Thursday, 28 August 2008

Grass Routes Publishes New Website

Dear readers of this blog, I am proud to present you our new Grass Routes website and blog. The old blog (this one) will soon dry up, and we try to arrange the feed to get redirected to our new blog. Anyway, please check if this really works!

Grass Routes started as our personal journey to visit sustainable projects in Europe, and meanwhile we' re making Grass Routes an international organization with some great upcoming events. We've build up a network, done some great projects, and registered as an NGO in The Netherlands and Germany. Now we're at stake to arrange a healthy economy to be able to realize all those good ideas. You're very welcome helping us out here!

I am so greatfull to Melissa Valso for designing the Grass Routes logo and to Cecilia Palmer for developing the website and fixing all the tech stuff.

Let's keep in touch!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Green Fashion Stores by Oxfam

In London, NGO Oxfam has redesigned it's stores to become eco-fashion hotspots. Located in trendy areas, they sell donated designer items, and a mix of fair trade and organic clothing including chic stuff from Chloe, Stella McCartney and Junky Styling. "Re-invented" pieces designed by fashion students ad an extra vintage fashion touch. Cool concept!

Via Treehugger

Monday, 21 July 2008

Eco Fashion Network Meeting in Berlin

Last weekend during the Berlin Fashion Week we organized a network meeting with Karmakonsum for the German eko fashion scene. 35 designers, shop owners and bloggers got together in Bio Restaurant Diwan and had an inspiring and fruitful evening. It was fun, next time we'll be probably more again... the scene is growing...

On the pictures: Magdalena Schaffrin, 500Godz, Bransparent, Jovoo, Armedangels, Karmakonsum, Slowmo. More pics of the meeting at Karmakonsum's Flickr

The Premium exhibition was rather disappointing. Less green brands than last time, and less international. The Green Area does not have a policy on which brands are "green", so everyone can buy a green spot. And is a bamboo floor really the right thing? If the Premium wants to keep the green thing going, they have to invest in it big time. Otherwise they might miss the boat.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Korrekte Klamotten: Meeting the German Eco-Fashion Scene

Under the name Korekte Klamotten a group of German eco-fashion labels have started a collective blog to share their news about new collections and upcoming events. The blog is started by the shirtlabel Fairliebt and until now Slowmo, B-Green and Gluecksstoff have contributed to the blog.

It shows that currently the ecofashion scene in Germany is developing dynamically. This weekend it's Berlin Fashion Week and this Saturday we organize a Network-meeting for the eco-fashion scene together with Karmakonsum. In a few days all forty chairs were booked, and we realize how much is going on at the moment.

We have Noel and Christoph from Karmakonsum and Sjörn from Konsumguerilla over for a little Konsumcamp and will hit the Fashion Week with a green guerilla all together. Be aware!

Image: new collection by Gluecksstoff

Thursday, 10 July 2008

DDT Threatens Organic Cotton in Africa

In Uganda spraying of the highly controversial insecticide DDT has spoiled organic crops in Uganda. As Ecotextile News states in their report, over 11,000 farmers in Uganda are now stuck with cotton after it was rejected by buyers from the Dutch organic cotton firm BoWeevil due to DDT spraying in the area.

Marc van Esch from BoWeevil, who I met in Uganda last November when I visited organic cotton farms there (see my blog-report), said if the Ministry of Health continues spraying DDT where they have their programmes, they will close down their businesses and industries. “Many export commodities will not be able to find Western markets any more. The consequences will be enormous and disastrous,” he told All Africa. “Although we think that there are better alternatives than DDT. Eventually more people will die of poverty.”

In Europe and USA the use of DDT is banned since the sixties, when the book Silent Spring raised awareness on the disastrous environmental and health effects of pesticides. DDT has been banned worldwide under the Stockholm Convention, but usage in agriculture and malaria prevention is still a widespread practice in development countries. There are also voices to allow a careful use of DDT to combat epidemic spread of malaria. But meanwhile the use of DDT itself makes mosquitoes more and more resistant.

But who is actually producing and selling this DDT? Chemical companies who might not be too said to ruin the market of organic cotton. Because they are the same companies who have a large interest in selling their pesticides and insecticides on the global market. And who might even be involved in the medical industry, an industry still preventing Africa from getting affordable malaria medicines. What game is actually going on here?

