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Fall Reading Essentials

Here are some newly-released books to consider for curling up with under a weighted blanket and a mug o’ matcha.

Fall is upon us. The leaves are changing and the hot summer mornings are noticeably cooler. We never really grow out of the fall / back to school ethos. There truly is a lifelong lifestyle shift that happens at summer’s chapter’s end. The days grow a bit shorter, the nights grow a bit cooler, and the urge to delve into the words and lives of others outweigh the hedonistic, well, narcissism of summer. 

Here are some newly-released books to consider for curling up with under a weighted blanket and a mug o’ matcha. Keep in mind, there’s nothing more sustainable than a library card, but if you’re a book collector, we encourage buying from your local bookseller. If that’s too much, we included Amazon links, just please pass the books along when you’re done.

A Bright Future By Joshua S. Goldstein and Staffan A. Qvist

How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow

Many countries have already replaced or committed to replacing fossil fuels with low-carbon energy sources. If the rest of humanity committed to this, climate change could seriously be slowed or halted, if not reversed. These two authors tackle how these forward-thinking countires managed to convert to clean energy, and lay a blueprint for how the rest of the planet can follow suit. 

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Fall ’19 is Sequel City! Two major sequels are being released this fall: Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, which is a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, and the sequel to Call Me By Your Name. The Testaments begins 15 years after The Handmaid’s Tale ended. Atwood announced that The Testaments is an answer to nearly everything she’s been asked about Gilead and its inner workings, as well as a response to the world we’re now living in. Blessèd be the published fruit. 

Find Me by André Aciman

The sequel to Call Me By Your Name is separated into three sections: Elio’s father, Elio in his 20s, and middle-aged Oliver. Swoon. Or should we say, *svenire*? An even nicer modern touch? Michael Stuhlbarg, the actor who portrayed Elio’s professor father in the film, narrates the audiobook. 

101 Ways to Go Zero Waste by Kathryn Kellogg

A sustainable lifestyle Bible, this book gives handy, doable, DIY-able tips for going zero waste on everything from beauty products to fashion, home goods to the office. This book is perfect for the zero waste novice as well as those who are further along on their journey to limiting their own environmental impact. Kellogg has an accompanying blog at www.goingzerowaste.com

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

A New York Times bestseller, this staggeringly un-put-down-able book is a work of nonfiction mastery. Taddeo spent 8 years criss-crossing the United States, covering the marital, sexual, and desirous lives of three “ordinary” women, and in doing so, sheds powerful light on the female sex drive. 

Know My Name by Chanel Miller

From the author of the then-anonymous essay published by Buzzfeed about being sexually assaulted by Brock Turner comes this memoir by Chanel Miller. Considering how beautifully and powerfully written her essay was for Buzzfeed, this is sure to be an engrossing, chilling piece. 

The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West

It’ll be tough to wait til November 5 for the release date of the Shrill author’s new essay collection, but luckily all the above should keep you busy ‘til then. Rape culture and toxic masculinity are taken to task in this fantastic, witty, sharp new collection. 

Little Weirds by Jenny Slate

You met her on SNL or via Marcel the Shell, you fell in love with her on the Kroll Show or Parks & Rec or in her marvelous turn in Obvious Child, and now you get to curl up with her brain via her first published work, a collection of essays, vignettes, and various delightful oddities. 

Sustainable Clothing Care

How to Look After Your Wools, Organic Cotton, Linen, and More

How to Look After Your Wools, Organic Cotton, Linen, and More

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably on a path toward a gorgeous, sustainable closet.

But now that your closet is filling up with earth-friendly pieces that can be mixed and matched, you might find yourself not knowing how to keep them looking their best. Sure, your mom taught you how to keep your white cottons white, but what about more unfamiliar sustainable fabrics like silk and bamboo?

Part of what makes clothing sustainable is the length of time that you keep it. So if you want the collection you’re curating now to look incredible five years from now, read on. We’ve collected some tried-and-true clothing care tips that will help your wardrobe last a lifetime.

Wool

When it’s cold outside, or you need something breathable, choose wool. Why? One word: Cashmere, of course. Because what self-respecting fashionista doesn’t have at least one piece of cashmere in her collection?

But beyond that, wool is both sustainable and warm and only takes a year to decompose! And Merino wool makes wonderful high-performance sports apparel, so consider that instead of polyester when you choose your next pair of yoga pants.

However, wool is not known for is its durability. When caring for it, remember that its hair. Just like your lovely locks, the main thing is to remember to handle with care: It’s protein, and it’s delicate. Spend as much energy choosing your soap as you do your dry shampoo, and make sure the formulation will work for wool.

You’ll need to either hand wash your items or put them in a laundry bag on the gentle cycle. And no dryer—that spells shrinkage and will make your garment wear out faster! Either shape your wool and lay it out to dry or hang-dry the pieces that won’t stretch.

If your wool crinkles after drying, use a steamer rather than an iron. When you do need to iron, use the wool setting, spritz with water, and put a clean cloth between the iron and the garment.

Your piece will probably get stained over its long life. If that happens, first read the care label. Then blot the stain, pre-treat it with a non-bio based soap, pat it dry, and wash it as usual.

Organic Cotton

The great thing about cotton is that it’s one of the most durable fabrics in existence, so it doesn’t require much extra consideration beyond separating the lights and darks. As a general rule, cotton should be washed in cold or warm water and dried with medium heat. The sun is the most eco-friendly way to dry your items, but keep in mind that cotton is easily misshapen, so save the clothesline for your crisp cotton twills.

