Posts Tagged ‘sustainable’

»November 9th, 2012 by andi


It’s no secret our nation is one that likes stuff. Consumerism, materialism, whatever you call it, it isn’t going away and I’m no stranger to it. My 4 closets (I know people who have more!) are proof. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I like stuff, you like stuff, a lot of us like stuff. But how to make it sustainable? By buying US made goods.

A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to visit the largest manufacturer of US made clothing centered right in the heart of downtown LA – American Apparel. Thanks to the amazing Fort Collins silk screener, Go West, I was allowed an inside tour of American Apparel – something not accessible to the public.

The biggest awe factor was the sheer size of American Apparel. You’ve seen their retail shops, you probably own several shirts made by them, and by size comparison, the shirts you own are like ants on the continent of Australia. There’s so much going on in those old, tall, symmetrical, industrial buildings!

American Apparel is also progressive. They have a laundry list of social ethics that I feverishly scribbled down through-out my tour. Some of my favorites: subsidized meals, an in-house medic, phone lines that call free-of-charge to Mexico, fair, open market labor wages and free massages for repetitive motion areas of the body. Not to mention they recapture all scraps to be made into something sellable.

Then there are the neons and star-spangled leotards and the many garments most people won’t wear in public. They have items that are sassy and plain, tight and baggy, urban and refined. American Apparel has major street cred, but it’s quite possible your parents have shirts they’ve made, which is really what gets down to the most sustainable part of their business; they break the crunchy granola mold to penetrate normalcy.

American Apparel brings something to sustainable that isn’t always seen – edginess. This makes them known as “that t-shirt company who displays discriminate pictures of mostly naked women who look strung out on their website,” which is true. But, you have to admit, their website is sexier than any other t-shirt company out there. This gives them an advantage to be seen by the mainstream, to garner more PR, to make a larger statement in the world of all things eco, to make a bigger splash. Call it what you want, but I’m proud that many people at this very moment may be wearing American Apparel – something sustainable – and not even know it. When we can replace something unsustainable with something that is without even knowing we’ve done so, we all win.

And so it is; American Apparel = winning. I am an American and I like stuff. American Apparel makes me feel good about my purchases. No forming new habits or retraining, just freedom to go with what I like and not having to miss out on anything. Kickin’ it right, stateside.

a. American Apparel van.
b. American Apparel HQ building.
c. Me wearing an American Apparel bathing suit on my head. I ended up buying it.
d. Be Well sign posted in an American Apparel HQ stairwell.
e. Fabric art piece hanging in the American Apparel HQ waiting room.
f. Palletized scraps of fabric waiting to be repurposed.
g. Neon sign hanging in the American Apparel HQ waiting room.

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»August 20th, 2012 by andi

I’ve been on the hunt for a new toothbruth. Of course, I want something sustainable, but our last round of sustainable toothbrushes left us scrubbed of money, not teeth. I think I’ve found our replacement – a biodegradable bamboo handle, DuPont bristle brush by Smile Squared. Smile Squared | toothbrush

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»August 1st, 2012 by andi

Here in Fort Collins, our forest is decimated and our Poudre River, black. The fires earlier this summer took a toll on the west side – something that’s sure to rear its ugly head for the next couple years in Fort Collins.

We, here in Colorado, can be angry about the fires. Some more than others, as their houses burned to the ground. Some will need to be angry to get to the point of reconciliation with nature – the whole grievance process. In all of the chaos though, I think we can look to trees – the very thing that kindled the fires – for guidance.

Just as residents affected by the fires must rebuild, so must the trees around them. This will not be easy for either entity; there are emotion and environmental hurdles in their midst. Yet, as the days pass, so, too, will the anguish of all that was lost. The trees will repopulate and growth is sure to be synchronous with the spirits of those affected by the fires. Time will give both an advantage in healing and they will once again coexist together, different than they did before, with more antiquity than they had before.

Here’s inspiration from one of my favorite eco tree house builders – Blue Forest .

»July 7th, 2012 by andi

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»July 5th, 2012 by andi

Kansas City Kitty artshow this First Friday, July 6th 5:30-8pm. Come out and see new blue sky above goodies!

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»April 22nd, 2012 by andi

It’s Earth Day. Earth Day, of course, being a celebration of nature and a day devoted to preserving our planet. And, I must say, I battle with the way I feel about Earth Day. A part of me thinks we should be aware of our environmental impact everyday, so why is there only one day devoted to it? Another, more compassionate part of me knows that devotion, be it a week, a day, an hour, is how awareness begins.

It’s unrealistic to expect consumerism will stop today, but, here’s a compromise; if you’re going to spend, spend sensibly. Think about your purchases and how they affect the global economy, the environment, the earth. More than ever, we as consumers have choice. Be critical thinkers. Choose wisely. (Hint: start by going to the shop section of this website…!)

»July 24th, 2011 by andi

What can you do with 16 Ranger IPA cans? Make 86 pairs of earrings, of course:

This, was my weekend. Interspersed with a lake, some Swedish Fish, yoga, a wedding and some extreme dog walking (in order to make it to said wedding). Eat your heart out, beer lovin’ jewelry wearers. You can find them at New Belgium, in Fort Collins, Colorado.

»December 5th, 2010 by andi

On a recent trip to Europe, I learned a lot of humbling lessons. I went thinking I had been there once, so things should’ve been simple. After all, Europe is a set of Western countries, right? Read more