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Greenpeace Goes Grey!

We all know Greenpeace from their mediagenic actions against Walehunting and other environmental crimes. Over the last couple of years, the activist multinational has gone a new way with some own business initiatives where they take responsibility for the issues they target.

It is part of a trend where nowadays activists have grown up and have become eco-entrepreneurs. But who will tackle the dirty businesses when the most professional activists have moved to the business table? Can Greenpeace still be as sharp in it's critics when it is part of the same game?

In Germany, Greenpeace Energy offers us "honest" energy. Let's be honest then. Alltough Greenpeace promises that we as customers can take part in building new, clean energy power plants, the reality is that this only counts for a very small part of the energy, as one can easily read from their website.

The largest part of this German Greenpeace Energy comes from hydro powerplants in Austria and Norway. Some of those powerplants are older than Obama, so where's the change, really?

Is hydro power energy from abroad really the solution, Greenpeace? I've seen a lot of hydro power plants fucking up with nature, and although it is preferable above nuclear or coal, it is still an industry that's disturbing our nature. And what guarantees are there that the Norwegean energy I buy from Greenpeace is not exchanged with German nuclear power to a Norwegian costumer, in the end?

A wave of critics on eco-energy in the media is coming along with a comeback of nuclear energy in Europe. This kinds of critics does not really help us forward to clean energy either, but the only way to keep the green movement alive is to keep it trustworthy. So in this case it is better beating the critics than ignoring them.

As the German newspaper Zeit argues in a critical article, just buying certificates from abroad does not necessarily bring anything. The fact that half of The Netherlands changed to green energy because of a taxbonus did not do anything to the 85% dirty energy.

Okay, it is complicated for an independent eco-energy businesses to offer German produced eco-energy in Germany because of a complicated system of renewable energy support. But since the rise of a market for eco-energy it has brought us all but the promised rise of green energy. In the end we seem to be greenwashing our own energy bills.

We, conscious consumers, are mislead and made stupid. In the end, joining the international trade of certificates or byuing clean energy from abroad is maybe a handy means for governments or business to polish their green image, for Greenpeace it should be different.

I just want to have honest clean energy, Greenpeace. If you think you're big enough to get me that, well, go ahead and offer me that über-honest energy. Locally produced and sourced energy, possibly supporting a system where cities and municipalities become responsible for their own energy production. Without mixing and trixing. It's time to move forward...

In the meantime, I would suggest Greenpeace to sell that Greenpeace Energy and come over to the other side: to get on the barricades for a more honest and cleaner energy policy without being part of the tricks that keep consumers stupid.

Or should we some day come to Greenpeace and chase them with banners and ships and all?

A critical consumer of "green" energy

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Upcycling Goes Big with Kraft

Greenwashing or not, Kraft Foods stepped in to a cooperation with Terracycle, a creative upcycling company that takes packages and materials "that are challenging to recycle and turns them into affordable, high quality goods".

As the press release states, Kraft will become the first major corporation to fund the collection of used packaging associated with its products. Well, that's great, but off course they might be able to do more about reducing waste as well...

At least those Terracycle bags are great looking and the effect of such a large scale project shouldn't be underestimated.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Cool eco-streetart or smart soap commercials?

What's all those 15 year old kids running around with buckets and spouses by night? It's the new graffiti hype, stupid.

Having a respectful amount of creative streetwaste on my account, I've always been a bit worried about the environmental effects of graffiti. The anti-graffiti propaganda claims tons of cleaning costs for graffiti, and maybe the're even a bit right. Time to get some more environmentalist ideas into the urban art movement and rethink our creative re-shaping of cities.

An excellent environmental form of streetart is drawing clean in dirt. You take a dirty urban canvas, and get your stencil down on the dirt. Reversed streetart is a project by UK streetartist "Moose" alias Paul Curtis.

Cool idea, just a shame that the best new streetart ideas nowadays too often merge with advertising agencies. In this matter, ecosoap brand Green Works. And Moose is not only a streetartist, but in the same function running his "innovative advertising agency" Symbollix, with clients like Microsoft and Channel4.

A great concept for greenwashing your company, literally.

