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 ;)

Friday, 18 April 2008

Eco Cho: Websearching Against Climate Change

Planting some trees to reduce your emissions is not that sufficient. A lot of CO2 reduction programs are more about cooling down your conscious than about cooling down our planet. Okay, mostly it does not hurt to plant trees, but it still hurts that we are meanwhile cutting down rain forests for European "Bio" Diesel. Or flying more because we think we can compensate it anyway.

But what about planting trees while googling around the web? The tree planting search tool Eco Cho just let's you use the search services of Yahoo and Google, but plants a tree per 500 searches. Okay, that's a lot of searches, but if everyone on earth would use a tree planting search engine, that would mean a lot of trees!

Well, you can at least compensate your computer's emissions with it ;)


See also my earlier article Virtual Activism on online tree planting

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

500 Godz: Berlin Streetart Shirt Label with Organic Prints

The new Berlin based ecological shirtlabel 500 Godz has a close connection to the street art scene. Their first collection of organic shirts are printed with works by the British graffiti artist AME72.A new collection will include prints of works by the German streetartists WOW and Ame 72.

Organic Screen Printing
The printing on the shirts of 500 Godz is certified organic, printed by the British T Shirt & Sons, with clients such as Katharine Hamnett and Greenpeace. T Shirt and Sons claims to be the only textile printer able to offer certified organic printed garments in Europe to global organic textile standards (GOTS).

Where a lot of screen printers promise some kind of sustainable approach, still most screen printers use polluting methods. In Berlin there has been a boom of small semi-ethical shirt labels using American Apparel or Continental Clothing shirts for their funky prints. I like the movement and the shirts are cool, but I think they could go for a bit higher ecological standards here. If you want to create an ethical shirt label, you better choose organic, and also take care of a sustainable screen printing method. 500 Godz proove it's all possible, also for a small Berliner shirt label.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Wave of Social, Green and Political BarCamps from Berlin to Tibet

When I first heard about BarCamps, I had a clear image of some bearded men with beers, hanging around a campfire. Very campy, but the idea of a BarCamp is hanging around for more reasons than campfire and beer.

BarCamps are a new phenomenon that are boosting a wave off grass roots social change through new media usage. Now the Bar Camp concept is implemented for a broader range of social issues. The barcamps started as an informal form of knowledge sharing in progressive use of computer technology, such as the development of open source internet applications. The methods used are connected to the informal hackers meetings and the Open Space methodology. According to , a Barcamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. "It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from participants."

According to Wikipedia, The first BarCamp was held in California in 2005, in the offices of Socialtext. It was organized in less than one week, from concept to event, with 200 attendees. Since then, BarCamps have been held in over 31 cities around the world, in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Australasia and Asia. In 2006, BarCampEarth was held in multiple locations world wide.

The BarCamps, either focussed on social issues or not, are a great and easy form to spread and exchange knowhow and come to new ideas and common vision.

Upcoming Social BarCamps:

Social Camp in Berlin, Germany
German NGO's, netfreaks and social innitiatives gathering in Berlin
GreenCamp in Frankfurt, Germany
meeting of LOHAS experts, green entrepreneurs and environmental activists
Lhasa Bar Camp in Tibet
Don't know how serious or underground that one is
BarCamp Caucasus
the largest new media and blogs event in the Caucasus, powered by Soros
BarCamp Asia in Bishek, Kyrgystan
MediaBarCamp Belarus / Lithuania
EcoCamp - Conversano, Italy
PolitCampGraz - Graz, Austria
CommunityCampBerlin - Berlin, Germany
CreativeCamp - Kilkenny, Ireland, Europe
Health2.0 Unconference Amsterdam - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Social Innovation Camp in London, UK

for more BarCamps in your area visit the BarCamp Wiki

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Behind the Photo Shoot of Organic Jeans Brand Kuyichi in Transilvania

Cecilia and me found the photo series of organic jeans brand Kuyichi of the last few seasons a bit too cheesy and easy. But now Kuyichi has made trip to Rumania, the label might show a different, more human face again.

I just stumbled over a report of the Kuyichi photo shooting in Transilvania for the fall/winter 2008 collection by Petrovsky & Ramone. I hope they manage to present their own collection as colorful as the local wear...

In the year 2000 the founders of Kuyichi, dutch NGO Solidaridad, wanted to introduce organic cotton in the clothing market. They found the cotton industry was causing a lot of pollution and poverty amongst indigenous Indians and factory workers.

Solidaridad decided to try and change this. At first they tried to convince the big players in the Dutch fashion industry to use organic cotton, in order to improve the living and working conditions in developing countries. Since none of the brands were interested, Solidaridad started their own fashion brand in response. This was the birth of Kuyichi.

Source: Kuyichi , Kuyichi blog

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Sexy Swimwear from Recycled Plastic Bottles by Aaron Chang

Off course most natural and ecological is to swim naked. But for all those occasions where that's not an option (not everyone owns a private swimming pool or beach) it's cool to have some eco options. New on the green fashion horizon is Eco Swimwear.

The new line of swimwear by Aaron Chang, a famous surfer and photographer, is made from 100% recycled plastic soda bottles. Due to the succes he is converting his entire line to this 100% recycled plastic fabric. Additionally all of Aaron Chang's cover-ups (shorts, tops and dress covers) are made from 100% organic cotton.

Via: Feelgood Style

See also:

Image: Aaron Chang

Friday, 4 April 2008

Chic, animal friendly footwear from Georgette

Always wanted something else on your feet than snake or cow? Well there is some alternatives around. One of my latest discoveries is Georgette.

The shoes of Georgette look great. And they are not just looking great, but also totally vegan and animal friendly. Georgette has a store in Antwerp and a online boutique.

The funky footwear of Georgette is crafted by small family businesses in Italy and Spain. They promise to use nonleather and eco-friendly materials.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Bransparent: New Ethical Shopping Portal Based in Berlin

This is the kind of company I have been waiting for to start in Berlin. Partnering with some fashion profi's Bransparent is building up an information and shopping portal for consumers who want to be aware of the social and ecological background of the products they buy.

Bransparent wants to help consumers to easily make responsible shopping decisions. With this first version of Bransparent, they give socially and ecologically friendly textile companies the possibility to explain their efforts and offer their products on Bransparent.

I have the feeling we are going to have a hot spring in Berlin. Some more suggestions of new and expected green fashion initiatives in Germany and Berlin? Let me know!


via: Fairdo