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Seriously stylish upcycling

November 25th, 2010

LooptWorksI love the concept of upcycling: “the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.” (Thanks, Wikipedia.) To upcycle while creating a line of chic, stylish apparel and gear? Something more to love; hence my adoration of LooptWorks.

A little background (and a titch more about upcycling):

LooptWorksLooptworks is a ground-breaking business that repurposes abandoned materials into meaningful, long-lasting and limited-edition products. By re-using the world’s pre-consumer excess, the U.S.-based company aims to rid the world of waste while inspiring a generation to reduce their impact on the planet. ... Clothes that are discarded not only contribute solid waste in landfills, but also are part of a system that uses energy and creates carbon emissions in transit to distant lands. Cast-off clothing is replacing traditional locally made textiles, creating significant cultural and economic ramifications. ... Looptworks has turned the way traditional apparel companies manufacture cool clothing inside out. ...

And inside out never looked so good! I mean, check out the women’s Tranquilla vest and Fleur-escent graphic tee and the men’s Lepas flannel shirt. So cool! Plus they have some pretty nifty laptop sleeves among their upcycled gear.

LooptWorks_NingxiaLooptWorks sent me the Ningxia cowl neck top to review for you all, and let me tell you, it was such a sacrifice to wear this delicious, super soft, super comfortable upcycled tee. And by sacrifice I mean no sacrifice whatsoever. This shirt, which comes straight from Thailand, could be worn with yoga pants, a pair of comfy sweats, or skinny jeans and funky boots like I chose to do.

Later on I switched out my rain boots for a pair of black pointy-toed boots for a date night and it looked fabulous! Though I wish the bottom of the top fit a bit more snugly around my hips, I could live in this shirt. Who knew upcycling could be so freakin’ awesome?

Though a slightly higher price than I’d normally pay for a long-sleeve tee, now that I’ve worn LooptWorks’ Ningxia cowl neck top, I’m pretty much convinced it would be worth the investment.

If you want to learn something more about excess, watch the story of excess on the LooptWorks site. It’s pretty cool and does a great job personalizing the company.

If LooptWorks doesn’t convince you to try upcycling, nothing will.—Emily

  • PROMOTION! LooptWorks is offering Daily Dish readers 15% off all items on their site with the code boutiquecafe15. This offer is good through December 31, 2010. I think you need to add a little upcycling with your Black Friday shopping, don’t you?

Wear a tee, be the change {giveaway}

November 18th, 2010

I first discovered Tees for Change in December of 2009. I wrote about them on isthisREALLYmylife.com simply because I love t-shirts and love t-shirts that support a cause even more.

Tees for Change

When I was approached to “officially” review Tees for Change on Boutique Cafe, I jumped at the chance. I still love a comfy tee and love supporting a cause. A bit about Tees for Change:

Tees for Change is an inspirational apparel company dedicated to spreading positivity, making a difference and giving back. Our message is positive thinking and our medium is the t-shirt. Why a t-shirt? Because everyone can relate to a t-shirt and everyone has something to say!

Tees for ChangeTees for Change’s mission is to “inspire you to express yourself and live life with passion, purpose and positivity.” The company believes “practicing mindfulness and loving kindness throughout daily life can enhance our whole being – body, mind and spirit.” Are you loving this company yet? You should!

Why can Tees for Change call their t-shirts sustainable? Because all tees are fair trade, made under sweatshop-free conditions and use 100% organic cotton or a blend of 70% bamboo/30% organic cotton. Plus the cotton is cultivated without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, while bamboo is fast-growing, needs no pesticides and is 100% biodegradable. That is a lot of coolness packed into one little t-shirt!

Tees for ChangeTees for Change sent us their Embrace Change cap-sleeve tee in a yummy green. Unfortunately the medium ran a bit small for me, so I passed it to my oldest. And she wore it immediately. And it looked fabulous! The tee was super soft, and I mean SUPER soft, and Madison said it was really comfortable. Plus I love the positive message —a great reminder for all of us. (I didn’t snap a photo; lame, I know.) I did find the tee ran a bit short for my taste, and I think I’d prefer the short-sleeve style over the cap-sleeve, but it would make a fabulous go-to t-shirt no matter the style.

My other faves are their long-sleeve tees for winter with sayings like “today matters,” “choose happiness” and “seek balance” (a never-ending goal of mine!). Tees for Change also has a line of unisex tees, perfect as a meaningful gift this holiday season.

