Ecover is always thrilled when paper can be re-used and recycled. But when simple paper is transformed into a remarkable work of art, we’re pretty much awed. That’s why the work of Japan’s Michihiro Sato has left us almost breathless.
Imagine delicate paper that is colored, cut, folded, twisted and formed into figures resembling tulips, pods and other shapes from nature. That’s the foundation of Sato’s work. His paper-based creations seem almost life-like and “practically blossom,” according to Daily Art Muse. But that’s not all. The artist takes those objects and incorporates them into jewelry!
Sato makes pendants, brooches, necklaces and even rings—with names like Simultaneity and Revelation—from his paper creations. The artist focuses on fragility and takes his philosophy from Buddha himself: “The physical world is transient, and it is grasped as a temporal world in Buddhism. I feel this real world again with something fragile.”
These paper-based works make us think of the ancient Japanese practice of origami. However, Sato’s art goes well beyond swans and butterflies, taking paper manipulation to a whole new level. We hope, like us, you’ll be impressed with the artist’s jewelry … and we can’t wait to see what new and beautiful objects he produces in the future!
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As the weather turns colder and the days get even shorter, we’re on the lookout for healthy, hearty and seasonal recipes to warm the body and keep the house cozy too. If there’s a culture that knows corazón y alma (heart and soul), it’s the Mexican people and their ability to add a little spice to life and food. Ecover would like to share this delicious Tortilla Soup recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod. Don’t hesitate to substitute and make this recipe seasonal by adding some fall garden favorites like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, or cabbage. ¡Buen provecho!
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced (leave out if you don’t like things hot)
1 large russet potato, diced
2 small zucchini, chopped
1 bag of frozen corn (use fresh if you have it)
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
3 15 oz. cans of vegetable broth (low sodium, fat free)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Fresh lime juice
- In a large pot sauté the onion in 1 T. of olive oil. When it is tender add in the garlic and jalapeño. Sauté for about 2 minutes.
- Add in the potato, zucchini, and corn. Sauté until veggies are soft.
- Pour in the tomatoes and vegetable broth. If you are using plain tomatoes, add in a can of green chilies. Stir well.
- Add in fresh cilantro and lime juice.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot with toppings.
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Ecover knows that for many of our fashion-forward green closet eco-friends, style and sustainability go hand in hand. That’s exactly why we’re excited to highlight John Patrick, the mastermind behind the line Organic, whose clothes demonstrate a deep respect for the planet.
John Patrick has been a leader in the industry of organic, sustainable fashion for many years now. Combining chic clothing with recycled and sustainable materials is second nature to the designer. Recently, John Patrick was profiled by Lucky magazine, which talked about O by Organic, a slightly more affordable limited-edition line created for Anthropologie.
The designer has been praised for his combination of timeless silhouettes with unexpected fabrics. He even received a nomination for the CFDA Vogue award. In his Fall 2012 collection, Patrick collaborated with Raleigh Denim to incorporate jeans made from organic cotton and recycled TV dinner trays into the show! Unique and sustainable … a runway-stopping and totally winning combo!
It’s clear that John Patrick is committed to building a healthy planet one organic collection at a time, and his passion for the environment is something that Ecover shares. It’s no wonder that Lucky magazine named John Patrick’s line “one of the coolest eco-friendly labels around.”
So check out John Patrick’s clothes and consider adding them to your own Green Closet! There’s no better combination than feeling good and looking fabulous!
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Ecover: What inspired your passion for green living? How did you get into blogging?
Michael: My first exposure to sustainable living came after spending a few years in New Zealand and seeing first-hand their commitment to clean energy. After moving to Ithaca, NY–another hotbed for green living–I became inspired to learn more and apply sustainability in my own life.
I’ve been keeping online trip journals since 1997–but found the emergence of content management sites like WordPress to make the whole thing much easier. Around 2005, I started my first green site GroovyGreen.com (since retired) and later followed that up with Ecorazzi.com, and most recently Revmodo.com.
Ecover: What inspired you to create Ecorazzi in 2006?
Michael: Ecorazzi was created in response to the growing entertainment gossip scene. My business partner (Rebecca Carter) and I thought the timing was right to offer a “guilt-free” version of gossip–one that could entertain, as well as inform.
Our greatest achievement by far has been helping to increase visibility for those organizations and people passionately working to advance their cause. We love being able to offer non-profits and activists an opportunity to reach a large, engaged audience.
Ecover: What is it like to live and work on an apple orchard in Ithaca, NY while writing about the good gossip coming out of Hollywood?
Michael: One of the great conveniences of today’s world is the ability to be connected with everyone while being far away from everyone. With Ecorazzi’s network of field reporters and the web’s 24-hour news beat, it’s very easy to remain connected and on top of the latest happenings while simultaneously blogging under an apple tree.
Ecover: Which celebrities in your opinion are the real deal?
Ecover: If you could change one thing about the world today, what would that be?
Michael: I would like to change the dialog that the “planet needs saving” and instead focus the spotlight on those existing on it. If we all disappeared tomorrow, it would only take 1,000 years for cities to become forest again and completely unrecognizable; with very little traces of human impact. For all our hubris, the human race is still very much at the mercy of Mother Nature.
