After a long, but wonderfully snowy, winter, StyleByThreadLightly is back! Be sure to check back here every Saturday to get the latest scoop on who's who in the eco-friendly fashion and living world. You yearn to be comfortable and stylish, let modestly unique? Well, Here's your source, being updated as you read this. See ya Saturday for the next featured company who struggled against every wave to become the ethically wonderful companies they are today! In the meantime, thank you for your patience, support, and encouragement! -Love, Emily
It is certainly rare when an artist can remind humans how animal we are. The work of Mika Machida makes us feel closer to the animals in the most beautiful and sensual way; through cheek rubb-able softness, innovative tangibility, and the most original use of sleeves, shoulders, and hems ever. Each piece created by Machida invokes the true beauty and personality of the animal that's depicted by the honest fabrics and presentation.
Amongst one of the biggest fashion capitols of the world, there is the quiet, elusive Mika Machida, the designer who's
hand-printed, hand-created fashions are as rare as some of her animal muses. In her NYC apartment hangs this pivotal piece of art featuring Red-crowned
Cranes against the white snow of Japan where they're most usually found
dancing and conducting aeriel ballet in preparation for mating season.
The birds are rare, beautiful, and revered; a wonderfully appropriate subject for the overall mission and ethics practiced by this creative designer.
In her astounding collection of wing-sleeved dresses and maned-couture,
'only the finest, sustainably made materials are used', and it could
not be more visually or tangibly true. Featuring organic wools, linen,
and cotton, Mika Machida
transforms the human, (who so frequently separates themselves from the
animal kingdom), into something more primitively beautiful, and
When all is silent around you, and the car horns fade away, and the wind becomes the majority sound...there is your quiet hug, a MountainSmith backpack. This lightweight, sturdy, and ergonomically sensual backpack's mission seems to include such pleasing features as: housing all your essential camping or photography equipment in supremely designed pockets, protecting your immediate survival with a smaller backpack that can be taken off for food-seeking or small trips away from camp, and the most noble of all, protecting our future by using 100% recycled PET bottles.
SBTL is simply astounded by the efficiency present in the usefulness, and creation of this MountainSmith backpack. From the honorable re-use of soda bottles that comprise the bags' rip-resistant fabric, to the drawstring side pocket that provides you with instant access (even when the bag is on your back) to, say, a wind-up/solar flashlight or a cell phone, the bag's design is as smart as its' recycled nature.
It is a pleasure working with the MountainSmith backpack. Daily trips to the post office delivering tee-shirts, day-time hikes, or overnight photography shoots, a true pleasure. The bag is ready for anything...including the most important mission of all: to protect your future; our future:)
After the large door of the Hotel Vitale entrance was chivorously opened for me, I was greeted with some of the nicest smiles seen on the trip. As a photographer just coming in from an exhaustive series of shoots, I did not look the part of the usual Hotel Vitale guest. Unwaveringly however, the greetings and warm welcomes continued and my usual independence slipped comfortably away as I was treated with personal, caring service that made me want to be pampered like that forever. With fine details like the insanely
comfortable, and locally crafted pillows, Hotel Vitale makes every detail an important one. Local seems to be the more obvious of their environmentally considerate themes. From the snacks in the minibar, to the produce prepared in their Americano restaurant, Hotel Vitale showcased tastefully chosen items made within the San Francisco border, (saving countless resources and stimulating the surrounding economy).
Hotel Vitale is set on the Embarcadero Waterfront, giving excellent views of the beautiful bridges, revitalized attractions, and enjoyable landmarks. From their rooftop spa, to the terraced gardens Hotel Vitale has tastefully created luxury accommodations for your pleasure. In the lobby, unique details like reclaimed wood adorns the front desk and walls, adding to the authenticity and the underlying mission...
The environmental and service-oriented commitment made by Hotel Vitale is subtle and unnoticeable...until you delve deeper and find that everything from their clients in-hotel meetings, to "eco-excursions", to the little things like low-energy bulbs. Business goes on as usual and people come in and out of this luxurious Hotel, knowing or unknowing of the impact the hotel isn't making. What a great concept: humble social responsibility and infinite luxury.