One thing you won’t ever want to do is use fabric softener, which can dull the color. And remember: Some cotton garments do need dry cleaning, so you’ll want to pay attention to the care labels.

Linen

What’s better than slipping into your linen kimono after a bath or when you need something to wear over your yoga pants? Linen is one of those timeless textiles that’s elegant, hardy, and low maintenance. Some pieces have special care requirements, but in a pinch, you can be pretty careless with linen. To make your linens last longer, wash them in cold water on a delicate cycle or by hand and air dry.

Linen stains easily, so when that happens, act fast before it sets. If the stain dries, you may have to get it dry cleaned, which is not ideal and can ruin your garment. Shake off liquids, scrape off solids, and work from the outside in, using a towel and water. Use a chemical stain remover, then soak in hot water mixed with another removal agent.

Hemp

Once for the crunchy set, hemp is now having a resurgence due to marijuana’s legalization throughout the United States. Hemp has been cultivated as a textile for thousands of years and takes minimal water to grow. This sustainable crop can even improve soil health.

With three times the strength of cotton, this hardy fabric is durable and easy to care for. You can wash it in the machine on cold and dry it in the dryer on medium whenever you’re pressed for time. When machine drying, remove your pieces while they’re still damp.

But if you want hemp to last, hand wash it in cold water and make sure to rinse it thoroughly because soap in the fibers can create marks. And remember, air drying is best.

Bamboo 

Bamboo is a fast growing, super sustainable crop that also happens to make the softest fabric. Luckily, it’s super easy to care for—wash it in cold water and dry it on medium. Be sure to double check your care labels because some of the more structured shapes will need dry cleaning.

Hand wash your bamboo knits so that they don’t stretch out and make sure to shape them if you choose to air dry. When it comes to stain removal, just make sure to stay away from chlorine bleach and hot water.

Silk

Silk is a luscious, sustainable option. Although most silk production kills the worms that create it, there is such a thing as ethical silk, which is made by allowing the worm to leave the cocoon before the silk is extracted.

Caring for silk is easy—all you need is a mild soap and some water. Sure, some silk should be dry cleaned, but most of it can be hand washed in cold water. Plus it dries fast, which makes it a great fabric to travel light with. Rinse well and gently press the water out of the garment before either laying flat to dry or hanging.

Stain removal can be challenging, however. First, absorb the stain with baking soda or another absorbent powder. Let it sit for a few hours. If the stain is persistent, it’ll still be there when you dust off the powder. If that’s so, use dish soap or a dry cleaning kit.

So there you have it, eco-fashionista. Here’s to the long life of your sustainable closet!


Small Ways to Effect Big Change in your Community and Beyond

If you are looking for a way to truly effect change on a smaller, more grassroots, intimate level, read on for some ways to do so.

Every time there is a natural disaster, mass shooting, or some other appalling form of national crisis, we now see the rush to help – on the news, online, in our social media feeds. Oftentimes (always?), yet another crisis is yet another way of being made to feel helpless, as though nothing you do really matters. Of course, this is not true, but it’s challenging to uphold the belief that one voice is the dissent that breaks the chain (see: Greta Thunberg, mobilizing millions and holding thousands of politicians accountable). 

However, the main form of “helping” seems to be in the incredibly impersonal method of donating money. Of course, money talks – non-profit organizations literally thrive on the donations from the many so that they can aid those in need, but if you are looking for a way to truly effect change on a smaller, more grassroots, intimate level, read on for some easy ways to do so. 

Community

Make a difference in your community by mobilizing your own personal community. Chances are, you belong to some type of organization. Maybe it’s an activities-based organization, or a belief-based organization, or a school, or a parent group. Take this one community and be the leader of a donation to pool for a single person in need. Donating to “causes” and “groups” are effective, of course, but you don’t necessarily see the fruits of your efforts – a truth that can consciously or subconsciously keep people from making donations. Instead, find a recipient who is in need right now – maybe that’s a person in your larger community who needs a surgery but lacks health insurance to afford it, or maybe it’s a recent immigrant who has nothing but the things s/he could carry to this country. 

Be your own personal “GoFundMe” by letting everyone in your community know, via text, email, or social media, that you’re personally raising funds for this one particular person. People are more likely to donate to someone they know than a general cause, and this fact can move mountains, if everyone’s willing to do work at it.

I recently mobilized a small donating campaign for a mother and her daughter who crossed the border to get to America for safety and health reasons. I found her through Immigrant Families Together, a small grassroots organization that helps recent immigrants to Los Angeles and beyond get adjusted – with driving services, meal dropoffs, doctor visits, lawyer fees, and more. This woman was selling roses on the side of the road for $10 or $20 a day (she couldn’t work because she needed papers to do so, which takes months or years), and that was supposed to sustain her and her daughter, living in a decrepit boarding house with a bunk bed and a mini-fridge. I put out a call to arms in my mom’s group and we raised enough money for a deposit on an apartment for her, in addition to bags of new or gently used clothes and toys for her and her daughter. This took minimal time, was aided by Venmo, and even involved the children in our mom’s group because one afternoon we gathered at a park and made drawings for the mom and her child, welcoming them to America. 