How meaningful? Along with giving the gift of inspiration, you’ll also give the gift of a tree. Tees for Change has partnered with Trees for the Future and will plant a tree for every tee purchased: “Trees for the Future plants trees in Asia, Latin America and Africa and our last tree planting helped plant over 5000 trees in Cameroon. We’ve planted over 10,000 trees since we started our company in Spring 2007.” Awesome.—Emily

***Giveaway! Tees for Change is giving away one tee, winner’s choice (a $42 value)!***

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway; please leave a separate comment for each one you do:

•  Visit TeesforChange.com and leave a comment telling us your favorite t-shirt.
•   “Like” Tees for Change on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you did.
•  Follow Tees for Change on Twitter and leave a comment telling is you’re their newest follower.
•  Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.
•  Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL to your blog post.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: November 25, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Valerie M., the winner of the Tees for Change giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

Unique, modern AND eco-friendly announcements? Yes! {giveaway}

September 9th, 2010

paperculture_logoNowadays you’ll find a lot of ways to do announcements and invitations, from high-end, super custom (pricey) to low-end, DIY (a lot less pricey). No matter the company, large or small, online or off, I have a feeling only a small percentage of them are eco-friendly and an even smaller number are as eco-friendly as Paper Culture.


The more I learn about Paper Culture’s eco-friendly collection and the company itself, the more impressed I am. Take this excerpt from their site:

Paper Culture cards aren’t just made from recycled paper, they are made from 100% post consumer recycled paper, so no new trees are ever cut down to produce your cards. Our Cards to Trees program plants a tree in a U.S. National Forest for every order placed. And we’ve donated a portion of all sales to Paper Culture Cares, our foundation that promotes sustainability, family and education.

I bet you’re just as impressed as I am and you haven’t even seen the designs yet. Here, let me show you a few:


paper culture invitation


paper culture holiday card


paper culture thank you card


Super fun, huh? And guess what else is super fun? Comparing them to other companies using this handy comparison chart on their site. Unlike other companies, Paper Culture’s designers personally review every order and will work with you to make sure the layout’s just right. They will also address and mail your envelopes for free (you just pay the cost of the stamps—no hidden fees). Oh, and they use 130lb paper and offer rounded corners on every order at no extra charge. Gotta love that!


I also love reminding you of Paper Culture’s super eco-friendliness:


Paper Culture


Don’t get me wrong. I love websites like Shutterfly, but I think I’ll be using them mainly for prints and photo books from now on. When it comes to invites, announcements or greeting cards, I’m going with Paper Culture—and planting trees.—Emily


*** Giveaway! Paper Culture is giving away one (1) $50 gift certificate! ***


Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway; please leave a separate comment for each one you do:

•  Visit PaperCulture.com and leave a comment telling us your favorite design or for what event you’d most likely use them.
•   “Like” Paper Culture on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you did.
•  Follow Paper Culture on Twitter and leave a comment telling is you’re their newest follower.
•  Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.
•  Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL to your blog post.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: September 16, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Kim L., the winner of the Paper Culture giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

Multeepurpose: Support a cause in style!

May 20th, 2010

Multeepurpose is a company determined to change the world…one soft, stylish, “support the cause” t-shirt at a time. (The company had me at “soft” and “stylish” so “support the cause” is just icing on the cake—chocolate of course.)

Multeepurpose logo

I can’t remember how or when I first discovered Multeepurpose but I’m ever so glad I did. If I’ve mentioned it in a Daily Dish review once, I’ve mentioned it a thousand times: I love (okay, more like LOVE) t-shirts, especially tees that are soft, comfortable, unique and full of purpose. (Was that a great segue or what?) Multeepurpose combines all of the above for a truly stylin’ line of feel-good—both literally and figuratively—apparel.

Rooted in an authentic commitment to change the world, one tee shirt at a time, we believe that t-shirts are walking billboards—effortlessly spreading ideas and messages.

I’ve never been prouder or more excited to be a walking billboard.

thumbnailWhen you browse the Multeepurpose site you’ll find tees grouped by categories: Humanity, Ecology, Urgent, Animal and Liberty. I think the Humanity tees are my favorite, but I found ones to love in every category. Multeepurpose also has a line of tees dedicated to relief efforts in Haiti. Buy a tee from this group and 100% of the proceeds are donated to non-profits on the ground in Haiti. Awesome!

Multeepurpose sent tees for George, Olivia and me to try out (and immediately fall in love with). Olivia adored her “sunshine and penguins” shirt and George felt super cool in his “bull” shirt. (As long as he doesn’t call it that out loud we’re okay…) By the way, I’m definitely buying him more purple—dang, that kid looks good in that color!

