The Forgotton "R's": Part One

Reduce.Reuse.Recycle. - we have all heard this message before. And though I hope most of you make a habit of recycling, the first two "R's" usually go ignored. So over the next month I'll be sharing ways we can all reduce the amount of things we need to recycle by reusing.

Part One: Shopping thrift, consignment, and vintage stores. Shopping for secondhand items limits your consumerism, which in turn lowers your impact on the environment by limiting the resources necessary to fulfill your style needs. And items sold at these stores usually go for much less than at a retail store, so you're saving the environment and some extra cash. If you are looking for unique pieces, especially items from a certain era - 50s through 80's are most abundant- then shopping vintage and thrift is the best approach. Other avenues for used items can be flea markets, antique stores, and estate or garage sales. And you can even try rummaging through your family's basement and/or attic for cool finds.

Some of my favorite treasures:
 70's style buffet from a used furniture store ($99)
Mugs from a Salvation Army store ($4)
 Mid-century modern dresser from a Salvation Army store ($30)
Table and chairs dining set from a local auction ($300)
Place mats from a vintage store ($5)
Japanese sake pitcher and glasses set from a family member (FREE)
Starfish, napkin holders, S&P shakers from a consignment shop ($25)
Sushi platters, chopstick sets, Japanese tea set from a garage sale ($10)
 Shelves from a "going out of business" Blockbuster store (FREE)
Faux fire place from the side of the road :) (FREE)
Chess/checkers set from a thrift store ($6)

And these are just a few examples of furniture and decorations I've scored. I have found countless articles of clothing and jewelry from shops and sales as well. From blazers and dresses, to scarves and even shoes, I have some amazing pieces in my wardrobe that I wear on a regular basis.

Shopping at these stores are definitely a fun, money-saving, and eco-friendly option.


Eco-Friendly Products: Part One

Hoping to keep myself committed to blogging, the rest of this month I'll be devoting to my favorite green and organic products. I've done my fair share of research and testing on everything claiming to be eco-friendly and effective. From face wash to dish detergent, I hope to share my knowledge and maybe encourage some of you to switch brands for a healthier lifestyle and planet.

As a stylist, the most important products I use daily are hair products. Shampoos, conditioners and stylers are all absorbed into your hair, skin and body, so you should be careful about what ingredients they contain. Synthetic components such as petroleum, talc, parabens, sulfates, DEA (Diethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolmine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), Sodium Chloride, and SLS (Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate) are harmful ingredients; shown in studies to be irritants, possible carcinogens and linked to various diseases. And all of these ingredients can be found in most hair care products. Read your current product labels, it's a scary revelation!

So to avoid all these harmful silicones - which will coat your hair and damage it and possibly you- here are some of my favorite environmentally friendly, professional hair care lines:

UNITE - All color-safe products in this collection are free of parabens, sulfates, gluten, DEA and MEA, and all ingredients are 100% vegan. http://www.uniteeurotherapy.com/

Eufora - Starting with a certified organic aloe vera base, this entire line is free of synthetic fragrances, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and carcinogenic or suspected carcinogenic ingredients. http://www.eufora.net/

Kevin.Murphy - Theses products are made from renewable and sustainable resources whenever possible, using pure essential oils, plant extracts and natural antioxidants; all are sulfate and paraben free. http://www.kevinmurphy.com.au/

For all Eufora and UNITE products, please visit my salon - Evolve Salon,  http://www.thesalonevolve.com/.
And you can find the Kevin.Murphy line at Steele Salon, http://www.steelehairsalon.com/.


Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Hello fellow bloggers! Please forgive me for not writing these past 3 months. My life is always crazy busy, and I find that sitting down to type out a post does not come easily to me. So starting tomorrow, I'm preparing a week long blogging event that will hopefully keep me on a regular posting schedule. Stay tuned for that...

On another note entirely, I wanted to share this great new website I discovered: www.vivaterra.com. Viva Terra translates to living earth, and that is exactly what this company supports. They feature designers and artisans who work to make a difference in the world. These products are crafted from sustainable materials, and in my opinion are a great value. Here's what I'm currently stalking for our house:

Using a local grass, njodax, and plastic strips recycled from used prayer mats, women in Senegal, West Africa create these storage baskets and hampers. They merge modern materials with traditional weaving techniques that have been passed down from mother to daughter for generations. These functional works of art help support their families in poor rural communities. Stylish, eco-friendly and globaly beneficial!