Find families in need of your support at https://immigrantfamiliestogether.com/

Waves for Water

Do what you love and help along the way. The Waves for Water mission is a simple one – access to clean water is a basic human right. Their organization offers a variety of programs to suit unique needs. Going on a surf trip to Nicaragua? Take some filters with you. Business trip to India? Filters will fit in your carryon. Yoga retreat in Thailand? Toss some filters in your bag. Their courier program was designed to fit into your travel plans and add some good along the way. Not feeling adventurous? There are still tons of ways to help on the ground.

https://wavesforwater.org

Be My Eyes

This new and free app is a volunteer-based service that connects blind and low-vision people with the sighted for visual assistance through live video calls. Let’s say you have some free time while you’re at home, cooking or cleaning, etc. You simply turn on the app and if there is a blind or low-vision person out there in the world who needs help seeing something in their immediate sphere, you help them via a call through the app. The assistance might involve checking expiration dates on a food item, sorting through colors of something, or navigating whatever their environs are at the moment. Download it today!

https://www.bemyeyes.com

Surfrider Foundation

When we see what we love in trouble, we act. And we win. Our ocean, waves and beaches belong to all of us and it is our job to protect them. The Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. They are the boots on the ground who collaborate on both the local and national level. So regardless of where you live, there are always ways to get involved in a cleanup, supplies donations or writing letters to your Congressmen.

The Spring: Charity Water

So far, 40, 412 people have received clean water thanks to this foundation. This company funds water programs in 27 countries around the world where water scarcity, poverty, and political instability contribute to a lack of clean water for its citizens. Sustainability is a key interest of theirs, and they employ cloud computing technology  to assess their water system performance. You can see real stories of the people they’ve helped on their site, and it is incredibly easy to set up a monthly donation that auto-deducts from your account, ensuring that every month, you know you’re helping tens to hundreds of people with your donation, no matter how paltry that number may seem in the grand scheme of things. 

https://my.charitywater.org

Boys & Girls Club of America

Imagine a place where who you are, where you’re from or the circumstances that surround you don’t determine your access to experiences or opportunities. Boys & Girls Clubs are making that vision a reality — in your community and communities around the world. 97% of Club teens expect to graduate from high school and 88% expect to complete some kind of post-secondary education. There are a variety of ways to get involved. Whether you help with homework, coach a game, or teach an art project, you’ll have the opportunity to build healthy relationships with young people eager for adult guidance, and have a positive impact on their lives.

Find a local Boys & Girls Club Chapter near you at https://www.bgca.org

These small ways to effect change can make a life changing impact for some. So while you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, checkout some local non-profits in your area doing good in their community through #giveback #nonprofits #immigrationreform or #familiesbelongtogether

Where and How to Recycle Your Old Clothes

Most clothing is thrown away, creating a massive amount of textile waste to be thrown away or burned. Learn how and where to recycle your old textiles.

You’ve streamlined your closet. Upcycled that old shirt. And donated your gently worn pieces. You love every item in your closet and purchase new clothes with intention. But what about those jeans with the hole that just can’t be patched? That depressing bra that you never want to look at again, let alone put on your body? You don’t want to throw them out, because you know that each day we create enough fashion waste to fill 1.5 Empire State buildings. You also know that 87% of that is burned or landfilled (via Ellen MacArthur Foundation). 

So what do you do?

If you’re like most people, you take your old items to a donation bin or resellers like Goodwill or Savers. Out of sight, out of mind, and at least you’re not throwing it out, right?

Not quite. 

When you donate your gently used items, they end up in the second-hand economy. Buying and donating used clothing is one way to extend the lifecycle of your threads, and keeps items from heading straight to the landfill. That’s a very, very good thing, and that’s what happens with the clothes you send to us. However, clothing that we might call hard-worn has a different future. 

In 2018, the global second-hand clothing market was worth about $4 billion

What you may not know is that when you donate clothing that’s not in tip-top shape, most of it ends up in on a cargo ship, headed overseas. While this does extend the life of used items, there are a few things to consider. First, shipping bales of used clothing abroad contributes to global emissions. Each of the largest container ships emits the equivalent greenhouse gases of 50 million cars, including as much nitrogen and sulfur oxide as 760 million of them. Second, because it can damage their economies, the developing world is beginning to say no to this influx when it does arrive. 

The How and Where of Textile Recycling: It’s complicated.

To keep your less-posh items out of the global market, it seems obvious that recycling is the answer. However, it’s an imperfect process. According to The Balance, much of what you send to your textile recycler will enter the global second-hand economy (50%). If your worn item does get recycled, it will be sorted, processed, and made into either new yarn (0.1%), insulation, mattress fill, and fiberboard (26%), or industrial cloth (20%). 

Although no method is perfect, we have to start somewhere. Here are several options that will keep your old clothes out of the landfill and in circulation.

Repurpose 

Since 20% of what’s recycled will become industrial cloth anyway, save the recycler and yourself the trouble. Make your own! All you’ll need is a pair of scissors. You’ll save money on cleaning supplies and keep those old clothes out of the landfill. Win-win.

Compost! 

Those of us who have jumped on the all-natural fiber train will be happy to know that cotton, hemp, wool, silk, and other natural textiles can be composted. Check with your city to see if non-synthetic clothing can enter their compost stream. If not, your home composting set-up will work wonders. It’s the ultimate way to recycle your clothing.  To make it easier, here’s a how-to-guide that will help you generate new soil from your unwanted clothes.

