Archive for the ‘jewelry’ Category

tomorrow at brooklyn indie market

October 24, 2008

I won’t be able to make it, but maybe you can go and support some local artisans tomorrow from 11am to 7pm at the Brooklyn Indie Market (Smith & Union, Carroll Gardens).

The theme tomorrow is Steampunk, which according to wiki editors at Wikipedia is a “subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s.” Think Victorian England mixed with sci-fi fantasy (Jules Verne, HG Wells).

Two designers of note:

  • Sylvia Holden whose deconstructed fashion is made from recycled materials
  • Wren of Purevile whose often macabre one-of-a-kind jewelry is fashioned from antiques and such (like bones and doll parts)

Looks like I’ll be missing out!

[via Brooklyn Based]

eco etsy finds

September 23, 2008

One of the great things about Etsy, crafty online marketplace, is that you get to deal directly with the artists who craft their wares. Many one-of-a-kind or limited edition items — arts, crafts, jewelry, apparel, letterpress, even food — are waiting to find a good home. You can also choose to buy locally, from artisans in your area.

Here’s a little roundup of some of the eco-friendly goods available on Etsy.

Dollparts and Candy
Remade, Japanese-inspired clothing — if you get one of their special garments, you can probably guarantee that you won’t see anyone else wearing it.

Go West Prairie Cowgirl Shirt

Superscoop Icecream Denim Skirt

Cool chain knit necklaces made from New Zealand wool (so it does have to travel all the way from Auckland, if you’re not in that neck of the woods) are a more eco-friendly alternative to metal chains. As Esther and Shelley of Toggle say: Enjoy some gilt without the guilt!

Soft Rocks Woollen Chain in Black with Jewels

Soft Rocks Woollen Chunky Chain in Deep Purple

Soft Rocks Chunky Chain in Silver

Danamarie Hosler is known for her knitimals, unique creatures made from various textiles — wool, yarn, felt, &c. But I especially like these felt masks, just in time for Halloween (of course the kids will want to wear them all-year round… I see plenty of little boys dressed up like Batman in the middle of the summer around here).

The masks are hand-stitched, adorable, and you can get one for your favorite little monster for only $12 each. (They fit most adults, too!)

Red bird knitimal mask

Blue and yellow knitimal mask

One of VKnO’s specialties is her Windows of the Past – Pop Art Pendants.” As she puts it in her profile: A unique and eye catching piece of art for you neck. The one-of-a-kind pendants are made from recycled aluminum cans and vintage magazine or newspaper clippings. Pretty clever stuff.

Just like the sun

Who said it’s a dog’s life


Map Greenwich London (of course I love this one, it’s a map!)

naturaleza al descubierto
The gorgeous natural wood and plant materials in the jewelry by Marlon and Amy Solano are sustainably collected in Nicaragua. They accept custom orders, so if you’re looking for a unique gift or wedding ring, naturaleza’s beautiful jewelry could be for you.

La Malinche
organic seed earrings

nambaro wood ring with sterling silver inlay and band

coyol ring with tagua and jadeita inlay

green brooklyn event recap part 1: exhibitors

September 18, 2008

Some of the exhibitors (and some innocent bystanders) at Green Brooklyn 2008

Held at Brooklyn Borough Hall and in Cadman Plaza fittingly among the greenmarket, Green Brooklyn 2008 was packed with great exhibitors and informative sustainability events — all free to the public. Here’s a recap of some of the things I saw (part 1):


Blacksmith Institute

This non-profit group helps communities in developing nations overcome pollution and its effects. Jen, a representative of the Institute, told me about their list of the top 10 worst polluted places in the world, which is continually being reassessed. According to their site:

The World Heath Organization, in conjunction with the World Bank, estimates that 20 percent of deaths in the developing world are directly attributed to environmental factors from pollution.

Here’s their list of the top 10 worse polluted places:

You can support the Blacksmith Institute by donating here.

Brooklyn-based vegan skin care line CeleBritAy is the creation of Liz Santiago, whom I had the pleasure of speaking with. She had some products on hand to sample, sell, and smell — and the scents were naturally delicious. Sesame oil- and cocoa butter- or almond-based body creams are enhanced with bergamot, raspberry, lavendar, rose/peppermint, or arabian musk (or unscented if you prefer). They contain only natural emollients and essential oils — no petroleum, synthetic fragrance, or chemical stabilizers. You can treat yourself to these creams or her other bath and spa products at

GreenHome NYC
According to their site, GreenHome NYC’s mission is “to facilitate the adoption of sustainable building methods and materials by owners of small residential and commercial buildings in New York City.” They had a wide array of products for green building and renovation on hand for participants to look at, including recycled denim insulation, PaperStone, and sorghum plywood. GreenHome holds a green building forum on the third Wednesday of each month. Learn more here.

Wearable Collections
386 million pounds of textiles end up in the NYC waste stream every year, reports Wearable Collections on their site. And they seem to have a sensible solution: clothing recycling pick up at residential buildings throughout the city. So far, they’ve kept 350,000 pounds of textiles out of landfills. You can request a bin for your building here.

