Armadio Marketplace Brings You Italian Craftsmanship At A Fraction Of The Price

Armadio Italian Artisan Luxury


Who doesn’t love Italian craftsmanship? The soft supple leathers, beautiful sewing techniques, great fit, and long lasting quality. The price tag however is a different story…until now that is. Soon to launch e-commerce site Armadio is a marketplace that brings you Italian artisan made leather goods without the hefty price. Armadio connects Italian artisans directly with the consumer, eliminating the middlemen and retail markup, while delivering a superb product. The site will offer bags, shoes, jackets, dresses, and accessories.


Armadio Italian Artisan Luxury


The artisans who supply the big fashion houses like Chanel, Gucci and Prada are the same ones who design for and sell on Armadio, but at a 70% retail price discount. Not only are you saving money, but the artisans themselves are earning a bigger margin allowing them to sustain and grow their craft. Each item purchased through Armadio comes with a photo and story about the craftsman who created the piece.


Armadio Italian Artisan Luxury

Check them out here.


CAT Footwear Celebrates Fall With An #Earthmovers Party And New Collections

Cat Footwear Earthmovers Coretta Boot

Cat Footwear #Earthmovers Party, photos: Peter Roessler Photography

Cat Footwear Earthmovers Coretta Boot

Coretta Boot and Colorado Boot

by Nevena Rousseva


Looking for the perfect boots that blend style, warmth and comfort?

Meet the Coretta boots by Cat Footwear.

Cat Footwear Earthmovers Coretta Boots

Coretta Boots in Gingerbread


I met the boots last week when Cat Footwear presented their Fall/Winter 2015 line and gave first glance at their entire Spring/Summer 2016 collection at their #Earthmovers party. The Coretta boots feature a comfortable sturdy heel, full grain leather or suede, microfiber lining, a waterproof sole, and they come in three colors- Gingerbread, Deal Brown, and Black. These are my favorite Fall addition.

The party was held at Bryant Park South, with a large crowd of stylish New Yorkers, who browsed the collections while sipping wine by Liberated Wines and listening to tunes.


Cat Footwear Earthmovers

Cat Footwear Earthmovers

Cat Footwear Earthmovers


Cat Footwear also held a contest at the event to name its next #Earthmover brand ambassador.  The grand prize includes a paid #Earthmovers contract that will include cash, boots, a professional photoshoot, web feature, and being in Cat’s 2016 #Earthmovers campaign.

Cat Footwear has been designing and engineering high quality footwear for over two decades. Beginning in the industrial work boot sector, Cat has since grown into fashionable lifestyle collections for urban, city-dwelling men and women.  As a brand, Cat focuses on quality, rugged leathers, old-fashioned craftsmanship and sophisticated details

For more information, visit:

Cat Footwear Earthmovers

Cat Footwear Earthmovers


Global Goods Partners Connects Shoppers With Artisan Made Products, Changing Women’s Lives Around The World

Global Goods Partners

The following piece is a guest post by Malerie Thiel from Global Goods Partners, an organization that works with artisan communities to bring beautiful handmade products to US consumers.


 By Malerie Thiel

It’s no secret that poverty affects communities across the world, especially women and children in the Global South. This high rate of poverty can be explained by a lack of resources necessary to rise out of it, such as marketable skills, access to childcare, and even basic needs such as food and clean water. Some women are able to find work in artisan communities, but these groups are often unable to reach consumers who can afford to pay the artisans a living wage. This is where Global Goods Partners comes in.


Global Goods Partners is a non-profit organization that specializes in partnering with artisan communities in the Global South and providing access to the US market. We work with nearly 40 associations, cooperatives and social enterprises worldwide that integrate their commitment to community development—such as improvements in education, health, women’s rights, and employment opportunities—with socially responsible income-generating programs in craft development. GGP works exclusively through local organizations, so none of the work disrupts the community or negatively affects other artisans trying to make a living. This way the focus is entirely on the needs of the community; not building a foreign business that competes with other impoverished citizens.



Luxe Afghan Silk Chiffon Scarf


Our development model centers on supporting local women leaders and democratically governed organizations; promoting empowerment through economic development; and reaching the most marginalized populations.  GGP provides technical assistance, product development, operational expertise and small capacity building grants to our community based partners. With this support, GGP is empowering women to create sustainable change—advancing the health and wellbeing of their families and communities.


Each of the groups we work with must meet certain criteria before we enter into a partnership. Above all, they must follow fair trade practices, which means providing fair living wages and safe and healthy working conditions. In addition to offering sustainable jobs and income, we look for each of our partners to demonstrate fiduciary responsibility, high quality standards and effective management of their operations. Understandably, some of our partners need support in these areas and GGP provides a wide range of training targeted to our partners’ specific needs including technical assistance, product development, operational expertise and small capacity building grants. Every dollar that is not spent in marketing, shipping, and overhead, is cycled straight back into the community, providing economic empowerment and a healthy lifestyle for the deserving artisans.


Carved Chevron Bracelets

Carved Chevron Bracelets made from recycled plastic pipes

GGP sponsors several communities dedicated to using traditional practices to create modern products, providing them with the chance to celebrate heritage while supporting themselves and their families. An example of this is the Tigmi Bag Association, located in the small, southern village of Tigmijjou, Morocco. Citizens of Tigmijjou found their primary source of income by weaving mats from water reed, a practice that goes back hundreds of years. However, with the invention of cheap plastic the market for woven mats disappeared, leaving the community with no outlet for their weaving and no income, until one member of the community figured out that the local weaving practice could be used to create fashionable market bags. This lead to the creation of the Tigmi Bag, which allowed artisans of Tigmijjou to continue using their traditional water reed weaving customs while creating a fashionable product and a new source of revenue.