Send Them To BUHO

BUHO has partnered with non-profits to ensure that your gently used items go to people who need them. All you need to do is fill a bag / box and send your old clothing directly to us. We’ll even take your hard worn items and convert them into new fabric. As a thank you, we’ll give you $10 off your next order.

Depend on Your City

If you live in San Francisco, you’re in luck. The first city in the nation to implement compost collection has also teamed up with I:CO to collect unwearable clothing. If you’re a San Franciscan, all you need to do is put your clean fabric items in a clear bag and toss them into your blue recycling bin

According to their website, I:CO “aims to create a public, private, and non-profit infrastructure to make it easier, convenient, and rewarding for residents and businesses to recycle textiles.” Hopefully we’ll see this program expand over the coming years, but for now, if you’re far from the city by the bay, you’ll have to head to one of I:CO’s partners to drop off your used clothes. 

Visit Your Favorite Store

Retailers such as Patagonia and Nike accept their clothing for resale and recycling. The North Face, Asics, and H&M partner with I:CO, and they’ll take any brand in any condition. If your favorite line doesn’t have a recycling program, ask why not. 

Send Your Denim to Blue Jeans Go Green

Levi’s, Rag & Bone, and Madewell, among others, work with Blue Jeans Go Green to repurpose denim. Take your old skinnies or mom jeans to one of their shops or send them directly to Blue Jeans Go Green for free via Zappos for Good.

Get a TerraCycle Box 

Although TerraCycle offers many free programs, this option isn’t free. You’ll end up spending at least $100, but that fee includes a prepaid shipping label. To make it more affordable, team up with a group of friends. One idea is to have a clothing swap for your gently used items and split the cost of a TerraCycle box for the pieces that are past their prime. Wine and cheese not included.

Visit Earth 911

Earth 911 has an incredible database for all things recycling, including clothing. Head there and enter your zip code to find your closest clothing recycler.  

Give Your Clothes to Donation-Based Organizations 

Although clothes that end up at Goodwill, Savers, USAgain, Planet Aid, and other donation-based organizations may end up in the global resale economy via salvage brokers, a portion of those items will be recycled.

Sustainable Fashion: A Global Shift

“Sustainability, which breaks into our respondents’ list of the most important challenges for the first time, is evolving from a tick-box exercise into a transformational feature.

State of Fashion 2019, McKinsey

As we move toward a circular economy, and consumers demand more sustainable options, we foresee recycling options increasing. For now, the reality is that only 1% of clothing is recycled. Reward companies that offer recycling programs with your business, and the fashion industry will be incentivized to increase their availability.



Ethical Brand Spotlight: KAZI

Fair Trade isn’t just a movement. It’s a call to action for every one of us to live responsible lifestyles, ensuring we’re caring for those down the line that our everyday choices affect.

When it comes to ethically made brands, knowing where your products are made is vital. Forever 21 showed us last week that fast fashion doesn’t come cheap. So why stop with your clothes? We’ve scoured the world to bring sustainable home goods that support independent artisans. One of our favorites: KAZI.

  • KAZI | Tabia Peach Plate III | Eco-Friendly Home Goods
    Tabia Peach Plate III

All Across Africa

With a population in excess of 1 BILLION and a low labor demand, unemployment is as high as 80-96% across sub-Saharan Africa. Men and women throughout the continent are in need of income that sustainable jobs provide to support their families with food, shelter and education. KAZI is part of a larger movement that is bringing jobs to Africa through All Across Africa.

Fair Trade isn’t just a movement. It’s a call to action for every one of us to live responsible lifestyles, ensuring we’re caring for those down the line that our everyday choices affect.

ALICIA WALLACE, COO

Founders Greg Stone and Alicia Wallace started the organization to offer artisans employment opportunities with fair wages, creating a type of manufacturing that creates thousands of  jobs and connects them to the real and competitive markets across the world. This directly results in the alleviation of  poverty in Africa.

The mission of All Across Africa centers on dignity in work, grassroots and accessibility.

Dignity in Work

All Across Africa is B Corp Certified and Fair Trade Members, proving that socially conscious and business savvy don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The company’s foundation was built on the principles of dignity in work, grassroots and accessibility.

Horns and palm-weavers in Kampala, Uganda with All Across Africa

Grassroots

Looking deep into rural areas, they create jobs where they aren’t typically available. They also work to develop leaders in each community to help lead this positive change from within. 

AccessiblE

All Across Africa can be accessed by everyone, and they accept everyone who comes their way, regardless of their income level. 

Where KAZI comes in

Stone and Wallace founded KAZI to change the world and make it easy for decor-lovers to do the same. KAZI doesn’t just provide money opportunities to artisans, they also teach all aspects of the business. They reinvest their profits to train rural farmers new trades, and then provide financial, leadership, and business management education to the artisans they work with. 

The average KAZI artisan has 5.7 dependents. When you purchase their artisan made goods, you’re helping support more than 21,000 people.

They also source local and renewable materials to create all of their handcrafted bowls, wall plates, and other home decor pieces.

The Impact

KAZI’s annual report demonstrates their long-term commitment to improving the lives of their artisans. Since founding KAZI in 2013, they’ve seen amazing growth:

  • 94% of artisans have purchased livestock or land as investments
  • 96% of their children have or are currently attending primary school
  • 88% have an use savings accounts.

