Recap – Reception for HSUS & Art Institutes Cool vs. Cruel Challenge Winner

2 Jul

As if I don’t have enough respect for the Humane Society and all that they do to help animals, turns out that for 8 years, together with the Art Institutes system of schools, they’ve been running a cruelty-free fashion competition!!   Aptly called the Cool vs. Cruel Fashion Design Competition, Art Institute students throughout the country and Canada are challenged to reinterpret a runway look that uses fur by replacing it with cruelty-free alternatives.  What an awesome way to bring awareness to the up and coming future designers out there!

Sad that it took this long for such awesome news to reach me, but needless to say, when I found out that I got an invite to the reception held on June 26th, honoring the winner AND it was being held only blocks away from my office at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, how could I say no?

Upon entering the room, it was hard not to be drawn to the panel of live models displaying the top designs from the competition.  As my date for the event, vegan model and blogger Emily Nolan of My Kind of Life informed me, it is not an easy job to stand still like that for so long and smile!!  But the models looked great and made it look so easy!

Grand prize winner Nicolle Bajgrowicz & Her Winning Design

Grand prize winner Nicolle Bajgrowicz & Her Winning Design

This year’s grand prize winner Nicholle Bajgrowicz was chosen by a pretty awesome panel of judges, including the likes of Elizabeth Olsen (genius behind OlsenHaus shoes), Leanne Maily-Hilgart of Vaute Couture, Joshua Katcher (the Discerning Brute) and fellow vegan NYCer, writer/reporter Nell Alk, just to name a few.

Top 5 Winning Designs

Top 5 Winning Designs

Scattered throughout the room on mannequins were  other various design entries that were also in the running for the prize.  It was pretty awesome to get to see them and feel them up close.

Competition Entry

The reception featured vegan-only treats, including cupcakes, a specially prepared menu by the venue of passed hors d’oeuvres, live music and get this – a local NYC barista/coffee portrait artist from the Little Fox Cafe on the lower east side of Manhattan.  You may be wondering what the heck a coffee portrait artist is… he literally could draw a replica of a face in the foam of your coffee drink even from a photograph.  Though it was admittedly more difficult for him, he was using only soy milk that night in honor of the theme of the party!

Little Fox Cafe Coffee Portrait Artist

Coffee Artist in Action

Well, the HSUS certainly knows how to throw a party!  And congrats to Nicholle – excited to see what’s next for her in the cruelty free fashion arena and looking forward to attending this event again next year!

To learn more about this event and the competition, click here.

Graduates – How to Dress Professionally Eco-Chic!

6 Jun

Its graduation season and many of you are hanging up your book bags for good and getting ready to stomp some pavement to go find the job of your dreams. This new world of job searching and interviewing may seem incredibly intimidating so being prepared is a must!

Aside from a killer resume, the key to acing any job interview is confidence. And what makes any girl feel great other than when they look great?! Putting together the perfect and professional interview look will not only give off a great first impression but it will also give you the confidence you need to land that job!

We put together a few of our favorite cruelty-free pieces to help you keep things professional and chic on your first big interviews after graduation!

Running around from interview to interview is tough so finding a great pair of professional and comfy shoes is a must! The Melissa Trippy flats are the perfect vegan shoes to help get your foot in the door to your dream job! As Marilyn Monroe once said “Give a girl a great pair of shoes and she can conquer the world!”

The Maggie Bags Cicily Tote in black the perfect workbag to carry around everything you need for a day a interviewing. This is a super functional bag that will fit everything thing you need for a long day of interviewing. The fact that the Leconte Messenger is also made from 100% recycled seatbelt also makes it a great conversation piece to help ease some of your nerves.

Additionally, check out ASOS for some awesome work pants, blouses and blazers not only look great but also are ethically made.

Ok- we had to add an extra special touch! WeWood is a great brand that makes super trendy and eco-friendly watches. Being tardy to any interview is unacceptable but having on of these watching on your wrist will keep you punctual.

Have any tips or tricks to nailing an upcoming interview? Share them here!