Other communities incorporate traditional practices into their work as well, such as Rose Ann Hall Designs with grabado glass etching, the traditional weaving and dying practices of Maya Traditions, and African grass weaving of Gone Rural. Each of these partners form customary art into a marketable skill, creating a living for hundred of artisans.


Rose Ann Hall Designs candle with grabado etching


Without income, without being economically empowered, women’s potential goes unrealized. Research shows and our experience supports the well-known truism that women direct their earning power to their family’s well-being, using almost of all the money they earn to advance their children’s health, nutrition and education. The inspiration to launch GGP came from the talented and tireless women we have met across the globe. We saw the opportunity to serve as the bridge between the western marketplace and the poor, often isolated communities where beautiful handmade products are made.


To shop our handmade, fair trade products and support hundreds of talented women throughout the Global South, please visit Any questions or comments can be directed to or tweeted to @GlobalGoods.

‘Made in the U.S.A.’ Clothing Is Not An Extinct Species Yet

It’s no news that much of the clothing we buy is made outside of the USA, but just how much of it is made outside the USA may be surprising to some. Zady, the online store for sustainably made products created the below infographic to show consumers just how much the state of apparel manufacturing has changed in the USA. Made in America clothing is not an extinct species, but it’s on the endangered list.

Here are a few of the facts:

  •  In the 1960s, 95% of the clothing that Americans wore was American-made. Today that number is less than 3%.
  • Texas is the leading cotton-producing state. In 2014, the U.S. produced more than 16 million bales of cotton, 30% (more than 4,800,000 bales) of this coming from Texas.
  • People will pay extra to buy American. More than 60 percent of all respondents indicated they’d buy American-made clothes and appliances even if those cost 10 percent more than imported versions; more than 25 percent said they’d pay at least an extra 20 percent.
  • Employment in the apparel manufacturing industry has declined by more than 80 percent (from about 900,000 to 150,000 jobs) over the past two decades.

So this 4th of July weekend (and really every other day) in celebration of America, let’s all shop made in America and support people right here at home.

Zady Made In The USA

infographic by Zady

7 Questions for Alternative Fashion’s Alyssa Couture

Alternative Fashion Poncho-Top-Skirt-And-Scarf

Photographer: Dan Pinard, Model: Natasha Nicely Luker

By Nevena Rousseva

Alyssa Couture has the perfect last name for the fashion industry. However she’s not interested in the type of fashion her last name denotes. She is interested in the newest revolution sweeping the fashion industry- sustainable fashion, which is precisely why the New Hampshire based designer started Alternative Fashion. Alternative Fashion is for the  free-spirited, confident woman who values comfort, ease and effortless style all while respecting and valuing the environment. I caught up with Alyssa over email to learn more about Alternative Apparel.


1. What prompted you to start Alternative Fashion?

I love fashion, and style. I am a designer. A mad fashion person. My clothing is my most personal possession. I have never gone a day without recognizing how my clothing affects me, and clothing is such a proponent of my mood, my health. 

Fashion creates the impetus for evolution. It is my life long dedication to fashion, to be able to give that to others, or at least be an addition to their own interesting collection. Sharing that vibe, the fashion heartbeat with my fellow fashion people, which is everyone, because hey, we all need to wear clothes. If you don’t you are in a nudist colony, and that’s like the equivalent of being a breatharian. Clothing is protection, it’s our beloved armor. The secret weapon of life.


2. What were you doing before you started designing?

I have always worked in fashion. I actually made my way with never being able to keep a steady job for more than 4-6 months for 15 years. That was partly from getting bored. Once I learned something and got the gist of it, I always turned to a new position, to approach new things.

Some of my previous work being retail, sales, management, public relations, visual merchandising, blogging, styling, fashion show production, fashion illustration, etc., eventually lead me to where I am at now.  


Crop Top Long Skirt


3. What is the inspiration for the Ocean Collection?

My designs evoke that eternal, feminine, timeless, goddess from within. I love surf wear and surf style. There’s something so cool, in a demure way about the surfer look. I brought that surfer style and carried it into a more mature, elegant aesthetic that is made to be worn like a classic. I captured the cool colors of the ocean. The jersey knit fabrics move with the body like the motion of the ocean waves. The ocean inspires me. I have always felt more connected to the sea than to land. Being able to evoke nature’s elements through the power of design is an important detail of my work. 


4. What fabrics do you use to create your designs?

I work with natural fabrics. If the fabric doesn’t breathe our body doesn’t breathe. 

I fully support natural fibers exclusively, due to the degenerative effects from synthetic fibers. What we put on our body should be as important to what kinds of food we eat. I emphasize jersey knits, because of the stretch and ease of the fabric. There’s a place for wovens though. 

I love cotton, hemp, and linen. I work with rayon, even though it is technically not eco due to the toxic chemicals they use to produce the fiber.  Rayon, and bamboo would be excellent fibers to use when we can identify new strategies for processing the fiber that are eco-conscious. 

I’ll replace fibers overtime with more advanced fibers. Organic cotton and hemp are the best fabrics. I used them predominantly in my collection. Most all of the fabrics I use are dyed using low impact dyes. There are still chemicals, but they lessen some of the more potent chemicals that could further damage our body. I also use plant dyes, which create a lot of life to the designs.