-Lindsay Brown, Reporting Live for EcoverPrint This Post Category: Ecover Reporting LIVE, Green Media | No Comments Yet
Helping preserve our planet’s health is what we’re all working for! At Ecover we’re always looking at ways to participate personally in sustainable living, whether it’s doing energy assessments at home, recycling wrapping paper for the holidays or using powerful phosphate-free cleaning products. We also encourage our Green Closet ecological approach to fashion which includes maintaining stylish sustainable designs in addition to extending the life of your fashion resources. That’s why Black Eyed Pea’s star Will.i.am’s new line of fashionable recycled products in partnership with Coca-Cola caught our eye!
The partnership is a collaborative movement called Ekocycle. The global aim of Ekocycle is to produce lifestyle products, like their new high-tech headphones, Beats By Dre, made in part from recycled material like plastic bottles.
It’s not surprising that the energetic performer Will.i.am is part of a project that will showcase his hip image and resonate with young consumers. As a global music performer and producer, Will.i.am wants to encourage recycling and sustainability by recycling with style! “You have to bring some art and fashion sensibility into this technology that turns a bottle into something cool” he says enthusiastically!
Up-cycling used materials into new products reduces production and lowers energy usage, plus it reduces the air pollution caused by the incineration of discarded materials. These are all steps to a better world!
Ekocycle products from Will.i.am are both purposeful and cool and we applaud Will.i.am for his ecological endeavors!
Image by High tech Dad via Flickr.com
Creating your #GreenCloset isn’t just about buying new eco-threads or shopping at thrift stores. It can also be about reinventing or repurposing what you already own by searching for fashionable ways to reduce your own ecological footprint. Next time you clean or organize your closet, instead of tossing that t-shirt you haven’t used in years, think about how you can breathe new life into the once-loved piece of fabric.
Looking for inspiration? Here are a few great ideas we found!
- One of the greatest men’s shirt makeovers – tutorial! Suzannah from adventures in dressmaking shows us how make a springy skirt from a men’s shirt. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and the results are shockingly chic. It’s definitely something you’d wear to the office.
- Just a quickie… Repurposed has a fun post on how to make a fun, flowery scarf with nothing but a shirt (or two), scissors, a needle, and thread. This is the type of project you can easily complete in an evening.
- 13 Ways To Repurpose Old Clothes. If you’re not into making new clothes from old threads, our friends at Apartment Therapy have a great post on how to create décor from old clothing. Definitely check out the site if you’re interested in doing anything from making a pet bed to refashioned pillows, some of the easiest DIY projects.
And speaking of rewards, we have the grandest prize ever in our Green Closet sweepstakes on Facebook. Clothes from Auralis and Study NY, an eco fashion consultation by Greta Eagan, Elizabeth Cline’s book: Overdressed, and Ecover products! Enter today as this sweepstakes ends Sunday night at midnight. Good luck!
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At Ecover you know we embrace the concept of a Green Closet which is all about long-lasting clothes and using sustainable materials. That’s why we’re excited to spread the word about Twice, an online “lightly-used” clothing store featuring top designer brands!
Twice’s beginnings make for a great story. Co-founders Noah and Calvin didn’t have backgrounds in fashion or retail. They met while working at Google. Yet, these guys had one thing in common: both grew up in households with tight family budgets. For them, secondhand clothing always was “in.” Drawing upon this fashion sense—or cents!—Noah and Calvin designed a concierge-style approach to buying and selling high-quality clothing (typically less than five years old).
This year-old startup has bagged $4 million in Series A financing, which will be spent on adding more staff, more fashions and new web features. Right now, Twice displays only women’s wear, but men and children’s clothing may come soon.
Here’s how Twice works. First, potential sellers mail in clothes for consideration. Twice closely reviews arrivals and makes an offer based on condition, brand and style. After the clothes are listed online, buyers are able to browse the site and purchase high-end fashions at bargain prices. Garments that don’t make the cut are either returned to the sender or donated to Goodwill. For every box of clothing Twice receives from customers, it donates one to Goodwill.
At Ecover, we take re-purposing garments seriously and we’re dismayed, as Green Closet team member Elizabeth Cline shares, by the amount of cheap, disposable clothes that ends up in landfills each year. In the U.S., discarded clothing is one of the single largest sources of landfill waste, with each household throwing away 175 pounds a year!
Ecover congratulates Noah and Calvin on their new endeavor, and wishes them continuing success in their efforts to give clothes a second life!
And speaking of a second or third life, we want to hear about the one item in your closet that you treasure the most that is 5-10 years old…and you can win the biggest prize ever for sharing your photo or story. Enter our sweepstakes on Facebook via the Enter To Win box so we can check out your Green Closet! Good Luck!
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Americans love a bargain, and many people have the overstuffed closets to prove it. Ecover is aware that fashion-bingeing is enabled by an unending supply of cheap, imported clothing that’s worn today and thrown away tomorrow—much of it destined for landfills. Author and Ecover’s Green Closet supporter Elizabeth Cline helps explain just how unbecoming the “cheap and chic” trend really is in her new book, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.
