Friday, November 30, 2007

FEATURE - "Living Loud With Joy Rose"
Finding Inner Peace, Without the Quiet


Living Loud, just may be the last moniker you'd expect for a socially conscious 'Personal Development' column. If Buddhism tells us to walk mindfully in quiet contemplation, then Living Loud must sound like something straight out of the Ozzy Osbourne reality TV show.

'Living Loud' on a spiritual path does not mean that we literally shout at each other. It does mean we embrace personal development, and cultivate the ability to regulate the volume in the expression of our spirit (that serves our own growth). Everyone has had the sensation of swallowing tears, hurt, anger or frustration; being silenced emotionally, mentally and ultimately spiritually. With time, many of us forget how to live without feeling silenced. We live in a quiet that is not serene and meditative, but repressed and suffocating. And in that quiet we forget how to turn the volume back up in our lives.

Living Loud is to embrace the vivid colors of our experience, the abundant creativity that is inherent in us all, and the brilliant (and sometimes chaotic) chorus our children's voices that often dominate our lives as mothers. It is to use your life’s journey as inspiration – and not frustration. It is to live in the possibility of finding and harnessing what is great within us, and then giving ourselves complete freedom to express our discovery with full voices to our partners, our friends, our children and our world.

I have come to find my 'voice' honestly. I've had songs on the Billboard dance charts and stood on stage in front of thousands of people dressed in sequins and glitter. I have survived SLE, chemotherapy and four natural child births. I've studied yoga, Reiki and anatomy. I graduated college, attended Julliard, appeared on CNN, BBC and NPR. Whether it was the 'path' to motherhood, hospital, classroom, church or nightclub, mine has been a colorful journey that has led me from the ashram, to rock and roll and back. But in the journey the ultimate goal has always been the same - to live a life that has meaning, to cultivate self-awareness, consciousness, and kindness.

I've spent the better part of seven years as the President of MAMAPALOOZA INC. and have spread the message of Living Loud by empowering thousands of women to express themselves through their art, but ultimately through trust in their spirit.

I have been on the journey with extraordinary women comics, poets, musicians, educators, entrepreneurs and mothers of babies, teens and grown children; each one an everyday hero in her own right. And together, through the union with this incredible community of women, I have come to understand there's no chart for greatness, it's a long slow process of simply listening and being listened to and giving yourself the strength and freedom to live, and Live Loud.

I look forward to sharing with you the wisdom I have acquired through my colorful path, and through being touched and illuminated by the thousands of women I have had the privilege to meet through Mamapalooza. I will share with you the tools, spark thoughts, and inspire moments that will allow you to turn up your own spiritual volume.


Joy Rose is a contributing columnist on The Lohasian. Her column "Living Loud With Joy Rose" will offer powerful self development tools meant to inspire and mobilize women to create an extraordinary life. Joy is the Founder and President of The Motherhood Foundation and Mamapalooza; a multi platform event, music production and entertainment development company that specializes in creating media brands to empower mothers and other women nationwide. Mamapalooza's unique message reaches an estimated five million consumers each year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

art+architecture+design:
The Art of Creating Beautiful Trash

Lucy Lytle


Before recycling became a term linked to the environmental cause, it was a lingo used by the artists of the world who were creating masterpieces using found objects. It is these artists who actually were the original "greens," by not only using discarded items purposefully, but actually creating a new life for them that exceeded their original purpose in beauty and meaning.

Beyond the issue of the size of ones footprint on our planet, artists saw the beauty and possibility of how matter can be reused. This is an extraordinary metaphor for the sustainability movement, to go beyond making something more efficient and green, but to actually make it more beautiful and inspiring than the old model; to transcend.

Above you will find four new artists who are making exciting work in this area, and are transforming the discarded and abandoned into the revered spheres of high art.

art + architecture + design:
Design Within Reach Brings Iconic Furniture Design to the Green Home


Bertoia Side Chair


Eames Eliptical Table



Noguchi Free Form Sofa



Since 1990 Design Within Reach has been selling the coolest furnishings for the mid century junkie, featuring pieces from big names like Herman Miller, Knoll, Cassina, Fritz Hansen, Stua, Vitra, Kartell, Emeco, Artek, Objekto, Flos and Cherner Chair Company. For years the company mixed authorized and licensed pieces with reproductions. As of last year DWR moved to offering exclusive licensed designs - becoming for the design market what whole foods is for the organic market, the premier one stop shop for all respected and known brands that their customer wants. What makes DWR even more exciting is its extensive line of Eco-friendly furnishings ranging from recycled, to energy efficient to sustainable material creations. Their great online site makes it easy (and with some pieces even affordable) to live stylishly and green.

*Note: All pieces above are from the DWR Eco Friendly Line


trends + business + politics:
Internet's Environmental Crises, Mahalo.com CEO Jason Calacanis Speaks at GNOMEDEX 7.0



Waste is not a problem just facing our "physical" plane, and our natural environment - waste has become a crises of our "mental " plane and our artificial and manufactured environment.

