these contenders and the Brooks Running, who makes some of their soles biodegradable. See more here. I’ve also been picking up buzz about Nike and their sustainability projects. Any other ideas any one??

OH AND Pangea Organics is giving away a One-Year Supply of Beauty Products!!! Get a years worth of their incredible Ecocentric Body, Skin & Lip Care ($1,662 value). The more people who enter, the more prizes will be released – so feel free to pass it along. To enter,visit: (U.S. Only). Drawing will take place on July 1st. Good luck!

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Filed under CSR, design, fashion, Organic, re purposed, Re-Used, recycled, Uncategorized

Give the Planet a break. Why buy sustainable products?

Being eco-obsessive I love doing something good and fun simultaneously, which is why I do research while shopping! This method has lead to a lot of great finds for the sustainable connoisseur. Now, more than ever, we have many options from which to choose so I started a list of why you should care about buying certain types of sustainable products. Of course, some products meet one requirement and ignore another, this is what makes TheTrueBlueGreen challenge difficult, I’m still looking for the perfectly sustainable running shoe. Knowing what to look for is half the battle and I hope you enjoy my list. Please feel free to add to it!

Why buy recycled? Making products from recycled materials eliminates the need for raw material; it also can use less energy than making them from raw material.

Examples: Manufacturing from recycled aluminum uses %5 of the energy it normally takes to make aluminum from scratch.  Every ton of paper made from recycled material saves 17 trees, about 450 gallons of oil and 7 gallons of water.  It makes our landfills smaller by re-routing bottles, cans, paper and other household items from trash holes.  Also, it protects the environment when you divert electronics, batteries and solvents from landfills.

Why buy used, re-purposed, or upcycled?  The more uses you get out of something the longer its’ lifecycle and therefore less need for raw material.

Why buy Reduced? Maybe one of the most important  of the three R’s -*Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Less consumption of materials and resources will equally reduce their depletion. Products that use less material, like thinner Champaign bottles or concentrated laundry soap have an amazingly good impact. So do refillable items, like giant water jugs.

Why buy organic? Ensures that crops are produced without pesticides and herbicides used. This means pollution in waste water and fertilizers is minimized. Also decreases soil erosion and increases biodiversity by not killing off bug and plants.

Why buy fair trade certified? Harvesters are paid fairly and work in humane conditions. This also incentivizes farmers to use conservation methods and not take short cuts such as cutting down forests to grow more coffee. There’s a direct link between poverty and harmful agriculture practices. Sustainable harvesting and mining are equally integral to preserving resources like endangered wood species.

Why buy local? Buying products that were grown, processed and manufactured in close proximity to where you live ensures the have a lower carbon emission for transportation & distribution.

Why buy Carbon-Neutral? Essentially, this means buying carbon offsets. Carbon is offset by planting and protecting trees. (CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it absorbs infared light, trapping warmth from the sun and thus warming the planet.) The biggest “carbon positive”, (actually a negative thing), is the burning of fossil fuels such. Interestingly, burning bio-fuel adds no extra carbon. Read more here.

Why buy compostable?  Biodegradable material will degrade slowly and release methane gas if put in a landfill. Municipal access to a compost is something every town should consider implementing. Many bio-based products are on the market today, but they only complete a cradle to cradle cycle if they reach a   compost bin where they can degrade back into nutrient rich organic matter for fertilizing.

Other sustainability considerations:

  • Ability to be recycled
  • Environmental manufacturing
  • Manufactured locally
  • Products that use less water and energy
  • Toxicity- adhesives, aerosols
  • Safe disposal of waste

For more great green shopping choices visit Treehugger.

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Filed under Cosmetics, design, energy, fashion, food, Local, Organic, re purposed, Re-Used, recycled

Stop GMO’s from getting into your plants: Pangea Organics Ecocentric Bodycare a beautiful thing!

The Fashion Institutes Liquid Planet 5th annual Sustainable Business & Design Conference featured great speakers, causes and  awesome packaging/product designs from students. (Check out the very cool you-would-never-know it’s bubble wrap purse, middle). I was extra happy I arrived just in time to catch a few minutes of the speech by Joshua Onysko, Founder & CEO of Pangea Organics.  I love a good word mash-up and Onysko doesn’t disappoint with this company moto: Ecocentric Bodycare: Always Beneficial, Never Artificial. Pangea has been on my radar as they are based in my hometown Boulder, CO. The company name refers to the one big super continent that existed before the Tectonic Plates divided. I love the story of how Joshua got his start, (it really speaks to the idea of pursuing your dreams and making soap in your garage). He’s a genuine speaker and very crush worthy.