Purple Sheath Dress


5. Why did you choose to use zero waste design and where did you learn it?

I fell upon zero waste design through research, and naturally not wanting to trash fabric. This being my first collection, I don’t have the kind of inventory that would even be able to provide me with the chance to discard fabrics, or waste fabrics. A few of my designs were produced using dead stock fabrics. It is fun, and I work creatively when I have to improvise with what I have. In time, when I do have inventory, I’ll be overseeing the pattern production to make sure all the fabric is utilized. What scraps I do create are going to be recycled. It’s like when you eat a meal, and you don’t eat the leftovers. No one wants to waste food like that. Not when you see starving children and homeless people rummaging through trash cans. Why waste fabric?


6. Where do you manufacture the pieces?

Currently, this is a local, handmade production. My line is made by me. I design, pattern draft, and sew every piece.

This is currently a small start-up business, and my fall/winter 2015  collection may be in select stores by September 2015. Here’s to a goal! 


7. Where can the clothes be purchased?

You can purchase Alternative Fashion on my website:


Socially Responsible Kids Clothing Brand Habiliment Launches Seedkicks Campaign


by Nevena Rousseva


Socially responsible fashion is becoming more mainstream- which is great- and is spilling over to different categories like children’s wear. Oakland based Habiliment, is a socially responsible kids fashion brand that is embracing the movement and has launched a Seedkicks campaign to help create their first mini collection.

Founder Mirabelle Tolentino, has been designing children’s clothing for over 17 years. She often though about starting her own children’s line while on business trips to India. She took the leap in 2013 with the resolve to create a children’s brand that was meaningful, heartfelt and would also help the communities involved.




The Habiliment mini collection will be made entirely from Indian made Khadi fabric. Khadi fabric is hand-spun and hand-woven and  was promoted by Mahatma Ghandi as a way for rural communities in India to self-sustain themselves and preserve their craft. The Khadi fabric is made of 100% cotton and is hand dyed with vegetable coloring. Habiliment is dedicated to helping local communities and using Khadi fabric does just that.




Habiliment is more than just a kid’s clothing brand. Ms. Tolentino has always loved vintage clothing and decided to incorporate vintage and up-cycled aspect into the brand. She started curating vintage pieces for Habiliment and started creating up-cycled animal toy pillows out of clothing she finds in vintage stores, with help of her 6 year old daughter. She hand-makes all the pillows in Oakland California with the help of her family. After each pillow prototype is made her daughter test them out to make sure they are “snuggable”. Each pillow is stuffed with 100% recycled poly fill that comes from Michigan. She soon plans to add more home accessories.

Check out Habiliment and  don’t forget to check out the Seedkicks campaign!

Zady Unveils Its Supply Chain, Oh and Launches The .02 T-Shirt

The Zady .02 T-shirts and some of the workers from TS Designs who dyed and printed the fabric

The Zady .02 T-shirts and some of the workers from TS Designs in North Carolina who dyed and printed the fabric

by Nevena Rousseva

Today is April 24th . Two years ago this date had no meaning to the fashion world, until the collapse of Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh, which killed more than 1,130 workers. Now April 24th is known as Fashion Revolution Day, a day to remember those workers who lost their lives and a day for the fashion brands to take a hard look at their supply chains. While many big clothing brands are still trying to keep the inner working of their supply chains veiled, smaller brands are stepping out and lifting the curtain.


Take Zady, the online slow fashion brand that sells sustainably made apparel and accessories. With the launch of their new .02 T-shirt the company decided to expose the t-shirt’s entire supply chain as part of their commitment to create a new standard of supply chain transparency and responsible production.


The .02 T-shirts started at a cotton field in Texas

The .02 T-shirts started at a cotton field in Texas

The .02 T-shirt, made from Texas grown cotton and produced in North and South Carolina using environmentally responsible practices, has a curved neckline, rolled and tacked sleeves, an over sized menswear inspired front pocket, and a slightly longer curved hemline in the back. The design has an easy vibe that makes this a perfect t-shirt to pair with jeans for a night out or wear under a blazer at the office.


Making The Essential T-Shirt

Making the .02  T-Shirt


But by far the best part about the .02 T-shirt is the transparent supply chain. Zady’s decision to share all the details of where and how the T-shirt is made shows that brands can be transparent with their supply chains, a vital step in avoiding a future Rana Plaza tragedy. So today when people all around the world are wearing their clothes inside out and asking “Who made my clothes?” you can buy this t-shirt and truly know who made it.

Visit Zady to purchase the .02 T-shirt.

In Sustainable Fashion News…Eileen Fisher Sustainable Vision, Who’s Paying For Cheap Clothes, H&M Report Hides Unsustainable Reality

Eileen fisher collection

Eileen Fisher collection

Eileen Fisher’s sustainable vision could make every day Earth Day

Adidas Wants To Make Shoes And Clothing Using Plastic Garbage From The Ocean

Who’s Really Paying for Our Cheap Clothes?

Sew Fab: A Young Girls Guide To Sewing and Style

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 2.05.23 PM SewFab_Chapter1_opener


Fashion can be so fab. The fun and intrigue that comes with discovering new styles, designers, and fashion icons can leave a lasting sense of wonder and ignite a a life-long passion. And it’s no secret that young girls love fashion and are drawn to it early on. One aspect missing from the fashion discovery period for young girls is learning how to sew and make actual clothing, a crucial step in bringing fashion to life.