Via: Karmakonsum. In his blogpost, Christoph admits he's been one of those graffiti kids too.
Any more in the sustainable bloggosphere with a graffiti or streetart background? Might there be a strong correlation? Leads awareness for urban environments to environmental thinking and living? Or are our blogs just another form of leaving our traces...?

Friday, 27 June 2008

Berlin Citizens Discover Direct Democracy

Mediaspree Versenken from Pappsatt

A group of activists against privatisation and gentrification gathered the highest amount of signatures so far for a public voting in Berlin for their call to have the Berlin river Spree for everyone. While the local government is selling out the whole river area in the district Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain in favor of a "Media Spree" filled with glass house offices and hypermarkets, the public has the change to vote against the sell out of their living area.

All political parties, including the greens and the socialists, oppose the initiatives wishes for a publicly accessible riverbank and ignore the call for protection of the very lively scene culture around the riverside.

Relatively new forms of public voting allow Berlin citizens to bring up topics for a public voting, and different initiatives to bring up a public issue saw the light. We have had a public voting over brilliant issues, such as the rename of a street to give it the name of the '68 student leader Rudi Dutchske (result: pro Dutschke), a voting over the closing of the famous Berlin airport Tempelhof (result: pro closing).

In the case of the Mediaspree voting, it can become a case example of new forms of public involvement and grassroots organization against a too commercial sell out of public space. A relatively small group of activists get's the chance to oppose such a hundreds of millions megaproject. And rule over their politicians. Let's see what the people will vote.

Day of vote: 13 July 2008
More info: and Mediaspree eV

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Carrotmobs: Flashmobs of Consumer Power

Carrotmob Makes It Rain from carrotmob on Vimeo.

If shops and corporations do not react fast enough on our demand for ethical products and environmental responsibility, we will organize our consumer power to demand it. Well, that's what is really happening, and when we realize what difference that can make, the effect gets much stronger and we can really change things for the better.

Carrotmobs are actions we are going to hear more of. They organize consumers on a certain time and place to buy in a certain way for a special cause, may it be demanding more fair trade products or an energy or waste reduction. In The Netherlands the group Stoerevrouwen, a hip collective of women, is organizing 'shopmobs' to demand fair trade and organic products in the shops. Their shopping army suggests our cause of ethical consume is not less than a warzone.

Actually a few people are enough to get a large mob going. Since my personal experiences with political flashmobs in 'last dictatorship of Europe' Belarus I am convinced of the strong tactical power of flashmobs and other forms of smartmobs where new technologies, grassroots organizing and hipster coolness go side by side. Let's use these tactics to change the products in our stores. Or for whatever good cause. Smartmobs are going to be back, back, back.

Carrotmobs via: Goodtruebeautiful
Image: Stoerevrouwen in action

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Clothingbrand Tchibo Print their own Anticommercials

"This T-shirt is sewn by a child for Tchibo" stands on the shirt. Clothing company Tchibo offers a new print-on-demand service, where you can send in your own texts to be printed.

Dr. Kirstin Brodde, German textile expert and editor for the Greenpeace Magazine, sent in some critical texts about the company and they were delivered to her as she ordered them.

On her blog she describes her communication with the companies involved. It's a fun story (also read part 2 and part 3) for those reading German...

Monday, 9 June 2008

ÖkoRausch & Sommerkiosk: Events for Eco-Design

While we at Grass Routes are still clearing the details for the next Fair Fashion in Berlin, the Bureau Gruen in Cologne comes with a concurring event in September: the ÖkoRausch, a "Fair for design with consicousness". The event wants to present the pioneering design labels in green design in Germany. Sounds like a promising event for those in Germany interested in design and sustainability, and it is open for consumers.

For those sustainability freaks who can't wait till September, next weekend you can visit the Sommerkiosk in Nuremberg, an eco-design event with fashion show and a "Textil Fair Fürung" with Bernd Hausmann from the eco fashion concept store Glore. Next to a groovy program an exhibition with some interesting young and local designers. Not all 100% eco, but a lot of local, handmade, one-of-a-kinds, recycling, etc.

I am truly happy that so much events are taking up the issue, and hope it will boost the media coverage and consumer popularity of the sustainability issue even more...

Image: bags made from recycled materials by Vollstoff at the Sommerkiosk exhibition.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Reviewing Karmakonsum Greencamp

This weekend I visited the Karmakonsum LOHAS Conference and Greencamp. Most of this kinds of events mix in some green washing elements within the program, and I was excited to hear rather critical or in-depth approaches on these items from the stage (see my report on the Karmakonsum blog).