My Super Cute Organic Blazer

My favorite fashion purchase recently has been my white blazer from H&M. It's perfect for looking professional at work and lightweight enough to wear on hot summer days. Plus, it doesn't wrinkle easily and is machine-washable. And best of all, it's organic!

It's made from Tenecel®, a registered trademark of the soft, lightweight Lyocell fabric. Lyocell is made from cellulose (vegetable matter) or wood pulp. In this case, the Tenecel® branded lyocell is made from eucalyptus trees. This makes it a natural fabric, and is noted for its durability, strength, and eco-friendly manufacturing techniques.

Visit hm.com for more information on the H&M Conscious clothing line and other ways they help make their fashion and company more sustainable.

Fashionable + Earth Friendly = 


The only animals I eat are crackers.

Since I was 8 years old I've wanted to be a vegetarian. Unfortunately my parents would not allow it when I was younger, mostly because I was too young and already a picky eater. As I got older, I became more adventurous with my food and decided that I didn't want to give up meat just yet. I didn't want to give up my favorites- lobster and crab, fillet, hot dogs and of course BACON (who doesn't love bacon?!). But after some serious research, the reasons I've found for living a vegetarian lifestyle are too numerous to ignore.

My motivation for adopting this lifestyle comes from my love for animals and mother earth. Most animals killed on "factory farms" are neglected, tortured, kept in filthy conditions, and often slaughtered in painful ways - such as having their throats cut while fully conscious. And sea animals caught by the fishing industry are also subject to torture such as being impaled, crushed, suffocated or sliced open and gutted, all while they're fully conscious. I refuse to support such cruelty! And these modern practices of raising/catching animals for food contributes to air and water pollution, land degradation, climate change, and relatedly the clearing of rain forests, resource depletion, and species extinction.

Initially, I turned to products labeled "organic", "natural" and "free range" thinking it would be a more humane option to still consume meat and animal by-products. I was shocked to discover that even farms promoting these products cram thousands of animals together in fifthly enclosures to increase profits. Just like factory farms, the animals often suffer the same mutilations and unethical treatment.

I am now what you might call an ovo-lacto vegetarian: a person who does not eat animal flesh of any kind, but is willing to consume eggs and dairy products. "Willing" is the key word however in deciding to eat eggs and dairy. Preferably I would like to consume these by-products from places that have humane standards and practices, such as local, family operated farms.

So this is my way of trying to making a difference, "being the change I want to see...". With so many ethical and environmental reasons - not to mention the countless health benefits - I can't consider living any other lifestyle.

*This video is something I think everyone should see. Please watch
with caution, it contains extremely disturbing and graphic images.


Spread the Word.Love Some Birds

Feathers are a huge trend right now in the hair industry: I know many stylists that wear and sell feathers, I have put numerous feathers in my clients' hair, and presently I wear two feathers in my own hair. Because of my constant strive to stay eco-friendly in my life, I decided to do a little research about where these feathers come from and what I found was horrifying.

Many feathers sold for decoration - whether it be for fishing lures, crafts, or hair fashion - are not gathered kindly. They are taken from birds that are kept and slaughtered on large-scale animal farms, either before or after their deaths. It is a very cruel process and is painful for the birds. It also supports the cycle of commercial animal agriculture which goes against my vegetarian, earth-loving nature.

These chickies say NO to mass farming!
Fortunately there is some hope. Many crafters and wholesale feather companies are aware of the issues surrounding the use of feathers and have begun to sell and use feathers that fall off of birds during molting or preening. You can find these "cruelty-free" feathers everywhere from Ebay to Etsy. Check out these awesome websites for products and more info:

Air Feathers 
The Happy Rooster

I hope this information aides you in being both fashionable and eco-friendly. And please, spread the word and love some birds!


This is why I heart H&M!

One of H&M's new look books for Spring 2011? Sustainable Style. All the fashion is organic cotton and recycled material. I can't tell you how excited I am about this. How cute are these dresses?!

gah, LOVE!
Check out more looks on their facebook page or http://www.hm.com/.