But now young girls can turn to SEW FAB, a style and sewing workbook for aspiring fashionistas. Author Lesley Ware wanted to give girls a way to use fashion as an outlet for expression, allowing them to tap into their creative potential. The beautifully illustrated book has everything, from helping girls identify their style to creating a mini studio and finding the right sewing supplies, to actual step-by-step sewing projects.




The value of this book, besides teaching girls a new skill, is that it shows them the process of creating actual clothing and makes them aware that clothing does not magically appear on store racks. This is the type of book that can help usher in a more conscious generation of fashionistas, who treat clothing with love and respect…because that’s stylish.


Sewing_Basket_Spread Bow_Spread(1)


Sew Fab is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble or the following book stores (if you are in New York)

McNally – Jackson Bookstore * 52 Prince Street * New York, New York

Tenement Museum * 97 Orchard Street * New York, New York

Blick Art Materials * 650 6th Ave. * New York, New York

Barnes & Noble * Union Square * New York, New York

Exit 9 * 51 Ave A * New York, New York

Park Slope Community Book Store * 143 7th Ave * Brooklyn, New York

Greenlight Books * 686 Fulton * Brooklyn, New York

Nolcha Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2015 Recap

FALL 2015

by Patinka

Nolcha Fashion Week is a leading award winning event, held during New York Fashion Week, for independent fashion designers to showcase their collections to a global audience.


Katty Xiomara

Katty Xiomara knows how to play with fashion without compromising the look. She surprised the audience with fun flirty and very edgy looks. Xiomara designs for a fashion conscious woman who is not afraid to show her feminine side. Her collection is full of bold colors and patterns. Every piece is very wearable and resonates with the fast paced New York life.


Danny Nguyen Couture

Danny Nguyen Couture took the audince to the red carpet. His gowns were eye catching and breathtaking. Every single piece deserves attention. There is something magical about dramatic gowns. It takes you to the next level, lets you dream away. Danny Couture was feeding his audience with anticipation, it was getting better and better with every piece. The show started strong with high fashion mixed with wearable pieces (ah that cape) and turned into a real extravaganza.  This collection was full of elegant texture and structure perfect for an elegant woman. Think Hollywood and drama!



Prieston fall-winter collection was inspired by the strong blondes that Alfred Hitchcock loved. The Birds element was present in every piece. Just like Hitchcock movies, the whole collection was intense and mysterious. The patterns and textures on the catwalk were real masterpieces. It is a collection for younger fashion forward woman, who likes to take risks and is not afraid to show her creative side.


Ann Himsel

From all the collections shown during Nolcha Ann Himsel’s was the most down to earth, inspired by street style and busy New Yorkers. The collection is highly wearable and its minimalistic character is really flattering. It’s a menswear inspired collection for a strong woman. Signature wool coat and cape are perfect for cooler weather.



About Patinka

I find pleasure in writing and sharing ideas about my fashion. I enjoy fashion for what it is and how it looks and feels whether it is Chanel or a cool thing from a thrift store. I strongly believe there is a future in recycling and reusing fashion. I love creating stories through styling. I am always open on new adventures. What’s next? Hopefully much more to come.

Blog /Facebook /Instagram

The Journey Of Starting And Running Sustainable Fashion Shop

by: Leanne Palmer

In 2008, my husband died of cancer and the global economy melted down. These two things, personal and global, happened more or less simultaneously. Afterwards, I felt that I needed to start something new. Over the next few years, I founded Quotidienne, an online shop selling clothing for the art of everyday life. The process has been challenging and rewarding, an ongoing learning process.

I have always been interested in how clothing helps us express personal style. As the recession wore on, I saw old business models failing, and new ones springing up. I live in Portland, Oregon, where almost everyone I know has their own business, but it took me a couple of years to build up the confidence and research to start the shop. Once I did, I had to learn everything from scratch, though my background in visual art gave me head start on photography and styling.

I was profoundly influenced by writer Bruce Sterling’s Viridian Design project. Sterling wrote:“Do not “economize.” Please. That is not the point. The economy is clearly insane. Even its champions are terrified by it now. It’s melting the North Pole. So “economization” is not your friend. Cheapness can be value-less. Voluntary simplicity is, furthermore, boring. Less can become too much work.”

The items that you use incessantly, the items you employ every day, the normal, boring goods that don’t seem luxurious or romantic: these are the critical ones. They are truly central. The everyday object is the monarch of all objects. It’s in your time most, it’s in your space most.”

Quotidienne is about restoring the items in our everyday wardrobes to their place among the “monarchs of objects.” Instead of fast fashion, I offer clothing and accessories that are meant to last for years, made by people who love what they do.

Beauty is everything. I’ve learned that to reach people I need to emphasize the beauty of the products, and show that customers are investing in wearable art. I tend to want to focus on the educational part of sustainable and ethical fashion, but that can come off as preachy and negative if I’m not careful. I consider it part of the shop’s mission to show people the benefits of “buying better,” but I am still learning how best to communicate that to my customers.

I rely on thorough Internet research to find the designers I work with, and I’ve learned through experience the importance of developing relationships with the designers. We each need to prove that we can follow through on our responsibilities to each other. I need to show them that I will pay on time and represent their work well. They need to demonstrate that they can deliver what they promise with consistent quality.

