Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Little Leather Jacket: Find it on Ebay!!

So, a recent post on A Serious Job is No Excuse (which, I might add is slightly addictive), talked about the re-emergence of the Little Leather Jacket (LLJ) and commenters wanted to know where they could get their stylish little hands on an affordable option. So, I thought I would troll Ebay and give people some suggestions.

But, first, some background on why I think you should buy a vintage leather jacket as opposed to a new one or a leather alternative. (Feel free to skip right to the end at this point if you just want to check out the jackets.)

Personally, I don't like to wear leather as a coat. I do wear leather on my feet and around my waist (although I try to buy it vintage . . . which probably is no consolation to the vegans out there), but I just can't bring myself to wear it on my back - I just keep thinking of that scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Han has to cut the stomach of that snow creature and put Luke inside it so he doesn't die from the cold . . . My God, I am such a total dork!!! Anyway . . . back to the story. So, last year, seizing on the LLJ craze, I bought one at Target (yes, still fighting my habit) that was made from PVC, a synthetic leather-looking sort of material. It is actually a pretty good copy of the real thing - at least for all of us who aren't leather experts, per se.

But then one day, I was reading Target's Corporate Responsibility report (probably trying to justify my habit), and saw that they had several paragraphs about their efforts to reduce their use of PVC in building their stores because it was so damaging to the environment. So, I thought, "hmmmmm . . . what the hell is this stuff that my cute little jacket is made from?" Basically, when PVC is made AND when anything with PVC is thrown in the trash and then incinerated in your local municipal waste facility, it produces dioxin (this was reported on by the EPA in 2005). There really is no scientific disagreement that dioxins are pretty bad. Once they enter the environment, they don't go away and they have been associated with (even at very low levels) with immune system suppression, reproductive disorders, and a variety of cancers. Ick.

As for why you shouldn't buy new leather, well, the main reason is that the processing and dying of leather (esp. leather produced in developing countries) is very toxic. It's toxic to the people who work with it, but more importantly, many of these producers don't treat their hazardous waste appropriately, often just releasing it into the environment. So, your LLJ could potentially be destroying a once-serene part of China or Bangladesh, or, even Australia. You might say, wait, how come the governments over there don't fine these businesses or close them down? Well, many governments don't have the capacity (read: staff, money, technical knowledge) to monitor things like that. So it just happens. Also, producing leather is REALLY resource intensive. Check these (very generalized, yet they communicate the point) stats out: Most leather (about 66% of it) comes from cows, and it takes 8 acres of land, 12,000 pounds of forage, 125 gallons of gasoline & other petroleum derivatives for fertilizer, 2,500 pounds of corn, 350 pounds of soybeans, 1.2 million gallons of water & 1.5 acres of farmland (to grow the crops for feed), plus various insecticides, herbicides, antibiotics & hormones to grow one cow from an 80 pound calf to its full size, when it can be slaughtered and the hide harvested. Wow. Plus, the process of taking cow to leather jacket is just gross. Even if you don't actually care about cows and totally LOVE your cheeseburgers, it is still pretty disgusting the kind of chemicals they coat the leather with. Check out a description of it here.

So, the best thing, in the end, if you want a LLJ (um, and who doesn't), is to buy it vintage or secondhand. So, here are some options from Ebay (click on images to be taken to the bid page):

This is slightly similar to the one from Zara.

I love the hood!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ebay Randomness

So, I have been on a bit of a buying spree recently - just looking for pieces to update my wardrobe. Being in business school for the last 3 years has had a very negative effect on my wardrobe - always studying does not present many avenues for trying out new outfits and not having any money (due to paying for school myself and such) hasn't let me get inspired by bringing in a new piece (or new to me - go vintage!) into the mix. So, over the last few weeks, I have bought a few pieces on Ebay - a great place to get secondhand and vintage pieces that won't break the bank.