Sims Metal Management
Sims is the world’s largest recycling company with recycling operations all over the globe, and several facilities in the NY Metro area. They’re opening a new metal recycling facility in an industrial part of Sunset Park, Brooklyn at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. A representative from Sims told me that this waterfront location would reduce truck traffic by limiting the distance needed for Department of Sanitation trucks to travel from collection to drop-off. It also allows for easier access to carrier barges. Read their environmental policy statement here.

Eat Well Guide
With this non-profit program, you can find Good Food near you — food that’s local, sustainable, and organic. There are thousands of listings of farms, markets, restaurants, and other good food producers.

The Eat Well Guide was developed by Sustainable Table to educate consumers about the problems of factory farming and to provide them with access to sustainable food options. Watch The Meatrix and learn the truth about where food comes from.

Kiwi Magazine
This family-oriented publication provides parents with information on how to raise children in the healthiest way possible. Their magazine shows parents how to practice a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in light of their busy schedules. I was happy to learn they have a free online version of their magazine.

I spoke with Stephanie of Garbage of Eden Designs at the RePlayGround table about her cool plastic bag jewelry. She’s got great earrings and bangles for sale on Etsy — 10% of their sale goes to various non-profit organizations (including Added Value Farm). You can read an interview with her at Indie Fixx.

Read about my earlier post about RePlayGround here.

Exhibitors I missed:

  • Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
    I’d love to visit their farm in Pocantico Hills, about 30 miles north of NYC. Their restaurant in the city, Blue Hill, has incredible farm-fresh food and at the farm they have tours, a farmer’s market, and a restaurant. I think Autumn would be a great time to visit (harvest, fall foliage, &c.)
  • Added Value Farm
    This Red Hook, Brooklyn-based farm has a harvest festival coming up on Saturday, October 18 — and with food from local restaurants, live music and performances, a pumpkin patch, and farm tours, I plan on being there

Exhibitor I meant to give a piece of my mind:
Bettencourt Green Building Supplies — when we were renovating our kitchen last year, they didn’t show up for an appointment we made and didn’t answer my numerous calls when I tried to reschedule. (Grrr! Okay, enough griping.)

great remake

September 11, 2008

I’m always trying to find new uses for trash. I’ve made cereal boxes into magazine racks. And I’ve got a pile of plastic from food packaging and coffee top lids that I’m looking to repurpose.

Well, now there’s a place that can help me do just that. RePlayGround knows how to give garbage a new life, and they’ll show you how, too.

With RePlayGround’s help bottlecaps become magnets, old glasses become picture frames, and umbrellas become skirts. They’ll even come to your birthday party or other special event for on-site, hands-on trash transformations. Plus they’ve got kits and project books to make it easy for anyone to make lamps, transform clothing, or turn garbage into games.

They also take on design projects for companies — just give ’em your office trash and they’ll make some great gift-worthy items for employees or clients.

See how it’s done:

Find out if any stores near you sell their remade stuff.

[RePlayGround via Ideal Bite]

world of good (shopping)

September 8, 2008

When I spend my hard-earned dough I’d like to know where it’s going. Who is it benefiting (or harming)? What kinds of resources were used? Is it really worth the price (in terms of labor, effort, materials, etc)?

So in recent years, I’ve become really selective about where I shop. As I’ve said before, I avoid the big box and big name retailers (whenever possible) in favor of local, indie biz. Think Etsy vs Banana Republic, eBay vs Crate and Barrel. Of course there are times when it’s really difficult to completely ignore the big boys, like when you need a paper towel holder or new toilet seat.

Thankfully it’s getting easier and easier to find alternative sources for goods. Like the new responsible marketplace by eBay, World of Good. They’ve got a pretty big range of fair trade and/or eco-friendly stuff, from clothing and jewelry to furniture and toys. What’s really great is that they break it down in terms of the impact your purchase has. They call this a Goodprint and these are the categories: people positive, eco positive, animal friendly, and supports a cause.

It’s feel-good shopping, certified by third parties with their Trustology verification system. Many of their verifiers and sellers have been in the fair trade game for years, including Co-op America and Ten Thousand Villages.

Here’s a random selection of fun things you can get from World of Good:

PeaceKeeper Nail Polish
Proceeds go to people positive charities

Telephone Wire Bracelet
Eco-friendly repurposed wire, benefits South African artisans

Baby Llama Toy
Benefits Peruvian artisans, made with energy conservation in mind

Where does your hard-earned dough go?

beat nausea without drugs

August 14, 2008

Sea-sickness, car-sickness, morning-sickness — or anything else that makes you feel pukey — Psi Bands can help alleviate. They’re reusable, adjustable, and come in cute colors and patterns. The best part is they’re clinically proven to relieve nausea through acupressure, and without medication. Anti-nausea meds tend to have their own host of side effects, and anytime you can avoid taking drugs to treat a problem is all the better for your health (and the planet).

Bonus: The makers of Psi Bands support various charities and health-related causes.

You can get your own here.

save the bees with jewelry

August 5, 2008

With nearly 80% of crops worldwide requiring pollination, there’s a great need for bees and other pollinating creatures. So Alkemie, eco-friendly jewelry designers, are donating 100% of the profits from this necklace to the Pollinator Partnership, a non-profit group researching Colony Collapse Disorder.

All of Alkemie’s jewelry is made in California from reclaimed metals.

Get one of these bee-uties for you or someone you love at eConscious Market.