Learn more about the artisans here

Our Favorite Pieces

For your next sustainable dinner party, these Black + White Beaded Wooden Bowls will be a dream. They’re safe to use with food, but you can also use them as decoration. These bowls are handwoven by a group of women in Rwanda. Each bowl takes weeks to create, and comes with a profile tag attached so you know exactly who crafted your new masterpiece.

We love this Simone Mustard Wall Plate for that stunning mix of colors and the natural raffia construction. This will be the perfect addition to a gallery wall or as the sole statement. Each plate is handwoven in Uganda, and comes with a weaver profile tag. Plus, they are dyed with organic dye, to keep with that sustainability promise. Mix in some of the other wall plates, like the Tabia Peach Plate II, to create the perfect look. 

Shop KAZI for the latest in ethical fashion and unique styles to outfit your home.

Our Mother on Fire

The climate crisis is the core reason BUHO was created in the first place. The foundation of our company has been built on the pillars of sustainability, which is why we’re donating 100% of our sales to NRDC on Friday, Sept 20.

On Friday, BUHO will be taking to the streets in support of our youth activists, demanding our government take action on Climate Change. The Amazon is on fire. Indonesia is on fire. The Great Barrier Reef is dying, Alaska is melting and our beaches in California are disappearing before our eyes. 

Time for Action

Never before has there been a time more crucial to take action against Climate Change than today. BUHO was created directly as a result of the drastic changes in our environment and the detrimental impact Fast Fashion has had on our natural resources. The foundation of our company is built on the pillars of sustainability – from our brand sourcing to fulfillment and warehouse to our packaging and return policies – we don’t just preach it, we live it. 

Building Sustainable Businesses

The path to sustainable business practices may not be the easiest, but it is non-negotiable. Our kids are growing up with the hottest years on record with devastating natural disasters around every season. So I see it as our responsibility as business owners to take a step in the right direction of longevity rather than quick gains. 

That is why on Friday, as we join our friends at Burton and Patagonia in Santa Monica, 100% of all sales made in our online store will go directly to support the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC.org). 

I built BUHO to make sustainable shopping easy for consumers. Through an easy discoverability process and accessible price points, we show consumers they don’t have to sacrifice quality or style for sustainability. So if you can’t make it out to join our youth pounding the pavement on Friday, don’t stress. You can show your support knowing that every dollar you spend at BUHO will be donated to organizations fighting against Climate Change.

Join the Movement

Regardless of your generation, or which side of the aisle you’re on, we all know there is no Planet B. So let’s show these kids we have their backs and find a strike near you.

Slow, Sustainable Fashion Is Set to Disrupt the Industry

It’s no secret that the fashion industry is changing.

We’re Looking at You, Fashion Week.

It’s no secret that the fashion industry is changing. For the first time, our sustainability conversation has gone global and gotten political. At the G7, Emmanuel Macron announced his Fashion Pact — now 150 brands strong. Headed by Kering’s chair and CEO François-Henri Pinault its goals are to restore biodiversity, heal the oceans, and achieve carbon neutral by 2050.

Meanwhile, the biggest runway shows of the season are featuring models of all sizes, shapes, and shades. Take Savage x Fenty’s 2019 New York Fashion Week extravaganza, which set the interwebs ablaze due to its inclusion of celebrities, former Victoria’s Secret models, and the diverse group of females strutting down the catwalk. But as incredible and game-changing as Rhianna’s show is said to have been (phones were banned so the we won’t know until Sept. 20 when it streams on Amazon—its sponsor), it also epitomizes the dichotomy the fashion industry currently faces.

Fashion Week Needs an Update

The other Amazon is busy putting on a show too. As the fashion world looks to the runways, acres burn. It will take centuries for the rainforest to fully recover. While the two might not seem connected, the clothing, electronics, and disposables sold on Amazon, the cardboard it’s delivered in, and the ease of having things delivered same day or overnight have a link to the environmental crisis we’re currently facing. If we continue to prioritize convenience and looking good over doing good, in a century, we might only have one Amazon left. 

Cue sustainable, slow fashion. Already revolutionizing the way couture houses design, how brands launch, and how we think about what we wear, its ethos is slowly moving into Fashion Week.

Wait. Is Fashion Week Even Relevant Anymore?

One Google search will reveal a multitude of articles and blogs discussing the relevance of Fashion Week in the Digital Age. Arguments for its demise claim that social media, influencer culture, and livestream access have it much less exclusive than it once was. It is true that the seasons Louis XIV dictated don’t reflect our current patterns of consumption. But juxtaposed against this are the creative energy, artistic excitement, and passion of clothing artists exhibiting their crafts.

Fashion Week — Past and Present

Have you ever wondered why Fashion Week exists in the first place? Well, the credit goes to a famous publicist named Eleanor Lambert. In 1943, Americans were unable to travel to France while WWII raged on, so she started New York’s “Press Week.” Things have come a long way since then. Now, not only do we have the “big four,” New York, London, Milan, and Paris — there are about 77 in the U.S. alone and every week is Fashion Week somewhere in the world. At a minimum, that’s 129 fashion-related conventions every year. 

What’s the Environmental Cost? 

But that comes at a cost. If you’re a fan of Fashion Week, you know what a glorious spectacle it is. Bedazzled sets, spectacular effects, models in all manner of coiffure—lacquered up or stripped down depending on the trend—showing off the most influential, buzzworthy lines. Each show is a production of magnitude and scale.