Humans now confront an information overload driven by the explosion of mass media and the Internet. As the explosion has reached epic proportion, the quality of the information has deteriorated and infiltrated the mental landscape of the global audience. Waste has become not only the byproduct of the phenomena, but has actually become a business in its own right when companies such as those creating technologies driving "spam" into the in-box of our email system, and ultimately our minds.

Here is a presentation (and heated discussion with the audience) by Jason Calacanis, CEO of Maholo.com given at GNOMEDEX, on the subject of the Internet's "environmental crises," and the opportunities and challenges for change (including those within his own business).



Wednesday, November 28, 2007

fashion + travel + music:
Five Star Rejuvenation in the Glorious Austrian Alps



Driving through the vast Austrian Alps is like falling into a sort of "soul warp," you simply are not the same. You breath deeper, think slower, and seem to spiritually somehow "exhale." Endless miles of scenic drives with seemingly infinite beautiful vistas delight the senses and promise a unique escape in nearly every season of the year. Kitzbuhel, a small Alpine town in the Tyrol region, outshines the dozens of other splendid contenders of the area. The town, nestled in the mountains, has remained a favorite for both locals and the European jet set for over half a century. Today it is a go-to spot for those seeking to rejuvenate and re-energize.

Kitzbuhel is located about 95 km from Innsbruck, 80km from Salzburg and about 120 km from Munich, and is a popular vacation spot for nearby Austrians, Germans, and Italians . The town, has been an on again, off again hot-spot since before the second world war and in the last few years has seen a development boom and a tourism boom that the approximately 10,000 locals seem to be both celebrating (and sometimes, cursing). What makes Kitzbuhel so unique is a combination of year round sports and wellness activities, world class cuisine at any number of restaurants and hotels in the area, abundant natural habitats to explore, as well as within a few hours drive glorious cities such as Vienna or a days ride to any number of beautiful Italian cities including Venice.

The year round sports include skiing and snowboarding at the world renowned Hahnenkamm, golfing at any one of the four nearby gold courses, cycling and mountain biking, tennis at the local tennis hall (or on one of the thirty one outdoor tennis courts), and much more. For those seeking healing and wellness of the mind, body and soul, Kitzbuhel offers first class treatments at several local destinations including the 5 star A-Rosa Hotel Spa (although nearly every major hotel in the area offers such services). The small town is a tiny jewel amongst the towering Alps and a must see on your next European bound adventure.

For more information: Go to the Kitzbuhel Tourism Site


Top 5 Local Hotel Picks:


Hotel A-Rosa Kizbuhel


Hotel Schloss Lebenberg

Tennerhof

Hotel Zur Tenne

Hotel Goldener Greif

FEATURE - "Greener Days w/ Sara Gordon:"
Inside the Great Turning and Defining Your Moment In History


I love the work of Eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, whose voice was the first I heard speak of the "Great Turning." We humans are part of an extraordinary moment in history – a time of global crisis and possibility; the shift from industrial growth society to life sustaining civilization. Macy described the Great Turning as having three concurrent parts: one, stop the destruction; two, identify, develop and employ sustainable alternatives; and three – which is the tough one and the key – bring about a shift of consciousness.

It’s simple, but it’s not easy. It can be as simple as admitting that we care. Acknowledging that we do indeed care that our species continue to have a viable existence on this beautiful planet opens up all kinds of possibilities, including feeling pain and sorrow over what we – our kind, our ancestors, ourselves, I – have done to the world with our choices to date. The old adage that when we admit there’s a problem we take the first step to solving it, applies here. Open up to the sorrow, the fear, and move through it to action. I have been told that despair is not an option. I disagree. It is an option that many of us try on for awhile. It’s just not a good place to stay. Despair is what got me started my own path toward sustainable living.

When I became a parent in my mid-thirties, I somewhat typically discovered there was a whole realm of things I had never cared about for my own sake, but now that there was this cool new being I had a part in creating, my choices suddenly had new consequences. I got really, really scared about what kind of world he would grow up in. About that time I read the Joanna Macy article on the Great Turning, and realized what an opportunity, a gift it was, to be alive to take part in this shift. That’s when I realized I cared enough about conserving energy to choose a sweater and a lower temp in the house, over a t-shirt and 72 degrees on the thermostat. I recognized that I was willing to go back out to the car if I forgot to bring in bags to reuse at the store. That I now cared more about not burning gas, than about consuming whatever I would pick up with that extra trip to town. That I would seek gentle ways to share my intention and insights with others.

Above I wrote “indeed” and “to date.” Let’s keep those words in mind, and be encouraged that we are not defined by what we have done to date, and that the solution lies in our each and every deed from here on. Shift your consciousness. Move through fear, take action, seize the possibility.

My company Greener Days helps people reduce their ecological footprint. This column, "Greener Days with Sara Gordon" on The Lohasian, will help you do the same by putting to use simple, often even easy, methods I will introduce to help you choose a sustainable way of living.

See you here next time !

