Monday, 31 March 2008

Celebrities Wear Cool Vintage Salvation Army "50|50" Shirts

Run for the latest Salvation Armee shirt before they are sold out! Join the celebrities! Get that unique shirts!

Cool Salvation Army Shirts? Really?

The Dutch Salvation Army just presented it's new shirt collection under it's label 50|50 Shirts with great media attention. Last collections, sold at the large warehouse Bijenkorf, were sold out faster than expected. The new collection was shown on some Dutch celebrities, and is made from remade clothing screen printed with graphics from some popular designers. When celebrities wear Salvation Armee, you better leave your Prada's in the wardrobe ;)

Source: Hetisgroenenhet

Sunday, 30 March 2008

As Fast as Taking your Clothes Off: Drap Art International Recycling Art Festival in Barcelona

Drap Art is an International Recycling Art Festival, this year the 19th, 20th and 21st of December 2008. The festival promotes creative recycling, through the organisation of festivals, exhibitions and workshops. The festival has an OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTS to send in their creative materials and inventions before May 17th.

The Festival's intellectual background towards Recycling gives it an interesting perspective on the whole issue of recycling. Some quotes:

"Drap-Art’s aim is to enhance creative recycling as a tool of transformation in the arts, the environment and society. Recycling, reusing and recuperating revaluates things. This, not only helps to induce a more reflexive consumerism, but also contributes to the growth of respect for the environment and for the people living in it, leading towards cultures based in knowledge and respect. Moreover, creative recycling is a global and multicultural phenomenon that occupies a significant position in the popular arts and crafts, in all societies of the world. It was introduced into western art by the avant-garde at the beginning of the 20th century, and towards the end recycling has entered the world of design and architecture."

"Now that a desolate future, provoked by an unsustainable global growth presents itself more and more clearly, Drap-Art considers that it is of utmost importance to animate the new generations to use recycling, not only as a tool of criticism, but as a device at the disposal of everybody to transform protest into positive proposals, which are the seeds of a more sustainable world."

Recycling Art Contest
Get your creative recycling objects on the international stage!
Send in your stuff:

Interventions in public space
Workshop of live creation
Drap Art group show of recycling artists
Shows (theatre, marionettes, dance, concerts or performances)
Audiovisuals (video, movies, documentaries and video art)
Art, design and crafts Market.

Deadline: the projects must arrive before May 17th, 2008 at La Carboneria, Drap Art Gallery, c/ Groc 1, 08002 Barcelona.
More information: Tel. + 93 268 48 89,,

Source: Haute Nature

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Brand New Sustainable Style Blog: Feelgood Style

The amount of blogs on sustainable lifestyle and green fashion are a good sign that the item is still gaining more popularity around the globe. The newest one is Feelgood Style. Just launched yesterday, but already proving to become an interesting source on the topic of sustainable lifestyle and beauty topics.

Feelgood Style is a weblog about beauty with integrity. The site is devoted to the future of sustainable fashion, beauty and health that balances substance with style. The blog is part of the Green Options Media network, based on a community of committed sustainability authors.

Besides, and not all to little important, one of the authors is me! Please read my first entry on the Feelgood Style blog: Are You a Fashion Victim or a Style Activist?

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Win the First Ethical Fashion Price in the UK: The Re-Fashion Awards

The Re-Fashion Awards are a new Awards for Ethical Fashion. The categories will cover retail, manufacture and consumer campaigns. Awards will be made on the basis of improving social, environmental and economic standards in the fashion supply chain. According to the Awards organization, winning entries will need to prove their style credentials.

"The public are embracing ethical shopping in terms of what they put in their bodies and what they smear on their skin, but when it comes to fashion the vast majority of retailers and brands need to up the ante. The RE:Fashion Awards are needed to inspire and motivate action." Wayne Hemingway, Fashion Designer

The Re-Fashion Awards are organized by Anti Apathy , the brains behind fashion label Worn Again, The Ethical Fashion Forum and Futtera, who created Swishing; the eco-fabulous clothes swap parties.

The Ethical Fashion Forum, Drop Dead Green, Re-Fashion Awards

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Happy birthday to Grass Routes!

We started Grass Routes a year ago with some vague ideas and a three months trip to visit sustainable projects in Europe and Turkey. Meanwhile, Grass Routes became the Grass Routes Foundation, we did some fun projects such as the Fair Fashion Affair, and we are full of new upcoming projects and lots of vision.