It’s Time For Spring Cleaning – The Eco Way!

30 Apr

The warm weather is rolling in and signs of summer are just on the horizon. It’s important to begin the summer with a fresh, clean start so it’s about that time again to do a little spring-cleaning.

With all of the heavy cleaning going on its important to make sure you are using the eco-friendly option not only for the environment but for your health and safety as well. A lot of cleaning products have toxic ingredients in them that are extremely harmful to the environment.

Most people would be surprised that you don’t have to run to the store to find the latest eco-friendly cleaning products. Most of the things you need clean your home this spring are already in your cabinets!

For example:

  • Baking Soda- cleans and deodorizes
  • Lemon- effective in cleaning more household bacteria
  • White Vinegar- cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, stains and wax buildup
  • Cornstarch- can be used to clean windows, polish furniture and shampoos carpets and rugs
  • Hydrogen Peroxide- works great to removes stains from white fabrics
  • Olive oil- mix it with a little lemon juice and spray it on your furniture for a little polish.

If you want to go the store bought route there are plenty of products on the market that are free from harsh chemicals and great for the environment. Here are a few of our faves:
Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation’s cleaning products are sustainable in all a stages from development to use to disposal. Constantly reevaluating their products to further reduce their environmental impact and ensure a reliable product, Seventh Generation is a top pick for green home cleaners.

Ecos
Ecos laundry detergents is a great eco-friendly alternative to getting your clothes clean. These detergents are free of phosphates and none of the products have been through animal testing to ensure Ecos is the smart and ethical choice for some cleaning.
Ecover

Ecover is another trusted cleaning product that will help minimize your environmental impact. All of their products are non-toxic.  Ecover is committed to making it easier for people to chose and maintain a sustainable lifestyle.

If you have any other cleaning products you’d like to share or if you know of some great at home eco-friendly cleaning remedies let us know! We’d love to hear any tips or tricks you use to get your home ready for summer!

Our Favorite Celebrity Eco Fashion Quotes For Earth Day!

22 Apr

It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when toxic waste could be dumped in a stream or black smoke could just be spewed out of a factory and nobody would pay any mind. Believe it or not, before the first Earth Day in April 1970 this was the case.

What started out as an initiative to keep our air and water clean turned into a huge movement to have expanded to so many more aspects of our lives.

More recently efforts to be conscious of our impact on the environment has reached the fashion industry. Finding more sustainable and chic fashion options has been becoming much more easier and eco- and ethical fashion has been in the spotlight at many major fashion events such as Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in NYC and Eco-Fashion Week in Vancouver! (And, of course Compassion Couture was launched)

In honor of Earth Day we put together a couple of our favorite quotes about eco-fashion. Enjoy!

“Instead of getting a bolt of fabric that anyone down the block could buy, using recycled materials creates a more individual look.” –Deborah Lindquist

“The beliefs I was raised with – to respect animals and to be aware of nature, to understand that we share this planet with other creatures – have had a huge impact on me.” –Stella McCartney

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening” – Coco Chanel

“The fashion industry tends to attract people with serious personality defects. They just want to be rich and famous. But at some point you have to decide: Are you going to mindlessly go the easy way or are you going to go the ethical way?” –Katharine Hamnett

If we missed one of your favorite eco-fashion quotes let us know! Share any eco-friendly quotes you may have and celebrate Earth Day with us!

 

Compassion Couture’s Spring 2013 Photoshoot

3 Apr

Spring is officially here and so is our new stock of super chic and trendy handbags and shoes! And it’s about that time to show to you all the fun and stylish new items Compassion Couture has in store this season!

I’m super excited to show to you all the great pictures we took at the photo shoot! So hard to believe this was our 5th shoot and I couldn’t be happier with how the pictures came out!  These pictures really showcase the great cruelty-free products Compassion Couture is offering this spring/summer and we hope they help get you excited for the fun new trends to come this season.