All good things,
Sara

For more information on Sara Gordon's Company Greener Days:
Go To www.Greenerdays.net

For more information on Eco-Philosopher Joanna Macy:
Go to www.Yesmagazine.com

Sara Gordon is the founder of Greener Days, a green coaching and buying service assisting businesses and homeowners with reduction of ecological footprints. Sara is a LEED® Accredited Professional through the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design program. She is also one of 1,000 North American Climate Ambassadors of The Climate Project and trained with Al Gore, in a team of educators and scientists, to educate citizens on environmentalism.

She is a long-time sustainability advocate and educator who works in the Conservation Planning division of the Peconic Land Trust in Southampton, and is consulting Service Learning Coordinator to the Sag Harbor School District. Sara is a member of the Long Island Climate Solutions Network, the Mayor's Task Force for the Greening of Sag Harbor, the Sag Harbor Citizens' Advisory Committee to Southampton Town, and the South Fork Chapter of the Long Island Progressive Coalition.

Sara lives in Sag Harbor, New York with her husband Geoffrey, son Sam and dog Madeline.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

GM Volt Electric Concept Car Set to Hit Market




--science + technology + innovation--

GM is putting its money where its mouth is, and has announced that it fully intends to release its electric car, called Volt, for sale in late 2010.

The electric car is not all electric though, and will actually feature a small gas-powered engine which will essentially run as a generator; re-charging the batteries after they're depleted (approximately every 40 miles). The Volt is a respectable, if still compromised version of an environmentally conscious driving machine, as it still produce some carbon emissions due to its (limited) use of gasoline.

GM is aggressive on taking this car to market and is looking to the Volt to strengthen its brand and its commitment to fuel economy. Dodge made a similar play with its Viper in the 1990's, which solidified its image for performance and styling, much as Toyota used the Prius to green the entire company despite their massive production of gas guzzlers like the Tundra and Sequoia.

"When they think of GM, the iconic brand is, unfortunately, the Hummer, and that must change" said Bob Lutz, Chairman, GM Vice Chairman. "We have since realized that letting Toyota gain that mantle of green respectability and technology leadership has really cost us dearly in the marketplace," Lutz continued. "We have to reestablish GM's leadership and the Volt is, frankly, an effort to leapfrog anything that is done by any other competitor."

The industry has all eyes on GM to see if they can win over the market the way Toyota did in years past.


home + food + family:
Luxury Organic Vodka Hits the Market, Targeting the High End Conscious Consumer


Anheuser-Busch Cos. is going "high style" and launching a premium brand of organic vodka called Purus. The company is selling each bottle at $35 a pop, and is planning on selling it at exclusive bars, restaurants and lounges in the Northeast. The spirit comes in an elegant raindrop shaped clear bottle evoking a simple clean modern aesthetic. But its the contents on the inside that are the real draw; made of pristine water from the Italian Alps and organic wheat. The 80 proof vodka is set to attract "the modern luxury connoisseur, of the conscious set."

The Purus is the brewer's second spirits brand, releasing a raspberry-and-licorice-flavored liquor called Jekyll & Hyde
in 2005. This initiative resulted in the formation of a subsidiary to develop and market other liquors. Chief Executive August Busch IV has said that the company must consider drinks beyond beer to win back consumers. Vodka clearly making the short list of spirits on the production line, as it is the fastest-growing spirit in the U.S. last year, with an 11 percent gain, to $4 billion, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

The company is looking to have Purus become the leading brand in luxury vodka market, by combining strict organic practices and paramount attention to the high end palate, and sensibility.

Monday, November 26, 2007

trends + business + politics:
Barney's Luxury Retailer Goes "Green-ish" for the Holidays


Madison Avenue super chic luxury retailer Barney's is greening it up this holiday season.

The "go to" shop spot for the celebrity and the swanky set has launched a nationwide environmentally friendly "green" campaign that includes themed store windows, shopping bags, and a catalog with featured environmentally friendly products. Granted the move is more focused on being "up on the trend" then being on the "sustainable bend," Barney's is offering some interesting pieces for the mindful set...granted, those with very deep pockets. Simon Doonan, the Creative Director behind Barneys had lots to say when faced with the criticism and skepticism about the integrity and authenticity of the campaign.

"I think people would be taken aback to have a dept store or fashion store get preachy and scientific with them. You know what I mean? That's not our role. Our role is distraction, self-indulgence, and so if we're going green it has to be done in context and in an appropriate way, and for me that's with a light touch and a bit of humor."

For many buyers it would require good doses of "humor" alright, with sustainable products side by side in a catalogue with Ostrich skin handbags.

"We're a luxury retailer," a Barneys New York spokesman says. "So we're not a green company, but our buyers have put a lot of effort in really scouring the universe for really great green products."

We'll see how consumers and industry responds to the creative campaign. In the meantime, head over to Madison Avenue to check out one of their "mindfully centered" windows, depicting Santa's Fair Trade Sweatshop and the Barneys green version of The 12 Days of Christmas, including six compost toilets.

Has Green Jumped the Shark?


