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Looking Forward: Nike and partners launch GreenXchange

January 28th, 2010

 Nike launches GreenXchange with partners

Yesterday at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Nike along with partners launched GreenXchange, “a digital platform and system that promotes the creation, sharing and adoption of technologies that have the potential to solve important global or industry-wide sustainability challenges.”

Don Tapscott, who covered the launch, notes in his post that, “new approaches to collaboration enable new business models that empower companies to create better value for consumers.”

Everywhere I look I feel like I’m seeing new and innovative collaboration efforts that are producing really amazing products or events, and like Tapscott says–better value.

It’s great to see a leader in design such as Nike taking this step and I think the GreenXchange will play an important role in furthering sustainability iniatives within the fashion industry.

Looking Forward category: These entries explore student works, promising developments in sustainable design and other inspiring news.

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Eco Scenes: Chicago, January 19

January 19th, 2010

tesla-roadster-chicago-tesla

Friday, January 22 & Saturday, January 23; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. — Tesla Store Chicago Open House

Stop by the new Chicago Tesla Store this Friday and Saturday at 1053 W. Grand Ave. to help celebrate the opening. It’s quite exciting to see such a high-performance electric car in person! There are a few Tesla Roadsters in the showroom to ooo and ahh over–my favorite is the white one. :)

Sunday, January 24; 1 – 5 p.m. — Conscientious Luxe Winter Sample Sale

A few fan-favorite local eco-fashion designers including Mountains of the Moon and Lara Miller are getting together this Sunday at Great Taste Cafe (355 E. Grand Ave.) for an amazing sale. Definitely drop in this Sunday if you’re looking for a winter blues pick-me-up. Vaute Couture is even offering a buy one, get one free deal on their luxe coats!

Tuesday, January 26; 5 – 7 p.m. — Green Grocer Sprecher Brewery Tasting

Every Tuesday evening Green Grocer features a wine or beer tasting. Stop by next week for some fun, conversation and shopping before heading home to make dinner!

Eco Scenes category: These entries share upcoming events with a focus on learning about creating more sustainable communities and lifestyles. The point is to do more than “be seen on the scene.” Engage with others, take valuable information away, and use it to make positive changes in your life and others.

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Sustainable Inspiration: Ruffles for 2010

January 11th, 2010

rufflesvalentinospringtrends2010

Last week I provided some eco-fashion options for pastels, a key spring 2010 runway trend. This time it’s on to ruffles. Very girlie, right? I might have to quickly cover the “tribal chic” trend to balance everything out a bit…

A favorite fashion site of mine, Second City Style, also gave a nod to ruffles and I loved the image they pulled from Valentino’s show to represent the trend (pictured above).

A couple eco-fashion options to incorporate some frills into your wardrobe:

Handknit tank (on major sale!): Lara Miller, Meadow Tank

Jersey top: Kelly B, Bailey Keyhole Blouse

(Image via SecondCityStyle.com / Style.com)

Sustainable Inspiration category: These entries showcase popular looks or designs that have been posted on other blogs, shown in magazines or elsewhere, and then link to sustainable design options that can be purchased to style the look similarly. Always look for eco options to create your favorite looks when you can!

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Eco Scenes: Chicago, January 4th

January 4th, 2010

Chicago Green Drinks Eco Events Jefferson Tap

Tuesday, January 12; 12 p.m. — The Hull-House Kitchen Hosts re-Thinking Soup

I have heard so many great things about this series, but unfortunately have not been able to attend a Tuesday yet. “Every Tuesday from 12:00-1:00pm, the Hull-House Museum hosts a modern day soup kitchen that is a public and communal event where we gather together and eat delicious, healthy, soup and have fresh, organic conversation about many of the urgent social, cultural, economic and environmental food issues that we should be addressing.”

I don’t see January 12th’s topic or speaker posted yet, but I’m sure it will be an informative and engaging way to spend a lunch hour.

Wednesday, January 13th; 5:45 – 8:30 p.m. – Chicago Green Drinks: Annual State of Sustainable Chicago

If you haven’t been to a Chicago Green Drinks before, this would be a good one to start with. Note: pre-registration is required for this event, so act quickly if you’re interested. (Normally you can just show up to Green Drinks, but this is a particularly popular night.) “How will the events of 2009 impact us in 2010? Come gain a broad perspective from local leaders on topics ranging from green restaurants to environmental policy. Leave inspired with ideas about how you can get involved in issues that will influence Chicago in the coming year.”