Multeepurpose

As for me, I found my tee to be one of the comfiest tees in my closet. Though the sleeve length was a little long for my taste (hence the rolled-up style I’m sporting in the photo), I loved the extra long length and lived-in feel of the tee. I might have been able to size down (they seem to run true to size) and that would have fixed the sleeve problem a bit, but no matter. This Multeepurpose women’s tee is still fabulous!

Multeepurpose

I almost forgot to mention these tees are tagless (another fave of mine) and though they specify line drying, I did throw them in the dryer on a low setting. I had to give them a dryer test because I’m known for throwing clothes in the dryer that shouldn’t be dried. These shirts washed and dried thumbnail2beautifully!

With summer around the corner it is time to freshen up your t-shirt collection. Throw in some super soft “purposeful” cotton in the mix with a Multeepurpose tee. Actually, you might want at least two so you have one to wear while washing the other. You probably won’t want to wear anything else!—Emily

Fashion-forward reusable totes from Envirosax {giveaway}

April 13th, 2010

Ever since I reviewed Knock Knock’s Forgettable recycled reusable totes I’ve been much better about remember to take my reusable shopping bags with me into the store. Yes, I occasionally forget but that’s okay because I need those plastic shopping bags for garbage can liners. Hey, I’m all about recycling if it keeps small garbage cans clean!

Envirosax_logo

origamiUnfortunately I’m not very good at thinking to bring one with me when I pop into a non-grocery store like Walgreens or OfficeMax or hit the mall for some quick shopping. That’s why I love Envirosax’s line of reusable totes—each one rolls up super tight so you can keep it in your handbag at all times. Envirosax pretty much leaves you without an excuse when it comes to remembering a reusable tote!

But a bit about the company first because this company is so impressive:

Envirosax bags are lightweight, portable, waterproof and each one holds the equivalent of two supermarket plastic bags thanks to reinforced seams.

We believe in environmental sustainability. Plastic bags clog drains and cause flooding. They pollute rivers and streams, killing animals and destroying plantlife. They take years to photodegrade and have a very short life span. Envirosax provide a compelling alternative to the plastic bags which are doing so much damage to our planet.


The company also donates a percentage of sales to charities and non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving the environment AND provides extensive sustainability education resources for educators, parents and children. Yeah, the bags are cool but the company is even cooler!

animalplanet4Envirosax sent me the Animal Planet Bag 4 (bird) to check out for this review. Um, the picture doesn’t do it justice. This not-so-little reusable tote (you’d never guess its size from that tiny little tote-roll) is about 20” by 17” and seriously chic; the print is as stylish as they come. It is well made with a weight capacity of 44 pounds. Um, that means I could carry George in it if I wanted to!

I love Envirosax’s Animal Planet line but I’m also loving their Mikado, Origami and La Boheme collections. Oh, and their Kids and Organic series are awesome as well. You’d be hard-pressed not to find at least four or five bags you simply can’t live without. And I almost forgot to mention Envirosax designs custom bags, which make a wonderful gift for customers and clients. How cool is that? (Almost as cool as my Animal Planet Bag 4…almost.)—Emily

*** Giveaway! Envirosax is giving away one reusable tote from their Origami, Midnight Safari or Oasis collections (winner’s choice). ***

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway:

•  Visit Envirosax.com and leave a comment telling us your favorite design.
•   Become a fan of Envirosax on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you joined.
•  Follow Envirosax on Twitter and leave a comment telling is you’re their newest follower.
•  Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: April 20, 2010 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Melanie C., the winner of the Envirosax giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

Simple Shoes: When simple is simply enough

March 18th, 2010

simpleshoes_logoI first reviewed Simple Shoes on Boutique Cafe’s Daily Dish in April of last year. I still own my cute pair of Entires and wear them whenever I have the perfect combination of dry, warm weather and freshly painted toenails (it’s all about the polish with peep-toe shoes). I love the shoes, I love the eco-friendliness of the company and the timeliness of their message.

