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Green Purse Alerts!

Why My Purse is Green

Because I believe…

  • the fastest, most effective way to stop polluters is by pressuring them in the marketplace
  • women can be the world’s most powerful economic and environmental force if we intentionally shift our spending to the best green products and services
  • women have the power right now to solve many of our most serious environmental problems by using our green purses to make a difference
  • women must act – intentionally, collectively, and with the full force of our purse power behind us – if we hope to leave our children and grandchildren a better world.
  • July 28, 2009

    Environmental In-Box: Feelgoodz Flip-Flops

    Flip flop “Mai Pehn Rai” is Thai for “It’s cool, no worries, or take it easy.”  What a spot-on mantra for a company that makes flip-flops.  Meet Feelgoodz, whose "take it easy" style complements perfectly its socially responsible and sustainable business model.

    What is it? Feelgoodz flip-flops are made of 100% natural rubber that's harvested from the Yang Para tree in Thailand, where the flip-flops are also produced.  Biodegradable and 100% recyclable, these comfortable flip-flops come in 5 different color combos and are available worldwide through their website. I particularly like the "Twilight" choice, pictured left, which Feelgoodz has designed especially for brides looking to be comfortable at their weddings!

    What I like: Feelgoodz flip-flops are made from biodegradable natural rubber, hemp, bamboo, and recycled paper; its display hangers are recycled, too.  The company belongs to the Ashoka network, a global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs.  Through their relationship with Ashoka, Feelgoodz has developed a plan to donate 1% of profits to the planet, 1% to the Fair Trade Natural Rubber Program in Thailand, and 1% to the Phitsanulok community that inspired founder Kyle Berner when he worked there several years ago.   I’ve been wearing a pair of the "moon" flip-flops for several weeks, and find the rubber to be very soft and cushiony.  They have not completely molded to my feet just yet, but it is clear from the softness of the rubber that they will.

    Flip flops What could be improved? Because Feelgoodz is a very young company, you can only purchase their products in a handful of retail stores in Louisiana, Hawaii, Oregon, and Maine.  We'd like to see them replace the throwaway flip-flops found in most big-box outlets.  The website is confusing: it shows a great variety of color combos, but only sells five options. Are those coming soon? Hard to say. The company claims the product is recyclable and biodegradable, but where's the proof? If I wanted to recycle my Feelgoodz flip-flops, where would I send them? How long does it take for them to biodegrade? Back up the claims, please.

    Continue reading "Environmental In-Box: Feelgoodz Flip-Flops" »

    January 08, 2009

    Think Eco-Shoes Stop at Birkenstocks? Think Again.

    There’s a lot of talk about greening your closet these days. With cotton production accounting for 10% of the world’s insecticide use and 25% of its pesticides, choosing alternative fabric options like organic cotton, hemp or bamboo can send a powerful message to the conventional cotton industry.

    Rachel_sarnoff_2008_lowres_head But as Rachel Sarnoff, CEO and Founder, EcoStiletto.com, points out in this guest column, greening your closet doesn’t stop at your ankles. Here's what Rachel recommends for the shoes in your life:

    "Obviously, the greenest thing to do when you’re updating your closet is to start with vintage stores. But I'll be the first to admit: Although reusing and recycling can go a long way towards reducing your "footprint," because most shoes mold to their wearer’s feet, it can be difficult to find pre-worn pumps and other footwear that fit right.

    Most shoes are made from conventionally processed leather. And processed leather is a by-product of the meat industry, a resource-intensive business that consumes 25% of our world’s land surface and one-third of our grain while generating a majority of our carbon emissions: 18 percent —that’s more than cars. Processing leather from meat animals adds environmental insult to injury, given that it requires an estimated 225 toxic chemicals during the tanning process.

    What to do?

    Choose "Eco-Leather" - If you do plan to buy new and still want to wear leather, look for shoes made from so-called “eco-leather,” leather tanned without heavy metals like chrome. Reputable companies will also recycled materials and packaging. Consider El Naturalista (www.elnaturalista.com), Coclico (www.shopcoclico.com) and PURE by Rickard Shah (www.rickardshah.com).

    Try "Faux" Leather - With so many faux leathers and suedes out there, it’s easy to eliminate leather completely from your footwear repertoire. Consider shoes made from dioxin-free polyurethane (a slightly more environmentally-friendly option than PVC) or natural elements like hemp. Kailia (www.kailiafootwear.com) and Charmone (www.charmoneshoes.com) both manufacture completely vegan shoe lines in artisan factories in Italy, but it’s the hemp Nadia Ankle Boot from Sui Generis by Beyond Skin (www.endless.com) that we EcoStilettoistas are head over heels for.

    Don't Forget Birkenstocks - Oh and about those Birkenstocks, the symbol of social consciousness since 1966: They’re leather, but the company uses every ounce of its scraps, and recycles the cork from the soles. (www.birkenstockusa.com) Plus, with the right outfit, today’s Birkies can look downright chic.

    Fashion_beyondskin_thumb Want a smaller carbon footprint? Beginning in January 2009, www.EcoStiletto.com will give away a free pair (or pairs) of eco-friendly shoes worth $500 or more each and every month! Get on the list now, and get the lowdown on shrinking your carbon footprint from an Ugg boot to a Manolo with daily green fashion, beauty, lifestyle, parenting, celebrity and eco-events nationwide."

    Thanks, Rachel!

    For more ideas on sustainably made, shoes, don't miss these links! Toepaz shoe

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