--Feature: "Consumption Junction w/John Rooks"--

Jumping the Shark is the defining moment when something has reached its peak. That instant that you know that, from now on, it's all downhill. Jumping the Shark is a cultural reference to the demise of the TV show Happy Days, when Fonzie literally "jumped the shark" and virtually ended a good sitcom. I wonder if this whole “green” thing Jumped the Shark?

A few recent moments that may point to this phenomenon in terms of “Going Green”:

1. Shrek the Third is marketed with the phrase “Get Green.”
2. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is touted as green because it was cut down by hand.
3. NBC Green Week

As I cringed my way through the Cast of “Scrubs” letting me know that unplugging appliances will reduce global warming during NBC’s Green Week, I wondered: Have we entered into “Green” as a trend instead of “Green as an Ideology”. Ideology is a big word, but that’s how cultures change. That’s how, dare I say, sustainable change happens. People believe differently than before.

When “Going Green” becomes a product or company attribute – rather than a mission – how sustainable is it? If American consumerism is as wobbly as it seems in terms of our willingness to buy (into) the next big thing, I wonder if there is sticking power to anything anymore.

It bothers me. I’m worried about it. I’m worried that “being green” could become the equivalent of wearing bellbottoms – a fashion statement.

If Hollywood co-opts an idea, it catches on. No doubt. The Hip Persuasion is powerful. But can it last? What’s a LOHASian to do? Do we need to reclaim Green as more than just a punch-line branding opportunity? (yes)

Or, do we embrace the attention that the clown is giving to a serious matter as validation that the matter is reaching a broader level of consciousness? (yes) Can we have it both ways? Authentic and Popular? (I don’t think so)

On a positive note: It’s up to us. What we do with the media attention will dictate the future sustainability of ethical consumerism.

I think all of this is why intention matters and why authenticity still resonates with the ethical consumer crowd. So get out there and consume. But be educated. Read. Learn about the companies you support. Don’t just swallow the beautiful ambiguity of greenwashing. The best tool to rail against companies who are parasites to the green brand is to question their intention – make them support their claims.

*Consumption Junction is a new column focusing on culture, advertising and the ethical consumer written by John Rooks. John is the President of DWELL Creative, a progressive advertising and marketing agency voted one the Top 25 agencies by LOHAS Journal.





Friday, November 23, 2007

celebrity + charity + global relief:
Celebrity A-Lister's Join Kids Charity Effort Set to Reach 500 Million People Globally



Some of the world's most notable film, music and literary stars are getting behind the Listen Campaign; an extraordinary organization seeking to aid the suffering of the worlds children by asking the world to listen and experience the harsh realities confronting these kids.

Natalie Portman, Samuel L Jackson, Ashley Judd, Ben Kingsley,Jessica Lange, Brooke Shields, Kurt Russell, and Goldie Hawn will team with literary notables such as African Nobel Prize Winner Professor Wole Soyinka and Ishmael Beah ( author of New York Times' bestseller "A Long Way Gone") to create a media campaign that will reach an astounding 500 million people in 60 countries through television, radio, web, print and mobile phones.

The annual campaign will harness the power of creative artists (film stars, music performers, visual artists, writers, directors and music producers) to create a cross-media campaign that will highlight the needs of children affected by poverty, war, disease, exploitation, natural disasters and AIDS. The Listen Campaign then raises funds through its charity that will benefit 200 charities worldwide estimated to raise $100m in the first year alone, with $1bn over the next decade.

The film talent backing the effort had visited children's charity projects in India, Egypt, Peru, the US and Uganda to film the process of listening to children's stories. These filmed experience were produced into six short "webisodes"and are now online at www.listencampaign.com. In addition, CBS Television will air these stories in the first of two primetime specials entitled "Why Listen" for broadcast in June 2008, with 48 Hours' Susan Zirinsky overseeing as Executive Producer.

The literary talent backing the initiative are donating short stories to Listen to be featured in newspapers and magazines around the world as the campaign unfolds.

The culmination of the Listen Campaign is "Listen Live" - a global broadcast event staged in Los Angeles in June, which will see music stars collaborating to perform one-off covers of the world's best known hits. Stars participating include Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame and legendary producer Don Was (Rolling Stones) has already signed up to Music Director the event. Other artists headlining the event will be announced soon.

Listen is providing an innovative and powerful media platform for creative artists to harness their talent for the purpose of aiding disadvantaged children to the world. The public will be provided with a wealth of music, art, stories, and films, as well as the down to earth stories of children living with poverty, disease,natural disaster, exploitation, war and AIDS. In addition the public will be guaranteed that 100% of funds raised will go directly to the Listen Charity, with none going to fund the media campaign or broadcast event, and that 90% of donations will reach projects in the field. Every donor will receive five feedback reports over two years on how their money is being used to change children's lives.

For more information on how you can listen, watch and and support the campaign, go to: www.listencampaign.com

Thursday, November 22, 2007

.Op-Ed:
A Thanksgiving Day Editors Note




Happy Thanksgiving Day to all.