I also love the shoes in their new spring collection. Simple Shoes sent me the D-Kay in Jute, a sort of skater-style women’s tennis shoe. Well, maybe it’s not super skater but it’s definitely more hip and youthful than my tan suede Rocket Dog sneakers! Here’s me trying them on for the first time and a what appears to be a pathetic attempt at ballet’s first position:

simpleshoes1

And here’s me kickin’ back in my D-Kays on our super comfy couch. (At least, I’m guess it’s super comfy since I rarely sit on it much less kick back on it. Who has the time?)

simpleshoes2

Though I wouldn’t typically choose this style of tennis shoe (it’s totally my sister, though), I really enjoyed wearing them. Made me feel a few years younger and yet not like I was one of those mom’s who raids her daughter’s closet. At first the top of the back of the heel felt like it might sit too high and poke into my ankle (or whatever bone/ligament/tendon is back there), after I wore it a couple times it loosened right up and I didn’t give it a second thought. The D-Kay is a really fun shoe, and like all Simple Shoes, it has a really cool makeup:

  • Eco-certified suede eyestays

  • Certified organic cotton laces

  • A “pedbed” (the cushiony and supportive stuff at the bottom of the shoe) made of super soft and squishy polyurethane foam and recycled rubber

  • Certified organic cotton lining and footbed

  • A biodegradable sole made of recycled and natural rubber and EVA with Eco-Pure additive

  • Water-based glue

  • Foot form inserts made of post consumer recycled paper

And your D-Kays arrive in a shoebox made of post-consumer recycled paper, soy based printing ink, natural latex and starch based glue.

simpleshoes_flippeeThe other fab shoe in the collection is the women’s Flippee. Who doesn’t love—and live in—a great pair of flip-flops all summer long? This new flip-flop from Simple Shoes is just as eco-friendly as the D-Kay and just as stylish, if in more of a “I’d rather hit the beach than hit the skate park” sort of way (my sort of way). They have lots of fun color combos and I’m telling you, they look like the comfiest flip-flops a beach-goer could own!

If my tan can’t be sustainable, then I sure as heck want my shoes to be! Check out all Simple Shoes’ new arrivals for spring/summer on their website at SimpleShoes.com.—Emily

Positively too cool organic children’s wear

December 10th, 2009

PONavBar4It wasn’t too long ago organic children’s clothing had very little to offer when it came to super stylish clothing. Though you could easily find onesies, tees and caps in muted colors, it was a bit more of a challenge to find a party-worthy dress or playdate-ready outfit. But times have changed and thanks to companies like Postively Organic, you can find eco-friendly children’s wear that sports serious style while managing to look good even after playgroup, park visits and everyday antics.

Earthboy_LS_CowboyTee_GreenPositively Organic’s children’s clothes (sizes up to 4T with seasonal sizes up to 6) are made using certified organic cotton. The company combines earth-friendly materials and sweatshop-free/fair-trade manufacturing with “bold graphics, bright colors and hip yet simple designs.” From henley and raglan tees to kimono one-pieces and yoga pants, Positively Organic is not your typical organic children’s wear line. When they say “bright colors and hip yet simple designs,” they mean it! I’m lovin’ the Earthgirl raglan tee, long-sleeve Cowboy tee and printed blankets.

Positively Organic sent Livi a cute long-sleeve tee and pants set. Though a size smaller than she usually wears, the outfit was designed well enough so she is still able to wear it…and wear it she has! We’ve already worn and washed this outfit two or three times, and each time it seems to get softer. The colors have held up well to both play and laundry detergent and this has become one of our favorite go-to outfits. (Trust me, she likes the outfit. What she doesn’t like is my taking her picture.) Though the pants are now a bit short I still love putting this outfit on her for slow, comfy days around the house.

IMG_2272

Earthgirl_Kimono_Romper_FloralPositively Organic’s collection is reasonably priced, which makes it even sweeter, and they have a pretty awesome clearance going on right now too. The fall line has some yummy colors like the bright raspberry in Livi’s outfit and some great styles like the corduroy cuff-up jeans for boys. And don’t forget those adorable kimono rompers! Along with offering customers stylish organic clothing for kids, Positively Organic also works with several causes supporting children’s welfare and environmental responsibility. Your children will look good and you’ll feel good when dressing your kids in the chic styles from Positively Organic.—Emily

* Promotion! Positively Organic is offering Daily Dish readers 15% off any regularly priced item! Simply enter code “cafe09” at checkout. Offer expires December 23, 2009.

yubo lunchboxes are all about you…

November 19th, 2009

yubo_logo...and the environment. With the latest info about phthalates and BPA and the move away from plastic bags and non-reusable containers when it comes to packing your child’s lunch, a few companies have taken up the cause to create lunchboxes that are both child friend and earth friendly. I’ve reviewed both the Kids Konserve lunch bag and the OOTS! Lunchbox and today I have a new one for you.

