Friday, January 30, 2015

{eco brand of the week} proud mary: rock the boat

"from coffee and electronics to apparel and footwear, most of the products we enjoy and use every day are made by men and women in factories and on farms around the world. these workers harvest the cotton used to make our shirts, sew buttons and zippers onto our jackets, grow the cocoa our children drink, and make high-tech soles for our running shoes. unfortunately, many of them work in deplorable conditions." fair labor association

rocking the fast fashion boat, a fair trade design company proud mary is headed by the world-wandering, hardworking miss harper poe {a kindred nomadic soul}. miss poe has combined unswerving focus with a seemingly chimeric plan to promote economic growth in developing countries while bringing conscious consumers a delightful miscellany of handcrafted accessories and home goods.

proud mary's products are constructed by artisans in south america + africa who might otherwise be unable to make a visible income due to lack of access to market. weavers and crafters receive fair wages and hone their skills in safe working milieus. each hand made item combines beauty, innovation and sustainable practices to striking effect.

my everyday handbag is a little like those russian nesting dolls: inside you'll find smaller pouches, all dedicated to organizing my life. as an artist and amateur photographer, i'm always carrying oodles of supplies and equipment, not to mention my knicks and knacks and snacks, so i have a lot of love for little zip pouches and petite clutches.

i have a fave clutch that journeys with me wherever i go, for all of my travel adventures both near and far: this brocaded navajo clutch is one of proud mary's spirited designs.
the decadent texture of the artisan textiles married to the imaginative detail of miss poe's designs {think vivid pops of color, oversized tassels + colorful pompoms} yield graphic handbags, shawls and pillows.

up next for miss poe: proud mary will be unveiling a line of smart-casual apparel {this eco fashionista is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the no-fuss, easy breezy designs}.

find it here or hop on over to ethical online retailer lydali for more options.

 {images by f+d}

Saturday, January 17, 2015

{simple pleasures} a tropical oasis in a concrete jungle

i found i could say things with color and shape 
that i couldn't say any other way - things i had no words for. 
georgia o'keefe

today's simple pleasures

{garfield park conservatory} a little tropical oasis in the center of the city of chicago, 
full of vibrant colors + energetic plant life that speak to me of faraway places in a language i easily understand. sigh

{images by f+d}

Friday, January 16, 2015

{eco brand of the week} reformation: waste reimagination

yael aflalo is the founder of an independent, sustainable fashion line who understands the potential value of waste, and she and her mighty team are taking steps to change the tide of fast fashion.
aflafo is seducing the masses with her eco apparel brand reformation. to be seduced is to be led astray, but really, she's leading us exactly to where we need to be. after learning of the pollution caused by garment factories on a trip to china as well as witnessing the poor working conditions within the factories, aflafo envisioned alternative ways of producing garments: she imagined a fashion company where workers were valued and natural resources protected.
you've got to love a woman with a wonderfully wayward + actively rebellious imagination.
reformation was born in 2009, and aflalo has since become a steward of the environment in the third most polluting industry {after oil and agriculture}, investing time and energy in sourcing stylish eco materials and surplus textiles that yield deeply feminine dresses and beautifully sound separates. these surplus textiles would otherwise end up in landfills and chemically treated materials would contribute to the continued degradation of our waterways and land.

for each apparel item, reformation provides pithy paragraphs of "green" info. the description of the andy dress + molasses tee from our friends at ref:
{the andy dressis made from deadstock materials. every season, thousands of yards of fabric go to waste from fashion houses that over-ordered. the textile industry is one of the most chemically dependent industries on earth and the #2 polluter of clean water. We're trying to lessen the blow by using fabric that already exists, because we heart dolphins.
{the molasses tee} is made from tencel and she's a freak of nature. tencel is made from biodegradable, renewable, sustainably harvested wood pulp. it's manufactured in a closed-loop system, which means all excess materials get reused. a traditional cotton tee uses 257 gallons of water to produce; a tencel tee only uses 6. nothing gets us hotter than saving water. 
i love a brand with a sense of humor as well as cascading frocks with feminine appeal, and of course a ceo with an abiding faith in sustainable fashion.
 this is what slow fashion looks like, boys and girls.
{images via of reformation}