Here are a few of my additions:

A vintage orange, wool pencil skirt - higher waist ($28.10 total). There was LOTS of orange on the runways for Fall/Winter and since there is at least another month of cold weather left, a bright orange wool skirt will remind me that Spring is just around the bend, but will keep me warm as well. PS - it looks much better on me than on the Ebay model (she must be, like, 5 feet tall.)

Vintage suede beige cowboy boots ($18.94 total) - So, I am no Sienna Miller, but I love her boho-ish, randomly thrown together, yet-perfect, look. Plus, for years I have regretted getting rid of my own cowboy boots, which saw me through many a party and concert in college. So here they are. Yippee kayeay. BTW, I do not approve of wearing cowboy boots and skirts - this is not Little House on the Prairie. No matter what Sienna says.

Lastly, I am not at all surprised that the runways showed so many bohemian, hippie-ish looks for Spring. Don't they always? Spring just brings out that freedom in people, the desire to have a little more fun with their look, add some daring details. So I bought this great black tunic embroidered with gold ($20.49 total). I think that it will look great with bare black sandals and a little skirt in the summer. Until then, I will wear it with skinny jeans and my tall vintage boots.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

TskTsk Post Express! Vintage is the Greenest Green of All!

I was riding the metro yesterday from the Bethesda Green Launch Event, exhausted as I had not had time to eat lunch, bored as I had not brought reading material, when I was fortunate enough to spot a discarded - and unmistakably stepped on - Post Express a few seats away. A few shoe marks don't trouble me, though, no sir! (Many a friend has witnessed me declare the “5-second rule!” and scramble under a table after a errant M&M.)

In any case, as I weakly started to skim the publication, my droopy eyes landed on an article on having an “earth-friendly” wedding. “Must read article,” I thought. “Must read article and blog about it.” “No, brain tired. Must rest. Must read comics.” “No, must read article . . . “

Anyway, I dug out a few M&Ms from the bottom of my bag, which gave me enough chocolate energy to get through the article (which I reread this morning, just to make sure it wasn't a hallucination). The Express has been increasing its “green” coverage recently – most notably, putting together a “green gift guide” for the Holidays a few months back (which I felt didn’t focus enough on local businesses).

I think the Express did a good job coming up with interesting, small changes that people could consider when planning their event. The article provided guidance on what the “green”, “greener” and “greenest” choices were to make when making wedding decisions. But there are just a few things I want to correct for those of you who may have read the article:

First, Vintage is the Greenest! In the section “Dress,” the Express says that buying a dress made from sustainable materials is greener than buying a vintage dress. Not true. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know my stand on this. Buying vintage is the greenest green of all. If you buy something new, even if it is made from sustainable materials, you are still using all that extra energy and raw materials to manufacture that new thing that would not be needed if you bought vintage (or secondhand).

Hemp is Better than Cotton. In the section: “Invitations”, the article suggests using cotton invitations. Well, my last post touched on that subject. Cotton growing is very toxic. Unless the paper is organic, do not use cotton paper. Use is Hemp paper instead. Hemp paper rocks. Hemp doesn’t require all those chemicals to grow – it’s hardy. Find a great selection of hemp and other recycled handmade invitation paper (like invites your guests can plant to get wild flowers) at Greenfield Paper co.

And what about the “Gifts”, or “Registry” section? Um, there wasn’t one. I think this is one of the more important aspects of the wedding planning that should be considered when thinking about ways to “ecofy” the event. How about: Don’t give us things we already have? How many people do you know that have a set of super expensive China that has never seen the light of day even after four years of marriage (or worse yet, has not even been unwrapped yet?) Since most people are now getting married in their late 20s, they often already have everything they need for a home together. What’s the point? Instead, have guests make donations to a good cause (check out for a list of charities) Or, have guests make donations toward a new home. Have guests help you finance your honeymoon. Or your graduate degree. Or a new (hybrid) car. Or pay off your credit card debt. Personally, and many etiquette leaders agree, expecting gifts at all (i.e., having a registry) is not good form. So, a simple note (never on the invite!!) in response to a gift inquiry that says, “All we request is your wonderful company. However, if you would like to provide us with a gift, funds for a down payment is on top of our wish lists.”

