Friday, October 26, 2007

Last minute halloween decorations

Anyone need some Halloween decorating ideas? These are some really cool ideas that I would love to do if I actually had the time!

**photos from and

Delicious Halloween candy

This is the Halloween candy that I want....yum! They are candies are from Dylan's Candy Bar.Dylan's Candy has the most beautifully wrapped candy. They all look so pretty!

More Beautiful shoes...

I'm dreaming of new shoes...

Alessandro Dell'Aqcua suede bondage stilleto with mosaic glass heel

Givenchy suede wedge boots

Givenchy open-toe pumps

Proenza Schouler lace ups

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Great wide-leg trousers

I love how sleek these wide leg trousers look from

Peep toes

I love peep toes - they are soooo demure and sexy.

canvas wedges -

satin heels - jcrew

suede peep toes - jcrew
jeweled peep toes - chinese laundry

velvet pumps - chinese laundry

black pumps with bow - Hollywould

snakeskin pumps - Hollywould

leopard print heels - Hollywould

black patent leather pumps - Hollywould

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Organic Clothing - what does that mean??

Sustainably and being green is such a hot topic right now – designers are emerging with their “green” clothing lines and you can find eco-friendly, organic clothing in mainstream department stores like Macy’s and Barneys. You can also find more than just eco-friendly plain t-shirts. But what does “organic” clothing mean anyways? What makes it eco-friendly and sustainable, and who determines that? Is that just a word that gets slapped onto something to make me buy it because it’s the latest trend?

If I’m going to be buying something, I want to know that what I am purchasing is the real deal, just as when I donate my money to charity, I know exactly who is benefiting from it. I wanted to know how organic clothing is better for the environment than the clothes that I own today.
There is a lot out there about this topic, so if you want to know more, I encourage you to learn about it, but these were my takeaways:

From the World Commission on Environmental Development, definition of “sustainable” is the process processmeets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is defined as the ability of the environment to continue to function properly indefinitely. This involves meeting the present needs of humans without endangering the welfare of future generations.

From wikipedia:

An unsustainable situation occurs when natural capital is used up faster than it can be replenished. Sustainability requires that human activity only uses nature's resources at a rate at which they can be replenished naturally.

Organic cotton

Cotton is the most heavily pesticide crop grown in the U.S. I never knew that until reading about it now. Cotton attracts many pests and chemicals are used to keep them under control. Some of those chemicals are among the most toxic chemicals classified by the EPA. The residue from these chemicals can contaminate the air, soil and nearby water ways. Cotton uses approximately 25% of the world's insecticides and 10% of the world's pesticides. It doesn’t stop there – when turning cotton into clothing, there are more toxic chemicals used at each stage: such as softeners, flame and soil retardants, ammonia and formaldehyde. I remember touring a cotton mill and denim factory on a business trip to watch how denim was made; the factory was hot and smelled of the chemicals and dyes. After being there for a couple of hours, I just couldn't imagine being their 8 hours a day everyday.
A group of cotton farmers questioned this traditional method and are turning back to using methods that were used before these high tech chemicals became available. In organic farming, farmers reduce the overall exposure to toxic chemicals from synthetic pesticides to protect the health of people and the planet so that it won’t end up in the air, ground, or water. They are turning to using more biological approaches to control pests. You can read more about how they do this here

As a result of organic farming though, farmers yield less usable cotton, so they have to purchase, plant and harvest more cotton to be able to turn a profit. This is why organic cotton costs more than regular cotton.


Bamboo is considered one of the most sustainable resource in the world. It grows really fast (up to a yard a day) and is rapidly-renewable. It also requires less energy to harvest and produce than other materials. It doesn’t require replanting because their root just sprouts new shoots. However, after reading more about it – that’s pretty much where the sustainability piece of bamboo ends. Technically, bamboo clothing would not qualify as sustainable or organic due to the heavy chemicals that are used to process the plant to turn it into fabric.
The following excerpt is from the organicclothing blog:

Growing bamboo is a wonderfully beneficial plant for the planet and most is naturally organic bamboo. The manufacturing processes where bamboo the plant is transformed into bamboo the fabric are where the sustainability and eco-friendly luster of bamboo is tarnished because of the heavy chemicals, some of which are toxic, that are often required. Very, very little bamboo clothing would qualify as sustainable or organic clothes.
Bamboo the plant is wonderfully sustainable; bamboo the fabric isn’t so easy to categorize. There are two ways to process bamboo to make the plant into a fabric: mechanically or chemically. The mechanical way is by crushing the woody parts of the bamboo plant and then use natural enzymes to break the bamboo walls into a mushy mass so that the natural fibers can be mechanically combed out and spun into yarn. This is essentially the same eco-friendly manufacturing process used to produce linen fabric from flax or hemp. Bamboo fabric made from this process is sometimes called bamboo linen. Very little bamboo linen is manufactured for clothing because it is more labor intensive and costly.
Chemically manufactured bamboo fiber is a regenerated cellulose fiber similar to rayon or modal. Chemically manufactured bamboo is sometimes called bamboo rayon because of the many similarities in the way it is chemically manufactured and similarities in its feel and hand.
Most bamboo fabric that is the current eco-fashion rage is chemically manufactured by “cooking” the bamboo leaves and woody shoots in strong chemical solvents such as sodium hydroxide (NaOH – also known as caustic soda or lye) and carbon disulfide in a process also known as hydrolysis alkalization combined with multi-phase bleaching. Both sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide have been linked to serious health problems. Breathing low levels of carbon disulfide can cause tiredness, headache and nerve damage. Carbon disulfide has been shown to cause neural disorders in workers at rayon manufacturers. Low levels of exposure to sodium hydroxide can cause irritation of the skin and eyes. Sodium hydroxide is a strong alkaline base also known as caustic soda or lye. In its dry crystalline form, caustic soda is one of the major ingredients of Drano. This is basically the same process used to make rayon from wood or cotton waste byproducts. Because of the potential health risks and damage to the environment surrounding the manufacturing facilities, textile manufacturing processes for bamboo or other regenerated fibers using hydrolysis alkalization with multi-phase bleaching are not considered sustainable or environmentally supportable.
The bottom line on bamboo. The growing of bamboo is environmentally friendly but the manufacturing of bamboo into fabric raises environmental and health concerns because of the strong chemical solvents used to cook the bamboo plant into a viscose solution that is then reconstructed into cellulose fiber for weaving into yarn for fabric. 

Recycled materials

There are a lot more products being created from recycled materials by artisans who are careful about the materials and the processes they use. I think is a great way to use what we already have out there. I've posted before about Vivaterra - an online boutique that offers eco-friendly home goods that are carefully made using the most natural resources and processes. I love the products on this website. You can see some of my favoriteshere.

Some great sites I like that use recycled products:

Poly-wood Inc: Casual outdoor chairs made from recycled milk jugs.

Krejci: An Amsterdam label that uses materials such as old mattresses, excess industrial felt and bicycleinnertubes to create handmade bags and accessories.

Elsewares: A great place for well designed, functional home decor and other goods. All the stuff they sell comes from individual artisans. The people at elsewares are passionate about design, quality, good business practices and the environment.

A make up bag crocheted using aluminum tabs from soda cans.

purse made from excess industrial felt.
bold bracelets made from old street signs

To Reuse is to recycle

One of the easiest ways to not allow yourself to be contributing to unsustainability is simply to reuse. Thrift stores, secondhand stores, and consignment stores are great places to shop. Instead of tossing out your clothes, donate them to a thrift store or consign them so that someone else can reuse them. I love browsing through thrift stores and flea markets for fabulous finds - some of my favorite things have been bought used: a pair of suede Italian wedges, white scalloped vintage gloves, a satin jewelry wrap, a patent leather vintage clutch, and my vases and candle holders.

I love the daily finds from Melody at My Second Hand Closet! She shares all her fabulous purchases from secondhand stores.
I have my thrift store down the street where I go to scour for great vintage goodies, but I also love consignment stores. Great non-traditional ones are CrossRoad Trading Co. and Buffalo Exchange where you can bring in your in-season trendy clothing and get cash on the spot for a fraction of how much they will sell it for. Then your clothes are merchandised and sold in the store.

I recently found out about - an online community closet where you can buy sell and trade your own clothes! I think this is such a fabulous idea.

Lastly, I love this concept:UsedCardboardBoxes. You can buy used cardboard boxes for all your cardboard box needs for a fraction of what you would pay for brand new. Tagline: "You don't have to cut down a tree to make a used cardboard box."

Wow, this ended up being a longer post than I expected. I just wanted to share what I learned.
I heard about Kaight Shop - a very trendy eco-friendly clothing shop. They have the absolute cutest clothes.

vegetable washed leather booties

keyhole dress made from organic cotton

black cocktail dress made from organic cotton

kimono inspired dress made from organic cotton

vegetable washed shrunken leather jacket (vegetable washing leather is less toxic than how leather is normally treated)
And some last minute tips: take care of your clothes to make them last longer. Follow the care instructions and store them properly in your closet. You can mend own clothes to repair them or have someone who can mend do it for you. I always get my shoes repaired when the soles or heels have worn down. A lot of department stores have shoe repair shops where you can drop off and pick up. Usually I find that my shoe repairman gives me a better heel than the original shoe.