Though my girls don’t pack their lunches very often I am still trying to take baby steps on my way to helping our family be a bit more “green.” A reusable, eco-friendly lunchbox is one way we can make a small change in our habits, which will hopefully lead to more changes as we go. yubo sent me their Deluxe Lunchbox in a snappy orange—a good color for a family with both girls and boys. Before the lunchbox even arrived I was pretty excited to review it because although the previous ones I’ve featured on the Daily Dish were nifty, other than choosing your color or pattern, they weren’t extremely unique. yubo’s lunchboxes not only have removable faceplates but you can personalize them with your child’s name of even one of your own photos!

yubo

yubo’s Deluxe version comes with the lunchbox (of course), faceplate set (ours came with the “peace” set), three containers (one square plus two small rounds), a custom ice pack and a name tag. The kids saw the new lunchbox on the counter and immediately called dibs on who got to use it first. (My oldest won that one.) Though I quickly hand washed everything you can stick pretty much every part of the yubo into the dishwasher (except faceplates, tags and the ice pack). We love easy! The night before school my daughter packed her lunch complete with PB & honey sandwich, pretzels, carrots and fruit snacks.

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Because her sandwich container had a little room she was able to throw in a pack of fruit snacks on top before closing it. Other than that there isn’t much room for anything except the ice pack. Of course if you don’t really need the ice pack you could throw in a granola bar or other small snack on top. She put everything inside, snapped on the lid, slipped in the faceplates and was ready to go. It fit nicely in the fridge so it kept the carrots cold until it was time for school the next day.

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I would say out of the three this is my kids’ favorite lunchbox, but I will say as fun as it is to be able to change the design or personalize it or add one of any number of cool tags, it doesn’t hold that many items…unless you get creative and don’t need the ice pack. Otherwise you have a sandwich, two sides and that’s pretty much it. Perhaps that should be all you need for a school lunch, but I know by the time my girls eat (5 or so hours after breakfast), they’re pretty hungry. Of course you can buy different size containers so you could have three oval ones or four rounds and one oval one. But I have to say though the OOTS! lunchbox stacks vertically, which can be a pain if you need something on the bottom, it does offer a little more room for packing a few more things.

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We didn’t received the drink holder to test but I do love that yubo lunch boxes offer this option, though I do wish it came included with the deluxe version. It’s a holder that attaches to the outside so you can carry a reusable water bottle and it’s insulated, which is super nice!

Overall the yubo wins our vote for its ease of use (easy access to everything, dishwasher safe); custom ice pack that takes up very little space; BPA-free materials, food-safe, anti-microbial agent; soft handle (forgot to mention that earlier); 100% recyclable materials AND the super cool faceplates and tags. Plus it comes in pink, orange and blue…and did I mention it’s easy to clean? At $29.95 for the Deluxe and $21.95 for the standard lunch box, it is more of an investment than your typical lunchbox but you are helping save the environment, and who can put a price on that?—Emily

  • Promotion! yubo is offering Daily Dish readers 15% off their orders. Simply use code boucaf15 when checking out. Offer expires December 25, 2009.

How green is your morning shower routine?

October 20th, 2009

eco_logoAnd yes, I totally intended for that to rhyme; I like exercising my poetic muscles once in a while less they atrophy like my long-term memory. But in all seriousness, how green is your morning shower routine? ecoTOOLS, a popular collection of eco-friendly cosmetic brushes, bath, brow and nail accessories, recently launched a new line of  bath and body products that is 98% from nature, paraben free, phthalate free and cruelty free. Can you say that about your body wash and body lotion?

ET12050-2TI only recently discovered ecoTOOLS and now that I’ve sampled their product line I’m anxious to learn more—and try more. The company sent me their new Green, Clean, Go travel sampler kit to review on the Daily Dish, which includes the Clean Skin, Cleaner World body wash, Blooming Planet body mist, Sustainable Softness body lotion, One Hand Helps the Other hand cream and a bamboo nail brush. How cool is that—even the product names are earth friendly!

ET12002-2TBecause the ecoTOOLS Green, Clean, Go travel kit arrived post cruise I didn’t try everything in the kit but I did give the hand cream and body mist a thorough testing (and everything else a thorough smelling). Every product had a different smell and every smell was fantastic. My favorite is the Blooming Planet body mist. I first spritzed some in the air just to make sure an eco-friendly mist was also scent friendly and my first thought was, “Wow! That smells simply fabulous!” I immediately spritzed it all over and found myself sniffing my arms throughout the day, the scent was that yummy. And since that first use I’ve been alternating it with my favorite perfume, which is saying a lot because I love my So Pink from GAP! Just thinking about the ecoTOOLS’ Blooming Planet body mist makes me want to run upstairs and spritz a bit more on my body—YUM!

