I'm totally obsessed with shoes, what can I do? It all started in college when I sold shoes part-time for three years. That was pre-veg days, so I had shoes in every material...cruel and cruelty-free.
A few years later when I went vegetarian I also phased out leather and suede (and even wool and silk) even though it would be many years before I became a vegan on the inside.
I often said: It's harder to give up leather shoes than eating meat.
Not so much because of function, but because of lack of stylish selection. Payless Shoe Source was the place to go, and they didn't have the cute eco-styles they have now.
now there are more and more places to find cute vegan shoes, and the latest I found via this post from a blog on KABC-LA's site.
It's a store called olsenHaus, and they wear their eco-philosophies on their sleeve! Vegan, eco-friendly materials, fair-trade practices, philanthropic initiatives...it's all there. They also have a space on their site for the harder truths about the use of animals. Not a pleasant page, I warn you.
But the proof is in the pudding or, in this case, the stylish vegan shoes. So, check out their collection. What caught my eye? How about this beauty:
The Bay Area is known as both a liberal hotbed (see my last post about whether the green movement is inherently politically liberal) and at the forefront of the green movement. The latter is probably true because there's so much natural beauty surrounding our urban and suburban landscapes on all sides that we cannot not think about the environment!
It's not surprise then, I guess, that there are lots of green-focused events here, and lately those events are focused on businesses, and how they can be a part of the green movement.
"...bring together small green business owners and entrepreneurs, who are passionate about creating positive environmental and social impact through their businesses and who are committed to successful business growth."
It's being run by a company that consults with companies about how to be more green, so obviously this isn't a charitable event here, but you all know my feelings on how the green movement will become ubiquitous across all socio-economic strata when it can become good business...across all socio-economic strata!
Then on May 19th and 20th we have the Greener By Design Conference. This one obviously buys into my above concept, as its elevator pitch is:
In today’s challenging economy, companies that can align environmental innovation with affordability to bring green products to the mainstream have a clear competitive advantage. How are successful companies designing greener products with little or no price premium? Join us at Greener By Design 2009 to see who's innovating, who's succeeding, how they're producing products that aren't just greener, but better — and how you can put these strategies to work in your company.
Again, a la The Sixth Sense, "I see corporate people" involved with these events. But that doesn't make them bad...it actually means the movement is getting new life, new devotees.
Is it a bummer that everyone doesn't leap to be as green as they can be, with no financial incentive and despite the cost? Is it a bummer that some companies will never care much about green practices unless it hits their bottom line? Sure. But we've got to acknowledge that reality and move on...and make people and companies care. If bottom line thinking is how we do it, so be it.
Thanks to BlogHer's Crafts editor Deb Roby, I heard about a recent kerfuffle in the seemingly utopian world of Etsy, the place to buy and sell all things handmade.
See, once upon a time a group of Etsy seller created a Team called Craftivism. Etsy Teams are self-formed and can be formed around all sorts of commonalities. In this case Craftivism wrote this mission:
The Etsy Craftivism Team is a team of progressive Etsyans who believe that craft and art can change the world. Some of us use our work to carry messages of protest and political activism. Others believe that the act of making craft can be an act of resistance. Still others see that by buying and selling directly from the maker we are challenging the all pervasive corporate culture that promotes profit over people.
The question is: What does that all mean...politically?
You may ask: Crafts? Political? What?
Well, yes. Crafts. Political. And the politics of it had some repercussions. Julie from Crafting a Green World describes the controversy when the Team organizers casually mentioned that the Team was politically liberal. Turns out, not so much. Some of the team members were not liberal, and felt compelled to quit the team subsequent to discovering they'd been lured into a liberal hotbed. Julie's post is also worth reviewing because one of those team organizers comments and tells her side of the story.
I have to say that I can understand that the mission statement above and the day to day activities of the Team may not have been overtly, explicitly, politically liberal, but check that mission statement again, please.
"Pervasive Corporate Culture"
These are not politically neutral words. They are typically identified with leftist principles.
Look, I actually think it's a good idea to really be a big tent. BlogHer, for example is non-partisan (or, we like to say, omni-partisan) and while many think that there is something inherently liberal about what we do, we do believe the mission to create opportunities for women, including for economic empowerment, is a mission that can serve all women bloggers, regardless of political affiliation. We can share a lot of similar values and work for similar change, even if we don't agree politically all the time.
