Planet Beyond earbuds combine tech, sustainability and fashion

January 17, 2020 by  
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High-tech products don’t have to be sterile and uniform, but there haven’t been a lot of options for personalizing or styling even common gadgets, like earbuds, until now. That’s what inspired Planet Beyond, a company aimed at offering fashionable options alongside state-of-the-art technology and sustainability. The earbuds, released in early December 2019, offer superior sound that is comparable to Bose or Apple. Even the basic model earbuds are embellished with a metal centerpiece, available in gold, gunmetal or silver tones, giving each pair a striking and unique look. The silicone earpieces not only deliver comfort but are designed for interchangeability of additional jewelry. Related: Korvaa is the world’s first headphones “grown” from bio-based materials Users can create ear art with a selection of add-on options. The jewelry components come in a variety of styles including leaves, shooting stars and sun rays. Each design is available in the same three base colors to match or contrast the center and are easily interchangeable whenever you want a different look. While quality sound is at the heart of these earbuds, sold as product PB01 to represent Planet Beyond’s initial product release, the brand’s bigger goal aims to add something that no other company has brought to the earbud market — style. As a start-up focused on sustainability, Planet Beyond has also placed importance on practicing corporate responsibility. With that in mind, each product is created from recycled metal . “Beyond being lightweight and durable, our Bluetooth earpieces are the synthesis of sustainability, fashion and technology ,” the company said. “With a broad range of offerings at attainable prices, we believe everyone deserves to witness the new intersection of technology and art.” Available now, the PB01 has a base price of $115. The optional accessories add an additional $55 each. With a team made up of a mathematician, an engineer, a computer programmer and an architect, we expect to see more wearable tech innovation from Planet Beyond in the future. + Planet Beyond Images via Planet Beyond

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Planet Beyond earbuds combine tech, sustainability and fashion

This unisex T-shirt is naturally dyed with Japanese cherry blossoms

December 30, 2019 by  
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Acutely aware of the massive waste in the textile industry, material development company PANGAIA (pronounced Pan-guy-ya) uses plants to make natural fabric dyes, skipping the need for harsh, synthetic additives. One of these natural dyes is sourced from the petals of the Japanese Sakura tree, which only blooms for a few days each year. The result is a gorgeous, light pink T-shirt made from organic cotton and dyed from the discarded cherry blossoms. Dozens of varieties of these cherry trees supply petals for specialty Japanese cherry blossom teas. These specially bred trees provide large quantities of blossoms that fall naturally following the brief annual bloom. Only petals that have already dropped are collected during this time, called sakura fubuki. The trees are never cut or harvested during the process. Related: Collection of plant-based shirts raise awareness of endangered species PANGAIA works in conjunction with the tea companies in Nagoya, Japan to collect the blossoms they reject. This gives the unwanted petals new life. In the lab, the petals are converted into a pink dye with bioengineering that uses no chemicals in the process. The waste- and chemical-free dye is then used to color the Sakura T-shirt, one of many clothing products the company has designed using natural or recycled products . The non-toxic, natural dye provides a subtle pink hue that enhances the GOTS certified organic cotton material. The Sakura T-shirt is made with a relaxed unisex design. The shirt is currently available for $85 and will be sent in biodegradable packaging. Similar products are available as part of the botanical dye T-shirt line, all of which are colored from dyes created from food waste and natural resources. Plants, fruits and vegetables are sourced to achieve the rich tones. PANGAIA reports its “supplier dyes textiles in a way that uses less water, is non-toxic and biodegradable.” To ensure transparency throughout the manufacturing process, each garment tag includes blockchain technology that shows the full history of the garment. A blockchain cannot be altered and provides a record of each stage of the journey, with complete traceability and authenticity. + PANGAIA Images via PANGAIA

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This unisex T-shirt is naturally dyed with Japanese cherry blossoms