Events this big have an environmental impact on waste, water, transport and travel, and energy consumption. However, there’s a lack of information about how much waste Fashion Week produces. What we do know is that conventions of all stripes have large eco-footprints.

Travel comprises 90% of the carbon footprint. The carbon cost of a transatlantic plane ride is nearly the equivalent of a year of driving. An estimated 125 thousand people attend NYFW, so let’s assume that 50 thousand attendees travel by airplane. That’s 80 thousand tonnes or three Lady Liberty-sized bouquets of carbon released into the atmosphere from flights alone.

Then there’s the waste. Think about it—most people who are traveling aren’t zero wasters, which means they’ll be relying on single-use plastics—from bottles to cutlery to plates. To get a sense of the size and scale, consider that when Microsoft eliminated plastic bottles from their conferences, they saved 600K annually. Estimating a price of $2 per bottle, that means a yearly savings of 300K plastic bottles. Not insignificant. 

Toward An Eco-Friendly Fashion Week 

As far as a carbon-neutral Fashion Week is concerned, Copenhagen—also the world’s most bike-friendly city—has taken the lead. As of August 2019, they’d banned single-use plastics, and their goal is to become climate positive at FW 2020. Additionally, they’ve implemented aggressive sustainability standards for which they will be holding themselves accountable. CFW’s CEO, Cecilie Thorsmark, stated that “The detrimental impact of plastic pollution is one of many challenges to tackle on a global scale. Putting an end to the distribution of single-use plastic bottles during Copenhagen Fashion Week marks our commitment to reducing the quantity of plastic being consumed during the event, as well as our wish to inspire positive change.” 

Is NYFW Taking Steps Toward Sustainability? 

Has New York followed suit? Nope. Sustainability info isn’t readily available, nor do we see any massive campaigns that attempt to reduce the event’s environmental impact. We are seeing sustainability initiatives, such as the partnership between Hyundai and Maria Cornejo to incorporate manufacturing waste into her collection. While this is encouraging, it does nothing to stem Fashion Week’s waste.  

On a positive note, sustainable clothing lines are dropping out of NYFW. One of them, Mara Hoffman, previewed her new collection in-office instead.

How Sustainable Fashion Will Inform the Fashion Week of the Future

We need to marry the pomp and circumstance of high-fashion to the reality of our climate crisis. As the industry continues to expand, we’ll have to come to grips with fashion’s role. 

“By 2030, the global apparel and footwear industry is estimated to grow by 81 percent, placing an unprecedented strain on already scarce resources.”

Vogue

Activist Greta Thunberg just sailed across the Atlantic to attend New York’s Climate Week because she refuses to fly. It’s a radical action that most of us wouldn’t undertake, but it speaks to the problem. Remember the bags that Amazon x Savage x Fenty used to lock down observers’ phones? What do you imagine happened to those? Sure, they might have been biodegradable and composted after use, but it’s doubtful. 

Living in an increasingly interconnected and endangered world demands that we pay attention to more than just the Pantone Color Trend Report. The Fashion Week of the Future will account for all ecological impacts of production. We’re still in sustainable fashion’s infancy. When spectacle, sales, and PR take a backseat to sustainability, we’ll know we’ve arrived. 



5 Eco-Conscious Instagram’s We Love

Read on for 5 Instagrams that can change your perspective on not merely Instagram, but the planet, too.

The easy thing would be to deride Instagram for being an echo chamber of narcissism, but the real beauty of the platform is that you can make of it absolutely anything that you desire. They should re-name it Interest-agram. If you are obsessed with, say, the not overly-popular spoken word poetry art-form, you can create an Instagram that exclusively caters to that interest. If you get gobsmacked over goats, you can generate the hairiest, beardiest, most cloven-hoofed feed imaginable. 

However, you’re here, which means you have more than a passing interest in sustainability and eco-culture. These 5 Instagrams offer more than your average eye-catching, sepia-toned lifestyle posts. Rather, they seek to educate their followers in engaging, useful, and visually stimulating ways. Read on for 5 Instagrams that can change your perspective on not merely Instagram, but the planet, too.

Future Earth

@futureearth

Utilizing eye-catching fonts and memes that recall vintage posters, @futureearth posts beautiful and thought-provoking quotes by anthropologists, philosophers, ecologists, and science writers to inform and educate about climate change. “Serious” about making climate change “fun,” this site isn’t the Debbie Downer that most climate change pages (righteously) can be. Instead, it’s a guide to being informed about the state of the world, and ways to change things on a daily basis. Thanks to this site, I now know that the internet is actually located in the ocean: enough fiber optic cables to circle Earth 22 times, to be precise. 

Claggie

@claggie

A producer, painter, photographer, and vintage purveyor, this master of specialties beginning with the letter “p” is also Passionate about the environment. Kristine Claghorn, @claggie consistently posts vegan and vegetarian recipes, she makes chocolate bars out of her beautiful home, she sources vintage for her vintage clothing and home goods site Cabin Vintage, and she often uses her InstaStories as an engaging community space for her followers to submit ideas on how they commit to sustainable living. Her Highlights function has many tabs with hundreds of tips for eco-conscious sustainability, from the home to beauty to fashion to travel and more. Thanks to her simple and straightforward ideas posted on her Instagram, I have committed to driving around with metal straws and reusable bamboo utensils (no need to ever take plastic ones for To-Go food again!), stainless steel containers so that I don’t have to use the paper or plastic ones at restaurants for leftovers, brought my own net bags to the supermarket and farmers market for produce instead of using their plastic bags, switched to reusable makeup remover pads, and bought a compost bin. I guess you could say I’ve been… #influenced.