Pastels are the colors of summer and this outfit shows off the soft side of what is to come to Compassion Couture this spring/summer season. We paired this fabulous mint green romper with the Cornelia Guest Roxy Clutch and the Melissa Patchuli Wedges with a subtle pop of pink on the back of the wedge to pay tribute to our favorite color blocking trend.
Melissa Shoes, Vegan shoes, Cornelia Guest bags, Vegan bag

For our 2nd look we paired the Cri de Coeur Lou Vegan Bag with fringe embellishment with this trendy high-low orange dress, topped it off with a cute headband, a floral scarf and the Cri De Coeur Pia Wedges and created the perfect boho chic outfit for the summer!
vegan shoes, Cri de Coeur bag, Cri de Coeur wedges, vegan bag

For our 3rd look we dressed up a pair of black leggings and a denim and black button up with the Cornelia Guest Goose Satchel in classic black and white with these super edgy, three-toned pair of Dove Heels by Cri De Coeur.
vegan bag, Cornelia Guest bag, Cri de Coeur heels, vegan shoes

Our next look is all about class and luxury. We layered a white scarf draped over a white tank tucked into this gorgeous pleated orange skirt and paired it with the perforated grey Goose Satchel by Cornelia Guest and the Melissa Campana Zig Zag Flats in gold glitter to add the perfect touch of elegance to the outfit.
Melissa Shoes, Vegan shoes, Cornelia Guest bags, Vegan bag

Cute and trendy is what the grey Sienna Bag by Corallei is all about, so for our 5th look we dressed it up with a cute pair of denim short shorts, a studded collared shirt and a sleek fitted black blazer. We finished it off with the Neuaura Hana Heel to create a perfect for a night out with the girls!
Neuaura shoes, Vegan shoes, CoraLlei vegan bag

Special thanks to the amazing models Jess, Jen & Sharon and our newest team member, Marissa!

We hope you enjoyed these pictures as much as we enjoyed taking them. Let us know what you think? What’s your favorite shot? And which item can you not wait to rock this spring?!  Check out the homepage to see which pictures we chose as our favorites!

Look Stylish & Cruelty-Free This Spring Break

21 Mar

I don’t know about you but I’m OVER the cold weather and ready for summer. If you are lucky enough to escape a place with sunshine, warm sand and surf, enjoy!

Here are a few of my top picks for a fun filled, stylish and cruelty-free spring break.

Bikini

Photo Credit: odinasurf.com

The first thing packed for every spring break vacation is the perfect bathing suit that you feel great in!  Odina is an environmentally friendly swimwear line designed for girls who want to rip and look fabulous doing it.  Odina uses recycled, reclaimed and organic fabrics that meet the demands of active women. Odina is designed in California, tested in Hawaii, made in the U.S.A.

Cover Up

Photo Credit: ecoswim.com

Looking cute on your way to the beach is essential on spring break so a fun and flirty beach cover up is a must! Eco Swim makes this fabulous t-back romper dress beach cover up . Made from soft recycled heather jersey material & 40% recycled cotton this cover up looks good and is also eco-friendly!

Beach Bag

It’s important when making your way to the beach that you have all of your essentials on hand for the day. Pack your towel, sunscreen, a magazine and more in the roomy Matt & Nat Schlepp Vegan Tote. You’ll fit everything you need for a day at the beach in this tote without any worries of forgetting something back at the hotel.

Beach Sandals and Wedges

You can’t forget about your feet when packing for a vacation at the beach. A great pair of strappy sandals or cork wedges is a must on any packing list!

A strappy and comfy sandal is a must when packing for your spring break vacation. The Mackenzie vegan sandals by Cri de Coeur are a great light weight, boho chic sandal that would look great with any spring break outfit you put together.

What is a spring break outfit without a stylish pair of wedges!? Cri de Coeur makes these super cute vegan cork wedges made of naturally biodegradable PU. Not only do these wedges look great but their comfy sole makes them a great shoe to wear for a day of shopping on the boardwalk.