Most of our current activities are related to sustainability and fashion. In the future we hope to broaden up again and cover a wider spectrum of projects related to creative sustainability.

We are looking for a new office place with space for creativity and growth. And we are forming a professional collective around us to be able to do all the projects we invent. In about a month we will launch a new website, blog & house style. We will keep you updated!

Happy birthday!

Frans & Cecilia

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

International ethical fashion teaching initiative

Always wanted to get something more out of your fashion or sustainable fashion know how? Well, go teaching on ethical fashion! Still most fashion schools do not have any program on social or environmental aspects of textile and clothing production. Even if they want to, how to gain all the knowledge?

The Dutch and Austrian departments of the Clean Clothes Campaign, the British Labour Behind the Label, and the Polish Humanitarian Organization are running an education project directed at students and teachers at fashion schools in these countries. On the websites of the project there are some helpful links and infos; including free teaching materials. Hey teachers, where are you waiting for?

Source: Het is groen en het
Image: Fashioning an ethical industry

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Green Chic - Saving the Earth in Style

Can we live a gorgeous green lifestyle without giving in on the comfort of our luxury consumption habits? There is a boom of new conscious and green lifestyle magazines and advertisements that promise us that the new green is all about luxurious and quality living. They say LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) do not give in with consuming less, they choose for a lifestyle of conscious hedonism. But how is that possible?

Trendy green lifestyle
After a wave of articles on the issue of trendy green lifestyle, lately more and more guides on green living are being published. I read two books for chic women, women who care about their style but are also concerned about our planet. Both books are stuffed with tips on how to live green in a stylish, enjoyable way.

Green Chic
Green Chic, Saving the Earth in Style is a book by Christie Matheson, who helps her readers changing their lifestyle towards a more energy saving and conscious one, while staying chic. A lot of attention goes to tips that help reduce CO2 emissions.

Green is the New Black
Green is the New Black, how to change the world with style, by Tamsin Blanchard, is focussed on style issues such as being a green fashionista, designing your own clothes, green weddings and holidays.

Showering less
In first instance I fell for the design of Green is the New Black, but even with style handbooks it's not all about the looks! Actually Green Chic is a better practical guide and goes a bit further in green lifestyle tips. While the first hangs a lot on style details and is written for women who can't resist their consumerist addictions, Green Chic dares to get her chic readers into showering less or changing their fashion habits completely. Green Chic contains a lot of open doors, such as "eat more local, organic whole foods" but also some serious background information on the sustainability of different textiles.

Green fashionista
I liked Green Chic because it went into changing your lifestyle towards more quality. The best part is the advice on changing your wardrobe. She advices you to "edit" your whole wardrobe until you only have clothes that you really, really love wearing. And to get rid of everything else. An interesting starting point of becoming a green fashionista...

Less is more
To come back to the dilemma weather luxurious green consume is possible, I believe the green chic lifestyle should not just be about endless luxury consumption. Green products often carry a special quality that cheap or conventional products don't have. But above all green living is about enjoying quality above quantity. In supermarkets you are tricked into all kinds of psychological discounts, and in the end you always buy more things than you need. Since I exchanged supermarkets for shopping at local organic stores and the organic week market, I buy much less and enjoy much more of the products I consume. It is a luxurious lifestyle just buying organic food, but it does not costs me more than my former consume habits. Really! So the best way to enjoy a green chic lifestyle is to give in on the quantity and go for the quality. Less is more.

There is also two new books on ethical fashion with alike titles: Eco Chic, The savvy shoppers guide to ethical fashion, by Mathilda Lee; and the almost released Eco-Chic, The fashion paradox, by Sandy Black.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Beijing 2008: catch the olympic flame for labour rights

These Olympic games are all about politics. It is both a great chance for action groups to get their topic on the agenda, and for the Chinese government to use the Games as one big PR event. And they go far for that, putting down a asfalt road straigt through the Himalayas just to get that torch on the Mount Everest.

The recent violent repression of demonstrations in Tibet show how affraid the Chinese are to loose control. And a thread of more violations and possible boycots is seen as a chance to get China starting a dialogue with the Dalai Lama.

Another topic related to China is labour rights. Catch the flame is a new, global campaign to raise awarenss for labour rights connected to the Olympic Games. You can simply join by "catching the flame" from behind your computer.

Catch the Flame is an initiative of Play Fair 2008, supported by a global alliance of trade unions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), labour groups and concerned individuals, working together to draw attention to the maltreatment and exploitation of workers in the merchandise industry of the Olympic Games in Beijing (2008), Vancouver (Winter 2010) and London (2012).