It gets even better with the message Joshua conveys through his products and his non-profit organization, the Pangea Institute.  The institute is dedicated to exploring and teaching sustainable lifestyles and business practices. They also support Women for Women International , helping women who are victims of war and other conflict by giving them the tools to be self-sufficient. This is what I love from businesses -the whole  mission of Pangea is to conduct itself as a socially responsible, mindful and environmentally aware brand. Major points from this sustainable connoisseur! These guys demonstrate holistic, all encompassing environmental activism. The founder Josh Onysko is incredibly passionate and accessible which is reflected in his products. Through his personal blog  and the Pangea Facebook page, he is crusading for his planet.

By the way, Pangea was the first company to introduce biodegradable, compostable, ‘plantable’ packaging!!!  His products are always natural, good for you and the Earth. Here’s more, they say it best themselves:

Pangea products are (and always will be):
• Crafted by artisans in small batches, using pure, organic ingredients that replenish the skin
• Hand-blended to soothe or stimulate your senses
• Preserved using the gentlest of methods to retain the nurturing properties of the botanicals in each customized blend
• Intentionally sourced from organic farmers through fair trade practices whenever possible
• Honest above all else: if it’s in our products, it’s on our labels

Check out Joshua’s latest blog entry where he really breaks down the difficulty of regulation in the cosmetics industry. He highlights the especially scary stuff that’s in most beauty products. Here’s a good tid-bit: most products are designed to only work for 6 hours, giving the effect of promised improvement but only temporarily. Yuck!

Among my personal must-haves in the Pangea line is the Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai & Goji Berry Mask, it’s the ultimate skin whisperer.  Yum to Joshua and Pangea!

FYI- Pangea has a Free Product Friday sweepstakes on Facebook, go check it out!


Filed under Activism, Cosmetics, fashion, Organic

“Green” consumers lead the path to environmental change.

Are we really debating in the Green world whether the Earth (yes I like to capitalize it) is our “home” or our “mother”? In my opinion we have bigger fish to … save! The Earth is my home and yes the essence of my origin so therefore like my “mother”, but are we really anthropomorphizing the Planet? While I let the more philosophical environmentalists figure this one out, let’s go back to shopping! Shallow?! I don’t think so. The “Green” industry is big; 83% of consumers considers themselves a shade of green (From The New Rules of Green Marketing, a must read!). Individual consumers are demanding environmental products and leading the crusade to save our home, or Mom, or how about Planet?!

I am very supportive of events like Earth Day New York. It is important to showcase large corporations like Home Depot and smaller grassroots companies like Mushana,-selling apparel made by women in Uganda- that are practicing environmental, and sustainable business models.  Sustainable food suppliers like Silk Soymilk, LaraBar, Cascadian Farms & Zico coconut water are equally integral. Lets not forget our oil addiction; the cure is alternative fuel vehicles such as the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius, Novozymes, and e-Star Trucks, all shown in the CO2 Fashion Show (Times Sq. Earth Day 4/22). Consumers have massive power. Imagine a world free of toxins, where everything was organic and had a cradle to cradle lifecycle…where cars and cities ran mostly on sunlight, wind power and bio-fuel…this could happen, all we have to do is ask for it- no demand it. Corporations and small businesses are listening, so lets educate them and ourselves. Knowledge could not be made possible without environmental charities and non-profits.  Nor would it be possible without investments in green technology by corporations, like Toshiba, and also smaller businesses, like Green Mountain Energy, taking the chance on new innovations. Check out the AnvilKnitwear PSA for inspiration and tell me I’m wrong about consumer power.

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Filed under articles, Earth Day, energy, fashion

Earth Day New York is throwing a party in Times Sq. & Grand Central Station!

What do pencils and insurance have in common? Not much, except that they both have “green” options. My friend Erin T. ran into a common problem when shopping for pencils the other day. She was debating what’s the more environmental choice; mechanical or recycled? She chose the fancy recycled ones only to find out later that the mechanical, which uses less material overall, were the best choice.  I attended a Solar1 event at The Green Space last week where I met people selling Green IT services & Green Insurance services.  Indeed every time I step out the door and into a shop I see “green” products abound.  Everything is washed in green these days.  And just because a company uses the words green, environmental, recycled, natural, etc. doesn’t guarantee that it is doing its best to actually be a responsible environmentally conscious company.  So how do you tell? This is the big question TrueBlueGreen is looking for the answer to.