With this balanced program Organizers Christoph Harrach and Noel Klein-Reesink showed that they have a good sensibility for the case. The atmosphere was neat and informal, the audience was a good clash of green business professionals, marketeers and activists.

Compared with the conference, the green camp started totally different. Christoph and Noel pointed on the freedom and open space idea of the camp, and created some creative chaos on stage. 'Anyone still wants to give a workshop?'. Christoph did not only ask the audience what Karma means, he started the day with a meditation with the whole audience. Reactions in the public showed that some people got here for Karma, while others were far more interested in the topic of Konsum.

The Greencamp program was very diverse, from a workshop on LOHAS lifestyle by Ivy main editor Michalis Pantelouris, a workshop on online communities by Daniel Pichert from Fairdo, a workshop on the social fashion label Armedangels by Anton Jurina
till a workshop on meida and sustainability by Christian Neugebauer. A large, respectful program, created by the visitors.

For a Conference 2.0, the workshops I visited were still unnecessary topdown, while the public existed of professionals in the field. This reflects the double position of 2.0 methods, on the one hand it gives power to the people through blogs and communities, on the other hand web 2.0 functions are used strategically to create influence on a community.

The real value of the conference and camp lies in it's power to get people together and create a strong network of people working with the topic of strategic and ethical consume. In other words: good karma. Meeting still people on the station, I felt that the conference had a strong, positive flow. Energy I am still running on, a lot of new ideas for projects and cooperations.

Picture: workshop with Armed Angels

Friday, 30 May 2008

Karmakonsum Conference: It is not Easy being Green

I am right now on the Karmakonsum Conference on LOHAS Marketing in Frankfurt, and in a few hours discussions hit the podium and heat up the athmosphere. An eclectic mix of people on the conference and an enlightening sunshine makes the conference hot: “Alte Ökos” (old ecos), Neogreens, conventional marketing agencies, representatives from sustainable businesses...

Read my reports on the Karmakonsum Blog , the first post here

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Eco Luxurious Fashion by Fin

Eco luxurious lifestyle? Check out the sleek and original presentation of the Norwegian luxurious eco fashion brand Fin (yeah, a bit confusing name in this case). Don't forget to press 'next'...

Fin shows eco fashion from it's best LOHAS side. Their clothes are made from organic cotton, wild silk, and organic alpaca. Not something to wear while camping or mountain hiking. But half naked chic can be quite eco after all.

Monday, 19 May 2008

My Encounter with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Brandenburger Tor

Today me and my daughter Gaya went to see his Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin. We were not the only ones, about twenty-five thousand people had the same idea, and so we stood pressed together, waiting for the leader of the Tibetan people in exile to arrive.

There were also people who were not there, such as most of Germany's politicians. For all the social democrats created a scam around the visit. After an under-minsiter announced she would meet the Dalai Lama, the top of the socialists got furious. SPD-leader Beck stated: "Unfortunately we can't stop this shit anymore." Well, shit happened, but it had a very friendly face.

Mao's promise

Considering all the political tensions around his visit, the Dalai Lama seemed to be fairly untouched. He smiled as usual and held a very calm, China-friendly speech. After his speech ended and his goodbye, he turned back to the audience to say something about all the Tibetan flags around. He said, Mao had asked him back in the fifties, if Tibet also had a flag, and promised him that he would allow the Tibetans to hang the Tibetan flag next to the Chinese communist flag. The Dalai Lama quoted this to make clear, that he does not aim to replace the flags, but to have the two in peaceful coexistence.

Dialog or boycott?
It is stunning, that with so much willingness for dialog from the Tibetan side, so little politicians dare to take a clear stand in the matter. The only party where the whole top supported a meeting was the German Green Party. The Silence of the International Olympic Committee and world leaders is tacit endorsement of abuse, says Amnesty.Regarding the brutal and dehumanizing way the Tibetans are treated, it is only because of the strong economic power of China that there is no boycott or other forms of official, international protest. But the Dalai Lama is the one being boycotted here. Even today, even in Germany.