P+365 is turning abandoned festival tents into wearable merchandise

December 12, 2019 by  
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When Tuo Lei came across an image of thousands of discarded tents strewn across festival grounds and destined for landfill, the designer saw potential. Lei’s P+365 project takes abandoned tents from music festivals and repurposes the material into streetwear to be sold the following year at the same event (hence the “365” to symbolize the year-long cycle). The idea is to raise awareness of this environmental issue while finding a use for the tents beyond waste. For consumers, the sustainable clothes and accessories are interesting souvenirs from the event that are both practical and sentimental. Each collection comes with bags, a poncho raincoat, a cap and a bucket hat, all made using durable, weather-resistant materials recycled from the deserted tents. The garments are specifically designed for the types of conditions expected from a festival scene — such as rain, wind and heat. Related: Housing pods made of recycled plastic offer an alternative to festival tent waste The designer receives the used tents from volunteer organizations and recruits more volunteers from social media to assist with the sewing and assembling of the apparel as well as collecting additional tents. Along with the clothes, the P+365 collections include DIY booklets with step-by-step illustrations for how to make each item. To make the pieces more collectible, the garment tags include information about the festival name, material features and the design story behind the brand. So what’s next for P+365? In the future, Lei hopes to collaborate with specific festivals that have high numbers of abandoned tents in order to sell directly to festival-goers. Lei explained, “P+365 not only gives users an outfit to stand out from the crowd in a music festival but also could be new potential for future music festival fashion style.” + P+365 Via Dezeen Images via P+365

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P+365 is turning abandoned festival tents into wearable merchandise

Wear jeans on your eyes with these funky sunglasses made of upcycled denim

November 19, 2019 by  
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Who knew that “thigh wear as eye wear” would be the next big thing in the world of eco fashion? Founded by British inventor Jack Spencer, Mosevic has recently unveiled Shades of Denim, a collection of ultra-durable and super funky eyewear that is made out of upcycled denim mixed with resin. Mosevic, which is currently running a campaign on Kickstarter, started eight years ago when Spencer had the idea to turn floppy denim into solid denim in order to create an entirely new material. The innovative idea turned into a range of high-end, handcrafted eye wear, called Shades of Denim. Related: Designer Sophie Rowley creates marbled furniture from denim scraps The first step of the process is finding unwanted denim, which the company gets from a variety of sources. While it is open to finding other waste streams, most of Mosevic’s material comes from discarded jeans that are not fit for resale and old denim stock from clothing stores. Once the designer has enough material, the reclaimed denim pieces are then mixed with a strong resin that absorbs into the denim fibers. Pressing multiple wet layers of denim together, the resin becomes solid, creating a “solid denim.” The resin used in the process is completely skin-safe and has been tested over many years. Once Mosevic has the solid denim, the manufacturing process, which takes place in Cornwall, sees that the eyewear is handcrafted in small batches with careful attention to detail. The result is a gorgeous collection of sunglasses with sophisticated brass detailing. The glasses are rugged enough to withstand everyday wear and tear, but they are also lightweight and comfortable — just like your favorite pair of jeans. The sunglasses come in a variety of styles and start at £195 (approximately $250), and you can get them fitted with prescription lenses. But if you go to the Kickstarter campaign , you can enjoy up to 25 percent off retail. Additionally, the Mosevic website comes with a cool, virtual mirror feature to see which frames fit your face the best. + Mosevic Photography by Andrew Hilling via Mosevic

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Wear jeans on your eyes with these funky sunglasses made of upcycled denim