These aspects of running the shop are challenging, but they are also what I love about it. Showcasing designers who love what they do is important to me. I also love selling beautiful, minimalist things that can be worn every day. This is the easy part.

The hardest part of the business is unquestionably the financial aspect. I never expected running a business to be easy, but it’s even more difficult than I anticipated. I drive a 22-year-old car (and hope every day it will keep going), I live very simply, and I work another part-time job to help pay the bills while the shop gets established. It’s not unusual for me to work 15-hour days.

The other hard part is “selling.” I don’t believe in persuading people to spend as much money as possible on something they may not even want. However, as a shop owner, I do have to convince customers that I am offering something beautiful that they will love and use on a regular basis. I try to show them the long-term value of the items in my collection. I like business author Seth Godin’s approach, and recommend that aspiring business owners read his work.

Despite the challenges, I love running Quotidienne. The “Fashion Cycle” makes no sense anymore. The pressure to have new collections every season is hard for the designers, financially difficult for small boutiques like mine, and encourages waste. Going forward, I want to help develop a community that can meld the everyday with a bit of luxury and even romanticism. I think it can be done, but it requires us to change our mindset as consumers.


Leanne Palmer is the founder and owner of Quotidienne, an online boutique selling clothing for the art of everyday life. We provide a tightly-edited, well-crafted collection with a minimalist and slightly quirky take, made by people who love what they do. Everything in the shop has been chosen with thought, carefully selected to work together seamlessly but also mix well with your existing wardrobe. Instead of a closet stuffed with fast fashion, we want you to have a wardrobe of quality things you love and wear with pleasure.

Menswear Brand ‘Tahaanga’ Launching The Ultimate Biking Dress Shirt

Tahaanga Shirts

by Nevena Rousseva

Imagine biking in the fastest drying, breathable, moisture wicking, odor resistant, wrinkle free dress shirt. New York based menswear line Tahaanga is making that possible. The Tahaanga shirts are designed to enable men to bike to work without looking like they biked to work.

Made out of a proprietary fabric blend, the Tahaanga shirts have properties of the highest active-wear fabrics with the look and function of sharp dress shirts. One of the most important components is the sustainability of the fabric. The manufacturing process uses 94% less water, 10% less energy, and emits 15% less CO2 than traditional cotton, and uses 50% less energy and emits 32% less CO2 than other synthetic fabrics. That’s pretty fashionable.

Tahannga is currently raising money through their Kickstarter campaign and I had the chance to ask founder Manuela Fassbender a few questions about this project.

Tahaanga Shirts

What was the inspiration for Tahaanga?

I saw a gap between performance wear and stylish menswear. Active and health driven lifestyles are where it’s at right now. We at TAHAANGA want to provide a classic button dress shirt that combines style and function for casual and formal wear and help guys to look fresh even after wearing the shirt all day long.

The shirts are designed for business and business travel, but of course for anyone wanting a high-end shirt that looks good while running around, biking, going to meetings or meeting friends after work.


The fabric used for the shirts is a proprietary blend. What was the process of developing it?

I searched the globe to find the finest cotton blend with performance properties that have an exquisite look and soft and smooth touch, but yet has all the performance properties of the highest quality active-wear. Our fabrics are: breathable, odor-resistant, quick drying, wrinkle free and moisture wicking.


Where will the shirt be manufactured?

Tahaanga shirts are proudly developed in the design Hub of NYC and manufactured in Italy with its well established tradition of exceptional craftsmanship.


What has been the most fun part for you so far?

It all started with a dream/vision/idea—Finding an amazing team to take the idea to execution.


What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Creating a product on a shoestring.


How often do you bike and what is your favorite place to bike to?

During the warmer months I ride my bike 3 times a week. – I love to ride along the Hudson river on the New Jersey side passing right by the Stature of Liberty.♥


Make sure to check out and support the Tahaanga Kickstarter campaign.

Tahaanga Shirts

These 5 Designers Create Sustainable Wedding Dresses For The Modern Bride

Wedding Collage

sources: Pinterest, Minna, Celia Grace

by Patinka

Bridal fashion is always evolving. Styles change, fabrics change and hemlines change. But the change I want to explore is the one towards sustainability. Can bridal fashion be sustainable? Can you be a conscious bride without reusing your mother’s gown? And are there any decent options out there?

The answer is…You bet, there are plenty of options!

The growth in demand for eco-conscious fashion is making designers rethink bridalwear. Hundreds of wedding gowns designers around the world use upcycled and sustainable fabrics and support local or in-house production with fair-trade practices. The following five eco-friendly designers can make your wedding gown dreams magical and even more meaningful.



Minna Wedding Dress

Minna creates handmade wedding gowns out of vintage and certified organic fibers utilizing a zero waste cutting technique. Minna’s Eco-Luxe wedding dress designs have been featured in Vogue, Elle and Brides magazines. You can decide between ready-made designs or create your own custom dress. The gowns are inspired by boho chic.



Front Lace Silk Celia Grace Eco Fair Trade Wedding Dress

Celia Grace’s gowns are made from eco, handwoven silk and dyed with safe nontoxic formulas. People who work for the company get work security and fair wages. Also, for every dress sold a water filter will be donated in Cambodia. There are choices for every type of bride in many different styles.



Tammam Wedding Dress

Tammam creates custom made dresses to fit the wishes of each bride. The gowns are carefully made using ethical material and sustainable production methods.  Most of the gowns are made out of soft eri (vegeterian) silk and interlined with organic cotton. The collection is perfect for a fashion forward and edgy bride.