In closing, I would like to end with this: Excess is Tacky. Repeat after me, “Paris Hilton is a twit.” Creative approaches to your wedding will stand out in your guests’ minds much more than all that sh*t that will end up in the dumpster, anyway.

One last comment on the Post article: Not all environmentalists know the words to “Kumbaya.” (Although I can’t help but fondly remember the South Park episode "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes", where the townspeople sing "Kumbaya" in an expression of solidarity and well-being after burning down the local Wal-Mart.) And, what the hell does “recycling your grandma” mean? That’s just sick.

For more green wedding ideas, look here. Or here.

One Small (re)Style: Cotton Balls.

Today I want to introduce a new feature for the blog called, “One Small (re)Style”. There are thousands of little changes, almost unnoticeable, many that don’t cost a thing, that you can make in your life to help reduce your impact on the environment.

Take cotton balls for instance. I love cotton balls. They are an indispensable part of my beauty routine. I use them for all kinds of things like taking off eye make-up or applying toner.

The (re)Style: Go organic! Switch to organic cotton balls.

The Righteous: There are all kinds of scary facts that I can throw at you about how conventional (aka, non-organic) cotton is grown. For example, five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton in the U.S. (cyanide, dicofol, naled, propargite, and trifluralin) are known cancer-causing chemicals. All nine are classified by the U.S. EPA as Category I and II (the most dangerous chemicals). In California, it has become illegal to feed the leaves, stems, and short fibers of cotton known as ‘gin trash’ to livestock, because of the concentrated levels of pesticide residue. Instead, this gin trash is used to make furniture, mattresses, tampons, swabs, and cotton balls. The average American woman will use 11,000 tampons or sanitary pads during her lifetime (yeah, you might want to switch to organic tampons while you’re at it).

What it will cost: Very little. On, a package of 80 organic cotton balls costs $2.49 (3.1 cents per ball). A package of 130 regular cotton balls is also 2.49 (1.9 cents per ball). So, to compare, if both packages had 130 balls, you would pay $1.54 more for the organic ones. That is nothing, kids! Especially since I know some of you are willing to spend $7.00 on a Miller Light longneck . . .

More info on cotton from the Organic Consumers Association.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I Hate Plastic People and I Hate Plastic Bags

I thought that our consignment and cocktails events was exciting news . . . But, I was wrong!
Whole Foods is banning plastic bags by April 22, 2008!! That is the best news I have heard in a long time! Everyone that knows me, knows my unrepentant hatred for plastic grocery bags. They are just evil. Besides ending up on my street all the effing time (I swear, people who live in my neighborhood are pigs!), there other reasons I hate plastic bags:

  • They are freakin' tacky: get a nice, large tote bag that goes with your shoes. Or, get a witty one that will help you start a convo. with the cute guy/girl behind you in line. Or, make a statement about how you feel about plastic bags. Or, just buy something pretty.

  • They take, like, a thousand years to decompose (although, most likely they won't at all).

  • They are made from petroleum. Okay, so plastics have changed the way we live. That's fine. But, let's not overdo it, okay? Did you know that almost every seabird in the world is contaminated by scraps of plastic discarded by consumers, shipping and industry, scientists have discovered. The stomachs of fulmars in the North Sea, storm petrels in the Antarctic and albatrosses in Hawaii have all been found to contain plastic waste. Some of the birds have eaten hundreds of plastic fragments, and many have died as a result. I think it might be time to start limiting our unnecessary use of plastics, dontchathink?

Announcement!! An Event with Good Style AND Good Karma

Even for people like me who try to live a more eco-friendly life like the world depended on it . . . well, it is sometimes difficult. Take the way I dress, for example. I often wish that I was totally comfortable dressing in Patagonia fleece made from recycled plastic bottles every day. Or that I enjoyed wearing the same clothes I had 10 years ago and never yearned for just a little bit of "the new thing" - like, something with a subtle little rosette (I know that this is last year's trend, but I still really like it), or a pretty dress, tie-dyed to perfection. I do. I really do. Instead, I fall asleep many nights wondering what color tights will go with the new dress and whether it will look good with my suede engineer boots . . . Sigh.