Sustainability In Style

@sustainabilityinstyle

Specializing in sustainability in education and science, Katie Roberts, @sustainabilityinstyle focuses on informing her followers about mindful living, especially in what we wear and put on our skin. This page boasts everything from homemade haircare to 20 ways to baking soda can revolutionize your sustainable home life. 

Wasteland Rebel

@_wastelandrebel_

Shia Su, @wastelandrebel is a self-proclaimed “vegan zero waste nerd” who literally wrote the book on zero waste (her book is called, uh, Zero Waste). Featuring an intimate style of writing that feels like your best friend is sending you an email, Su manages to take the intimidation factor away from sustainable living and rather inspire change in a friendly, completely doable way. It’s like she’s cheering you on to go green, but like, without the plastic pom poms. #plasticfree

Zero Waste Chef

@zerowastechef

Anne Marie decided to go plastic-free in 2011, which naturally led to her attempting a zero-waste lifestyle soon thereafter. @zerowastechef is about inspiration over aspiration there are practical, soluble tips here for eliminating all plastic, packaging in general, trash, and processed food from your lifestyle. Did you know you can make your own deodorant? Thanks to Anne Marie, now I know how. Stay tuned on how I fare (i.e. smell) in this 93 degree Los Angeles September. 

Bonus: CNN Climate

For the latest in climate news from around the globe, @cnnclimate is a great go-to Insta for informative graphs and memes. It’s a great quick snapshot of our planet’s health, from all corners of the globe. Take a quick scroll and you’ll quickly learn that the largest hotel chain is doing away with travel-sized toiletries, that London is planning on reusing the heat generated from the Underground rail system to warm British homes, and Indonesian designers have come up with a revolutionary plan to refreeze the Arctic with iceberg-generating submarines. Less lifestyle, more news. 

How to Find Sustainable CBD Supplements that Are as Good for You as They Are for the Planet

There’s no reason you should have to choose between the health benefits of CBD and your commitment to a sustainable lifestyle. The more green, the better!

Even deep in the heart of Texas, where yours truly resides, it seems like a new CBD shop opens every week. With the rising popularity of this mostly unregulated substance, it can be difficult to navigate the myriad of brands and recommended dosages. Further, since CBD is a supplement, what’s on the bottle often doesn’t match what’s inside. 

Instead of creating another missive touting CBDs health benefits, we wanted to talk about sustainability. Cultivation and extraction methods vary, and some are downright toxic. Here’s how to navigate the murky green world of CBD when you’re committed to a sustainable lifestyle. 

Hemp, the Ultimate Sustainable Crop?

CBD can be extracted from industrial hemp, and industrial hemp is one of the most sustainable crops on earth. It pulls toxins out of the soil, stops erosion, and can grow in almost any condition. So why has it taken so long for it to be legalized? As they say, history repeats itself. Immigrants — specifically, asylum seekers. 

From the 1600s to the 1890s, hemp production was in full swing in the U.S. In 1619, Virginia even passed legislation requiring farmers to grow hemp. But after the Mexican Revolution, people fleeing the violent aftermath arrived on U.S. soil and brought recreational cannabis with them (via PBS). 

The same anti-immigrant sentiment we see today played a huge part in the demonization of hemp. People blamed marijuana for everything from insanity (“Reefer Madness”) to sex crimes. In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act effectively banned cannabis cultivation. Aside from a short resurgence during WWII, it was outlawed until 2014, with the passing of the Agricultural Act, which included the Hemp Farming Pilot Program. In 2018 the Hemp Farming Act made industrial hemp farming fully legal. 


Industrial Hemp Isn’t the Best Source of CBD

CBD is legal in all 50 states, provided that it’s derived from industrial hemp. At surface value, extracting CBD from industrial hemp sounds like the best of both worlds. 

“Farmers often sell what is known as unused hemp biomass to a business that wants to extract CBD from the leftovers, with this “dual-use” practice becoming widespread among large-scale hemp growers in Canada, as an example.”

Healthy Hemp

Industrial hemp provides many benefits to the land. In fact, hemp bioremediation has improved land quality at Superfund sites such as Chernobyl. Unfortunately, that means that hemp is good at pulling toxins out of the soil. CBD made from industrial hemp can have high levels of contamination. For the best quality CBD, go for brands that are certified organic. Leave the chemically-contaminated hemp for synthetic plastics and paper

Extractive Methods: The Good and the Chemical 

As if contamination with pesticides weren’t bad enough, chemical extraction methods are also common. Hexane, or crude oil, is one chemical of choice. Butane is the other. That’s right, folks. Lighter-fluid. 

Neither of these chemicals is environmentally friendly, and consuming them (which you will be because there’s no way to fully get them out of the product) is questionable at best.

Luckily, there are safer alternatives, such as supercritical CO2 extraction. Although on the surface, it might sound like a bad idea since CO2 is a greenhouse gas, supercritical CO2 extraction is generally considered safe for the environment. It’s also up to 96% recyclable. Other acceptable extraction methods are ethanol (alcohol) and olive oil (read more here). 