Made in China
It is in this light brave of the Dalai Lama to be against a boycott of the olympics or any boycott at all. From an ethical consume perspective, I think it is better to look at the origin of your product before you buy. And to realize that "Made in China" does not really guarantee workers rights, if any rights at all. Well, make your scan. To be honest, I'm writing this on a China made Apple. I'm not promoting a boycott here, but just be aware of your consume choices!

First image (c) by Frans Prins
Second image: circulating on Facebook
Sources: Taz, N-TV
More to the Tibet case: Tibet Online, Avaaz, Wikipedia, Amnesty International

NB: This article is written on personal title. Not all blog articles on this blog are representing the standing point of the Grass Routes Foundation.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Sounds of Sirens: How to Link Consumerism and Holistic Principles?

For some time I met Lars Schmidt, together with his partner Steffa Roth running their project Art & Ecology Education. Because of the name I guessed there was a connection with Grass Routes, as we work with creativity and sustainability as key values. We have been exchanging ideas and vision a few times, and for me it is interesting to confront our projects with ideas deriving from deep ecology and permaculture. It forces to think more precice about consumption again: can we really consume just better? Is that the whole solution? LOHAS or simple living? Organic cotton from Africa or locally sourced textiles? We will continue this dialogue and plan to make some workshop or event out of it.

Lars is also running a nice blog in English and a bit of German: Sound Of Sirens. The blog deals with topics from the areas of sustainable living and management, Corporate Social Responsibility, De-Branding, the environment and culture: "one of the main questions being if, and if yes: how, modern lifestyle and consumerism can be linked to holistic principles." A few nice interviews such as with the people behind the Sustainable Dance Club.

Canadian Athletes to Olympics with Eco-Friendly Uniforms

The Canadian athletes going to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will wear sport clothing made from organic cotton, bamboo and Cocona, made from Coconut waste.
Not that all bamboo is always so environmental friendly (it consumes a lot of water and is hard to make only using chemicals), but it's a good step forward and can reach a large audience for eco-wear.

“I’m happy that Hbc took the time to consult with athletes on the design of the team uniforms and has created cool, eco-friendly outfits that will meet our needs in Beijing," said rhythmic gymnast Alexandra Orlando of Toronto, who has already qualified for the Beijing Games. Most of the pieces will be available for sale as replica wear through Hudson‘s Bay Company (Hbc) outlets.

Via: G-Spotting

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Engagement2.0: Sexy Online Charity

Yesterday I was at a meeting organized by the German sustainability network 3plusX on "Engagement 2.0". Five fresh German online charity portals presented their work and vision. All of them intermediate online between concrete help projects and givers, may it be individuals or companies. All developed their web2.0 strategy to communicate the projects informative but sexy.

What I like about these portals is that they aim to make engagement easy, informative and concrete. For a lot of people a boarder to give money to charity is because they don't know what happens with their money. The charity culture in Germany is much less developed as in the UK or States.

A large part of the discussion was about how these portals generate their money. Some get their money over corporate sponsorship, while others take a small part of the collected money. Off course, both have good arguments.

The initiatives still have to prove what they are worth, but they are all the kind of projects realized with sweat and ideals. Just one critical question: is it really needed and workable to have so many different portals? Should they be concurrents or cooperate?

I am not going to give any ratings here, just look at them yourself and decide what you think of them:


Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Organic Jeansbrand NAU Gives Up

With all the good news of growth for fair trade and organic products, and especially with the hype around green fashion, one can hardly believe that such a cool organic jeans brand as NAU has to give up, for financial reasons. The brand had a very fresh and forward approach, creative and stylish. I got the impression the people behind NAU where extremely engaged. Within a short time the company brand built up a strong name and good sales.

It forces to a bit of reflection for all the green living and LOHAS believers: can this movement just grow in times of economical wealth? Are sustainable products and lifestyle a luxury for the good times? How can sustainable products be crisis resistant?

From the statement of NAU:

"In the current highly risk-averse capital market, we simply could not raise the necessary funds to continue to move forward. We believe this is not so much a reflection of the viability of our business, but the result of an unfortunate confluence of events. Just as we could not have predicted the sudden groundswell of environmental consciousness that blossomed at the time we launched our business, we did not foresee the current crisis in the capital markets. At this time, investors are loath to invest in anything; especially, it appears, a company like Nau that has the audacity to challenge conventional paradigms of what a business should be."