I have battled my urges several ways. First, whenever I want to buy something, I make sure that I don't have something that will work just as well already in my closet (esp. if I get my ass to the gym enough). I also try to save up my money to buy something that has a good cut and good styling - which is always a bit more expensive, but has a better chance of lasting through the seasons and a few pounds up or down. A good cut is key. Lastly, I hit the consignment stores! You would be amazed by the great things one can find on consignment in DC.

Which brings me to my little announcement. Johanna, writer of the well-read blog A Serious Job Is No Excuse and I are putting on a little consignment and cocktails event. We still have a few details to work out, including the date, location and what color cash register to rent, but what we do know is this:

  • The clothing at this event will be only the gentlest of gently-used professional, cocktail and formal clothing will be accepted (no periwinkle bridesmaid dresses, please!)
  • The only customers admitted to this event will be those who donate between 5-15 items
  • Pricing will be the responsibility of each individual donor
  • Major credit cards will be accepted
  • Shortly after the event, you will receive a check for the exact amount of money the sale of your clothing earned
  • You will have the choice of either reclaiming those items of clothing that aren't sold or donating them to a to-be-determined DC charity (this decision will need to be made at the time of your drop-off)
  • There will be a reasonable admission charge to cover costs, the excess of which will be donated to a to-be-determined DC charity
  • You will be welcomed to an event that is controlled in attendee size and chaos level -- no bargain bins, no makeup-stained messes, no food and oh yes, cordoned-off private areas with at least one full-length mirror in which you will be able to admire yourself before making a final decision
Before we choose a venue, we need to gauge the interest of our respective readerships. We want to know for just how many of you participation in an event like this is something that doesn't just interest you but will actually motivate you to stand in front of your closet, select the highest-quality items of clothing you no longer fit into/need/want, price these items, and drop them off on a pre-determined day at a pre-determined time.

Let us know by dropping us an email or leaving a comment! You can email me at: maria at righteousrestyle dot com.

But why is buying secondhand better for the environment, you ask? There are lots of good environmental reasons to buy secondhand. Buying clothing secondhand saves raw materials - like energy and water - that would have gone into making something new to buy. You can also feel good knowing that no additional herbicides and pesticides entered the environment for the sake of your date-night outfit and that your dress choice did not raise the cost of a barrel of oil or cause a war in another country (almost 50% of the textiles consumed in the US are made from synthetic fibers that are produced from oil). Lastly, extending the life of a garment keeps it out of the waste cycle just a little longer.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Great Eco-fashion On Sale at

Unfortunately, in life, even good things have to come to an end sometimes. And so,, one of the first online boutiques for environmentally-friendly clothing, is closing it's virtual doors. There is a bright side, of course: all of its inventory is significantly marked down. As Orson Welles said, "If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” So, perhaps Pangaya's ending can turn into the beginning of your new-found love of green fashion. (They have a very good collection of Stewart + Brown pieces). And free shipping on orders $75 and up. Here are some looks from the site:

Stewart + Brown cashmere sweater. $165. The company works directly with Mongolian herders and weavers and helps them maintain their centuries old customs.

Grace & Cello black linen blazer. $96. All the company's clothing is sweat-shop free.

Grace & Cello 100% organic cotton sateen poof sleeve shirt. $70.