Deborah Lindquist’s designs are created with a mix of upcycled organic fabrics and embellished with vintage stones. The gowns are couture and fully sustainable. Her designs are a perfect mix of  vintage fashion with current trends in bridal fashion. The designer also supports American and local production.



Nicole Lenzen Wedding Dress

Nicole Lenzen works closely with clients to create the perfect wedding for each bride. Gowns are made only from sustainable and fair trade fabrics. Lenzen supports local production and all her gowns are made in Brooklyn.



About Patinka

I find pleasure in writing and sharing ideas about my fashion. I enjoy fashion for what it is and how it looks and feels whether it is Chanel or a cool thing from a thrift store. I strongly believe there is a future in recycling and reusing fashion. I love creating stories through styling. I am always open on new adventures. What’s next? Hopefully much more to come.

Blog /Facebook /Instagram

Discovered Marketplace Connects You With Artisans From Around The World

Discovered Marketplace

products made by artisans and sold on Discovered

by Nevena Rousseva

There’s something very special about an artisan made product. It’s a connection; to the person who made it, to their life experiences, and to the place where it was made. But it’s not always easy to find artisan products. Often you have to travel to far away places. That is until now. Enter Discovered, an online marketplace, founded by Gijsbert van der Sleen, that connects you directly with artisans and their products from countries like India, Morocco, Indonesia, Kenya, and Sri Lanka..

So if you want to find a unique gift for someone special, or just something for yourself, you don’t have to travel halfway around the world. All you have to do is shop through Discovered. And to get you started we are giving away 10 Euro (12 dollars) gift card to one reader! For more details see below.

Discovered Marketplace

artisan products found on Discovered


To discover what Discovered is really all about we had the chance to ask PR manager, Amber a few questions.


1. What is the concept behind Discovered?

It is a community connecting artisans and consumers and takes you on a journey around the world from your own home. On the marketplace you can find handmade products and the unique stories behind them, share your own (travel) stories and share your discovered artisans.


2. How did the idea for Discovered come about?

The idea came in 2012 : during his travels, Gijsbert discovered the best stories hidden behind special handmade products. The artisans asked whether there was an opportunity to share their stories to Western countries. They wanted to do business, but sometimes they just do not have the resources to do this. An opportunity was born, and Gijsbert wanted to make this possible for them by creating a marketplace where they can sell directly to consumers.


3. How is Discovered different from Etsy?

At Discovered we take out the middlemen so the artisan can earn more. We support the artisans wherever possible by working together with local scouts. These are people who speak their language and help them wherever possible. They help them by taking excellent photos and help them deliver a good quality product. Artisans can set their own selling price, adjusted to the western market, and on top of that we have a 15% margin. The artisans on Discovered are only from emerging countries.


4. How do you find the artisans?

We have local teams in 12 countries and we started by bringing 10,000 products online. We also have a Seller Activation team here in our office in Rotterdam who communicate with our local teams.


5. Are products shipped directly by the artisans?

Yes the artisans sell directly to consumers and ship the products.


6. How is sustainability incorporated into the Discovered marketplace?

Since a month we are a B Corp. B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

We believe we can contribute to a greener world, and therefore we instruct the Discovered seller to contribute too. A lot of them work  with recycled material, non chemical substances and sustainable packaging.  One of our core values is to be as green as possible, so if you would ever visit our office, you will see a lot of plants :)

7. What are the artisans saying about Discovered?

The artisans are really enthusiastic about Discovered sharing their stories, not only selling their products. You have a good example on this video (starting from 3.10 min) with our artisans Api Happi.


8. What are some of the best selling products so far?

Our popular artisans are : Maritjee store, Tulsi Crafts, and Api Happi


9. What markets will Discovered be entering next?

The next step is communicating global and choosing one country to set up the Discovered Academy, an academy teaching the sellers how to sell online.♥



For a chance to win this gift card, lave a comment below and you will automatically be entered. 


To learn more about Discovered and shop the marketplace click here.

Meet: Myrrhia Fine Knitwear, A Socially Responsible Knitwear Brand From Oakland, CA

Myrrhia Fine Knitwear

by Patinka

Sustainable fashion designers are growing in force, and it feels good to see that the American market is becoming more environmentally conscious. Fashion is an inseparable part of people’s lives and it is time to make smart fashion choices.

Let’s meet Myrrhia Fine Knitwear an Oakland, CA based socially responsible clothing brand specializing in knitwear that was started in 2010.

The founder Myrrhia Resneck calls her brand socially responsible and a form of self- expression. “My company isn’t just about pretty clothes, or just about me and my point of view stylistically, it’s about self-actualization for all of us. I hope to be part of the antidote to a culture who treats its people–and the environment that sustains them–as disposable.”

Myrrhia Fine Knitwear

The Fall 2014 collection is characterized by great shaped silhouettes in rich chocolate, black, and gray tones and complimentary jewel colored motifs in radiating patterns, which mimic networking energies and rippling heat waves.

MFK offers very functional yet sophisticated and edgy clothing for both men and women. The Fall 2014 women’s collection includes super soft and cozy, figure-flattering sweater dresses and pullovers, bold zipper cardigans and capes, chevron circular skirts, pioneer cowls, slouchy beret beanies and faux fur hats just perfect for Fall. The men’s collection consists of crew and V-neck patterned pullovers, high neck commander sweaters with reclaimed wooden buttons, stylish knit beanies, and buckle cowls to make every guy look stylish and feel warm.