Friday, January 9, 2015

{eco brand of the week} ethically engineered: keepin' it clean

the truth is: i don't allow just any bar of soap into my bathroom {i consider shopping for soap one of life's simple pleasures; i love clever packaging, aromatic scents, and of course organic + fair trade ingredients: unfortunately many commercial products still contain harmful ingredients linked to various heath problems}, so the chicago flag bar gets my eco-friendly stamp of approval. 

here in the windy city, there is a perfect bar of soap being manufactured with great care at a little company with a big mission: ethically engineered is creating pure products for a pure planet. jack nugent handcrafts each bar of soap using vegan, organic, fair trade ingredients and check it: solar power! because according to this wise soul: the power of the sun compels him. well, ooh la la jack, keep on keeping on. and word on the street has it, this man-on-an-eco-mission delivers his goods on a bike. doesn't get any better than that folks!

try their hair care {no-bottle shampoo? yes, i'm a believer}, body lotions {the himalayan black whipped body butter is made with mango butter, hemp seed butter and shea butter, too} and shaving cream! find these pure little products right on over here or around town at the dill pickle food co-op or a local whole foods.
the time is right to come clean, my friends.

it's been two years since i've greened my beauty routine, and whenever i declare: i now pronounce you good and green - well, first i defer to the mighty ms. stacy malkan, co-founder of the campaign for safe cosmetics and author of the must-read book not just a pretty face, for showing me the way: the safe + sustainable way.

malkan's captivating book reads a little like a crime novel, which is not what you want to hear when you're reading about something as seemingly innocuous as your shampoo and soap bar; but lucky for consumers like you and me, ms. malkan is the intrepid hero in this story: working assiduously to protect consumers from unsafe petroleum products and unregulated toxins in personal care products.

we just don't need any lead, coal tar, parabens or phthalates in our bath and beauty products {these are the bad boys linked to cancer, birth defects and infertility}. and why lather up with chemicals and harmful dyes when you can choose natural ingredients like almond oil and coconut oil {this oil is the crème de la crème of oils with its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and it's oh-so moisturizing}. 

find all these good ingredients in the products at ethically engineered. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

{eco brand of the week} feed: utility of the beautiful

just where does a super-saturated, buffalo check scarf – made of bright maisai fabric from kenya - intersect with the provision of school meals for hungry children?
fashion + philanthropy conjoin at FEED Projects: a social fashion brand aiding in the reduction of malnutrition in children and families in developing countries. the designers at FEED have a wondrous facility for creating products that are both beautiful and functional, incorporating locally procured textiles that conjure the enigmatic landscapes of colombia, kenya and guatemala. with each sale, good things are happening.
the scarf i’m wearing in the picture above provides 10 school meals for children in kenya. here's how it works:
every FEED product has a specific and measurable donation attached to the sale of the item. FEED donates a specific amount of money from each product sold. the donation is built into the cost of the product - so it is an exact and tangible amount of money for each product. for every purchase of a product, a number of school meals are provided to children. the donations from these meals are then made to the u.n. world food programme {or other partner organizations such as the u.s. fund for unicef}, based on the number of products sold to date at that time.
lauren bush founded FEED in 2007 with the mission of "creating good products that help FEED the world." she first created the FEED 1 Bag, a reversible burlap and organic cotton bag to help raise funds and awareness around the school feeding operations of the world food programme {wfp is a part of the united nations system and is the world’s largest humanitarian agency dedicated to fighting hunger on a global scale}. wfp's school feeding program feeds and educates hungry children, providing a host of benefits that extend beyond the school day.
on the style menu: handmade bags - in waxed canvas as well as natural burlap + organic cotton - perfect for everyday use and just the right size for carry-on baggage while travelingaccessories {these wooden beaded bracelets are made in subtle, earthy hues, and each bracelet provides 5 school meals to a child}; zip pouches {i use these to organize my life, and they have an ample selection made from natural, woven fabrics with energetic color palettes}; and graphic t-shirts {comfy, cozy and great for layering}
if you’re hoping to do a little shopping and impact positive social change, voila! head on over to FEED or pop on over to green genes boutique in andersonville. 