Sunscreen

The last thing you want during your spring break is a sun burn, not only does it hurt but being as red as a lobster isn’t a cute look for anyone! Keep yourself protected with this Moxie Organic nano-particle free powder sunscreen. Moxie Organic makes its sunscreen using natural zinc oxide, organic aloe powder jojoba proteins and argan to help protect you from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Are you heading out on a tropical spring break getaway this year? If we missed some of your favorite spring break must have let us know! Leave a comment and share what you’re packing this year for a fun, stylish and cruelty-free spring break!


Our Fave Ethical Spring Trends

5 Mar

Spring is just the around the corner and as the weather is finally getting warmer (fingers crossed)! I think of Spring as a time for new beginning and that means sprucing up my wardrobe with fun spring trends.  Here are just a few I’m loving this season!:

Black and White
This is an easy one for me because 75% of my wardrobe is already black and white! It is so easy to mix and match basic blacks and whites and who doesn’t look good in these colors?!

I found this little black dress made of organic cotton on curatorsf.com and fell in love with the extra collar detailing!  Easily pair it with some white accessories to complete the “black and white” look:

Photo Credit: curatorsf.com

Don’t just stop with your clothing, this trend is pulled off flawlessly with accessories too! The Trippy by Melissa shoes is made of 100% recyclable plastic and the black bow gives it an elegant touch.

Lace
Lace isn’t only for the bedroom this spring! A lace top is a great way to effortlessly add a little elegance and class to your outfit.

ASOS makes a gorgeous lace top that you can dress up by wearing it with a skirt or dress it down with jeans. Who doesn’t love a great versatile top?
Photo Credit: Asos.com

Statement sunglasses

This season the focus is all about the eyes. Make a statement with a great pair of stand out sunglasses.

Proof makes a great pair of fabulous sunglasses that not only look good but also are also completely cruelty-free and eco-friendly their sunglasses are made from sustainably sourced hard wood and are harvested in an eco-friendly manner. Keeping the sun out of your eyes never looked so stylish.
Photo Credit: iwantproof.com

Bright Colors
This spring bright pops of color aren’t just going to be seen in your garden, but also in your wardrobe. Adding a little color to your outfit is super easy whether it be with a piece of clothing or with an accessory.

Matt & Nat’s Cara Vegan Bag in ocean blue will not only add that punch of color to keep you on trend but it’s also an extremely functional day bag that will keep everything you need safe and organized.
What are some of your favorite spring trends?! We’d love to hear!

 

Sustainability Meets High-Fashion On the Runway at New York Fashion Week

19 Feb

Fashion Week in New York City has come and gone and every fashionista was on the edge of their seats ready to see what new fabulous trends would be strutting down the runway this season.  Being a fashionista myself, I’m so happy to see so many designers showcase their sustainable and ethical pieces on a stage so huge!

Photo Credit: Gregory Vaughan; laikamagazine.com

Of course I’m most excited to report that the first ever animal-rights all vegan fashion label hit the runway at NYC Fashion week! Our previous curator and vegan fashion idol, Leanne Mal-ly Hilgart premiered her Vaute Couture Fall/Winter 2013 collection with the mission to prove “we don’t have any excuse to wear animals.”

Hilgart executed her vision of ethical fashion in hues of blues, blacks, greys and tans with sustainable fabrics such as luxe organic cotton velvet, recycled Thinsulate, 100% recycled satin and organic fleece. Vaute was full of fun edgy pieces that held true to its ethical threads from the clothes to the shoes, and some help from a few adorable furry friends. How amazing?!

Photo Credit: http://www.stylebistro.com

Designer, Suzanne Rae Palaez also proved that sustainability is the future of fashion.  This past week her Fall/Winter 2013 collection was centered around the statement “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Pulling inspiration from the silhouettes and geometry of robes from missionary monks, Palaez kept to a very minimalist approach when designing her collection and let the elegance of her clothing speak for itself.

Her collection not only displayed minimalism in the design but also in the production. Palaez’s collection was a zero-waste endeavor by using sustainable and conventional materials and incorporating any extra materials into the collection as sweaters, scarves and hats.