Save the Duck introduces new winter line of outerwear

October 10, 2019 by  
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When you’re wearing clothing made from fur or leather, it’s hard to ignore the fact that it comes from an animal, but even vegetarians and vegans have an easier time closing their eyes to what’s hidden inside winter’s ubiquitous puffy jackets. Fortunately, brands like Save the Duck are making it possible for humans to stay warm and stylish without causing ducks pain and suffering. This month, the Italian clothing brand is revealing new designs. They’re kicking it off with a special brand dinner hosted by stylist Rachael Wang at the eco-luxury 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge . The collection features cruelty-free outerwear, including faux fur coats and feather-free down puffer jackets. Some of the new jackets are also waterproof. Save the Duck rounds out the collection with tees and sweats. The company promises, “In addition to providing animal free, ecological fabric, Save the Duck‘s penchant for bold color combines seamlessly with clean silhouettes and genderless, unisex pieces this fall.” You can choose basic black, but why not light up the winter in a bright yellow hooded puffer vest or a deep red fake fur coat? Related: The 2019 Redress Design Awards showcased the very best of emerging eco-designers Down is the soft feathery layer that grows closest to a duck’s skin, mostly on the chest. Manufacturers love the ease of working with these feathers, since they lack quills. Usually feathers are removed during slaughter, but ducks and geese being raised for foie gras or meat are sometimes plucked repeatedly while they’re alive. Save the Duck developed a synthetic down from recycled polyester they call Plumtech. The company designs all its jackets to be lightweight and easy to pack, as well as to spare the suffering of birds . The company Forest SRL owns the Save the Duck brand. Its roots go back more than a hundred years, to when tailor-turned soldier Foresto Bargi started experimenting with a water-repellent material he learned about during his time in the First World War. Now his grandson Nicolas Bargi runs the company. He launched the Save the Duck brand in 2011 to address people that are sensitive to environmental issues and sustainable living. One of his great victories was partnering with Kuntai A. Joisher, the first vegan Indian climber to reach the top of Mount Everest. Save the Duck managed to design a jacket that would withstand sub-zero temperatures and wicked winds. Even better, at press time the company estimated they helped save 17,975,456 ducks so far. + Save the Duck Images via Save the Duck

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Save the Duck introduces new winter line of outerwear

The 2019 Redress Design Awards showcased the very best of emerging eco-designers

September 17, 2019 by  
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Eco-fashion has come leaps and bounds in recent decades, but one environmental clothing organization has spent years addressing the global textile waste crisis through an annual fashion event showcasing emerging eco-friendly designers. Known for its work in reducing textile waste in the fashion industry, Redress has just hosted its 2019 Design Awards — the world’s largest sustainable fashion design competition. Let’s take a look at the winners! Launched in 2011 by founder Christina Dean, the Redress Design Awards aims to support emerging fashion designers who are striving to drive a sustainable, circular fashion system . Much more than just a fashion show, the months-long event includes an educational curriculum that aims to educate up-and-coming designers about the negative impacts of fashion’s manufacturing ways. At the end of the program, after learning about the principles of zero-waste design, upcycling techniques and reconstruction, the participants have the opportunity to show off their eco-collections at the swanky Redress fashion show. Related: Hannah Franco and Nancy Taylor celebrate sustainable fashion with époque évolution Held in Hong Kong this year, the 2019 Redress Design Awards, which drew more than 1,000 fashion industry experts, saw an inspiring collection of avant garde designs. The event was filled with various collections that showed a new wave of eco-designers might just be successful in changing the course of fashion by driving it into a more sustainable future. This year’s winner was British designer Maddie Williams, who will also have the opportunity to design a collection for the sustainable fashion brand REVERB . The runner-up of the 2019 event was Spanish designer Orsola de Castro. The People’s Choice winner was Moriah Ardila from Israel, and the Best Prize winner was Keith Chan from Hong Kong. Williams’ collection displayed vibrant, zero-waste pieces that were made out of reclaimed textiles, yarns and secondhand clothing. Williams said that she will use the Redress experience to further her part in making fashion a circular system. “Taking my catwalk competition collection into a commercial, upcycled collection will be a steep learning curve, and I’ll be trying my best to keep sustainable, circular principles at the core of what I do,” Williams said. “This is our time to tackle the environmental problems that we have inherited — we won’t get another chance!” + Redress Images via Redress