Myrrhia Fine Knitwear

All garments are manufactured on a seamless Stoll knitting machine. MFK uses yarns and fibers that were grown and spun in the USA. They choose local and organic fabrics and materials whenever possible.

The other great quality of the collection is convenience. Because of the high quality and natural origin of the fibers, all of the garments are wrinkle-resistant. It makes it very easy to care for MFK clothes, completely eliminating the need for toxic dry cleaning treatments (which is another way to take care of our environment).

For more on Myrrhia Fine Knitwear click here, to shop click here.


About Patinka

I find pleasure in writing and sharing ideas about my fashion. I enjoy fashion for what it is and how it looks and feels whether it is Chanel or a cool thing from a thrift store. I strongly believe there is a future in recycling and reusing fashion. I love creating stories through styling. I am always open on new adventures. What’s next? Hopefully much more to come.

Blog /Facebook /Instagram

In Sustainable Fashion News…Fashion’s Compliance Struggle, Kering & Sustainability, Forest NGO Winning Over Fashion, Sustainability at H&M

Stella McCartney Green Carpet Challenge

Green Carpet Challenge collection by Stella McCartney / source

Op-Ed | An Industry in Denial: Fashion’s Struggle with Compliance

Placing Sustainability at the Heart of Kering

How Canopy Planet, a B.C. forest advocate, won over the fashion giants

H&M’s environmental sustainability coordinator on sustainable materials

“Sustainability is a part of everything we do,” says H&M designer

Sustainable fashion should tap into power of millennials

rêve en vert and Fashion’s Conscious Future

Here’s Why You Should Care About Sustainable Fashion 

Nolcha Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 Recap

Nolcha Fashion Week Spring 2015

By: Dominique Drakeford

Nolcha Fashion Week is a leading award winning event, held during New York Fashion Week, for independent fashion designers to showcase their collections to a global audience.


Day One of the Spring/ Summer presentations kicked off with a glorious runway presentation by Katty Xiomara. Her elegant silhouettes were like watching a romantic novel of divine ingenuity.

Starting the collection off with a soft pinks and metallic golds, instantly set the mood for that of a virtuous fairytale. The models were primped with collars, strategically placed pockets and textured trimmings. Keeping the collection very soft with the blues and whites was expected per usual, but Xiomara infused bold reds and burgundys with eye gazing patterns just to keep us on our toes. The array of ensembles mixed with the sophisticated layers was an ideal collection for the refined woman.

 The evening shows were a presentation of dignified designs with a mixed collective runway of hidden treasures.

Rinat Brodach immediately caught our attention with the first model walking out with a luminous sandy auburn fro strutting down the runway in a sassy hip-hugging black dress. Staying strong with a pallet of black, silver and charcoal, Brodach expressed inner sensuality that oozed confidence. The collection was sleek and effortlessly sexy. By utilizing drapery to tell a story, she kept us guessing ’til the end. But it wasn’t until the 4th to last look glided across the airstrip. A futuristic see through shoulderless shield with an oversize fish bowl neck made Rinat’s ability limitless.


Sofia Arana was the next designer whose pure collection immediately took us from mysteriously sexy to soft earth tones of the contemporary whimsical genre. Instantly loving the cuts, flares and details, Sagardia’s casual elegance made for a mouth watering collection. Staying on trend with jumpsuits, rompers and summer dress, her line was very simple with a hint of novelty.


Expecting, the next collection of jaw dropping woman’s wear, was completely dismantled by a bald stud in metallic tailored pants, sunglasses and a royal blue top. To my surprise, an assortment of men’s wear came full frontal by Schulyer 4 Alberto Pants, Carl Gross, Codice, and Haupt. The swag amongst the men varied from blazers and bowties to skateboard casual. All of the designs were well tailored with practical looks, but what stood out the most was the effortlessly diverse models and spot on props. Whether it be the less than stereotypical bearded hipster with an open cardigan or the gentleman wearing sandals and Dre beats, the mantra by far was “wear it proud”.

Mariana Valentina angelically alluring collection brought us right back to why we love Nolcha. From sequins and jewels to lace and sheer cutouts, Lira made onlookers feel classically chic and romantic. Showing for a 3rd year now, her designs took it up a notch with fluidity and sophistication. Playing with numerous sheer nude silhouettes, Mariana uniquely incorporated vine-like embellishments that can easily be a statement piece in any woman’s wardrobe.

Before the first model of the last collection showed her face, Mimi Tran enticed us with a soulful and upbeat Asian inspired soundtrack only to present the juxtaposition of formal gowns. What started out as a simple bridal wear dress, quickly transitioned into a whirlwind of majestic stallions parading the runway. Influenced and inspired by the combination of European luxury, Hollywood glamour and high fashion, her hand-crafted collection could easily be seen on the red carpet. The beadwork and sequin detail was beyond immaculate. With a surplus of geometric aggrandizements, streamline slits and manipulation of pattern placement, Tran ended the show with nothing short of astonishment.



About Dominique Drakeford

My name is Dominique Drakeford. As an ethical fashion mogul and community activist, I am an “Ambassador for Sustainable Style”. Upon completing my Masters Degree from NYU in Sustainable Entrepreneurship & Fashion, I have ventured into spearheading my own Sustainable Fashion PR Company called Drake Natural. Through my work I express how fashion is a meaningful medium of awareness that has potential to create “upstream” opportunities for intervention and prevention. I am engrossed in life’s journey and I’m infatuated with learning, growing, and having fun!