Foresight Design’s Chicago Green Drinks has been around for quite a while now and it attracts a loyal, business and networking-minded crowd. It’s a great opportunity to hear some of the city’s top leaders in sustainability and interesting thinkers. You can go with the mindset of meeting new people and networking, or you can make your night more laid back if you prefer and just take in the panel discussion. I’ve got my ticket, so I’ll see you there.

Eco Scenes category: These entries share upcoming events with a focus on learning about creating more sustainable communities and lifestyles. The point is to do more than “be seen on the scene.” Engage with others, take valuable information away, and use it to make positive changes in your life and others.

(Image via Medill Reports)

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Sustainable Inspiration: Pastels for 2010

December 30th, 2009

After reading through the January issue of Harper’s Bazaar and reviewing their top trends for 2010, I think my favorite might be pastels and flesh tones. I don’t really wear many light colors (I guess I rarely wear color at all, to be honest.) But, I’m thinking 2010 might be a good time to lighten up.

Some eco-fashion options out there right now (plenty more to come closer to spring I’m sure):

Tank dress: Dream & Awake, Rain Dress

Wrap dress: SDN, Angel Flutter Dress

Jersey dress: Lara Miller, Chelly Dress

Blouse dress: Fin Oslo, Jersey Blouse Dress

Silk cami top: Edun, Zig Zag Cami

(Images via Harpersbazaar.com)

Sustainable Inspiration category: These entries showcase popular looks or designs that have been posted on other blogs, shown in magazines or elsewhere, and then link to sustainable design options that can be purchased to style the look similarly. Always look for eco options to create your favorite looks when you can!

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For Keeps Sake: Magno Stapler

December 21st, 2009

Magno Design Mini Stapler

I’ve featured a few guests’ For Keeps items lately, but now for another one of my own.

Jessa’s item: Magno desktop mini stapler

The story: “The summer before I opened Pivot in 2007 I came across an Indonesian designer named Singgih Kartono and his line Magno. He designed beautiful hand-crafted wooden accessories such as radios and desk sets. I began outreach to Singgih to determine if I could sell his products at Pivot, and when Pivot opened I was the only shop in the U.S. to feature Magno. Now Singgih’s designs are sold all over the U.S. and Europe in stores such as MoMA.”

Why it’s a For Keeps item: “Not only is this stapler extremely functional (I used it every day at Pivot to staple customer receipts), but it will also always remind me of an exciting discovery I had and my communications with Singgih in Indonesia.”

For Keeps Sake category: These entries explore the items in our lives that are not disposable for reasons of good design, sentimental value, utility and more. From everyday objects to special treasures, let’s think about buying and owning more thoughtfully.

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Sustainable Inspiration: NYE Sparkle & Shine

December 16th, 2009

New Years Eve Sparkle Dress Vintagesequinforever21lusterforever21

I knew I wanted some sparkle and shine for New Year’s Eve this year. But I refuse to buy most any sequin or sparkly item new for a couple reasons. The garment is most likely not made with organic or sustainable materials, and I rarely wear “sparkle and shine” clothing so I don’t want to invest a great deal of money. The best way to go in this situation is thrifting or vintage boutique shopping. There have been plenty of sequin and sparkle items produced already and subsequently discarded to end up in thrift or vintage shops. No need to support fast fashion and buy a cheap, poorly made holiday dress–no need!!

I consulted with my friend Monica of The MidWasteland (my go-to vintage guru) and she sent me to Very Best Vintage on Chicago Avenue. I quickly and easily found a dress I’m thrilled with–it’s the blue sparkly number featured in the top left photo. A cute little shift dress, with a zipper in the back and a tie for the waist or as an accessory. In my mind I had visions of dresses similar to the other two pictured–frocks from Forever 21’s website. I’m so happy with my find and even happier that I did not need to go anywhere near Forever 21, Zara or H&M to find my outfit. Or break my budget.

(Photos on right from Forever 21)

Sustainable Inspiration category: These entries showcase popular looks or designs that have been posted on other blogs, shown in magazines or elsewhere, and then link to sustainable design options that can be purchased to style the look similarly. Always look for eco options to create your favorite looks when you can!