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The 2019 Redress Design Awards showcased the very best of emerging eco-designers

thredUP partnerships open the door to secondhand shopping at major retailers

September 2, 2019 by  
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Whether it is a handbag from the 1970s or a leather motorcycle jacket circa 1999, what’s old is new again, and online retailer thredUP sees the circular economy movement as a thriving opportunity. The consignment retailer and secondhand shop recently kicked off RAAS, or Resale-As-A-Service, a project to attract traditional department stores to get on board with more sustainable fashion . “The closet of the future … is going to look very different than the closet of today,” said James Reinhart, CEO and co-founder of thredUP. “If you think back 10 years ago when we started, you had none of these direct-to-consumer brands. There was no such thing as rental. There were no subscription companies. In just these 10 years, we’ve had a radical shift in how people shop and buy apparel . And I think that shift is going to continue.” Related: G7 summit — Fashion companies make a pact to protect the planet The retailer collects around 100,000 pieces of secondhand items daily and says resale is growing 21 times as fast as the larger retail market; it could be a $51 billion market by 2023. Shoppers propelling the growing circular economy are Millennials and Gen Zers — the 18- to 37-year-old population — who are purchasing about 2.5 times more than any other age group. Big box stores, like JCPenney and Macy’s, have seen their sales yo-yo in recent years and have signed on with thredUP. In doing so, the retailers have three options: store pop-up, online collaboration or a loyalty program. Some experts believe department stores will lean toward pop-ups, because they tend to attract more shoppers. As reported by Forbes , pop-ups offered by thredUP will be between 500 and 1,000 square feet and “feature new items on a weekly basis, offering brands that aren’t already in a typical Macy’s or JCPenney. There will be 100 pop-ups by Labor Day.” According to Reinhart, the loyalty program has been the top option, where shoppers can purchase items from thredUP’s retail partners and also receive a “clean out kit.” Buyers use this kit to send in pre-loved clothing items to thredUP — thredUP retains the markup on resold items, consumers get credits and bonuses with the retailer and the retailer sees improved customer retention. It’s a win-win-win. thredUP has reportedly received more than $300 million in total funding for the project. It’s possible that thredUP’s RAAS initiative may help grow the circular economy and give struggling department stores a brighter future. + thredUP Via TreeHugger , Forbes and FirstResearch Image via Burst

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thredUP partnerships open the door to secondhand shopping at major retailers

Designer turns cellulose into plastic-free, biodegradable sequins

August 9, 2019 by  
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In a bid to make the fashion industry more sustainable, designer Elissa Brunato has developed the Bio Iridescent Sequin, a material research and design project that turns cellulose into shimmering biodegradable sequins of varying shapes and sizes. Created in collaboration with Material Scientists Hjalmar Granberg and Tiffany Abitbol from the RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, these environmentally friendly sequins offer a compostable alternative to conventional sequins, which are typically made from petroleum plastic or synthetic resins. This new bio-material is proposed as one of the solutions toward a circular textile economy . Created in a laboratory using “bio-technologies,” the Bio Iridescent Sequin project has produced a wide range of samples of different colors and sizes with iridescent shine. The material samples were all created from cellulose, a naturally abundant resource that is most commonly obtained for large-scale use from wood pulp and cotton. Like plastic, cellulose can be manipulated to create a lightweight and strong material ideal for making sequins but with the added benefit of being compostable. Related: Labo Mono turns plastic water bottles into Urban Jackets for cycling and everyday use The eco-friendly sequins were created by redesigning the shiny decorative discs from the base structure up. The crystalline form of cellulose was extracted to take advantage of the natural light refraction properties. Shimmering iridescent colors were then embedded into the material structure of the cellulose without the added chemicals typically used in sequin production. “It is an entirely new way to approach color and finishes within the Fashion and Textiles Industry,” read the project statement, which noted the impracticality of recycling embroidery and the global challenges of microplastics. “Re-imagining the landscape of available materials that we have on this earth can allow for safer and more environmentally sustainable approaches to shimmering color. These approaches have the potential to outshine the previous options in a way that is more forward-thinking and innovative.” + Elissa Brunato Images via Elissa Brunato