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr


Summer in New York


by Patinka

Living in New York there are so many things happening all year long…however, the best of the best happens during the summer. Time, as usual, is flying by like crazy. Before summer is over go out and enjoy yourself as much as possible. Whatever you do and wherever you’re going or coming from do it in New York style and while you are at it, do it in sustainable New York style. The options for activities, as the options of style, in NYC are endless. You can have the feeling of being on vacation without even leaving the Big Apple. What are you waiting for? Summer is waiting out there, and so are these gorgeous pieces!






About Patinka

I find pleasure in writing and sharing ideas about my fashion. I enjoy fashion for what it is and how it looks and feels whether it is Chanel or a cool thing from a thrift store. I strongly believe there is a future in recycling and reusing fashion. I love creating stories through styling. I am always open on new adventures. What’s next? Hopefully much more to come.

Blog /Facebook /Instagram

A Blast From The Past With Dana Liu, 8 Questions For The Sustainable Designer

Dana Liu by Kate Glider

Dana Liu is not just any designer. She is a craft revival, sustainable designer! Through her own research, she has interestingly created different procedures to naturally dye clothing. She uses these techniques and incorporates them into her culturally influenced designs. She puts a modern twist on old cultural looks, giving her designs an amazing versatility that cannot be replicated. I got the chance to ask her in depth questions about her unique techniques and designs!


1. How did you become interested in sustainable fashion?

I first became interested in sustainable fashion when I was working on a portfolio project for a scholarship competition.  My inspiration for the collection was a course that I was currently taking, Medical Botany.  I was inspired by the concept of medical botany as well as the shapes and colors of the plants.  A professor suggested that I consider using sustainable fibers and I started to research environmental and social responsibility.  Once I was aware of sustainability in the industry, I just had to do it!


2. On your website it states that you use some interesting natural materials and dyes. Can you tell me a little more about that?

I spent the past year experimenting with dyeing organic cottons and peace silks with natural dyes.  Through the advice of professors and my own internet and library research I began to dye using fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers as dye materials.  It’s super exciting to completely change the appearance of cloth using plants that you can find right in your grandmother’s garden or produce section at your local grocer!  My most successful natural dyes were extracted from yellow onion skins and red cabbage.  Both vegetables produced rich, vivid hues.  I dyed fabrics in my senior collection using yellow onionskins and acorns.

 Dana Liu


3. I see through your portfolio that you incorporate different cultures into your pieces. Which is your favorite culture to incorporate?

I focused on Japanese culture for my senior thesis collection and found many different aspects to be inspirational.  I incorporated aesthetics, traditional dress and artisanal textile and surface manipulations.


4. What inspires you other than cultures in regards to your collection?

I am also inspired by the women who I visualize wearing my clothing.  I try to create garments that are wearable and classic, yet have special elements.  I think that each garment should be able to stand alone and as part of an ensemble.  My favorite look in my collection is the shibori dyed maxi dress with the organza shell because even by themselves, each piece has a presence and makes a statement. 


5. Do you ever find it difficult to incorporate these cultures into modern pieces?

It can be a challenge to incorporate cultures into modern, wearable pieces.  However, I try to be inspired by concepts within cultures in addition to referencing visual aspects.  The challenge of incorporating different cultures into wearable, fashion-forward garments is what makes designing fun and interesting.  It requires creativity, critical thinking and some wit!  I like to think that I have just enough of all three to create garments that you can’t mistake for costumes.

 Dana Liu


6. I noticed you use very unique Japanese process within your textiles. Can you explain the processes of Sahiko and Shibori?

Sashiko is a Japanese embroidery technique that uses running stitches to create geometric designs.  In addition to being used for decoration, it can also be employed to mend old garments.  I actually used it to patch up an old pair of jeans that I stole from my boyfriend and turned into authentic boyfriend jeans!  Its versatility and durability make it an awesome way to upcycle clothing.

Shibori is a Japanese textile dyeing technique.  It creates unique designs by clamping, twisting, tying and folding fabric and dipping it into a dye bath.  I always feel a lot of anticipation when shibori dyeing fabric because you don’t know how the fabric is going to look until you’re finished dyeing it!  That anticipation only seems to exemplify the beauty.

7. You told me you work and also hold two internships. Tell me about them.

I am currently working two jobs and interning in the city two days a week.  I babysit for two little boys early in the morning three days a week and work at a local boutique, Veronica Rayne Boutique.  I am interning at Loomstate, an organic cotton apparel brand.  I work with the Sustainability Initiatives Director on a myriad of environmental responsibility and social fairness projects.  Every day is packed with a tons of new ideas and information.

 Dana Liu


8. What can we expect from you in the upcoming future?

Well, in the near future I hope to find an entry-level design position at a sustainable women’s wear company. I am excited to join the sustainable leaders in the industry and to be creative and learn a lot along the way.  I hope to have the opportunity to design for brands that align with my values and to share my passion for sustainable fashion with anyone who will listen!  My best friend and I constantly joke about starting our own sustainable design brand one day.  But I’m pretty sure neither of us are actually joking. Since I’m only a couple of months out of college, it’s all up in the air right now!  I keep telling myself that that’s how it’s supposed to be!


For more on Dana Liu click here.