Notes from NYU sustainability conference: Cafeteria Culture

As I mentioned in the “welcome back” post, there was so much awesome and inspiring stuff to take in at the the conference I attended over the weekend, I thought I ought get started on these posts! First up is an NYC public school cafeteria recycling program that engages and empowers the students to participate in reducing their school’s waste while imparting important lessons about mitigating environmental impact. This video is fun to watch and says it all:


Hilary Duff’s Edgy-Glam Compassion-ized

So of all the starlets Disney has churned out of its factory, I dislike Hilary Duff (and Raven Symone) the least. I’m not even sure why that is, but suffice it to say I’m not here to bag on her-in fact I quite like what she and/or her stylist have done here. I’m just going to inject a little compassion into this fun People Style Watch spread. After all, proclaiming leather pants to be her go-to item for looking edgy is practically a cry for help. Someone with Hil’s fashion budget and creativity can easily integrate sustainable and cruelty-free purchases into their wardrobe. Behold!

Hilary! from People Nov 2009

Starting with the ensemble on the far left- I was able to find an organic cotton dress from SUST that works great for this look. Since it lacks the sparkly embellishment that makes HD’s dress, let’s add this fun vintage brooch from Michelle’s Vintage for a little bling. (Did I just type the word “bling”?)  Moving on…for HD’s croc print clutch, I decided to go a little smaller, and chose this pleated, snake print clutch by Shiraleah available at Alternative Outfitters.

Mod dress SUSTDimensional Brooch Michelle's VintageMarilynBlkClutch Alt Outfitters

The shoes are somewhat more problematic-not because I couldn’t find a non-leather equivalent, because I did find a perfect imitation. The fact that this dead ringer is only $8 is trouble because I’m guessing that the workers who assemble cheap knock-offs of Jimmy Choos for online strip club wear outlets probably don’t earn a living wage. Just a hunch. So I had to depart slightly from the silver snake print gladiator and go for these gorgeous silver shoes from Beyond Skin.Beyond Skin’s shoe line is completely vegan and they are known for their ethical business practices as well.

silver snake gladiators amiclubwearbeyond_skin_poppy_vegan_silver_heeled_sandal_shoe_sd

Moving on to the bottom right of the page-Adorable crocheted bag by Autonomie Project available at Nimli, wide black belt with faux croc print buckle- these are pretty easy to find just about everywhere. Had a little difficulty finding a slip with long fringe like HD’s but I couldn’t resist this vintage fringe dress, which could be done with or without the belt, from Robin Clayton Vintage. Add these patent peeptoes from Neauaura available at Shop Humanitaire and we’re set!

crocheted clutch from nimli

Neuaura Maybelle at shophumanitaire

vintage fringe dress robin clayton vintage

Finally, top right- HD’s edgy denim look made more animal and eco friendly with these almost booties available at Ragazzi Vegan, and fair trade, organic cotton jeans from Equa -find a sharp object and distress ’em yourself if you must. As far as her top goes, it’s hard for me to tell what’s going on in the photo, so I’m going to let Hil really make a statement here and put her in this “Live Green or Die” tank from Alternative Outfitters.

vegan booties ragazzivegan

Black Jeans Equa

LiveGreenTank_BlkAzuri organic cotton scarf from Nimli

Matt and Nat Kogan clutch

Rounding out the accessories, I think HD would love this Black Kogan clutch by Matt and Nat. The black Azuri scarf from Nimli is organic cotton and comes in an amazing variety of colors.

And with that I must wrap up our little virtual shopping extravaganza. Hope you enjoyed it- I know I had a great time. Let’s do it again soon.


Guest Post: is Go!

The following is a guest post by a wonderful friend and New Yorker who agreed to check out Ecouterre’s launch party for us:

When Gina asked me to attend and write up the launch party for the website Ecouterre at Kaight, a Manhattan boutique specializing in eco-friendly clothing, I was hesitant. I am woefully ignorant about matters of sustainability and eco-consciousness, having decided a while back that my personal share of environmental activism has been covered by the fact that I haven’t driven a car in fourteen years. In fact, the only thing I know less about than eco-consciousness is fashion. Recently a friend described my wardrobe as, “A mish-mash of men’s shoes, H&M blouses, Rachel Zoe-esque cocktail rings, and therapist shawls. But not in a good way.”  Thanks, friend! Nevertheless I agreed to attend, lured by the promise of free vegan cookies and Gina’s pledge to call me “scoop” for an indefinite period of time.