I love this holiday, for the namesake and the tradition that it has come to embody; getting the family together, sharing a meal, getting the home ready for company. It involves no secular worship, nor any frivolous gift giving, it does not celebrate any single individual, nor honor any war or conquest (as many holidays do). Its morally questionable historical context has nearly been lost in the memory of the masses. It is a feel good day for most of us...especially those of us with a roof over our head, and food to serve our family, or for that matter - those of us who are blessed enough to even have a family. I like this day very much because in principle what it asks you to do is stand in gratitude.

What a wonderful idea it is to dedicate a day to this important principle, even though gratitude is something we should practice daily, moment to moment. I wish we had a "Judgement-Free Day" and a "Generosity Day" or how about an "Empathy Day." Holidays that celebrate the best of who we are at our core, or who we can become, are far more meaningful than say holidays celebrating dead presidents and the labor force (neither of which, anyone truly "celebrates.").

Today I will spend the day with my family. I will give thanks for the opportunity and the honor of having each of them in my life. Every moment I have with them is a blessing. I will give thanks for the food on the table and the peace outside my own immediate front door. I will be thankful for my ability to realize these and many other things to be thankful for today, and ask that tomorrow will be no different. And in that thanks I will also think of all those who have so very much less and in so many ways, and pray that we can all as a human community figure out how to help that part of our global family - all our family members who will go hungry today, and who will not know the warmth and joy that will fill many of our homes.

I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. I thank you for coming here and visiting The Lohasian. I hope that this special day will be joyful for you and your family.

With Warm Wishes,
J.Fenster
Editor-in-Chief

"To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude."
--Albert Schweitzer

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

body + mind + spirit:
Thanksgiving as a Way of Life





Thanks-giving is a daily practice rather than an annual holiday, for those seeking a truly inspired life. Here is a nothing short of a magical video called " A Good Day" by Brother Steindl-Rast. Rast is an internationally renowned spiritual figure, speaker, author.

At present he also serves a worldwide Network for Grateful Living, through www.gratefulness.org, an interactive website with several thousand participants daily from more than 243 countries.


*Running Time 5:24

home + food + family:
Modmix Delivers Best Organic Mixers for Holiday Entertaining



Tis the season to be jolly...and well, inebriated. Truth be told, between Thanksgiving and New Years the world probably sees more eating and drinking then any time of year. For the conscious consumer these 5 weeks are becoming increasingly easy to navigate, with an ever expanding selection or organic eats, drinks, and even wines and liquors. Now, organic mixers have arrived - and with a bang.

Modmix blends the finest organic ingredients using hand crafted recipes that will leave the rest of the non-organic competition in the dust, including; citrus margarita, french martini, lavender lemon drop, mojito and pomegranate cosmopolitan.

The company was created by Gretchen Nix, Joni Ryan and Tricia McCracken. All three co-founders share a love for design, organic living and, of course, a finely crafted cocktail. The result is a cool new organic product for the conscious consumer, guaranteed to add a little bit more merriment to the holiday season.

For more information go to: modmixbeverages.com


Tasty Holiday Drink Recipes Using Modmix

Hot Pomegranate Cozy
2 parts Modmix Organic Pomegranate Cosmopolitan, heated 1 part rum Garnish with cinnamon stick Serve in a martini glass or holiday mug

Twinkle Star
2 parts Modmix Organic French Martini 1 part champagne 1 part vodka Garnish with sugar crystal Serve in a martini glass

Lavender Lemon Drop Snowflake
1 part Modmix Organic Lavender Lemon Drop 1 part vanilla vodka Shake over ice, serve up in a martini glass


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

trends + business + politics:
Leading Sustainable Fashion and Beauty Trends


The last decade has seen a rapidly growing transition between mindless consumerism to mindful consumerism. Industry has quickly responded by rolling out more "awareness driven" products that address the market changes. The "boom" that is driven by the expanding "LOHAS" market (all stuff as it relates to a lifestyle of health and sustainability), seem to be in the midst of a renaissance rather than a peak of a "bubble." All industry experts are expecting continued growth in areas such as green, organic, and alternative health and healing spending. Below is a list of several trends that are part of the expanding marketplace.


Big Brands Go Green

The Organic Exchange, a non-profit advocacy group, recently determined that the demand for organic cotton on the part of clothing makers is increasing at an annual rate of 93%. The organization projects that sales of organic cotton apparel will reach $2.6 billion by the close of 2007. Organic cotton apparel is now being offered by large labels and retailers such as American Apparel, Wal-Mart and Zara. Household brand names such as Nike have announced plans to determine exactly how to remove greenhouse gas from its sneakers, and Levi Strauss introduces an organic jeans line. Such shifts/investments in the market by big players point to a longer term play in the sustainable fashion market.

New Materials for the New Fashion Set

New materials are being integrated into fashion by the new "green" fashion set, as well as established labels. Use of fibers from wood pulp, bamboo, seaweed, soy and corn blends with organic silks and cashmere's are becoming increasingly common place.