{images by f+d}

Saturday, April 12, 2014

{simple pleasures} good, clean fun

"i wear ethical fashion because i want every aspect of the way I live to be an expression of my ideals." jennifer gootman, social responsibility consultant

{today's simple pleasures}

clean it up: a few good reads on eco beauty + ethical fashion

a lovely gift from my roommate: petite peaches disguised as donuts

fashion revolution: this article by the lovely kate black

{images by f+d}

Monday, March 31, 2014

{eco beauty pick} s.w. basics of brooklyn

it's been a long, dark winter here in the windy city. histrionics? i think not. it's been a frigid one, my friends. and with this weather comes very dry skin: my parched skin is doing things i did not know were possible and my hair is begging for mercy from the artificial heat at home + work. so this week i'm showcasing some of my favorite eco, come-to-the-rescue skincare products.

i am absolutely over the moon for s.w. basics, an all-natural, sustainable skincare line handmade in brooklyn, new york with locally-sourced, vegan ingredients and lots of love. forget for a moment the clean, clever cover of the book; i mean, we love great design, but really it's the list of 3-5 oh-so effective + simple ingredients listed on the front of every product package that are so pure + good for you, you could eat them, but try not to.

so let us talk about one of my new all-time favorite products: s.w. basics body oil, a magic elixir with 3 ingredients {grapeseed oil, avocado oil, and sesame oil} and many incredible uses. i mean, this product really does it all:

{body oil / for the bod}
s.w.'s body oil truly conditions the skin. right after i shower, i put this oil on my legs, arms and body {when my skin is super absorbent}; it's not too heavy and not too light: it is just right, and it adds a little shine to my legs {this is me dreaming + wishing for skirt weather} and it smells delightful!

{body oil / for the face}
the body oil also works as a gentle facial moisturizer, nourishing + revitalizing. as someone with touchy skin, i have not a single breakout to report. the founder of s.w. basics, adina grigore, tells us on her site that she too has very delicate skin, which makes us sensitive-skin, sustainable-lovin' soul sisters. for her phenomenal products, i thank the lovely miss grigore!

{body oil / as hair serum}
my hair has been depleted of all moisture after this winter; frankly, it's as if a tumbleweed landed on my head. when i ran out of my usual hair serum, i had to become a bit resourceful, so i used the body oil once again. and i tell you here and now, it is a perfect hair serum. light + smooth, the end result was silky soft hair with a healthy shine. ta da!

{lips / for your kisser}
the lip balms are meant for your kisser, and that's exactly what i use them for. 4 vegan lip balms in delicious flavors; they defend against dryness and seal lips with moisture. i have these on me at all times: purse, desk, coat pocket, medicine cabinet. 

{cream / for your gams}
this non-comedogenic cream {don't worry about pores clogging} is a truly luxurious moisturizer: a skin quencher indeed. it's thick + rich, hence i like to use it on my hands + i also take my sweet time lathering my legs with it. i love to treat myself to some me-time on weekends with this fun, lil product. expect a noticeable difference in the texture of your skin. goodbye rough, rugged skin. hello elasticity!

there are all sorts of remarkable eco goodies over at s.w.basics. hop on over for some eco goodness!

{image by f+d}

Monday, February 10, 2014

{eco brand of the week} wildlife works: the perfect fair trade tee

it's a fair assessment to say i'm slightly obsessed with eco fashion brand wildlife works. this company is dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity via the protection of wildlife, their forest habitats and the creation of meaningful work that is an economic alternative to wildlife hunting and poaching. you and i can be a part of all this goodness simply by slipping into one of their comfy, cozy tees.
{introductions first}
 it's like we've mixed all the superpowers of all your fave superheroes and swished them around until we came up with one real life hero who does it all: mike korchinsky, the founder + ceo of wildlife works. who's been busy? mike and the good folks over at wildlife works, to be sure. alleviating poverty in rural areas + protecting animals on the verge of extinction on a daily basis? not easy tasks, my friends. so let's learn how the purchase of one minimalist tee can have a ripple effect on the lives of many. 
mike founded wildlife works in 1997 and soon thereafter established rukinga sanctuary on 80,000 acres of land in south east kenya, now home to hundreds of elephants, ungulates, bats, birds + many other happy furry, feathered friends and creepy, crawly creatures. he then built an eco factory where a line of casual apparel is produced. and enter the perfect tee {because i'm a gal who loves all animals big and small as much as i love a good-lookin' tee}.
{work it out}
every dollar spent on wildlife works' products goes directly to job creation and community development in rural communities. what kinds of jobs? you may wonder. funny you should ask. here are just a few of the employment opportunities created: conservation rangers, factory workers, horticulturalists, machinists, seamstresses, foresters, carpenters, construction workers, drivers, mechanics and administrative personnel. the company also finances the development of small businesses such as an eco-clothing factory and sustainable charcoal production and distribution. wildlife works even has a page filled to the brim with pics of all the lovely faces of the myriad workers trained + hired across different continents. 