I was also impressed with their One Hand Helps the Other hand cream because it absorbed quickly, wasn’t greasy and had a fresh, clean scent as well. It seemed to moisturize really well, as I didn’t find myself needing to reapply any time soon…even in this dry Utah weather. I kind of wish they also had shampoo and conditioner; my hair routine could use some greening up for sure.

Of course there are the aforementioned cosmetic brushes and accessories. My makeup brushes are far from green (and far from new) and it’s about time to recycle them with some new ones from ecoTOOLS along with a new foot file. My current one would have you running scared if you saw it! And the kits from ecoTOOLS would make great stocking stuffers or teacher gifts this holiday season. Along with the travel one they have All Four the Cause hand & foot care set and Be Green, Live Clean body care set. Green up your morning routine with ecoTOOLS’ new line of bath and body products!—Emily

*** Giveaway ecoTOOLS is giving away one of their fabulous Green, Clean, Go travel kits! Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway (please leave a separate comment for each):

  • Visit ecoTOOLS online and leave a comment telling us your favorite product.

  • Become a fan of ecoTOOLS on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you joined.

  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.

  • Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL to your blog post.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: October 27, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Allison, the winner of the ecoTOOLS giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

What will you do when you grow up?

October 15th, 2009

wigulogoEven at the age of thirty-something I find myself saying things like, “When I grow up I’ll travel all over the world,” or, “When I grow up I will drive something other than a ‘95 Odyssey.” I obviously have a lot of growing up to do if those are the grown-up things about which I’m most concerned. Don’t get me wrong—my parents taught me what’s important in life but somehow that gets lost somewhere in my grownup life. What I need is a little reminder, and thanks to When I Grow Up, I get one every time George wears his new Value Statement tee.

wigutees2When I Grow Up offers a line of tees reminiscent of our childhood years when we found wonder in simple things like nature, make believe and laughter. With an emphasis on what’s most important no matter what stage of life you’re in, When I Grow Up’s Value Statement tees for children reinforce four strong core values using very simple phrases:

  • “i will…plant a tree” (Earth)

  • “i will…walk in someone else’s shoes” (Compassion)

  • “i will…eat my vegetables” (Health)

  • “i will…give” (Charity)

Who knew something so simple could be so powerful? The inspiration for the tees came from Randy Pausch’s Journeys lecture, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” Kat Henderson, the mom behind When I Grow Up:

In his lecture he talks about his childhood dreams, enabling the dreams of others and how we can do the same. Immediately, I thought how easy it is to go through everyday life without defining what matters most to us. Then, I thought of my son and my responsibility to be sure he grows up with strong core values.

It’s not surprising When I Grow Up is an environmentally friendly company. The clothing is certified 100% organic cotton and uses water-based inks, while all of the company’s paper products and shipping supplies use recyclable and recycled materials.

Though George enjoys wearing his Earth tee (I wanted to snap a photo but totally spaced it), I am probably the bigger fan. I love that it causes me to stop for a moment and think about the environment. I find myself more conscious about my recycling efforts that day and wondering if when I finally grow up I will be nicer to our earth than I am now. For George it’s all about literally planting a tree; for me it’s a reminder that I can make a difference…and should make a difference. Like it says on When I Grow Up’s site: “Wear it. Teach it. Live it.” George is going to wear it, I am going to teach it and we will both live it!—Emily

* Promotion When I Grow Up is offering Daily Dish readers free shipping on their order. To receive the free shipping discount, email design name and size to info{at}whenigrowupiwill.com.

These booties were made for warming…

October 2nd, 2009

IMG_1849...and that’s just what they’ll do come wintertime! George is now the proud owner and soon-to-be wearer of a pair of Satch & Sol slippers. I am in love with these new slippers not just because they don’t have a Nick Jr. or Disney character on them but because they are stylishly simple, well made and as green as children’s slippers can be.

moc with flower yellow 200Satch & Sol, a company started by Susan Bell who has children of her own, is all about supporting fair trade artisan cooperatives worldwide—and by worldwide we’re talking Mongolia for one. Satch & Sol is also all about being eco-friendly by sticking to green practices in business and product materials. I love it when a company embraces fair trade and the environment and turns out a collection brimming with high-quality products that are super chic, super sweet and yes, super unique. Because each of Satch & Sol’s children’s slippers are handmade they are definitely one of a kind.