The Cannabis Waste Problem

The Seattle Stranger reported that during the years of 2014-2017, the industry created 1.7 million pounds of cannabis waste, much of which landed in landfills. Due to complex regulations, disposal requirements vary from state to state, and composting can be challenging if not impossible. But although laws make cannabis hard to compost, that’s not the worst of it. 

The industry heavily relies on plastic. No. 5 plastic in particular. In California, “all cannabis and cannabis products be sold in child-resistant packaging.” And other states have similar laws. 

Plastic pollution is one of the most significant problems facing our planet today. It takes 400 years to decompose, and it’s filling up our land and waters. When considering which CBD companies to patronize, ask whether they compost. In addition, pick brands that use renewable or reclaimed plastic packaging.  

Is Your Favorite CBD Supplier Sustainable?

Here are a few ways to determine the sustainability of your favorite brand.  

  • Look for organically grown, non-GMO hemp.

 If you pick organic, not only will you be avoiding pesticide contamination, you’ll be keeping pesticide-laden hemp waste out of our landfills.

  • Choose supercritical CO2 or olive oil extraction.

From our research, these seem to be the most eco-friendly extraction options.  

  • Go for glass.

Plastic packaging isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but you can begin to stem the tide of plastic waste by insisting on glass packaging. If your favorite brand doesn’t use glass packaging, suggest that they do. 

  • Skip the pump.

Whenever possible, choose products that don’t have plastic pumps, or ask your favorite brand to provide refill options. Plastic pumps are notoriously unrecyclable.

  • Look at the lab tests.

Reputable companies will happily provide 3rd party-verified results proving that their products are chemical-free. 

There’s no reason you should have to choose between the health benefits of CBD and your commitment to a sustainable lifestyle. The more green, the better!

5 Back-to-School Tips For A Healthier School Year

Back-to-school season is the best time to start finding new healthy routines for the family. So we’ve gathered our five favorite back-to-school tips to make the most of this fresh start.

It’s a season we know all too well. The leaves start changing, the days get a bit shorter, and our littles head back to school for another year of learning and growing. It’s a time known for starting fresh. And we’re not just talking about new clothes (although that’s one of our favorite parts). Back-to-school season is the best time to start finding new healthy routines for the family. So we’ve gathered our five favorite back-to-school tips to make the most of this fresh start.

1. Get up and moving

Keep your kids exercising to keep them healthy

We all know how vital exercise is to living a healthy life. And there’s no better time to teach this good habit than when the kids are still little. This is the time to make exercise fun. Teach them to love and appreciate how their bodies move, so it doesn’t become a chore. And when you can all move as a family, that’s even better! After-school walks are a good time to talk about what’s going on in their lives. Heading to the park for a quick game of flag football is a fun way to get everyone involved. Or you can even spark a new passion at the rock climbing gym. Whatever you do, try to get at least 60 minutes of movement a day. According to the CDC, this is the recommended amount of exercise to keep kids and adults mentally and physically healthy. 

2. Healthy lunches to beat the slump

Making healthy lunches is one of the best back-to-school tips to keep your kids happy and strong

It’s a topic that keeps coming up. School lunches today are more focused on providing cheap and fast options, without paying attention to the health of the matter. We understand that making lunches every morning is not a small commitment, but it’s one that’s more than worth it. And if you have older kids, it’s something that you do together or that they can even do on their own. Little ones go through the same midday slump that we’ve all gone through. But by making sure that their lunch is full of protein and nutrients, you can help them stay fresh all day. Plus, you can make it exciting. Cut a turkey sandwich into fun shapes with cookie-cutters. Give them carrot sticks with their favorite flavor of hummus. And make sure to add in some fruit for when they need a quick snack. 

3. Take sleep seriously

Make sure your little ones get plenty of sleep to keep them healthy

Our quickly growing littles need plenty of sleep to stay healthy and strong. And anyone who has dealt with a sleepy kid knows that they aren’t going to be able to pay attention if they’re running low on energy. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, kids need between 8 and 13 hours of sleep, depending on their age.

No kid likes having a bedtime, which is why it’s important make it something to look forward to. Pick a tradition to end each night, but keep it electronic-free. Let them pick out a book to read or for you to read to them. Tell each other a story. We also love talking with them about what they’re most excited for the next day. They’ll decide how they feel about bedtime based on how you treat it, so keep it a positive experience, and one that they know is keeping them growing strong and confident. 

4. Say goodbye to electronics

With how things are in the world today, we aren’t here to preach that kids shouldn’t have any electronics at all. We know that cellphones are important for safety and that laptops are usually required for homework. But anything beyond that should be limited, especially during the week and at night. Make sure that the kids — and you, too — turn off all of your electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Or, if you can make it an hour or two hours, then stick with that as the rule. According to the National Sleep Foundation, using electronics before bed will make it harder to fall and stay asleep, and can have a longterm effect. By setting limits on technology, you will also make it easier for the family to find time for exercising, enjoying meals together, and having conversations about the things that matter. 

5. Expand their interests

Heading back to school is a time when your little ones are already discovering so many new things, so why not add a few more discoveries to the lineup? This is the time to find new adventures and new passions for them, so let them try everything. Whether they want to try out some new sports camps, take an art class, check out your local museums for classes, find an acting class at your local theater. For every interest or hobby, there are so many incredible options. And they’ll have a blast spending time with kids who love the same things that they do.

Comment below to let us know your favorite ways to keep your littles healthy and happy all year, not just when they’re heading back to school! And stay tuned for more tips for sustainable living and eco-friendly shopping.