One of the reasons I love living near New York City is the opportunity to attend events like I did last night. I had the great fortune of spending an evening with Frances Moore Lappe, her daughter Anna Lappe, and 100 of their closest friends. It was the 10th Anniversary of their Small Planet Fund, and an auction was held to benefit this year’s grantee, Real Food Now (see realfoodchallenge.org). The event took place in a beautiful private loft in Soho, NYC, and guests included many from around the region who work to support local food production, fresh food access for all, and healthy options in schools — such as Catherine Gund, maker of the film “What’s On Your Plate?” and Bhavani Jaroff, of Slow Food Huntington. It was a pleasure to meet Frances Moore Lappe, whose seminal book “Diet for a Small Planet” published in the 1970s created such a wave of awareness, and it is doubly inspiring to see how her daughter Anna has followed in her footsteps. They co-authored the book, “Hope’s Edge” several years back, and each have newer books out since then: Frances has written “Eco Mind” about the psychology of changing our attitudes towards the earth, and Anna has written “Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It.” See smallplanetfund.org.
The Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center, headed by Dr. Phil Landrigan, held an educational forum for 200 mothers and advocates in New York City 12/5/11 entitled “Birth Defects, Learning Disabilities, Obesity and Breast Cancer: How Can We Avoid the Effects of Toxic Chemicals?” It explored the connection between toxic chemical exposure during pregnancy or in early childhood to common health effects. I learned a new word: “Obesogen,” or a chemical that blocks the bodies natural hormones that regulate metabolism, and can actually contribute to children becoming overweight. Speakers included the following: [Read more…] about How Are Toxic Chemicals Related to ADHD, Obesity and Breast Cancer?
Greenspaces and Be Social Change hosted a terrific ecofashion panel on Tuesday 11/29/11 to discuss how we change the way fashion is produced to reduce the negative impacts on both the environment and workers. The panel was organized by professor Carmen Artigas who teaches Ethical fashion at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and Parsons. Speakers included Summer Rayne Oakes, ecofashion pioneer and model, author of the book “Style Naturally,” and Founder of Source4Style. She shared the importance of helping designers find sustainably produced fabrics, and also pointed out that some big name brands like Levi’s are actually doing their part to increase trace-ability of fabrics down the supply chain.
David Radparvar, Holstee, spoke about his upcycled clothing company’s unique attitude about selling– their website encourages people not to buy items they don’t really need. Deirdre McGuigan, Indego Africa, spoke about her work with connecting women designers in Africa to well known stores in the United States. Erica Wolf, Save the Garment Center, spoke passionately about supporting goods that were made right here by talented workers in the garment district of New York, where clothing manufacturers, somewhat surprisingly, still do exist.
See: greenspaceshome.com (a shared office space for eco-minded entrepreneurs in NYC)
source4style.com (Source4Style 2.0 is about to launch december 2011!)
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY hosted a presentation by Dr. Melanie Joy, a social psychologist and author of ”Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows.” Clearly a provocative topic, I salute the UU for creating this forum. Dr. Joy’s main theme is that most people who don’t live on farms don’t think about the killing that goes on to produce their food, and in fact this is partially due to the fact that it is hidden (somewhat intentionally) from most of us. Many people who are trying to be more conscious are switching to more “humanely raised” meat. However, she made a good point in asking audience members if they would feel ok about eating their golden retriever after a few years because it had a good life, running around, doing dog things. But this is what happens to other animals, and it is culturally accepted. With gentle warnings, she showed a few brief clips of scenes from factory farms, and discussed the idea of “carnism” (a term she coined), or meat-eating as “normal” and “necessary,” as we are raised in the western world to believe. Being that her own father is a commercial fisherman, Dr. Joy also spoke about the cultural and familial aspect of our dietary history. My kudos to the crowd of 75 people who held a thoughtful, positive, and respectful discussion afterwards. It gave me hope for our ability to become more aware even on very uncomfortable topics, and for the human mind to evolve towards less violence in the world.
Hello readers! I’m Madam Toussaint from the green blog sofreshandsogreen.com. I get to guest blog here about the “Eco Fashion in the Park” eco-fashion show in High Bridge Park in Washington Heights, NY. Far from the glitz of Fashion Avenue and Midtown Manhattan, Washington Heights is in northern Manhattan and has a large Latino population.
The show was organized by stylist Gina Constanza of House of Glam, who grew up in the neighborhood, with help from local Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. [Read more…] about “Eco Fashion in the Park” Brings Eco Fashion To Northern Manhattan
Last night, Soham Dave hosted an evening with Sass Brown, author of the book “Ecofashion,” along with Branson Skinner, cofounder of Of Rags, at the Textile Arts Center in Manhattan. Soham Dave works directly with artisans in India, with each piece being hand-crafted, using natural materials and natural dyes. Of Rags is a NY company that upcycles clothing from pieces of existing clothing, and sells their items at about 20 university bookshops. Sass Brown is a leading expert in the field based in Italy who has taught at Fashion Institute of Technology and has worked with women’s cooperatives in Peru to advance sustainable fashion. Aside from authoring a book on the subject, she also blogs and contributes to magazines such as CocoEco Magazine.
It was a great event, with a room full of people interested in sustainable fashion. Very encouraging! Discussion focused on how far ecofashion has come and where it needs to go. Attendees included Harvey Russack, producer of The Green Shows, and Kate McGregor, owner of Kaight, NYC’s leading ecofashion shop located on Orchard St., NYC and Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn.