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  • Our addiction to cheap stuff has become very expensive, new book argues

    American retail is riddled with cheap, fall-apart merchandise. We know this. Sales are a ploy to get a shopper to spend, as opposed to a boon for penny pinchers. Right. And how much mileage do we get from that old, overused adage, “You get what you pay for”? More than we’d like to admit. So […]

  • Ask Umbra on eco-undies

    Q. Dear Umbra, I’ve converted myself to clothing made in the USA, hemp, organic cotton, etc. The issue I am struggling with is the panties and bras. I am a 34D, and I need a decent amount of support. Even sports bras do me no justice (I usually wear my regular bra under them when […]

  • Plastic bags get a new life in Jerusalem

    Read more about Eric Pallant’s West Bank wanderings in his story about keynoting a green-building conference there. There is a hamsin today, so the wind is whipping hot Saharan air and dust across the landscape. Despite the limited visibility, I can see that the cities that string south back from Ramallah, where I lectured at […]

  • Catching up with eco-model Summer Rayne Oakes

    We first profiled Summer Rayne Oakes in 2006, introducing readers to a belly-baring, sludge-loving 22-year-old with “superhuman ambition” and a moniker that was just too fitting to be made up. Since then, Oakes has been a loyal friend to Grist; she’s done occasional fashion blogging for us, and she participated in one of our fundraising […]

  • Trash becomes treasure at Seattle fashion show

    Photo: Doug BulgerFrugal is fashionable in this economy, and the creative minds behind Haute Trash have discovered the cheapest (and chicest) way to dress in a depression is to put junk on your trunk. From pop-top chain mail to yogurt-cup lids, any dumpster-dive find can become a design inspiration. See all the fab runway garb(age) […]

  • Umbra advises on running shoes

    Q. Hi Umbra, I’m a long-distance runner in need of a new pair of shoes. I’m looking for the company with the most sustainable practices. Any suggestions? I’ve heard some promising things from different companies (e.g., Nike’s shoe-recycling program, ASICS’ commitment to recycled materials), but I remain undecided about what which company offers the best […]

  • Umbra on bamboo origins

    Dear Umbra, Sustainably grown bamboo is a very good choice for fabrics. But how does the consumer know it is harvested sustainably? After all, some bamboo is clear cut from old-growth stands. Even in cultivated bamboo there are some very unsustainable practices (for instance, harvesting too young). How can you know if the bamboo fabric […]

  • 14 Green Couples

    It seems everyone’s going green these days — but some couples are doubly committed to the cause. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we take a look at 14 prominent pairs who share a certain planetary passion. Brad and Angie Yes, the ever-expanding footprint of this family might raise a few eco-eyebrows, but they make up […]

  • Turning old bus seat fabric into shoes is a fashion fail

    Recycling? Hot. Public transit? Also hot. Recycling bus seat covers into shoes? Fugly.