I would’ve loved to have included a picture of George wearing his new slippers but up until yesterday the weather was still in the 70’s and 80’s. We have a couple weeks before the chilly weather sets in, but once it does these will be our go-to shoes for carpool, quick trips to the grocery store and car rides to Grandma’s house. One comment George made was that these wool slippers were a bit “scratchy” (nothing a pair of socks won’t fix!). He’s not used to wool touching his skin so it may take some getting used to, but I should also include a disclaimer: George hates tags in clothes and is super picky about shoes.

knit spring green 200Satch & Sol also has a collection of hand-knit sweaters, mittens, hair bands and purses and like the slippers, everything is handmade by Mongolian artisans. If you’re as tired as I am of character clothing and accessories and want something stylish and warm for those little tootsies, check out the slippers from Satch & Sol. Good luck choosing just one pair! (And no, they don’t come in adult sizes; I already checked!)—Emily

Being a rebel never looked so good…

August 21st, 2009

...or was so good for the environment! Rebel Green is a company all about eco-conscious fashion that is “chic, edgy, rebellious and eco-friendly” and their products are not only made in the USA but also “specifically designed to minimize waste and motivate a fundamental shift in thinking about our impact on the planet we share.” I love that last part—there’s a power behind the words “motivate a fundamental shift in thinking” and if any company can do it, and fashionably to boot, it’s Rebel Green.

Rebel Green’s product line includes apparel for men, women and children, reusable shopping and produce bags, reusable lunch bags, zipper totes and even a fruit and veggie wash. They offer a variety of designs that make becoming a “green” rebel a heck of a lot of fun! The company sent us a sampling of their tees and though the ones for George and Livi were a bit too big for them to wear, my girls and I have totally loved ours! I feel super cool going for runs while sporting my Peace Girl tank and Lauren’s Bubble Girl short-sleeve tee is now her favorite shirt. Even at her age I have to remind her to wash it once in a while—she wears it as often as she can!

For some of you school has already started and your school shopping is done, but is it ever really done? Did you check off “eco-friendly lunch bag” off the list? Waste-free lunch kits are the newest, greenest trend for school. It’s all about learning your letters and everyone should know about the three “R’s” (reduce, reuse, recycle). Rebel Green has taken the boring organic cotton lunch bag and made it super cool with designs that appeal to both kids and adults.

Did you know the average school age child generates more than 70 pounds of trash a year when he packs a disposable lunch? Each Rebel Green reusable lunch bag comes with a reusable, organic cotton napkin with a coordinating design that can be tucked into the bag’s outer pocket and the bag rolls up easily to fit in your child’s backpack when he’s done with lunch. And get this: all the designs are numbered so if you have a child who’s as into collecting as my daughter, you’ve just taken the cool factor up a notch! Throw in a couple Rebel Green organic cotton, small produce bags and you now have sustainable sandwich and snack bags.

Style has power and our goal is to get people to become fashionably eco-conscious. ... Let’s start with the simple reusable shopping bag. We are not convinced the whole world wants cutsie bags with polka dots, hempy looking sacks with preachy green slogans, or worse, the dreaded polypropylene bag shouting ‘Buy Local’ though the inner tag says it’s made across the ocean. We wouldn’t carry any of those and we think we’re not alone. ~Ali Ruvin and Melina Marcus, Co-creators of Rebel Green

No, Rebel Green, you’re not alone. I believe there’s an eco-conscious rebel inside each of us and now we have a perfectly edgy, hip, cool way to let our greener side show. Being a rebel truly never looked so good!—Emily

** Giveaway! Rebel Green is giving away one lunch tote and one tee, winner’s choice! Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway:

  • Visit RebelGreen.com and leave a comment telling us your favorite product.

  • Join the I Love Rebel Green group on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you joined.

  • Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.

  • Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL to your blog post.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: August 28, 2009 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

  • Congratulations to Kristen C., the winner of the Rebel Green giveaway! Thank you to everyone who took the time to read the review and add a comment. Keep reading the Daily Dish for your chance to participate in more giveaways!

This plate will make you—and the earth—smile

June 23rd, 2009

While my current set of children’s plates are plastic, I can’t say that they’re earth-friendly or 100% recyclable. They might be but I highly doubt it. I am aware there is a greater selection of BPA- and phthalate-free children’s tableware but nothing really caught my eye until I saw the collection from smiling planet.

smiling planet’s children’s plates are made from 100% recycled, high-grade plastic, made in the USA and are also 100% recyclable. It’s kind of like the ever-popular circle of life thing, which I thought was pretty cool eve before The Lion King. smiling planet has also made sure their plates are free of BPA, lead, phthalates, toxic inks; they are also safe and sustainable and dishwasher safe. Okay, so that’s a pretty impressive list, but are the plates as child-friendly when it comes to design as they are safety? Most definitely yes!