{sixth sense} 
integrating wildlife conservation and socioeconomic development with forest conservation makes the wildlife works' brand of REDD* the most holistic and sustainable project developer in the carbon offset marketplace. all wildlife works projects incorporate six key elements that create sustainable jobs in communities that are threatened by deforestation.
below are the six key elements to the wildlife work's brand of REDD that make it a successful model:
  1. Jobs supporting education [children's education, conservation education, community outreach about our projects]
  2. Jobs making eco-friendly products
  3. Jobs protecting wildlife [rangers and eco tourism]
  4. Jobs managing our mission
  5. Jobs helping farmers [jajoba and chili project]
  6. Jobs growing trees [seedling program, green charcoal project]
{seeing REDD}* 
REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), is a climate change mitigation strategy introduced by the United Nations to help stop destruction of the world's forests. 
The carbon market is used to support these efforts and bring direct benefits to communities. REDD Voluntary Emissions Reductions, (VERs), are issued on an annual basis by third party verifiers only after the forest has been successfully protected sustainable economic alternatives have been created for the community, such as job creation initiatives and agricultural intensification programs.
now head on over to wildlife works and get some of that good, slow fashion. their fashion line is littered with casual, cool graphic tees + perfect foundations for any stylish gal's wardrobe, and these are wildlife works' primary channels for funding their forestry protection programs. perfect tee right this way ladies.
artwork by f+d {image by cats like scotch}

Monday, February 3, 2014

{meet the locals} cats like scotch

'tis true that i wax enthusiastic about all things eco-fashion here at finny+dill, but today, we veer off into the wonderful world of fine art. enjoy. 

while composing an article for laika magazine, i had the pleasure of meeting the deft, discerning + plant-powered photographer behind cats like scotch. ladies + gentlemen, let me introduce you to the talented miss clemens, a young linda mccartney on the rise.

b. clemens of cats like scotch photography is a natural-born storyteller, and she employs a slightly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression to narrate events and experiences. gently tugging scenes of americana into our orbit, clemens uses film photography to create exquisitely sensitive images centered on the lives of common people and everyday circumstances.

while she knows her way around a digital camera {her freelance work includes food + product photography and music photography} clemens prefers film, recognizing the virtue of imperfection and the value of grit in her exploration of small town america and the teachings contained in the littlest moments everywhere.

clemens offers insight to her artistic medium of choice, "i'm often asked why i chose film and i don't have an exact answer. i suppose what i really love is the anticipation that is only available with film cameras. there's a pleasure in the process - from framing to focusing, shooting and hoping, and finally developing and discovering whether or not there's a single usable shot on any given roll. it's a daily lesson in patience and precision and one that i quite enjoy."

in describing the work of acclaimed american photographer william eggleston, eudora welty stated, "the extraordinary, compelling, honest, beautiful and unsparing photographs all have to do with the quality of our lives in the ongoing world: they succeed in showing us the grain of the present, like the cross-section of a tree. [no] subject is fuller of implications than the mundane world!" 

gazing upon clemens' work, i can't help but feel i've entered into a dream state, there's a peace + warmth to her images: each picture possessing a soothing, hypnotic quality. through her lens the ordinary crackles with life and the pedestrian becomes at once captivating + entrancing. 

clemens previously worked as touring photographer with crooked creek studios, snapping shots of musicians and febrile fans. her music photography oeuvre includes celebrated musicians the giving tree band, edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros, as well as swooning fans aplenty. want to work with cats? find her here.
{images by cats like scotch}

Sunday, February 2, 2014

{eco kicks} cri de coeur + anthropologie

so this just happened over the weekend: ethical footwear label cri de coeur will have these foxy little boots featured at apparel + lifestyle retailer anthropologie, because anthro is apparently stepping up their game. 

if sustainable, hyper-cool boots were always available at our fingertips, well every eco-lovin' boy + girl would do the right thing: we'd all be sporing ethically-made, cruelty-free kicks all day long + into the wee hours of the night.

the joon boot, from cri de coeur's spring collection, was a creation form the arden wohl for cri de coeur, available for pre-order at anthropolgie right here. the time is nearing, my friends. more good things to come. perhaps goop will host cri de coer for another awesome green-brand collab!

here's to wishful thinking!

{image via anthropologie}