Ecouterre is a website devoted to “the future of clothing and textile design,” dedicated to “showcasing and supporting designers who not only contemplate cut, form, and drape, but also a garment’s social and environmental impact, from the cultivation of its fibers to its use and disposal.” Their launch party was held at the Lower East Side shop Kaight, which showcases “emerging and independent designers” who utilize organic, sustainable and recycled materials. Here are some of my personal highlights from the shop’s wares:


Yuka Yoneda, Ecouterre’s lovely New York editor, is modeling the Circle Cascade Necklace, which was being raffled off during the launch party. Sadly, I did not win this beautiful piece from The Andean Collection, makers of environmentally friendly and socially conscious fashion who employ fair trade principles with their artisans. The jewelry is made is from unique materials like acai seeds and tagua, and is available for sale through their website (

In the background of this shot you can see stacked candles by A Scent of Scandal, a line of hand-poured, 100% soy-wax candles made by a Californian brother and sister team. I tried to get a photo of the disturbingly named “DILF” scented candle, but it didn’t come out, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.


It felt a bit stalkery to follow Ms. Yoneda around all night asking her to model things, so I had to awkwardly take a of picture myself in order to showcase this adorable hat by Stewart and Brown, makers of eco-friendly knit-wear (


These vegan shoes are by Calico Napa and are sadly too rich for my blood at $345. Which is perhaps just as well, because I’m not certain how to wear them. With socks? With jeans? Something tells me that if I lived in Williamsburg, I would know the answer.


I wouldn’t wear these $99 dollar Melissa Joy Flocado shoes, but I’m happy that they exist in the world.


This $280 dollar Ashley Watson vegan bag would be my new work bag, in a world where magic fairies paid my cable bill.


These raspberry cookies by green caterers Rabbit Mafia were delish. I was sampling them when I overheard this conversation:

Boy Fashionista: “Did you hear Marc Jacobs is coming?”

Girl Fashionista: “Really?!?!!”

Boy Fashionista: “Well, his assistant.”

When the PAs of New York’s fashion elite start showing up at a party, it’s time for the Bevins of the world to skedaddle. If you happen to visit Kaight, I recommend you do as I did and head a few doors down to An Choi for an awesome Banh Mi sandwich (vegan toppings available). After dinner I walked past Kaight again to head towards the subway. The store had indeed filled with the beautiful and the eco-conscious, who were drinking organic cocktails and spilling out onto Orchard street.

I bid farewell to Kaight and gave one last, long, loving glance to these Joan Holloway-esque necklaces on display in shop. If eco-conscious fashion is wrong, baby, I don’t want to be right.


I’d Rather Go Naked Until I Get Paid More to do Otherwise

No one is surprised because, well she’s not exactly known for her compassion, but it still kinda bites that Naomi Campbell is appearing in these new fur ads after doing the PETA “I’d Rather Go Naked” campaign many years ago. After all, it is possible to be a less than sweet individual and still find fault with fur (look at Martha Stewart for goodness sake! Didn’t she run over her gardener or something?)

The fur industry is really pretty nasty. Anal electrocution, live skinning, and other animals, such as family pets, being caught in traps…for a coat? Or some fluffy trim?

Boo! Hisssss…… nao

I’m in love with Lauren Luke

I was just introduced to Lauren Luke via this piece at

“Inside all those “average-looking” girls isn’t merely a somewhat prettier version of herself. There’s a successful businesswoman, a bombshell, a queen and a sex symbol. And she’s as close as a tube of mascara.”

I love her accent, her make-up tips and the fact that you can sometimes hear her dogs messing about in the background.

Check out her Arabic inspired eye make-up tutorial…