So, given the Craftivism kerfuffle, let's ask the same question about the Green movement. Is it politically liberal? Can one be a conservative environmentalist? When you meet someone into the eco-movement, do you assume you know their politics?
I kinda do, I confess. Even though I know Nixon gets some props for his environmental actions. What about you?
You know how our economy is sucking wind? And you know how people kept saying during the campaign: What if we turned the same focus and energy on saving our planet that we did on the race into space in the 60s? And you know how all the focus on green and clean might actually do even more for our economy, all while saving the planet, than the space program did?
Today, let's take a look at skin care company Terralina's new gift packaging, made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bags. To be specific: "Gathered from the streets of Dehli, India, the bags are cleaned, stripped, and pressed to produce vivid colors without additional dyes or inks. The collection of these bags has also resulted in jobs for underemployed local women."
Seems like ingenuity and eco-friendliness go together well, and these kinds of projects, big and small, may be the engine behind behind both economic and environmental recovery.
Disclosure: Terralina is co-owned by a colleague of mine at BlogHer, but I only found out about this because I read Treehugger...my colleague never mentioned it.
Typically I am not a particular follower of fading celebs who keep in the public eye by launching various "lines"...of clothing, of perfume, of shoes, etc.
First of all I don't believe the celebs usually have that much to do at all with their projects, but are merely lending their name to something. Which usually means that the outlet producing their brand is even more fading than the celeb.
However, I have to say I think it's fairly cool that Christie Brinkley is producing a line of eco-friendly fabrics for Joanne's Fabrics. Using organic cotton, recycled polyester from plastic bottles and a water-free production process, it hits all the right green notes. And designing fabrics, not clothes, is a bit off the beaten path and probably smart in this era of renewed belt-tightening.
I give this announcement a thumbs up. Maybe, just maybe, this is more than hopping on the green bandwagon and reflects a real interest and passion from Ms. Brinkley.
This is more than something to aspire to. Re:Vision Dallas is real. The land is purchased. The Mayor of Dallas has granted his support. Thousands of hours have been devoted to setting up this competition. We’ve consulted experts like RMI. Led conceptual charettes with industry experts. Brainstormed with local officials on essential issues to consider. This block will happen.
Don't know if this is the first competition of its kind, but I do think it's a sign of the times and a signal about our future. I'm very curious how this goes.
You have until May 8th to submit...get your vision board ready!
While I was away on the first real (and long) vacation I have taken in six years (more on that later) BlogHer was lucky enough to get to send one of our BeautyHacks bloggers to Fashion Week courtesy of American Express. Metalia got a whole lot of backstage and inside access.
That's thrilling enough ( as is his down-to-earth demeanor and advice) but then one of the commenters shared that Tim is not only anti-fur (which I knew, but just an all-around proponent of compassionate fashion (no leather, wool, fur, suede etc.) [You can see Tim narrate this video from PETA, but I warn you, it is extremely graphic. I could not watch more than a little bit, which had me absolutly horrified and sobbing. I decided since I already don't choose fur, leather suede, wool or even silk that it was OK for me to stop watching.]
This unwanted info (picture me with fingers in my ears singing "la la la") comes courtesy of Greenpeace and their Clash of the Consoles site.
Of course, it's not just the Wii...XBox and Playstation don't fare too well either.
So, looks like the cabinet in our living room that holds a Wii, XBox AND a PS2 is a toxic wasteland. Good thing the cabinet is enclosed by glass doors. What? You say those glass doors won't protect us from squat? La la la.
In most cases it's not that there's anything particularly non-green about the items, but rather that they self-proclaim their green-ness all over the place without being any more green (and sometimes less so) than existing alternatives.
"There isn’t anything special about it to make it stand out as green, other than it’s a reusable basket. It isn’t made from recycled plastics, manufactured by a charitable organization, doesn’t offset the carbon emissions from manufacturing or offer some cool recycling program for busted baskets. Nope, it’s just a reusable cart."
That's just hilarious, isn't it. In a sad, greenwashing kind of way.