"Nau set out to show the world that business can be a force for positive social and environmental change. Although our current financial obstacles have proven to be insurmountable, it does not mean the ideas associated with Nau are unattainable. Nau was merely one attempt to express a larger idea that was around before us and will survive long after. It remains as urgent as ever for businesses to take the lead in creating a sustainable future for humans and the planet. We, as individuals and as members of a grander collective of the change-minded, look forward to continuing that journey."
Well, if you can say that after giving up your company, you must be wise people. Keep up the good spirit!

Via: Victoria Everman

Image through: G

Monday, 5 May 2008

Treches by JBR: New Organic Streetwear Label from Berlin

It's getting a hot spring for eco-fashion in Berlin. We choose a good time to kickstart our own label Pamoyo. Yesterday we where on the show of the new organic streetwear label Treches, a label by designerin "JBR", Jeanette Bruneau Rossow. Cecilia had contact with Jeanette since the Berlin Fair Fashion Affair, and now she launched her first organic collection on the Lido Kreativmesse.

Clothing and models where on the activist side of style, but since Nike is advertising with "Riot" on it's logo, that's business as usual. For all in Berlin. I always wonder how LOHAS* can be cool in a young, urban setting, as a real party lifestyle does not fit with Healthy stuff. The trend here is more LOPAS: Lifestyle of Parties and Sustainability.

*LOHAS: Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Evening with Grass Routes Moved to 15th of May

Yes, we are a dynamic organization. For all wishing to come to the Event "Change the World with Style", please note that it we changed the date. It is now taking place on the 15th of May and starts half past seven!

for more info click here

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Pamoyo: New Green Fashion Styled With Heart

We launched the new Pamoyo site and Pamoyo collection during a short trip to The Netherlands, making it a truly nomadic clothing label. And it took a few days before I noticed I did not even announced it here on the blog. Well, here we are. You are warmly invited to spread the word about this new born green fashion label!

Pamoyo was founded by Frans Prins and Cecilia Palmer to design a fashion label with green vision and creative edge. Prins & Palmer are known as the initiators of the Berlin Fair Fashion Affair and the Grass Routes Foundation.

The label works community based, the collections derive from a growing, creative collective of young designers. Pamoyo is the first Open Source Fashion Label under a Creative Commons license. Patterns and designs of Pamoyo clothing are published online for non-commercial use. The Pamoyo blog reports on green fashion and sustainable lifestyle.

-a-kind collection "Styled with heart"
All items of the “STYLED WITH HEART” collection are unique, one-of-a-kind pieces made from high quality organic cotton and vintage elements. Every piece is hand made and unique. Integrated recycled materials and a rough sewing style make them feel authentic and exclusive. The collection is inspired by samples of street style and an ironic re-use of retro images and sub-cultural identities. Actually the most fun is the Pamoyo Webshop, where you can order your own one-of a-kind vintage element with your shirt.

Pamoyo supports sustainable development and creative competences in local communities. From the online sales, two Euro per sold item goes to social-environmental projects.

Find out more on and read the interviews with the designers

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Grass Routes at the SelfHub in Berlin

The SelfHub is a 'club for people with ideas'. It fuses the best of grounders centre, library, cafe and office lounge. The SelfHub is part of an international network of Hubs around the world and the first one in Germany.

We found this an excellent place to present our vision and create an inspiring evening for everyone in Berlin interested in our projects. Be there! Spread the word! Change the world with style!

Notification: the event is moved to the 15th of May!

Click here for more info

Monday, 28 April 2008

"Change the World with Style": Presentation by the Grass Routes Foundation

Dear friends and all interested,

We invite you to a special evening on Thursday the 15th of May in the SelfHub in Berlin, where we will present you the projects and ideas of Grass Routes in a creative way, to inspire you and to provoke you to think and act yourself. Central topic of the evening is “How to Change the World with Style?”

We invite you to a special evening, where we will present you the projects and ideas of Grass Routes in a creative way, to inspire you and to provoke you to think and act yourself. Central topic of the evening is “How to Change the World with Style?”

Grass Routes is a young, international NGO based in Berlin that combines creative thought and social pioneering with sustainable development and lifestyle.

We will present you our vision and projects, and in an active workshop brainstorm and explore with you the potentials of combining creativity and sustainability as core values. For Grass Routes, using art and style is more than a good marketing strategy or working method. Creativity is the soil for creating change from the grassroots.