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For Keeps Sake: Birdcage Lamp

December 15th, 2009

The above birdcage, turned lamp is a For Keeps item from Dorothee Royal-Hedinger. I met Dorothee at Pivot this fall after connecting on Twitter. She is creator, co-producer and host of OrganicNation.tv, a web video series exploring the American sustainable food landscape. She is intrigued by guerrilla gardening, DIY culture, eco-fashion and sustainable design. You can follow her on Twitter @DorotheeRoyal.

Dorothee’s item: Painted birdcage

The story: “I purchased this painted birdcage in high school at a yard sale in Wilmette, IL. The woman who sold it to me said her family got it while on vacation in Bali. I bought it with cracks and paint chipping off because I was captivated by the colorful designs and handmade wood construction. I thought I’d only use it as decoration but my boyfriend surprised me by turning it into a working lamp! He carefully drilled a hole into the top and strung a light bulb into the center of the cage. I was nervous at first that the whole thing would catch on fire but two years later, it’s still a unique, functional lamp.”

Why it’s a For Keeps item: “It hangs by my front windows and makes me happy to look at everyday. I love knowing that another person’s junk can be repurposed in a stylish and practical way!”

For Keeps Sake category: These entries explore the items in our lives that are not disposable for reasons of good design, sentimental value, utility and more. From everyday objects to special treasures, let’s think about buying and owning more thoughtfully.

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Eco Scenes: Chicago Holiday Shopping

December 14th, 2009

sustainable style holiday shopping chicago event

If you’re not finished with holiday shopping yet, there’s a great event in Chicago this Thursday featuring eco-fashion brands Frei Designs, Mohop and Mountains of the Moon. And if dresses, jackets, jewelry or shoes aren’t on your shopping list, maybe you’ll be interested in checking out eco-friendly paint or consulting services from Colori–where the event will be held. I’ll definitely be stopping in! Details are in the flyer above, or click here for more information.

A few other Chicago independent retailers I like for gifts:

Post 27, 1819 West Grand Avenue: Mid century modern furniture and home goods with a mix of new eco items and locally made artists works. I can spend hours in here, but it won’t take you long to see there are a ton of great gift options.

Green Grocer, 1402 West Grand Avenue: Buying foodstuffs or a nice bottle of wine is a great gift option when the person is hard to buy for, you’re looking for lower price points or maybe you just want something fun to add to a larger gift. Stop at Green Grocer for organic and local treats that anyone will appreciate.

Permanent Records, 1914 West Chicago Avenue: I really like the idea of supporting local music shops and Permanent is a great one. Sure, iTunes gift cards might be nice and easy and used by everyone. But there’s something great about going to a shop and listening to music, seeing the staff picks, petting the cute cat and then buying a physical cd.

Eco Scenes category: These entries share upcoming events with a focus on learning about creating more sustainable communities and lifestyles. The point is to do more than “be seen on the scene.” Engage with others, take valuable information away, and use it to make positive changes in your life and others.

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For Keeps Sake: Vintage Bertoia Side Chair

December 10th, 2009
Brad's Vintage Bertoia Side Chair

Brad's Vintage Bertoia Side Chair

For this edition of For Keeps Sake I asked Brad Bennett, founder and editor of Commerce with a Conscience, to share one of his own for keeps items. Brad’s site is the fastidious gentleman’s guide to ethical fashion, and honestly there’s not another site around right now that covers this topic specifically. A must-read for both men and women.

Brad’s item: Vintage Bertoia Side Chair

The story: “I had been wanting a Bertoia for ages, but my refusal to buy a knockoff kept the chair firmly out of my price range. Then, one faithful day, a very sweet (and arguably very naive) woman posted four of them individually on eBay, each at an intriguingly low starting price. Without much hope for a happy outcome, I decided to try my luck and emailed her a very below market value buy-it-now offer. To my amazement, she accepted. One week later, the chair, and its fully intact original Knoll branded cushion, were in our home, where they have been lovingly cooed over ever since.”

Why it’s a For Keeps item: “Like much of the truly great design from the mid-century era, the Bertoia Side Chair is entirely emblematic of the period, and yet, utterly timeless. No matter how our space or tastes change in the future, we (my girlfriend and I) are confident that there will always be a (prominently displayed) place for it in our home.”

For Keeps Sake category: These entries explore the items in our lives that are not disposable for reasons of good design, sentimental value, utility and more. From everyday objects to special treasures, let’s think about buying and owning more thoughtfully.

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