If there's one thing about StyleByThreadLightly is a goal to bring you timeless fashion that's environmentally conscious. Peligrosa encompasses that humbly and genuinely. From their soy-printed tags to knits so soft they will always be in style, this meant-to-be business is a positive role model for the fashion industry, the provider of insanely luxurious yet comfortable clothing, and a great lesson in sweater love.
Before knowing the full story, I personally embarked on the Peligrosa journey with material love-at-first-sight in the fitted form of the 'Owl Intarsia' Sweater. This thin, perfect temperature, finely knit, rolled sleeve sweater is like no other, and it had my heart from the moment it came out of the box. Is this sweater love? Yes, but there's more. As the Peligrosa sweaters, shorts, pants, and dresses were worn by model after model in 'Perennial', each wear warranted compliments on it's texture, warmth, and/or fit. And why wouldn't it? The well-suited merino wool and cashmere that comprises the sweaters feels even better against the skin when you realize it's free from chemical treatments, is thoughtfully grown on happy, well-treated goats and sheep, and is tastefully adorned by sustainably sourced buttons made from Bamboo and Coconut.
Something so innately lovable as the Peligrosa designs seems to have more behind it, and indeed they do. In 2004 two sweater-adoring designers met to discuss business...sparks flew, Cupid launched his arrows, and the love child of design and passion was born. Five years later Nico and Adam's line has grown, alongside their two children. Now you know when you open the box with your new Peligrosa attire, where that extra, unexplainable love comes from. It's not just from the knits, or the shape, the mission, or even the feel...it comes from something more, it comes something rare and beautiful. It comes from true love.
The thumb-sized oval button shown above is responsible for unleashing the finest designed luggage product ever. As other luggage bags knock against your legs, as they get stuck in crevices, and as they pull you wherever they go, there's the trusting Heys Eco Case, which calmly, quietly, and expertly follows you...almost seeming loyal. Whether it's using all four wheels or just one, the case maintains perfect composure and balance so that you, the lugg-ie, barely knows it's there; and it does this all while protecting your belongings with a hard recycled plastic case not even the NY subways can scathe.
The Photographer gets shot...pulling a full and heavy Heys Eco Case down the hall of NU Hotel. Photograph by Daniel of Uhuru Design.
We begin in Maine, where the Heys Eco Case is received on a foggy chilly morning. The bright, solid red of the case was a welcome sight and it was packed quickly with precious and delicate eco-chic items; all of which fit amazingly well into the cases expandable and spacious body. With thin and lightweight walls the Eco Cases range from 7-11 unnoticeable pounds, yet can fit an entire closet of clothing and accessories. It's a pleasure to pull behind you, as it rolls silently on 360 degree swivel wheels, which can turn unencumbered in any relevant situation. As the case board planes, subways, and shuttles, it is un-phased by bumps that knock other luggage's over, a truly incredible design that could not be made better.
When something's so perfectly designed, one wonders why every product can't meet the standards this one does. A reusable item made from recycled materials? A perfect combination. Though me and my unbruised leg may be biased, we love the Heys Eco Case. The wonderful and durable Eco Case by Heys is without a doubt one of
the most wise and important investments a traveler could make, because
not only are you investing in your traveling experience, but our future
Imagine lush, green, chemical free fields of cotton. Imagine there's no pollution, no disease, no toxins. In some parts of the world this exists, and there grows the rare and coveted organic cotton plant. A plant, that when left untreated with chemicals, creates the softest, most sensuous and touchable, most readily available fabric you can fathom. The creations from Beaumont Organic are no exception, in fact, the pieces generated by this environmentally-conscious designer are perfectly suited to their material, displaying some of the most flattering and innovative uses of the universal plant. Each piece is specific to it's fabric, the bag holding the Wooden Beaded Necklace for instance, fulfills one's love to touch and feel by offering up the thinnest, softest, mini-nubbliest cotton available today; the Beaumont Knickers playfully display a gathering of the thin fabric, in a soft and sexy way only this particular weave could allow.