As always, happy (eco-friendly) shopping!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ebay + Dolce and Gabbana + Scissors = Sustainable Style

There is one thing that I always struggle with as an environmentalist - my interest in fashion and clothing design. I love, love, love Project Runway. I love, love, love fashion glossies (though I am trying not to buy them anymore - you know, all those trees and printing chemicals, etc. ). Last time I was visiting my parents, I watched hours and hours of Project Runway during a marathon special. (Unfortunately, other than that, I don't get to see it much because, well, I don't have a television. Yep, our television blew up - in a very impressive, sparkly kind of way - a few years ago and we just never replaced it. You can't imagine how productive I have been since.) Anyway, every once in a while, I treat myself to a few hours on, clicking through all the photos of the wire-hanger-thin runway models. I am always inspired - and sometimes disconcerted - with what the designers come up with each collection. If I see something that really catches my eye, I usually do an Ebay search to see if there is anything close that I can buy vintage. Its hit or miss.

But, this week, after seeing Dolce and Gabbana's Spring RWT collection, which was heavy on brocade fabrics and high-waist pouf skirts - and a Steve McQueen tshirt, which I am sure you will see everywhere in a minute - I actually found something on Ebay that works. Here are some looks from the collection:

On Ebay, I found this dress (with shipping for $17.00).

I am planning on cutting off the top and just wearing it as a skirt. While it is still cold, I see dressing it down with a short-sleeved cashmere sweater, a thick black belt, black tights and short motorcycle boots. In the summer, I think that a white t-shirt with a black belt and black flats will do the trick.

So the moral of the story: fashion should be about creativity. And I don't mind spending a little bit of extra time being fashionable in a sustainable way.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Don't Know What to Get for Your Special Someone? How About a Recycled Plastic Bag Rooster (I'm not joshing, ya . . . )

Find a wide variety of quirky . . . um, let's just say strange . . . animals on this site.

FAIR TRADE, too! And just $21.99!!

Good Job, Bethesda!

Looks like even small cities are waking up to the idea that going green may equal getting some green (you know, that other green stuff, with pictures of dead presidents on it). Although there isn't much detail on what exactly Bethesda means with all this "green zone" stuff . . . you know, its the thought that counts (I guess).

From Washington Business Journal:

Bethesda is going green, but the move will require fistfuls of green from the business community to succeed.

Montgomery County leaders have awarded contracts to two nonprofits to reorganize the bustling city into the region's only "green zone," an example of 24/7 eco-friendly living and working. The nonprofits, along with a newly formed steering committee of businesses, legislators and environmentalists, are kicking off the Bethesda Green campaign at a public meeting Jan. 23.

Their first pitch will be to perhaps their most important audience: the business community, which will largely determine by its participation and checkbooks the success of the public-private effort.

"We're going to see a few businesses step up to the plate early," said Dave Feldman, president of the Livability Project, which is working with the Sustainable Business Network of Washington to manage the Bethesda Green project. "Like any startup business, it's dependent on the success of your product."

Favorites: Tarte Cheekstain Goes Natural!! Yeay!

For a few years now (ever since I overcame my fear of the boundless excitement that is Sephora), I have been using Tarte cheekstain. As I started tanning less (hey, all you twentysomethings - trust me, you want to tan less NOW, not wait until it starts showing on your skin!!), and relying on make-up more for that healthy glow, Tarte's "Sunkissed" became an integral part of my "looking good" repertoire. As my experience with make-up grew, instead of dry blush in the winter time, I started using other Tarte colors. I generally find that dry blush looks weird over well-moisturized - or "dewy"- skin.

The only downside is that a lot of Tarte products contain parabens. What are parabens? Well, they are chemicals (also called methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and benzylparaben) that are used as a preservative in cosmetic products. A study published in 2004 (Darbre, in the Journal of Applied Toxicology) detected parabens in breast tumors (um, ewwwww). However, the FDA says they are safe for use in personal products - esp. in the very small quantities found in cosmetics. However, I get back to my whole thing about the fact that if you use a product that contains chemicals, then you are allowing those chemicals to enter the environment, our water sources, etc. So, if 100,000 women rinse off their Tarte cheekstain every night . . . well, that's a much higher concentration of the chemical that you may be exposed to in the environment than just what you have on your rosy cheeks. The Breast Cancer Fund, which focuses on identifying and eliminating the environmental causes of breast cancer, has an informative page on the issue that says "While research continues, however, the accumulated evidence makes a compelling case for taking a precautionary approach, individually and collectively, to the manufacture and use of parabens." So, I am totally not an expert, but I say, why risk it when there seem to be more alternatives every day that are just as good as your favorite stand-by?