Photo Credit: ecochick.com

Lastly, eco-fashion and non-profits met on the runway this year at Fashion Week thanks to duo Jason Sochol and Omri Bojko. Sochol and Bojko created The Vanity Project in order to bring more awareness to non-profits through fashion. The Vanity Project partnered with over 30 non-profit organizations this year and featured their logos on clothing made from an eco-friendly tri-blend of organic cotton, recycled polyester and naturally occurring rayon. What a fun way to incorporate eco-fashion with a cause!

Who is your favorite sustainable designer?  We’d love to hear from you as we always love supporting up-and-coming designers!

Show Some Love This Valentine’s Day With These Fabulous Cruelty-Free Outfits

4 Feb

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and whether you’re spending it with that special someone or just a couple of your girlfriends, it’s just another excuse to go out and look super chic. Finding the perfect Valentine’s Day outfit may seem a little daunting, so we decided to ease some of the pressure you may be feeling about putting together the perfect outfit.

We put together some ideas for the perfect outfit for a night out with your girlfriends or for a romantic date with your sweet heart. Whatever the occasion, these looks will make you look your best and most importantly are cruelty-free.
If this Valentine’s Day you plan on going out with a couple of good girlfriends, make sure you’re the most stylish girl in the place. Try pairing a great pair of faux leather leggings with a fun red lacy peplum top. To finish out the outfit, we added Cri De Coeur Black vegan pumps. As always, it’s the accessories that really make the outfit, so we added these great Rhombus Earrings by Hovey Lee and also a vegan handbag and bracelet made entirely with cork by CoolCorC.

The little black dress is a great go to outfit for a night out with your sweat heart, but in the spirit of Valentine’s Day we decided to go the little red dress.

A bright, vibrant statement dress like this looks great with this simple vegan belt by Matt & Nat. Also pair it with these fabulous gold earrings by Hovey Lee and a Black vegan clutch by Reveal. Our favorite additions to this outfit are these incredible vintage black lace patterned Duchess Vegan Heels by Beyond Skin, they add some great texture and are the cherry on top of a great Valentine’s Day outfit.

Do you have any ideas for your perfect vegan Valentine’s Day outfit? We’d love to hear them! Share them here and help inspire other fashionistas who are stressing over what to wear this Valentine’s Day!

Vegan Actors Rule the Red Carpet

22 Jan

It’s that time of year again! Award season has arrived and that means tons of red carpets, celebrities and stunning fashions. This year the vegan community would be pleased to know four incredible vegan actors have been nominated for Oscars!

Anne Hathaway
Photo Credit: usmagazine.com

The always striking and committed vegan, Anna Hathaway has been honored with a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Fantine in Les Miserables. Hathaway recently turned heads at the Les Mis premiere for wearing eye-catching cruelty-free boots by Tom Ford. Her dedication to acting and values make her that much more stunning.

Hugh Jackman
Photo Credit: www.fanpop.com

Hathaway’s fellow co-star Hugh Jackman is another famous vegan actor receiving recognition by the academy for his hard work. Jackman is up for Best Actor for his portrayal as Jean Valjean in Les Mis. Ethical, sexy, incredible dresser, what else could you ask for? Oh and did we mention he can sing too!

Joaquin Phoenix
Photo Credit: hydramag.com

Another vegan actor has been nominated alongside Jackman for Best Actor. Joaquin Phoenix has been recognized by the academy for role as a troubled World War Two veteran trying to adjust to a post-war society in The Master. Phoenix has been committed to a vegan lifestyle since he was little and takes his values into great consideration in his acting career. “My lifestyle is part of who I am and therefore is always a consideration when working: I always discuss this with producers, and they are very accommodating.”

Jessica Chastain
Photo Credit: www.hollywoodreporter.com

Committed to a cruelty-free lifestyle for the past 15 years, Jessica Chastain is yet another vegan actress being recognized by the academy this award season. Chastain has been nominated in the Best Actress Category for her role as CIA agent who led the mission for the hunt for Osama Bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty.

It is great to have such talented and beautiful role models represent the vegan community this award season. Just being nominated is an honor enough, but fingers crossed these vegans will come out on top!