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Designer turns cellulose into plastic-free, biodegradable sequins

Zara pledges 100% sustainable fabrics by 2025

July 19, 2019 by  
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This week, major fashion brand Zara announced a pledge to use 100 percent sustainable fabrics by 2025. The company also upped the ante for large-scale sustainable fashion by promising to use 80 percent renewable energy for its headquarters, factories and stores by the same deadline. “We need to be a force for change, not only in the company but in the whole sector,” said Pablo Isla, CEO of Inditex, the corporation that owns Zara. “We are the ones establishing these targets; the strength and impulse for change is coming from the commercial team, the people who are working with our suppliers, the people working with fabrics.” Related: H&M releases sustainable fashion line from fruit and algae Inditex is the third-largest apparel company in the world and promises that its other brands, including Massimo Dutti, will follow Zara’s example. Zara is by far the corporation’s largest brand, pulling in 70 percent of its sales, which totaled $29 billion USD last year. A major component of the sustainability plan involves increasing the offerings and sales from Zara’s eco-conscious line, Join Life. Zara also partners with the Red Cross to donate leftover stock and has an ongoing project with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to innovate new ways to recycle fabrics. The announcements come after increased pressure from consumers worldwide who seek sustainable fashion choices and critique the waste generated by the fast fashion industry. Zara claims it is not “ fast fashion ,” even though a documentary recently revealed that factory workers are judged by a woman holding a stopwatch and that the time between spotting a trend and having it hit Zara stores is only 2 to 4 weeks . Most fashion brands, by comparison, take 40 weeks. Critics and experts of the fashion industry noted that the new sustainability plan does not address concerns about the conditions for factory workers, despite recent controversies when disgruntled workers stitched S.O.S. notes into Zara clothing. + Zara Via The Guardian Image via Shutterstock

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Zara pledges 100% sustainable fabrics by 2025

SAOLA offers sustainable sneakers sourced from algae and recycled plastic

May 22, 2019 by  
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Although admittedly late to the game, fashion is working towards cleaning up their act when it comes to corporate responsibility and sustainable sourcing of materials and manufacturing of products. But, consumers have to look for it. Fortunately, the shoe industry in particular is getting downright competitive in their efforts to bring sustainable footwear to the market. Unfortunately, for many manufacturers, the eco-friendly label means little more than incorporating an organic thread here or a renewable resource there. For newcomer SAOLA, though, sustainable fashion is front and center. The french company is not only new to the sustainable fashion realm, but has only been in business a few years. Rather than fighting the trends, they’re setting them with their eco-friendly sneakers, some of which are entirely vegan. The efforts can be seen in every component of the shoes, from top to bottom. Related: These sneakers are painted with cast-off blood from slaughterhouses Starting with the uppers made from 100 percent recycled PET, the company pours 3 to 4 plastic bottles into each shoe. The shoelaces are sourced from 100 percent organic cotton to avoid cotton grown using chemicals. A plant-based foam created from algae biomass makes up the insoles and outsoles that brings a wafer-light feel to the sneaker, skips the petroleum used in traditional shoe production and makes use of the unwanted algae in areas where it blooms. Renewable cork sourced without cutting down any trees makes up a removable liner inside the shoe. SAOLA is dedicated to the environment with a commitment to donate 3 percent of every sale to environmental conservation groups. The current product line offers styles for both men and women with suede-look tops and trendy color options including grey, chocolate, camel, olive and navy. They offer low cut and mid-height designs with styles costing about $100. + SAOLA Images via SAOLA

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SAOLA offers sustainable sneakers sourced from algae and recycled plastic

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