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

eco chique summer dresses by Beau Soleil

There is a whole fashion market called eco-chique, and it's proving the new eco spirit has little to do with old eco spirit. Beau Soleil is a stylish green clothing brand from New York, for the ones who enjoy a chique green lifestyle. The dress on the picture costs $275.

The designer, Anne Salvatore Epstein, started the label after reorganizing her own lifestyle from extra-ordinary luxury into a more conscious and green one. Epstein uses fabric made out of bamboo, a sustainable material, vegetable-dyed organic cottons and vintage, tencel, which is made from eucalyptus trees, as well as recycled leather trims.

Perfect dresses to wear on a sunny Eastern buffet, for the ones lucky enough with sunshine in their garden and their wallet...

Through: Chic by Nature

Go with the green flow: on sustainable skateboards

Going green...over the pavements. Brazilian innovation group Let's EVO and materials developer Fibra Sustainable Design Materials have created a funky, sustainable skateboard. Go with the green flow!

The cover layers of new eco skate board model are from Papunha Veneer, produced from the waste of the sustainable palm-heart industry. The second layer is a composite formed by 70% natural fibers (jute, malva and curaua) and 30% post-production recycled polypropylene. The natural fibers of this material are also produced fair trade. The heart of the board is from 3-ply Organic Bamboo, grown without chemicals and in a sustainable model.

Other sustainable skateboard models: Arbor’s and Sector 9’s.

Sources: Treehugger, Haute Nature

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Artistic action pushes climate negotiations on Bali

Activists from Avaaz and an international coalition of youth organizations, along with local and national NGOs, created a human body activist art project on Kuta Beach in Bali.

Artist John Quigley organized the crowd of over a 500 people to arrange their bodies to form an image of the world being washed away by the rising tide. Above this image, more people spelled the words "Act Now," a message designed to target the UN Climate Negotiations at the beginning of their critical second week.

I am philosophizing a lot these days if the ecological crisis we are heading towards will only hype more green consume, or that we as humanity will be able to establish a new political elite driven by the concern of and respect for our planet?

Picture by: Step it Up

Climate change: the ice is melting faster than ever

New research analyses show that world wide Gletsjers are loosing ice faster and faster. The speed in hwich the ice melts is still going up. As gletsjers are seen as one the best indicators for the situation of our climate, this is another emergency call from our planet.

Most ice is lost in Alaska and Patagonia. In Europe the Alps are loosing enormously, which is somehow compensated with growing ice in Scandinavia.

Source: NRC

Monday, 17 March 2008

German social fashion label Armed Angels launches new collection & website

Social fashion - for the label Armed Angels this means more than organic cotton and fair trade production. The label also involves their online community in deciding over the models, print designs, and to which charity the 3,33 Euro per sold
item goes to. Based in Cologne, the label is rapidly growing, being one of the few young green fashion labels in the whole country. Watch their new collection and website, they are promising...

Friday, 14 March 2008

Switching off the light on global scale: join Earth Hour on March 29, 2008

It's night and the sky is... pink. In a large part of the world real darkness is unknown, caused by electric light pollution from cities, street lamps and green houses. Researches shows that unlighted highways are as safe as lighted, and offices and green houses can also function without lamps at night. There is more and more awareness for the topic, and some great initiatives to turn of the light.

During Earth Hour on Saturday, March 29 at 8 pm, cities across the globe will be powering off electric light for one hour. Lights and unnecessary electrical items will be turned off from San Francisco to Bangkok. 24 cities, thousands of businesses and millions of people are expected to participate.

And if we can organize this successful for an hour a year, why not do it a bit more often?

Romantic nights stop global warming
The event takes place from 8 pm-9 pm local time, regardless of the location. There is no reason for not joining. The only thing that could happen to you is paying a bit less on your energy bill. A good opportunity for romantic candle light dinner and a moment where people on global scale will be aware of the energy they use. With all the attention for climate change, this event has a huge potential.

sources: Grist Magazine, Triplepundit,

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Funky Finnish recycling fashion from Globe Hope

Using old hospital textiles, army wear and work outfits, the innovative recycling fashion company Globe Hope has a tasty and very own style. And somehow very Finnish. Their kitchen set Laituri which is made of old Swedish navy sacks is just unbeatable.