So, back to Tarte. Tarte just introduced a line of "natural" cheekstains - no parabens (I love them even more now!)! I was only able to find two shades on "Full Blossom" and "Natural Beauty" (ingredients for "Natural Beauty weren't listed, however). Hopefully, Tarte will transition their other products to paraben-free versions soon.

Happy Blushing!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

To Dye or Not to Dye? . . . a Hairy Story.

According to some estimates, almost 60% of American women dye their hair in some way.

As for me, I started dying my hair when I was in 8th grade (yes, you heard that right, eighth grade). It was Halloween and I was dressing up as Molly Ringwald from "Pretty in Pink" which, obviously, meant that I needed red hair (my natural hair color being ash brown - yes, possibly the worst natural hair color ever!) So, you are wondering, what parent in their right mind would let a 15-year-old color their hair (wait, was I 15 in 8th grade? Anyway . . .). It didn't really phase my mother, however. In fact, she said I looked better . . . and years of the monthly ritual of hair dying began.

Over the years I have been:

A red head.

A blonde.

A mix.

And, most recently, a brunette.

(There was some fuchsia in there somewhere, but I can't find a pic.)

So, you can say that I am a hair dye veteran and that my hair - and hair color - has always been a way for me to express who I feel like at the moment. But, over the last few years, I have noticed that my hair just isn't as resilient as it used to be after the color. It would be conditioned and soft for a few days after the color, but - even with the best, most expensive, hydrating conditioner - it would get brittle and dry soon after. In addition, I had always been aware of the many studies examining the link between chemicals found in hair dye and cancer and other health issues. Although the evidence has not shown any conclusive relationship between the two, I also didn't want my vanity to result in these chemicals (the main ones being ammonia, P-PHENYLENEDIAMINE, and resorcinal) being flushed into the ecosystem, potentially damaging aquatic habitats and affecting water supplies. (In some counties, unused hair dye is considered a hazardous waste!!!)

So, a year or so ago, I stopped coloring my hair altogether. Since my last shade was fairly close to my natural color, it was easy not to worry about it for the first few months. To my chagrin, a few months later, I realized that I had become a lot grayer than I had ever realized (having dyed my hair religiously for so long and all). Now, granted, I think that our society has horrible double standards for men and women when it comes to looking our age. Few Hollywood actresses would let their hair go gray, yet many male stars do - with no issues, no judgments (btw, how hot is George Clooney?).

But, hey, I am only in my early 30s - I was not really looking "my age". Some may call me shallow, but, for me, it was all about looking how I felt - which has been the role of my hair for my entire life. And I didn't feel gray . . . yet. I am sure that when I get older, I will transition to one of those awesome, aging gracefully, gray bobs. Just not yet. Not yet.

What to do, what to do. I finally decided to try a "natural" hair dye, that did not have many of the chemicals that other, more mainstream dyes, had. There are many varieties, but the one I got at Whole Foods was Naturcolor. It didn't have ammonia or resorcinal, and only a small amount of the phenyl-whatever. I was concerned that the color would be uneven or too dark or would fade too quickly. But, I am pleased to report that it worked out great! My hair was SO SOFT after I dyed it and there were NO harsh fumes while it was working. The color has faded a bit - especially on my ends, which were bleached - but its hardly noticeable and a small price to pay for reducing harmful chemicals in the environment. However, it will not lighten your hair, so, if you're a "bottled blonde" you may be stuck with what you have - unless this is the year for a dramatic change. Here is some inspiration to go dark:

So, the moral of the story is: if you dye your hair and want to try something containing less toxic chemicals that is also easier on your hair and on the environment, check out the hair color aisle in Whole Foods or a similar store.

Here is my own BEFORE and AFTER.