The collection includes 15 plates featuring words and/or graphics from the company’s self-titled book. George received the whale plate and smiling planet book; we read that book every night for about a week straight! And it was one of those I enjoyed just as much as he did. The illustrations are whimsical yet “deep” and the story is one we should all memorize and take to heart. Of course George loved his plate more than his book, but what do you expect? He gets his own special plate at mealtime—that’s so cool! I love that it’s safe but also that it has high sides so food stays on the plate rather than all over the counter.

smiling planet also has a wonderful selection of placemats, t-shirts, cards and posters, all at “friendly” prices. This is one earth-friendly children’s company whose products you can afford, and that will definitely make you—and our earth—smile!—Emily

I love Simple Shoes’ “Entire” collection!

April 8th, 2009

Simple ShoesI think we’ve only done one other eco-friendly shoe review on the Daily Dish, and that was TOMS back in June of ‘07. It’s about freakin’ time we had another one, especially with how stylish eco-friendly apparel and accessories are these days.

Take today’s review on Simple Shoes. There isn’t one shoe in this line I don’t love. (Okay, maybe the Teetoe isn’t my favorite but I’m having a hard time getting into the whole gladiator look anyway.) With styles for men, women and children, this line of sustainable shoes is fashion friendly, wardrobe friendly and definitely environmentally friendly.

Simple Shoescompany uses a variety of materials in their shoes, from bamboo to hemp to wool. It’s amazing how chic their styles are considering they also use recycled carpet padding, plastics and recycled inner tubes! Just look at the Entire, which I received in the yummy chocolate brown. First thing I noticed? They are super cute. The second thing? They are super comfy. Though I only wore them around my home (keep in mind it was still snowing as of last week!), I could tell they’d be my go-to shoes this summer.

These little peep-toe sandals are from Simple Shoes’ ecoSNEAKS line and boast a silk upper with certified organic cotton knit linings. Now that’s the sort of normal stuff. What’s not so normal and rather cool is what else makes up this shoe: an outsole that used to be a car tire, a vulcanized rubber sidewall and heelcap and 100% post consumer paper pulp foot form. Wow! All that in super sweet peep-toe!

Simple ShoesAnd not forgetting sustainable when it comes to the packaging, Simple Shoes are shipped in a “totally state-of-the-art/back-to-the-future post-consumer recycled box.” Some other nifty things about Simple Shoes:

  • Glue-free assembly: By using sewing machines instead of extra glue to assemble the shoe components, their new Glue-Free Assembly reduces the amount of glue used to less than 5mL (think about the size of a thimble compared to the two shot glasses of glue that are usually required).

  • Silk: It keeps your feet cool when it’s warm and warm when it’s cool. Silk is featured on styles ranging from slides to sporty sneakers.

  • Kids: They have great prints for infants and kids this spring but they company is even more excited about the new toddler collection being introduced in Fall 09. (I am really excited to since we’ll be reviewing a pair from the new collection this August!)

Eco-friendly and sustainable can be very fashionable words, especially when applied to footwear from Simple Shoes. Pick up a pair or two and do something good for your closet and the environment!—Emily

Look no FURTHER

February 25th, 2009

FURTHER SoapI must admit I am somewhat of a soap snob.

I don’t buy soap bars because dirt collects on the bars and the thought of numerous people sharing the bar to wash their hands—ugh! (I just really don’t want to see the collection of germs on the bar) Enough said. Soap bars are not for me.

I like soap dispensers and not just any store bought dispenser. Well-scented soaps (obviously) and the not so obvious other must—-it has got to look good! The soap is part of the décor. It sits right there beside the sink and everything else in the bathroom coordinates, so if my soap doesn’t match—it is a no go. Lately I have been a sucker for Bath and Body Works foaming soaps because it smells and looks good. However, I just discovered something better…way better…FURTHER soap.

The simplistic neutral tone dispenser doesn’t take away or compete with my good lookin’ pink tile;) and the monochromatic natural tag keeps it plain—something that could work with any style of bathroom. The luxury hand soap is made with natural ingredients including: oil, olive and exotic grass to create a clean fresh scent. I lalalalove this soap! It smells fresh—because it legitimately is pure. Not doused in perfumes and dyed with color. It really is squeaky clean! The price is a bit more at $18.50 for the 8 ounce bottle…but a little goes along way and I like to think this is one small way I’m going green…by using an all natural product:) So, look no further…get FURTHER soaps for your households and start smelling and lookin good AND because it is made with natural ingredients…you could be oh so eco-friendly too!—Amber

Soap is available online at www.furthersoap.com.

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