In spring 2003 the first collection of Hope based on ecological and ethical consumption was born. The garments of hope are made by redesigning and modifying already existing materials, by using old in the creation of new.
Globe Hope is selling in small shops in a lot of countries, including Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands and the UK

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Virtual activism: plant a tree in facebook or second life

It is a lot of tree planting actions these days, and I am wondering where all these forests are growing. Cleaning up our emissions, or just filling up the empty spaces of cut down Amazon forests?

The latest sprout on the tree planting hype is The Virtual Forest campaign by UNION FENOSA. The idea is simple, you plant a virtual tree in the virtual community Second Life, and for every second participant they plant a tree in reality.

But behind this campaign seems to be an energy company. Other virtual forests I recently read about were from a bank, the so called Facebook Forest Group where you plant a tree with every fifty new members, and the German online community Utopia, planting a tree for every new member.

I am really starting to wonder if all those planted trees are making a difference or just green wash our 'green sins'? Are we planting faster than we cut? Is there any serious research on this jet?

through: ecostreet

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Over 20 Supermodels Support the EJF Organic Cotton Campaign

More than 20 top models, including Irina Lazareanu, Coco Rocha, Catherine McNeil, Caroline Trentini, Siri Tollerød and Behati Prinsloo, have now been photographed in EJF’s ‘Pick Your Cotton Carefully’ campaign t-shirts. Most of the pictures were are taken by fashion photographer Eric Guillemain. The successful campaign by the
Environmental Justice Foundation for cleaner cotton production has been gaining attention worldwide.

The organic cotton t-shirts are designed around the theme of “childhood, lost innocence and hope” to represent more than a million children around the world forced to labour in cotton production.

The shirts are for sale and support the EJF cotton campaign

Monday, 10 March 2008

Eco fashion spotting: Gibbous, recycling fashion from LA

"From the freebox to the couture house"

Gibbous is a small recycling fashion label from LA, very creative one-of-a kind items with Victorian style elements, which they also sell through their own webshop...

through: wearing the future

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Brave new shirt: wireless chips in our garments

Thousands of garments sold at German warehouse Galeria Kaufhof are equipped with small, almost invisible wireless chips that can be identified and traced through radio frequency. The shop that sold your garment can trace the product day and night, and because you payed with a membership card, they know who you are, and can use all data related to the travel of your nice new shirt. Brave new shirt!

RFID Technology
The chips are part of an innovative pilot project of the Metro Group. It is to be expected that the fast developing RFID technology will be implemented on much larger scale soon. Not only in your clothing, but in products, credit cards, shop gifts, etc.

The possibilities of this new technology are almost endless, for all they are a great tool for companies to know every movement of their sold items and the attached consumers. And what about a chip in the clothes of your child: you always know where they are. No kidding, this is already practice...

sources: International Herald Tribune , Wearing the future , RFID Journal , Wikipedia

upper image is showing the 'medical' usage of RIFD technology; as the image shows, the chip can be swallowed (

womens day & the garment industry: it's women's sweat on your shirt

About a billion people (!) are working in textile related industries worldwide. Many of them are women, working from home, in slum situated sweatshops or high tech factories. As known, the circumstances are not always that funky.

Without drawing to all the rights, justice or sexism issues of the women's right movement, just think about these women while you shop your clothes...

It's women's sweat on your shirt!

pic source : No Sweat

Friday, 7 March 2008

Rapanui: organic surfwear from the Isle of Wright

Rapanui is an organic and sustainable clothing company based on the Isle of Wight, using organic, natural and ethical fabrics. Rapui is set up by surfing brothers Rob and Mart Drake-Knight, 23 and 21. They say they were motivated to influence environmental change after becoming ill and even getting scars from surfing in polluted waters.

Their garments are manufactured in Fairwear Foundation audited factories and made of
sustainable bamboo, organic cotton and convergence cotton. The clothing is made from a strong environmental position: “We want to use the influential power of fashion to provoke change.”

It is great to see so much young people getting involved in the environmental issue in a creative or entrepreneur way. Especially of course because they often stay close to who they are. In this case surfers. Check out their surfers weather forecasts...

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Boom of community based ethical consumer sites in Germany

In Germany there is a boom of new, community based ethical consumer websites that are being launched. One of the most successful of these on the moment is Utopia.