Luckily, it isn’t all hard work. It’s Earth Day and that means time to celebrate!  New York City is chock full of great events, including where yours truly will be, Earth Day New York. A giant street fair with entertainment taking place in Times Square  and Grand Central Terminal, Inside & Outside (w/live music) this weekend! Follow us on Twitter or Facebook  for the run down. All the exhibitors at this event are carefully screened to meet Earth Day New York standards. See the full list here. It’s a great chance to see great products making the right choices!

Don’t miss the CO2 E Drive: Green Vehicle Drive & Green Vehicle Fashion Show!

Press Conference: 8:00am at Solar One (East 23rd and the East River) CO2 E Drive: 9am – 10:45am

Green Vehicle Fashion Show in Times Square: 11am – 12pm

Green Vehicle public exhibition: 12pm -5pm

Old-Soulz presents: Earth Day New York “Be the E” PSA 2011

Earth Day New York will dedicate a full hour of its live programming and public service time on its Times Square partner screens to the Green World Campaign’s innovative cell phone initiative inviting people to “text TREE” to fund global tree-planting. This work supports the United Nations Year of Forests 2011.

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Filed under Cosmetics, design, Earth Day, energy, fashion, food, home, Local, Organic, recycled

Companies that are rockin’ the TrueBlueGreen world: Kuhl Clothing & English Retreads are leading the way with re-purposed materials.

I love that my friends are as into enviro-friendly products as me! So I was thrilled to see my friend Ruth D. is working for English Retreads. This creative company, (based in my home town Boulder, CO), re-purposes tire inner tubes into awesome hand bags, wallets and belts! The idea came to owner/designer Heather English while floating down the Boulder Creek in, (what else), an inner tube.  My favorite is the Hybrid handbag, made with recycled PET fabric and inner tubes.  Lovely, useful, environmental and vegan!


Also, my friend Erin T. turned me on to KUHL Clothing, wow! This company, from the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, is all about making awesome sports clothing the right way. They use organic cotton and many new technical fabrics such as Coffeenna™, made from recycled coffee grounds! Too cool! Love the hoody and the shirt. Their clothing is ergonomically designed to fit real bodies. Plus, these digs cater to our adventure lives and meet demands for responsible manufacturing. On top of environmental fabrics they also support the High Road for Human Rights.

I have to say my shopping list is getting long, and I still have to get new running shoes…

One last thing! Don’t forget to text to the Red Cross for Japan!

OK two last things! My friend Erin K. and I made this awesome video; we want to go to this lux eco-resort, and tropical friendly too! Isla Palenque is holding a travel blogger competition. Give our vid a thumbs up please!

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Filed under fashion, Organic, re purposed, recycled

Can a running shoe be enviro-friendly and durable? The quest is on!

My last trail run with the ole running shoes was rough, I could feel every pebble. Guess it’s time for some new kicks!  I’m making a huge effort to purchase environmentally conscious products, so I am challenging myself to do some research. Can I find a great pair of running shoes that are eco-friendly, durable and provide the comfort my knees need?

A quick search on the internets reaped some great choices, check them out! AND stay tuned for the pair I end up taking home.

Brooks is definitely blazing the trail with their BioMoGo technology, which makes it easier for anaerobic microbes to eat away at the insoles and mid-soles.  Meaning that their shoes de-compose 50 times faster than a normal tennis shoe! Perhaps their best option, living up to its namesake; The Green Silence,  uses soy based inks and dyes, bio-degradable insoles, collar and mid-soles and post consumer recycled material for its other parts.

Patagonia is another great leader in sustainable footwear. Their rubber and polyester is recycled, they use water based solvents and stitching to eliminate the use of toxic adhesives. Some are made with natural latex extracted from trees sustainably and they even have vegan options!

Check out Patagonias’ ultra environmental all-terrain shoe the Hemp Bly.

New Balance is manufactured in the USA, which is a big plus. Big companies like Nike and Reebok are also making new strides to clean up their production and materials.

You can always recycle your old runners too!

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