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  • The NYT hails the era of the hipster farmer

    Edible Media takes an occasional look at interesting or deplorable food journalism on the web. Hey, hipster! Wipe that smirk off your face and put that can of PBR down. It’s time to get your hands — and those stiff Carhardts — dirty. We don’t care how many obscure bands you have on your iPod, […]

  • ‘Downergate’ reveals gaps in mad-cow testing and trouble in school-lunch sourcing

    In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. Remember those “downer” cows that got forced through the kill line and into the food supply in California’s Westland/Hallmark beef-packing plant — the ones caught on tape by the Humane Society of the United States? Rest assured, friends — that […]

  • Hillary Clinton touts her green cred in an Us Weekly spread

    Us Weekly, Feb. 18 In an effort to humanize and humorize her image, Hillary Clinton gamely went along with a four-page spread for the latest issue of celeb rag Us Weekly, offering comments on some of her fashion misses of yesteryear. Explaining a huge, garish coat she wore in 2000, she says, “I’m a big […]

  • High fashion around the globe

    It's been a few months since the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris, but I had a nice chat recently with French fashion designer Annabel Gerenthon, who debuted her fair-trade shoe label Moyi Ekolo there. Annabel was the former fashion designer at Charles Jourdan before it was sold in 2003. Now she's on her own and starting shoes from scratch.

    The vegetable-tanned leather used in the collection's cute ballerina flats and boots is sourced from a social project in Namibia, which she is helping supervise. "There is very little history of footwear production in Namibia, except on the workshop level," she tells me. Annabel also adorns her collections with talismans from Madagascar and Kenya. The figures, carved from horn, bone, and wood, are representative of the traditional artisan techniques of the area.

    And since we are on the topic, Julie Gilhart (senior vice president over at Barney's), who also recently came back from a trip to Namibia, helped put on a stellar Future Fashion event with Earth Pledge this past Thursday with the crème de la crème of the design world. "Many of these designers have been thinking about sustainable fabrics, but didn't know where to start," she told me. "This is all about getting the influencers to do something and getting them involved in the process."

  • Heroes star opens heart, closet to save whales

    Hayden Panettiere. Photo: Paul Morigi/WireImage Heroes star Hayden Panettiere may not be a real cheerleader (she just plays one on TV), but she sure knows how to rile up a crowd. As campaign spokeswoman for Save the Whales Again!, Panettiere has had quite a busy week. Yesterday, she appeared at a news conference with Sen. […]

  • Umbra on leather vs. pleather shoes

    Hi Umbra, As a devoted vegetarian, I try to make it a point to avoid leather footwear. However, after too many hours of deep thought on the subject, I am now conflicted about the environmental ramifications of my choice to buy processed petroleum shoes, i.e., pleather. Leather is, after all, a natural material; pleather is […]

  • Vegan vixen designs shoe collection

    Everyone’s favorite gangsta (and Official Grist Girl-Crush) Natalie Portman has designed a collection of vegan shoes for specialty retailer Té Casan. Styles range from satin sandals to faux-patent pumps to ballet flats. “As a vegan, it’s been challenging finding designer shoes made of alternative materials,” Portman says. “This collection offers a great selection without compromising […]

  • Gossip, cool events, and personal vignettes I’ve come across during my travels

    1. Japanese press at NYC show commenting on how no eco-fashion label has hit their fancy yet. (Oh, but how far we have come since a few years ago!)
    2. People Tree (ironically a very popular brand in Japan) has secured 300,000 Euros to help expand its line.
    3. Sofala Investments, the parent company of the African luxury label a.d. schwarz, will plant a tree this October and November at its forest reserve in Mozambique for every registered race participant in The Race against Global Warming, to neutralize each racer's carbon emissions.
    4. Posh labels like Bahar Shahpar and Be Carbon Neutral hit the L.A. scene at the Eco Nouveau show.
    5. "Nice Toms": The passing compliment I got from a girl on the subway in regards to the Toms shoes I was sporting. (For every pair you buy, Toms will give one pair away to a child who does not have shoes ... and rumor has it that the company is going to be doing a shoe drop soon.)
    6. Model before the Ekovaruhuset runway show commenting on how she hopes her nip doesn't slip in her itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny tiny organic cotton bikini.
    7. Plugging the plight of the Great Bear Rainforest (the largest contiguous coastal temperate rainforest in the world, just north of Vancouver, whose surrounding trees are often pulped for junk mail and magazines) at a speech in front of Hearst Corporation executives in NYC (the largest magazine publishing house).
    8. Galicia, a region in northwestern Spain known for its production of wind and solar energy, is bringing back sound textile manufacturing practices and becoming a breeding ground for more eco-conscious fashion labels.
    9. Getting compliments from the boat crew in the Great Bear Rainforest on my stylish (and very functional) recycled PET jacket shell from Nau. It rained every day for eight days straight. That jacket was really working hard for me!
    10. Talks of a "Not Made in China" label.

  • New sportswear retailer donates to green groups

    Check out Planet Protect Sportswear, a brand new retailer that vends responsibly made items and gives 10 percent of its profits to either Earth Share of Oregon or Oceana (workplace of intrepid Gristmill contributor Andrew Sharpless). Planet Protect welcomes freelance artists to design T-shirts. Or if you happen to know a producer of sustainable swimsuits, […]