Monday, January 14, 2008

What I would buy if . . .

What I would buy if I wasn't a partially-employed MBA-student-slash-blogger and didn't already have enough clothing for several partially-employed MBA-student-slash-bloggers.

Paige Premium Denim "Coldwater" Organic Cotton/Spandex Jeans. $210 at Nordstrom's.

Viridis Luxe 'Poetica' Long Sleeve Keyhole Top made from silk and hemp (this is not your hippie cousin's scratchy hemp!) . $257 at Nordstrom's.

Carol Young's organic cotton tulip bolero. $90 at Kaight.

beau soleil bamboo wrap dress. $159 at

Eco-Friendly Swag: Critics' Choice Awards

California is by far one of the most eco-friendly states in the nation and with its equal-to-a-small-country GDP, will continue to be the harbinger of all things green. Even when it comes to celebrity swag at awards shows. The recent Critics' Choice Awards (to digress for a moment, I just want to bring attention to Katie Holmes in that Lanvin dress. Personally, I think it looked like a metallic sack - albeit a fashionable metallic sack, but, still a sack. But, other than that, she look hott! She better be paying her stylist mucho bucks) boasted gift bags worth over $8000, with many of the products touting an "eco-friendly" label.

Curious what was in them? Wondering how you can get your grubby little hands on similar items? Look no further! (We may live in uptight Washington, DC, but the power of the internet - and a non-maxed out credit card - can let you live a little like the stars, too.)

Del Forte Denim: Get the incredibly flattering Dahlia cut (other cuts available as well), which is made from 99% organic cotton and 1% spandex for $192 at Shop Envi.

Alternative Apparel T-Shirts: A percentage of all sales of Alternative Earth products are donated to environmental organizations across the world. In addition, the company just started a line of organic cotton and recycled polyester t-shirts ($28-$45). I really love their styles - check out the Joplin Tie Neck Top and the Gauze Moroccan Top - zzzexy!

Dirt Candles: Dirt Candles ($24) are made with GMO-free, USA grown soybeans, essential oils, natural isolates, floral absolutes, natural exudates, organic cotton wicks and recycled packaging.

English Retreads Messenger Bag ($149-$169): English Retreads puts a new twist on the messenger bag as it's made from 100% recycled rubber.

Kangol Headwear - With every collection, Kangol introduces more styles that are eco-friendly. Recently, they have started using bamboo and organic cotton. Find the Organic Bedford Mau Cap shown on the left for $34 here at the Kangol Store.

VeeV - This is the world's first açaí spirit and the first certified carbon-neutral spirits company and also the first to donate $1 per bottle sold back to Rainforest Preservation through Sambazon's Sustainable Açaí Project. Açaí is the Brazilian superfruit loaded with antioxidants (57% more than pomegranate and 30 times the amount in a glass of red wine) that Oprah recently hailed as her #1 superfood calling it the most nutritious fruit on the planet. Veev is a 60-proof white spirit that also contains other antioxidant-containing fruits such as acerola cherry and prickly pear. Swag recipients got FOUR bottles each, but you can try it here for $68. Plus, here is a link to some recipes.

mineral fusion - Each product in the mineral fusion cosmetics line is paraben-free, talc-free and has no perfumes or artificial colorants while providing the benefits of UV and antioxidant protection. Guests got Gloss on the Go Kits; Stunning Eye Shadow Trio; Sparkle Bronzer; Hydration Mist; Blender Brush and Eye Definer Brush.

Viridis Luxe Bamboo Dress - Viridis is a high end line using hemp and bamboo fibers. Find it NOW at Nordstrom's ON SALE for $99.

Simple Brand ecoSNEAKS ($70 for women) - Simple Brand has developed a line of sustainable sneakers called ecoSNEAKS. ecoSNEAKS use recycled car tires, organic cotton, and PET (which is made from recycled plastic bottles).

There were some additional items offered, but after some research, I have decided that they were just a bit too much about green-washing and not enough about substance.

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