Beauty Biz Gets Earth Conscious

Beauty industry is transforming with the steady market growth of 15% - 20% in annual sales over the past nine years in quality, natural, chemically-free and organically produced products. This natural organic trend represents a major lifestyle shift as is evidenced by Wal-Mart's interest in natural and organic personal care.

Health and Wellness Redefine Day Wear

The idea of what is day wear is changing as two-thirds of American women dedicate at least half of their closet space to active-wear. Women are increasingly not saving their workout clothes solely for the gym. Instead, they're trading traditional sportswear for active-wear as their casual apparel of choice. As a result active-wear manufacturers are taking a fashion forward approach and signing partnerships with high end designers. Examples of this include the recent deal between Stella McCartney and Adidas, and Alexander McQueen and Puma. This trend is also seen in the retail sector as retailers are shifting in the direction of "lifestyle" centered stores. American Eagle's new retail concept, Martin + Osa is dedicated to the concept of fusing high-tech sport and casual sportswear, creating a new lifestyle approach for the buyer. L.L. Bean, the grandfather of active-wear, is creating "bricks and mortar" shopping emporiums dedicated to celebrating the wearing of active-wear in the Great Indoors. Even the celebrity sector is getting in on the game; Scarlett Johansson will launch a line of urban active-wear next year in partnership with Reebok.

Spa Experience For The Masses

Style, beauty and pampering have always gone hand in hand. As style and beauty trends are shifting, so is the spa industry. The trend toward a more health and wellness centered lifestyle has transformed the idea of spa to something available to all consumers and not just the select few. Increasingly consumers are purchasing into product lines (body scrubs, wraps, masks etc) that they would typically get in a brick and mortar spa experience. People are clamoring to "Spa" on their own. Spa's are also getting in on the game, by selling the spa experience to the consumer in their home. An example of this is the Viceroy Palm Springs Resort & Estrella Spa, Palm Springs , CA, which now offers an "Ice House Treatment" where guests are provided with all of the necessary supplies and expected to perform the protocol themselves.

Overall the cultural shifts seem to point to a shift in the overall value put on health, wellness and a greater sense of consciousness that is not only transforming the lives of people, but also how they define and ultimately influence the culture of style worldwide.

*This article was in part based on an article by Alf Nucifora for "Fibre to Fashion"

Monday, November 19, 2007

2008 Green Car of the Year, by Green Car Journal

Green Car Journal announces their pick of 2008 Green Car of Year at Los Angeles Auto Show.


Friday, November 16, 2007

celebrity + charity + global relief:
Madonna Partners with Gucci to Help Orphans in Malawi



Madonna with adopted son David (who is from Malawi)


On February 6, 2008 Gucci will host a star studded fund raiser spearhead by Madonna. The event will benefit UNICEF and the charity she founded in 2006 Raising Malawi, which focuses on trying to end the poverty and hardship suffered by Malawi's 1 million orphans (and is the location from which she adopted her son David).

The event will also mark the opening of Gucci's largest store in the world, on New York's Fifth Avenue, and will feature a fund raising dinner and musical performance by the pop star.

art+architecture+design:
Being Environmental Without Being "Green" - The Design World of Wells Mason








The tag line on the "about us" page of Wells Mason's company Ironwood Industries reads "mean what you build" and we believe he does.

The Austin based company woodworking and metalworking studio produces furniture with designs from "resuscitated materials" that might otherwise land in landfills or scrap yards. Mason's Umasi Collection, composed of chairs and tables, is whimsical, elegant, and metaphoric.

Polished design elements of each Umasi piece seem to leaning on the raw material of bulky wood slabs - becoming entirely dependent on them for support. A chair becomes a poetic statement of man's inability to escape his reliance on nature, as much as the immediate need for us to solve what to do with the vestiges of that which we use and abandon. The result is effective, elegant and modern.

Mason uses materials that he describes as having a virtual absences of "embedded energy costs" - the kind of costs associate with typical recycled materials. He uncovers his materials from local shops, suppliers, and scrap yards. The artist steers clear of what he calls glamourous recycled materials like sunflower seed plywood or bamboo or milk-jug plastic. In his approach the energy savings are in the costs associated with reprocessing, repackaging and redistributing the typical recycled materials.

Mason also distinguishes himself from other sustainable furniture designers, by not associating with "being green." Instead he aligns himself with the likes of landscapers who control erosion with used tires, or architects who re imagine old buildings into new spaces.

His approach might not be typically "green," but it is boldly telling of what it takes for all of us to to change the direction of the excess and misuse of our existent resources; going local, thinking out of the box of how to use what we already have, and to re imagine use of resources available to create new purpose.

The work of Wells Mason is as much about innovative design, as it is a statement on how we must redefine our own approach to living sustainably.

For more information go to www.ironwoodindustries.com


MyPath TV Delivers Enlightment To Your Desktop



For those of you seeking a quick fix of spiritual inspiration, you might want to check out MyPathTV, an Internet Channel featuring the who's who of the spiritual and self development universe.

