Friday, October 31, 2008

Bendel Open See or... we like to call it, Bendel No See Green! OK so, Cleo and I catch the 4:22 a.m train into New York city so that we can have the honor of standing in line for 4 hours, penance for being allow show our goods (no, not those goods!) to a Bendel's buyer. See our mini movie below of the que forming. The gates to designer glory opened at 9. We were quickly shuffled into Mecca, and passed through with Acela-like efficency. Next thing we know we are in front of the "yes or no-er" herself. We must say here that the handbags buyer makes the experience painless, but Bendel's as it turns out is only interested in leather handbags. Now, perhaps that's her stock phrase to let us down easy, but the next line out of her mouth is astonishing...she says "sadly, Bendel's is not really interested in eco-friendly." WOW!!! What would Henri have said about that? "C'est incroyable, mademoiselle!"
Now, we don't want you to get the idea that we are bitter, oh no, we are glad to know that we need not get up before we went to bed, stand on ice cold cement waiting in a line, praying for a decent coffee shop to open (what the hell Illy, 7:00am? No one in NYC wants a latte at 6am?) so that we can thaw our frozen finger-cicles, only to be told "non". We are not bitter, just a bit surprised that the upscale Bendel's customer is apparently not interested in the green movement. Who knew?

On a positive note, we met some really awesome women, like Leslie Marie
who makes fabulous clothing and Cat of Cleo & Cat who makes these awesome Alice-in-Wonderland meets Vivan Westwood honking rings that totally rock-you must see. Plus there was a woman behind us who brought her line of satin bags and just behind her a couple of women who had the CUTEST bikinis- wish we had had time to get their info.
Anyway, we don't want to discourage anyone from having this experience because it's a rare occurance. Most stores make it impossible to get the opportunity to show your products to their buyers. It is reported that this is the way Todd Oldham (back when he was doing fashion) got his start. So for all you design entrepreneurs out there who think their products would be perfect at Bendel's, go for it! Just remember to get there early. And by early, we mean 6am, because the doors close at 12noon sharp. And how pissed would you be if you had been waiting for hours and didn't get a chance to see a buyer? Oh and bring a crossword, warm clothes...and of course, a latte.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Put Some Green in your Orange & Black

No reason why all your holidays can't be a little greener.
Let's start with Halloween...don't be scared, we'll help you through this.
  • How about buying an organic pumpkin for carving.
  • Don't forget to toast those seeds-they're a yummy snack or taste great on a salad. Get creative and try adding some fun herbs & spices before you bake 'em.
  • Make sure you use non-toxic paint when painting on skin
  • Try giving our candy that is organic and not full of junk.
  • Costumes from Goodwill or children's consignment stores- there are so many there! Or better yet- make your own. Here are some funny (different) ideas.
Pumpkin Carving Primer
What a fantastically green idea! Carving organic pumpkins. Keep it low, keep it real carbon footprint that is. Think about it.
  1. Go buy an organic pumpkin from your local farmer's market (not the darn chain grocery store)
  2. Invite family and friends over for a pot luck carving.
  3. Use only one oven or pan to toast or roast (respectively). Putting a few seeds aside to plant next year, of course.
  4. Any of the caved pumpkin meat gets made into a lovely autumn soup. (See recipe below)
  5. lastly make shoes from the skin. (I kid)
How's that for cradle to cradle? Simple Pumpkin Bisque Recipe
Pumpkin Bisque

1 tablespoon green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin or fresh pumpkin
1 cup water
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Vegetable stock cubes, crushed
2 cups half and half
1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  1. In a saucepan, saute chopped green onion in butter until tender.
  2. Add canned pumpkin, water, brown sugar, salt, white pepper, cinnamon, and crushed chicken bouillon cubes; mix well. Heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in half-and-half and just heat through, but do not boil.
  4. Garnish with slices from lemon and chopped parsley.

Makes 5 servings.

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Greening the Guilford Arts Center

The prestigious Guilford Arts Center hosts an annual Holiday Event Sale called "Artistry" that draws artisans from around the country. This year it includes 150 artists-GG2G being one of them. We are so glad to participate as proceeds benefit the art school and center. Recently we attended the opening reception and had a chat with the store's manager, the lovely Bonita Roggow. See the video below and stop by the center if you're in the neighborhood. You'll find the most distinctive gifts around. Clothing, accessories, jewelry, pottery, ornaments, and much more! The sale in on until January 11th.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oozing Talent

Our friend Ryan stopped by our studio today to show us his latest t-shirts featuring his cool-ass logo printed all over the shirt. How cute is this? We've told him he needs to print these on some girly-style shirts so we can sport 'em. Ryan is a super-talented artist and musician. Check out his website. Enjoy. BTW- if you're in the hood on November 22 at 7pm, stop by our studio for our annual holiday party & shopping event. Ry-Ry will be spinning some vinyl for us as well as selling some of his tees.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ali & Day do L.A.

We just returned from a quick trip to Los Angeles where we participated in a The Green Gallery, a press and buyer event at The Gallery Los Angeles. We got to attend The Humanitarian Initiative fashion show (check out the quick clip of us waiting in line to get in-yummy organic drinks in hand) and see some great designs from American designers who are using sustainable materials to create gorgeous clothing and accessories.
  1. Sandy of EcoSkin makes sumptous dresses that look great on every body type.
  2. Teresa of oxumwear has stylish yoga wear made from bamboo and eucalyptus.
  3. Kathleen of Smart Glass brought her show-stopping jewelry made from recycled bottles. (See our Eco Medal of Honor column to the right)
  4. Christa of Yoga Tribe and Culture had great casual wear separates with great yoga inspired sayings.
  5. Cem of Isle of U brought his organic cotton and bamboo tshirts emblazoned with such messages as HOPE (Help our planet earth.)
These are just of few of the green designers we met. We were so proud to be in their company as not only are they super-nice people but they are doing their part to, as we say, "Look Hot While Saving the Planet."

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Food, Glorious Food

We just heard Teri Gross of WNPR's Fresh Air interview author Michael Pollan. What an amazing interview! Michael is the author of best-sellers, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History Of Four Meals and In Defense OF Food: An Eater's Manifesto. He also spoke about the article he wrote recently for the New York Times called "An Open Letter to the Next Farmer in Chief" regarding changes to the way we see food. This guy has some ideas that seem radical- yet they are so simple. I mean, why can't the White House devote 5 of its 17 acres to an organic farm that helps provide food for local food banks? That sounds like a fantastic idea!
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OK, let's just start this show off with an issue that's been bugging us for a while- that is what is now commonly referred to as "greenwashing." This is the practice of calling yourself a green company if you use compact flourescent lightbulbs...and that's all you do. Don't get us wrong, little things like these are important and can add up in the long run, but you can hardly call yourself a green company if that is all you are doing.
That lightbulb example comes to mind ('cause it really happened). We were at a trade show recently and a vendor there was calling themselves green. Upon being questioned about what green practices they followed they stated that they also recycled their office paper. Hurmfff!
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