Cline deplores the shift to disposable fashion and the devastating effects on wages, the environment and the American apparel industry. Ecover welcomes this type of exposure because it can help change industry and consumer behavior. Our own Green Closet blog posts, tweets and Facebook updates are all about helping you build a carefully edited wardrobe with pieces that you love and care for lovingly (with Ecover laundry products, of course)!
Still, shoppers are primed to buy cheap and often. The average American acquires 68 new garments a year, yet spends a pittance on clothing as a percentage of income. “Our money has never gone further,” writes Cline. China, and increasingly Bangladesh, churn out cut-rate goods for the big U.S. retailers in relentless two-week product cycles to both fuel and satisfy demand. What happens to all this stuff? A whopping 70 pounds of clothing and textiles per person get tossed annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Waste. An estimated 85 percent of the rejects end up in landfills.
Another downside of cheap clothing is that most of it feels and looks … cheap. Not flattering! The good news is that eco-fashion is thriving as a growing number of designers embrace sustainable fabrics and practices. Quality over quantity is the mantra of savvy eco-shoppers. Indeed, a Green Closet is a great investment and a real bargain in the long run!
And if you want to expand your Green Closet, don’t forget to enter our sweepstakes on Facebook where you can win clothes by Auralis and Study NY, Elizabeth Cline’s book mentioned here, an eco styling consultation by Greta Eagan and Ecover products of course! Once on Facebook, just click on our Enter To Win box just under our cover photo. Good luck!
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Delicate garments require delicate care. But the beautiful, gossamer-like pieces created by sustainable designer Auralis Hererro-Lugo sure can take a beating after a whole season of press rounds! Alas, the Ava Top pictured here arrived back at the Auralis studio in Brooklyn, New York, following a recent photo shoot with makeup stains around the neckline and underarms, plus sweat marks and lipstick smears. Auralis’s solution to this Green Closet problem? Laundry Bleach Powder from Ecover, of course!
A close-up of the print, which was created with hand-splattered iron oxide
“Often in photo shoots, samples get inadvertently tested to the core,” report Auralis. “There are models trying it on a bunch of times, the makeup artist retouching the already dressed model, the stylist touching it to fix it, then the other staff. On the way back and forth from just one photo shoot, a garment can go through many, many dirty hands – leaving multiple opportunities available to stain beige, extremely delicate silk garments such as our Ava Top.”
“After the season was over,” said Auralis, “I wanted to keep the sample in mint condition for reference. It was in pretty bad shape. However, the laundry bleach took care of it all without affecting the iron oxide print or the delicate silk chiffon one bit!”
As an enthusiastic Ecover fan, Auralis was confident that Ecover’s chlorine-free, oxygen-based bleach would go to work without harsh chemicals that could ruin the fabric. You, too, can rely on this mineral powerhouse to lift everyday stains like tea and fruit juice from your favorite pieces … which means you’ll get that much more mileage out of them from season to season.
A Green Closet is a dependable closet! Thanks, Auralis, for sharing another Green Closet “problem/solution” scenario highlighting Ecover products. We’re looking forward to the next one!Print This Post Category: Green Closet | No Comments Yet
Ecover’s Natural Beauty Expert Jessa Blades Asks: How Long is Too Long To Keep That Favorite Lipstick
As a Natural Beauty Expert and Makeup Artist I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about healthy beauty. When thinking about healthy beauty and products, ones that are good for you inside and out, it is important to consider the shelf life of the product, in addition to thinking about the ingredients. Are you still carrying around the lipstick that you wore to your wedding? Ten year old powder from a gift bag at a makeup counter? I just recently threw out my eye shadow from senior prom. I wasn’t using it any more… but keeping it around for sentimental reasons. Whatever your reasons are, I am here to gently remind you that it feels good and is good for you to purge and cleanse your beauty cabinets and makeup bags.
I know it can be tempting to hold on to your sentimental beauty products, I mean, I’m a makeup artist- I have a closet just full of makeup. But keep in mind- beauty products have a shelf life, work better and are better for you when they are not expired.
Toss a product:
-when its smell has changed.
-if it has been exposed to prolonged heat.
-if there is a color or change in texture.
Here are more tips to consider:
Mascara - Shelf Life: 3-5 months . Tip: Never ‘pump’ your mascara. It dries it out, and never, ever share it.
Eye Pencils – Shelf Life: 2-3 years. Tip: Sharpen pencils regularly, and toss if they get crumbly or dried out.
Foundation/Concealer – Shelf Life: 12-18 months, depending on the formula. Tip: Keep an eye out for when the ingredients begin to settle or separate, the texture thickens or thins, or the smell changes.
Lip Gloss - Shelf Life: 1-2 years
Lip Stick - Shelf Life: 1 – 2 years, and sometimes longer.
Blush or Bronzer – Shelf Life: 2 years.
Moisturizers and Face Prep Products – It depends- there is usually an icon on the product. It looks like a container with a number in it. It might say something like 12 months or 1 year. The date starts when you open the product.
And don’t forget to take good care of your brushes!
Ecover’s Natural Beauty Expert
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