Today is Earth Day, a time when we reflect on how we can help our struggling planet hold all of us for at least a few more generations. I don’t want to over-commercialize this holiday because, honestly, the best way to celebrate it is to get involved with your community’s recycling efforts, make a meal that’s locally sourced (which is how I plan to celebrate – thank you, Union Square Green Market!) and to plant a tree or some flowers. But, as your always-intrepid fashion,beauty and style reporter, I wanted to make you aware of some collections and efforts that are ongoing that help the planet (and your body and wardrobe) all year long.
H&M is celebrating Earth Day with a certification by the Textile Exchange as the largest user of organic cotton in the world. The company has also released a video with their Head of Design, Ann-Sofie Johansson, and Head of Sustainability, Helena Helmersson, discussing the Exclusive Glamour Collection and the company’s successful sustainable initiatives. The results are really impressive, as you’ll see. In addition to being the largest user of organic cotton in the world,they’ve also reduced CO2 emissions by 5%, they saved close to 1,000,000 gallons of water by introducing water-saving techniques in their denim production, and they saved 400,000 trees by using reusable transport boxes.
H&M has also rebranded all of their collections as Conscious (the formerly all-organic collection was called the Conscious Collection) in efforts to make smart choices for the planet and their consumers.
I absolutely love the styles in the collection and have my eye on a few items, most notably every dress you see in this photo above. It’s caught fire in Hollywood as well, with Michelle Williams and Kristen Davis having worn dresses from the collection on the red carpet this year.
Some beauty companies do a lot year-round to support worthwhile initiatives, and every year Kiehl’s Since 1851 calls on their celebrity friends to help them make an impact. This year, they’ve created the limited-edition label art series RECYCLE & BE REWARDED!, featuring labels designed by Florence Welch, Mark Ruffalo, Rosario Dawson and Spike Lee on their Limited Edition Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, which is one of my personal favorite Sunday night cleansing rituals. 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of these products will go to Recycle Across America (RAA)with a donation of $100,000 committed by Kiehl’s to RAA, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to, in their own words, “delivering society-wide solutions that eliminate public confusion, stimulate the environmental economy and expedite progress.” The funds will be used to create 150,000 standardized recycling labels.
You can also bring your used products to a Kiehl’s free-standing stores nationwide as part of their Recycle and Be Rewarded! program, whereby if you return empty Kiehl’s bottles, tubes and jars for recycling, you get product in exchange. With 500,000 bottles recycled since 2009 as part of this initiative, it’s not hard to see how they’re making an impact.
Finally, when it comes to home organization, I love using bamboo as a means of decor. It’s the fastest-growing wood on the planet (it can grow up to four feet a day!) and it’s incredibly sustainable and durable. Plus, it’s gorgeous. I just ordered a bunch of home organization items from The Container Store, a great source of bamboo-made products and other eco-friendly products.
Also, if you’re looking to throw a party anytime soon, you should always consult one of the greats in the eco-chic movement, Danny Seo. His book, Simply Green Parties: Simple and resourceful ideas for throwing the perfect celebration, event, or get-together (William Morrow, 2006) is one of my favorite go-tos when throwing a shindig. It’s just filled (as all his books are) with ways to celebrate well but in a smart way.
Finally, I’m a huge fan of local and sustainable shopping. A great majority of my food comes from our local Farmer’s Markets and other natural and earth-friendly stores. If you’re ever in Manhattan and you want incredible local and sustainable food, organic items and the lot, check out any of the NYC Greenmarkets all year long. If you want to go grocery shopping, my favorite place in the city is Commodities Natural Market on 1st Avenue. I make special trips just to purchase great organic food from them at incredibly reasonable prices.
I know this is a very small guide compared to the enormous efforts that many are making to help with eco-friendly initiatives. I’ll do my best to keep you apprised of these all year long. But between your closet, your beauty routine and your home, these three things should be enough to get you started.
What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day today? Let’s dish, eco-chic readers!