The site provides its members videos featuring everyone from Andrew Weil to Ram Daas to Buddhist actor Richard Gere discussing how to transform and empower your life as well as how to heal yourself from any number of physical, emotional or spiritual ailments. In the mix you will also discover great video on Yoga and other wellness oriented lifestyle practices.

This mind, body, spirit video channel was founded in 2006 by Joseph Lehnan, a former Wall Street executive who developed the concept after seeking online resources to help him deal with a personal transition. Lehnan partnered with Washington DC based TEAM Group, a television production and services company as well as with spiritual community giant, Beliefnet to create an impressive solution for anyone seeking to empower and transform their lives right from their desktop.


fashion + travel + music:
Sustainable Jewelry for the Eco-Set

Eco fashion is hitting every runway from Portland to Paris, driving nothing short of a fashion craze and taking along with it the sustainable accessories and jewelry markets. We just discovered some of the coolest jewelry that is making the sustainable scene, guaranteed to add style and good sense to to your Eco friendly wardrobe.



Colorful Bangles made of recycled plastic bags - (@Great Green Goods)




Sterling Silver and Sustainable Balinese Wood Ring (@the treasurebox)





Recycled Fabric & Textile Jewelry -Silvina Romero (@Silvina Romero Blogspot)



John Ferdinand Sustainable Wood Tear Drop Cufflinks (@ this next)




Thursday, November 15, 2007

IKOO Scooter Delivers Great Design for an Eco-Friendly Ride



--science + technology + innovation--

Looking for a great way to maneuver about town, then hop on the cool IKOO. The scooter is a sassy looking little number guaranteed to turn the design geeks head while getting the job done of getting you around town in Eco friendly style.

The $900 machine, weighing only 240lbs is built on a surgical steel body and in turn guarantees durability, while offering flexibility of transport with its fold able seat and handlebars. With a quiet 600 W "Equake S6" electric motor and dual disk breaking system you can get a nice ride ranging up to 18mph (going up to 18 miles per charge). Not exactly for the speed junky, the IKOO is designed instead as a sleek alternative to the traditional scooter; delivering both good looks and and an environmentally friendly ride.


fashion + travel + music:
Mamapalooza Music Festival - Motherhood Redefined One Band Performance at a Time


Ever heard of Mamapalooza ? Well, if you haven’t you will soon. Founded in 2002, Mamapalooza set out to do nothing less than redefine the idea of motherhood, fueled by a traveling music event of rocker moms. The movement/music event has become the media darling now reaching an estimated audience of five million through communities, homes and networks.

The phenomena was founded by Joy Rose, a true visionary driving nothing short of a mother’s/women’s movement from her house in the suburbs of New York City. Rose is a lower east side rocker chick turned mom turned movement leader, who now dressed in pink feathers, fishnet tights and leopard print mini skirts is helping women change perceptions of their identity as moms. Her journey and call for change began in 1994, when she crash landed in the suburbs of New York City married with four kids under five years of age, and confronting a life threatening illness.

“ I was in the process of dying, and I knew that I needed to rediscover what was lost inside of me, and that was music. Being in the suburbs I felt totally out of the loop, but when I re-emerged within my life, and the community, what I found was people in all walks of life, with a dream deferred,” Rose explained.

The process of Rose’s “coming back to life” brought the big questions of identity “front and center;” “Who am I, and what makes me happy?” In Joys case it was music. The story from this point forward is what happens after the “light goes on.” Joy reemerged as a musician with a new band (“Moms on Prozac”) and a radical vision of transforming the notion of motherhood from martyr and saint to an impassioned individual with a complete identity and sense of self purpose in tact.

“If the world view of Moms changes to incorporate concepts of artistic, gorgeous, vivacious, intelligent sexual beings living out their passion collectively, then we’ve done a good job.” Joy states.

In 2002 Mamapalooza was born; one part music festival and entertainment brand, one part philosophy asking women to “live loud and become mothers of unlimited self esteem.” Today Mamapalooza is a multi platform brand operating an international music and arts festival, a creativity and lifestyles conference, a radio program, a music publishing arm with sights on building new programs and extending the message onto other media platforms. In addition Joy founded the Motherhood foundation the 501C3 arm that amongst other activities is setting sights on creating the first Museum of Motherhood in the world.

The message of Mamapalooza is at the heart and center of every product the company produces; asking women to harness, cultivate and embrace their own passion and identity post-mommyhood, while simultaneously asking them to strip outdated notions of the self sacrificing mother stereotype. One look at at any one of the thousands of women performing and involved in the Mamapalooza events, and one can see the that Rose’s vision is ultimately answering a desperate call from modern moms seeking guidance on rediscovering their inspiration and sense of self.

Mamapalooza Festival runs through month of May annually, worldwide. Tonight, November 15, 2007, you can catch Joy performing with her band "Housewives on Prozac" at the Cutting Room in New York City (19 West 24th Street) at 7:45 PM in a benefit concert for the Motherhood Foundation and the PHASE petition to shut down Indian Point.