Part of this incredibly subtle designer's work was inspired by a 2002 teaching experience on the island Of Fiji. Years later, that important time still rings true in her ethics, work, and mindset. Every year Beaumont Organics donates 1% of its profits to the Nissa School, in Taveuni, Fiji, where Hannah worked. Remembering times when a sticker, which the locals there had not had access to, could light up a child's face so profoundly that the "Beaumont Organic Foundation" was set up; a place where you can give financial or material support via a program called 'Little Luxuries' a simple concept that changes the lives of the Fijians by bringing them the little treats other communities may take for granted, such as playing cards or the above mentioned stickers. In addition, Beaumont has recently taken up sponsorship of a 13 year old boy name Leone, providing him with the support he needs to participate in school. To further help the outreach of the Beaumont Organic Foundation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org". Overall, the impact this one company makes on the world is a good one.
Imagine if every company took such considerate measures to ensure the
safety of people around the world, the health of environments,
eco-systems, and the animals they may never see in person. It may sound like a dream, but she's not the only one.
Comprising only 0.03% of the worldly cotton production,
organic cotton is a small but steadily growing industry. As the realization spreads that non-organically grown cotton
"...consumes approximately 25% of the insecticides and more that 10% of
the pesticides used in the world" (a standard conventionally grown cotton shirt uses about 1/3lb. of pesticides, chemicals, and fertilizers to make), and devastating algae blooms from agricultural run-off occur almost predictably now, among many other things; there will undoubtedly be a shift in the minds of consumers and manufacturers. Those chemically treated fields will eventually adapt to be chemical-free, rain-fed, with wind blowing
untreated leaves, frogs with four legs living happily in the
undergrowth, and people miles downstream swimming in the clean water.
Beaumont Organic is a perfect example of how a company can be successful while preserving ethical standards that improve the state of living for so many around us. As
winner of the prestigious and hard-earned "Best Textile
Award" from The Natural and Organic Awards" in 2008, the Beaumont
Organic factory becomes not a factory at all, but a model of what could be, standing out as a personable, reachable, and tangible
company you could (and would want to) live next door to.
It may sound like a dream, but it's coming true. "I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one." (John Lennon)
The late night arrival at Good Hotel marked the beginning of the second phase of the 'Perennial' trip...California. A place where being eco-friendly is revered, and where the famous peace-makers of the 60's and 70's hung out. San Francisco showed us what an environmentally conscious city could be like, an experience that was thoroughly enjoyed by this east coast native who's now going to share her thoughts on this incredible Hotel with you.
The playful atmosphere of the Hotel rang true even at midnight as we were welcomed genuinely by a very nice man named Roman at the front desk. We found out that he too enjoyed the vegan lifestyle, and was more than willing to share his local favorite restaurants! We woke to the beautiful, soft sunlight of a misty San
Francisco morning and were able to take a bunch of great photos in the 'Ruche Strap Frill Bra' from Beaumont Organic, a hot black Niksters Bikini,
and a custom skirt by KT Jean. Waiting for us in the lobby was an envelope filled with Roman's recommendations for local vegan cuisine. How nice! How typical...
Good Hotel is fun, lighthearted, and bright. The simple and almost
rustic undertones of the Hotels' decor combine superbly well with the
modernistic approach of white walls and chandeliers made from reused
glass bottles they created in collaboration of ReadyMade Magazine. Good Hotel took an innovative and effective approach to remodeling an old building, filling it with carpet made from 25% recycled material, comfortable bedspreads containing 85% recycled soda bottles and unusable garments, and reclaimed wood desks and beds that they worked with a local designer to create.
As part of the Joie de Vivre Hotels (all of whom take eco-friendly
initiative in their own ways), Good Hotel displays the amazing customer
service you want when you're traveling, especially when traveling
'green', which in itself, can sometimes be an oxymoron. Good Hotel speaks for the traveler who wants to visit new places without a footprint, and thankfully very little footprint can be made here, even if you leave the low voltage lighting on;)