Another initiative with some good names behind it is New Ethics, both German and international. But they are still a bit in a starting up stage. Also a good one is Weltretter. Other sites working partly with a community are and

It is a shame that some of these 'community based' sites choose a rather commercial strategy, which might weaken the purpose they say to stand for. The question is if conscious consumers want to connect their ideal word with too obvious product placements. But in general it is a good sign that so much of these initiatives are being set up, and that ethical consume is getting on the trendy side here in Germany as well.

Recently I joined the (invitation only) network FairDo, which gave me a good feeling being in a more real online community again. All the communities you join but somehow do not relate to that much, or never visit after registering, mean a lot of wasted time. Hopefully there will be technology in the future where your different communities interact with each other...

The sex appeal of ecofabulous lifestyle: green girls, stoere vrouwen, ethical girls and veggies in pumps

Hip, green lifestyle is growing more and more beyond the borders of classical, conscious consumer groups. In several countries there is a rise of groups and initiatives of mainly female consumers that want to shop ethical but sexy.

More and more online media and sustainable lifestyle magazines come to light, but also initiatives driven by consumers, such as the Dutch female collective Stoere Vrouwen, a network of succesful and stylish women promoting ethical consumption with playful actions. There is aslo several cool vegetarian initiatives, in The Netherlands in example Veggie in Pumps. Particularly interesting is that these initiatives do not target towards conscious consumers, or LOHAS, but to lifestyle addicts, fashionistas, people who care more about style than about the world.

The blog of German eco-fashion label Armedangels just attended me on the green lifestyle blog Green Girls Global, luckily also with a male version: Green Guys Global. In Germany the womens magazine publisher Burda started Ivy World, which also targets much more towards lifestyle consumers than towards conscious consumers.

In England there are in example the Ethics Girls, publishing a printed magazine as well. Also recently there are several recently published handbooks for the stylish ethical women, such as Green is the New Black, Green Chique and Eco Chique. I just started reading them and will write a review on these books soon. Also the site of La Mode Ethique gives quite a good, stylish ethical fashion shoppers help, with over hundred ethical fashion brands and designers.

Be ecofabulous and enjoy!

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Eco fashion spotting: German custom made organic jeans by IND NAT

Sometimes I am just happily surprised by finding a new fashion brand with ethical approach. The people behind IND NAT replied on an article on this blog a few days ago and I have to admit they are not completely eco jet. But here they are...

Custom made and in small collections, the brand is selling in a few shops in Berlin and Munich. They just started converting to organic but aiming to have their whole production organic soon. They describe their process of finding organic materials and converting on their website, a welcome transparency approach.

The German ethical fashion scene
It is to be expected that soon more young designer labels will make the choice to go organic. Seeing all the small labels trying to find their way to get the right organic materials, it would be great if there would be some form of collaboration in sourcing for organic and sustainable textiles. In England, the Ethical Fashion Forum is working on a database to share information on sourcing between brands. But maybe in Germany a stronger network of all the new upcoming labels would be a good start. And the activities of Made-By in Germany might do a bit of a boost here as well...

We are thinking of organizing a networking meeting for German ethical fashion brands connected to some ethical fashion event this autumn in Germany, everyone who finds this relevant is welcome to contact us about it!

Monday, 3 March 2008

LOHAS Conference and Green Camp in Germany

The German eco-lifestyle experts from Karmakonsum organize a LOHAS marketing conference on May 30 and 31. LOHAS stands for Lifestyle Of Health And Sustainability and is said to be a large, new upcoming and long lasting lifestyle movement connected to a more sustainable consumption.

Next to the conference there is the Green Camp, organized as an open space for networking and exchanging ideas on several sustainability related topics. I am excited to come there because it could very likely have the right mix of creative activists, bloggers and green entrepreneurs, and have a good inspiring spirit. Joining the green camp is free of charge.

LOHAS marketing conference
On the conference there are several German specialists speaking, including representatives from the Club of Budapest, green fashion agency Good True Beautiful, cosmetics brand Dr. Hauschka, newspaper TAZ, organic supermarket Basic, and the green bank GLS.

LOHAS- green lifestyle or marketing concept?
Sometimes I can have my skeptical moments about the whole LOHAS thing, because it often presents sustainable products and lifestyle as luxury. Good strategy from a marketing perspective, but the LOHAS marketeers should be aware that being exclusive is a risk to exclude as well. Off course in the end sustainable lifestyle should be normal and not something for the ones who can afford it. Meanwhile it is better to be positive and promote green lifestyle in whatever way. In the end it is about the way you live your life so let's see if we can make a real green lifestyle movement out of the LOHAS marketing ideas!