For more information go to: www.mamapalooza.com


Video of one site of the Mamapalooza 2006 Festival






Wednesday, November 14, 2007

film + television + print:
Independent Spirit Awards Go Green


Sean Penn + Robin Wright Penn at 2007 Spirit Awards


Green-mania is taking over every corner of Hollywood, from mainstream celebs and media to the independents. The Independent Spirit Awards just announced that they are going Eco-friendly from head to toe for their 2008 event in February.

The Oscars of the Indie's plans to show some serious love for the environment from everything ranging from food preparation and type of food served, to making use of recycled print materials, biodiesel-fueled generators, and offering its attendees a ride-share program.

In addition, the company partnered with B-side to offer voting members a mean by which to check out nominated films through online streaming, and allow such users to vote online to avoid paper waste.
The nominees are slated to be announced on November 27, 2007.

The celeb studded event is set to take place Feb. 23 in Santa Monica.

art + architecture + design:
Eco Friendly Hotel Chain Breaks Ground in Seattle


Starwood Capital Group is spearheading the development of a chain of Eco-friendly mixed use housing, combining hotels and residences. The "1" hotel as it is named, is rolling out in Seattle, Paris; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Mammoth Lakes, Calif.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla, and New York City (see previous story).

The project just broke ground in the Seattle location and promises to be complete by 2009. Located on Second Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle, this development is estimated at $200 million dollars. The site will include 110 city suites and 98 condominiums as well as 40,000 square foot full-service athletic club, a 8,000 square foot day spa, a restaurant and a specialty grocer with local and organic food. In addition the location will feature the following unique green elements:

  • Efficient Lighting: The 1 will use energy-saving bulbs, with overall lighting design executed by a make up artist, for all hotel bathrooms.
  • Eco Friendly Bathrooms: Dual-flush toilets to minimize water usage and in-room key slots to activate power.
  • Green Materials: Facade of several "1s" with ivy, giving the otherwise modern buildings the feel of an English garden. The added benefit of this is that the builder can use inexpensive materials, like stucco, underneath.
  • Eco Savvy Parking Garage: Parking lots will support the use of electric vehicles by giving them a place to plug in for the night.
  • Giving Design: Lobby seating will include stumps from logged forests.
  • Organic Eats: Steve Hanson, the New York entrepreneur who started the B.R. Guest restaurants, will run the organic eatery in each hotel.

For more information go to: Starwood Capital


art + architecture + design:
Artful Ad Campaigns Drive New Generation To Historic Organization





Advertising can be crass and benign or riveting and artful. In some cases a good campaign can transcend its function as a tool of commerce and rise to the ranks of inspired art. Recently the Red Cross launched several campaigns that are worth noting. Each campaign is thought provoking and "out of the box" of what we would expect from this organization. What do you think about these images and the campaigns?





Tuesday, November 13, 2007

fashion + travel + music:
Vintage Chic, Online Retailer Delivers High Style For The Eco Fashion Set



Pink chiffon flowered 1950's party dress with tucked details (Item: 5S452)


White satin 1930's era lingerie gown with lace details. (Item: LG062)



Black silk chiffon and lace B. Altman dress from the 1950's (Item:5S534)


Early 1960's blue crinkle chiffon cocktail dress with beaded designs. (Item: SD013)



Vintage clothing has always been "in" with trend setters, but the green movement and thinking sustainably about all our resources, has brought recycling into the fashion world, and Vintage into the realms of high style.

Vintage might be fabulous, but finding pieces that transcend time and maintain integrity over the decades is not always easy. One company, Hemlock Vintage, does an extraordinary job of discovering incredible pieces spanning the last century that bring out the best of every era.

The company is based in Maryland and was founded in 1999, by the owner who sold pieces from her own vintage collection to start the business. Everything on the site is handpicked, inspected, refurbished and cleaned. The selection is inspired and clearly curated with a meticulous and knowledgeable eye.

Go to Hemlock Vintage.com to see the entire collection.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Twelve Design Ideas From Nature

--science + technology + innovation--

Author and visionary Janine Benyus speaks at the TED conference on 12 design ideas from nature. A mind opening discussion on the miracles, and inevitable influences, of the "ultimate design" - our natural environment.

Go to Biomimicry.net for more information.




Friday, November 9, 2007

Socially Responsible Film Festival Linked to Oil Company, A Study of a PR Nightmare


--film + television + print--

Artivist Film Festival just got slammed in the middle of a massive controversy linked to accepting sponsorship funds from the Petrobras oil company. Apparently, the Brazil owned company drills in pristine areas of the amazon with plans to drill in a region of the Yasuni National Park Biosphere Reserve. Since news of this leaked out, celebrities such as Daryl Hannah and NGO's such as Amazon Watch have very publicly dropped their support.

The fall out began last week when the festival announced the oil company as a presenting sponsor. The announcement caused a major stir, especially from Martin O'Brien whose film "Justica Now" was premiering at the event. The director appealed to the board of the festival to return all funds and sever ties. The festival had committed to dropping the sponsor but apparently had kept a significant portion of the funds. The festival has yet to respond to the PR disaster.