About a year ago we started Grass Routes with the wish and urge to create new, innovative projects that combine creative vision and sustainability. In January 2008 the Grass Routes Foundation was created and we are preparing to make Grass Routes a spinning centre of projects, ideas and vision.

We will present you upcoming projects such as the upcoming Berlin Fair Fashion Affair, the new, community based Green Fashion Label Pamoyo, a Sustainable Fashion Agency, an online database project and international trainings for young designers.

All visitors are welcome to participate in the celebration of this new organization.

Looking forward seeing you,

Frans Prins & Cecilia Palmer
Grass Routes Foundation

Thursday 15. May 2008 19.30 hour
Adress: SelfHub, Erkelenzdam 59-61, Berlin Kreuzberg,
Price: voluntary donation
Open for: everyone
More info:

19.30 Welcome
20.00 Fashion Performance by Pamoyo
20.15 Vision Statement & Presentation of Projects by Grass Routes
21.00 Workshop “How to Change the World with Style”
21.45 Afterparty

Please note that the event has been moved to the 15th of May!

Images by SelfHub and Pamoyo

Berlin Eco Fashion Labels on TV at ARTE's Lifestyle Magazine Chic

Tomorrow, Tuesday 29th of April 13.30 GMT+1 the Berliner Eco Fashion labels Pamoyo, Slowmo and Magdalena Schaffrin will be on the European cultural TV station ARTE during an item on Eco Fashion on the Lifestyle Magazine Program Chic. The program will be online until one week after broadcasting.

Image by Pamoyo

Friday, 25 April 2008

Looking for a Ride from Berlin to the Karmakonsum Green Camp

On May 30 there is a
LOHAS marketing Conference in Frankfurt (Germany) accompanied by a Green Camp on the day after. I'm at least going o the Green Camp to meet up with other bloggers and entrepreneurs in the field, I like the Open Source concept of the Event and it's something very energetic in this new movement.

If anyone is going by car from Berlin and has a seat free, please let me know!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Ladak: Dutch Designer Blankets from Recycled Materials

Ladak is Dutch brand creating chic designer blankets recycled material. The base is a tough blanket, with processed old sweaters, blankets, jeans or parts of mattresses. The LADAK blanket is then finished with ribbons, lace and other rich fabrics.

Each blanket is unique, handmade and is named after a homeless person. 15% of the proceeds will go to a shelter for the homeless in Amsterdam. And the blankets are a bit expensive, so that 15% makes sense!

via: Haute Nature

Monday, 21 April 2008

New Report by Clean Clothes Campaign: Sportswear Brands Still Violate Workers Rights

Unlike all new attems of companies like Adidas to become a "responsible" company, a new report by the Clean Clothes Campaign, published today, states that in the sports wear industry the situation is still inhuman.

The CCC report shows that the addressed companies have gained enormous profit growth during the past few years. The profit of Nike and Adidas in 2007: $2,199,900,000 and $1,088,393,584.

The question is always: what can one do? Most companies have created a nice looking CSR and brands like Nike and Adidas come bring some cool "sustainable" products to the market. But with these enormous profits, and the described excesses, it's clear that they have the financial power to change the working circumstances a bit. If they really want it. Well, why not just do it?

Based on interviews with sportswear workers in four countries, the report Clearing the Hurdles shows that violations of worker rights is still the sportswear industry norm, including in workplaces producing for Adidas, sponsor of the Beijing and London Games and numerous national Olympic teams, and other key companies in the sector, such as ASICS, Puma, Nike, and New Balance.

Read the full report here

Saturday, 19 April 2008

La Mode Ethique: Guide to Ethical Fashion

La Mode Ethique is an international guide of ethical fashion brands and designers. The website, which is still in development, lists a good choice of labels. Of all the listings so far, this is until now the best one. A shame of all the google ads around, and also the flash thing is a bit unfunctional, but it is a great source and also professionals can still find a lot of new, cool designers here.

I also just wrote about Bransparent, another promising listing of ethical brands, who do a sustainability check up with every brand they ad to their list.

Still all these listings are far from complete. We created a much longer list of labels as any list we found on the internet so far. Maybe we should sell it over e-bay ;)