Thursday, November 18, 2010

10 Things Thursday: 10 Things to Wear

The Story Behind 10 Things Thursdays
For most of us there will be some level of gift shopping to do in the coming weeks. On each of the 10 Thursdays from October 21, up until the day before Christmas Eve, it is my goal to present 10 ideas, in 10 different themes, for eco-friendly gifting. Many suggestions will be places I know or products I've purchased or received. One hundred ideas by no means makes a comprehensive list. But it's a start. Suggestions for future lists are most welcome. Here is List 5:

10 Wearable Things
  1. Apparel from Novica. In association with National Geographic, NOVICA creates a bridge between artists and artisans around the world and the online community who wishes to purchase their products. There are choices for both men and women, ranging from cotton batik shirts and robes from Bali to alpaca ponchos from Peru. An artisan story card is included with each purchase.
  2. Locally-Sourced Wool or Alpaca Accessories. You might be able to find these at your local farmer’s market. Or look online at LocalHarvest to find a source. An online tool lets you calculate the distance from your home to the vendor. If you are a knitter or craftsperson, you can shop for yarn and fleeces (in the Shop section under Wool and Fibers) at LocalHarvest as well.
  3. Shoes. Let me tell you about two companies. First, TOMS Shoes, whose tagline is One for One. In 2006, entrepreneur (and former Amazing Race contestant) Blake Mycoskie was traveling in Argentina when he was struck by the number of children with no shoes to protect their feet. He returned home with 200 pairs of alpargatas, the traditional Argentinian rope-soled shoe, and an idea for a company. Mycoskie began making shoes inspired by the alpargata, and after he had sold 10,000 pairs, he returned to Argentina with 10,000 pairs to give away. The commitment continues: every time someone buys a pair, another pair is donated to a child in need. Over 1,000,000 pairs have been given away! Second, Simple Shoes. Simple Shoes is committed to making their product 100% sustainable. Their current product materials include: recycled carpet padding, plastics, inner tubes, and car tires, and sustainable bamboo and hemp. I own a pair of Black Satire-Hemp, a Vegan shoe, and one of the first offerings! The bottom is made from a recycled car tire, the laces from recycled soda bottles. They are certainly not stylish enough for a tennis club, but are perfect for the beach or the backyard (and nearly guiltless). The styling has come a long way since I bought them. D-Kay in light gray might pass for business casual at an outdoor event, if you keep the name to yourself.
  4. Eco-Friendly Denim. R.E.U.S.E. (Recycle.Environment.U.Save.Earth.) offers denim jeans, shorts, and skirts of 80% recycled denim which would appeal to the thin teenager. Sold online. goodsociety offers jeans of certified organic denim made from cotton raised by independent farmers in India. One quarter of the company profits are donated to charity. Nice, durable-looking jeans, but pricey. Sold in a few stores and online. Levi Strauss & Co., the one which started it all, has been taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of its products. Earlier this month the company announced the WaterLess jeans collection which dramatically reduces the amount of water used in the garment finishing process. The first such jeans will be available in January 2011.
  5. A Winter Hat of Turtle Fur (Headbands or scarves are good, too, especially if you are traveling from one climate to another). These high-quality products are made in Vermont from 100% acrylic brushed fleece knitted in the USA. The website has an extensive catalogue and a store locator, but the site itself is wholesale only. A number of items are available through Amazon. Or a Sun Hat from Tilley or Sunday Afternoons to provide protection from dangerous rays next summer or if you are headed somewhere south soon. (See my Safe Fun in the Sun post from July 1.)
  6. A Panther Vision PowerCap™. It looks like a fine baseball cap, but it is much more. Equipped with 3 LED lights and an easy on/off switch concealed under the brim, it can light up the darkness, focussing 3 levels of light just where you need it. As entertaining as a tie that can squirt water, the PowerCap™ is practical as well. It is lighter weight and less bulky (and dorky) than a headlamp and allows you to keep your hands free to tackle any task. It is perfect for outdoor nighttime activities, emergencies, or even reading in bed! The LEDs should last for 100,000+ hours. The battery should provide up to 75 hours of continuous light and can easily be replaced. Available in a variety of colors. There is a store locator at the site. I know the local Lowe’s is well-stocked.
  7. A GG2G Bag. “Saved and Made in the USA,” ReVinylized® Bags are fabricated from recycled billboards (formerly seen on I-95). The Salvo! Collection offers bags crafted of vinyl scraps salvaged from a manufacturer of restaurant seating. A portion of each sale is donated to Farm Sanctuary. You can read more about this Milford, CT company in this post from July 7.
  8. Jewelry from the Leakey Collection™. The Leakey Collection™ was founded in  Kenya in 2002 by Katy and Philp Leakey (the youngest son of paleo-anthropologists Drs. Louis and Mary Leakey). The Leakey Collection™ designs interior home and fashion accessories which are handcrafted in mobile work sites by Maasai women and men, employing over 1200 Kenyans. Using natural elements such as fallen wood, grass and ceramic, these designers create unique products while protecting the environment and providing economic opportunity to the local communities. You can shop through the site or use the online store locator.
  9. A RuMe™ (ReUseMe) Cuff. Designed as a reusable cuff for a coffee cup, this product  has an added zippered pocket, allowing it to function as a secure armband wallet (for your coffee money). Thin as it is, I know from experience that the cuff does keep your hands protected from a hot beverage. It is machine washable; one size fits all. Designed in Denver, Colorado, RuMe™ products are manufactured in a South Korean government-certified Fair Trade Factory.    
  10. A Solar-Powered Watch. I have a tiny wrist, and I had a tiny watch, with a battery so small that only a jeweler could replace it. It must be something about my chemistry, but a battery could never quite make it through a year, and the cost for replacements really began to add up. One Christmas my husband gave me a Citizen Eco-Drive watch, powered by a solar conversion panel and energy cell. It was an extravagant gift, but do I love it! The watch keeps perfect time, and only ran out of juice once, when I put it in a drawer on vacation and left it there for an entire week. After a few hours of sunlight it was good as new. If you can trust the one you love to take good care of a nice present, this might be just the one you’re looking for. It’s very stylish, too. There are both men’s and women’s models. 
Citizen Women's EW0700-98A Eco-Drive Silhouette Sport Watch
Eco-Drive Sport Watch 
panther vision BLK Lighted Hat head lights
Panther Vision Cap "Lights On"
NOVICA Men's alpaca wool poncho, 'Andean Hills'
Novica Men's Poncho
Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat Tan Large
Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat

TOMS Men's Classic Canvas Slip-On,Black,8 M
TOM's Men's Shoe

Simple Women's D-Kay Leather Fashion Sneaker,Bark,9 M US
Simple Women's D-Kay

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