HeartSleeves http://www.heartsleevesblog.com Sustainable Fashion Fri, 05 Dec 2014 18:55:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.8 When You Think About Bangladesh, I Bet You Don’t Picture This http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/when-you-think-about-bangladesh-i-bet-you-dont-picture-this/ http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/when-you-think-about-bangladesh-i-bet-you-dont-picture-this/#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 16:07:46 +0000 http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/?p=3330 Continue reading ]]> A few years ago, a very good friend of mine, Nur-E Farhana Rahman, took a leap. She quit her comfy consulting job to pursue a dream. It was her dream and also her mother’s, and its roots stretch back generations to her grandfather in Bangladesh.

I’ll let her tell you more about it:

To me, there are a whole bunch of reasons to support Knotty Gal’s Kickstarter campaign. To name a few (with gifs!):

  1. Supporting a homegrown small business. 3 cheers for social entrepreneurship! KGgif2
  2. Helping girls in Bangladesh get good educations
  3. Helping spread the word about the importance of educating girls worldwide (saying that it will save the world is no exaggeration, imho – and that of people smarter than me)KGgif1
  4. Really really gorgeous jewelry

Did I mention how gorgeous the jewelry is? I’ve written about it before. And just in case you’re not convinced:


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Are you ready to show your support in style? Back Knotty Gal and/or share it with your friends!

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This dress is the breathtaking result of the ELSA AND ME + Vividly Design Challenge http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/this-dress-is-the-breathtaking-result-of-the-elsa-and-me-vividly-design-challenge/ http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/this-dress-is-the-breathtaking-result-of-the-elsa-and-me-vividly-design-challenge/#comments Fri, 25 Oct 2013 15:49:26 +0000 http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/?p=3323 Continue reading ]]> Presenting…the “Thorns” ELSA:

thorns elsaThe “Thorns” ELSA is the work of Miami artist and designer Rosie Brown. Brown’s artwork was selected from over 100 artist submissions as the winner of last month’s Elsa and MeVividly ELSA Print Challenge.

The “Thorns” ELSA is responsibly made from organic cotton sateen fabric and produced individually in New York City’s Garment District. The limited edition dress is available now, order by November 7th to get it in time for holiday parties!

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Microbes Make Fashion http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/microbes-make-fashion/ http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/microbes-make-fashion/#comments Tue, 15 Oct 2013 02:26:25 +0000 http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/?p=3318 [ted id=1138]

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The story of a company that makes all of its products from…waste? (and of my new cellphone case) http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/looptworks-review-upcycling/ http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/looptworks-review-upcycling/#comments Tue, 15 Oct 2013 01:40:50 +0000 http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/?p=3304 Continue reading ]]> “Each day, one factory may generate as much as 4,500 pounds of excess scrap leather.” That’s according to Scott Hamlin, co-founder of a Portland, Oregon-based company called LOOPTWORKS.

WEB-LEATHER-PROJECT-IMAGERidiculous amounts of waste, as we know, are not unique to the leather industry.  Apparel in general is incredibly wasteful.  Tons of material ends up on factory floors every day and goes straight to landfills.

So, in 2009, Scott and Gary decided to do something about it.  They founded LOOPTWORKS, a company entirely dedicated to upcycling discarded materials.  Each line is a limited edition run of products made from a specific material that needed a new life.

Their most recent release is a line of upcycled leather accessories for cellphones and iPads. As longtime HeartSleeves readers will recall, I’ve written extensively about the Great Leather Debate, and explained why I am totally down with recycled leather.  So when LOOPTWORKS reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked me to review one of their new pieces, I was, well…totally down.leather-iphone-wallet-sleeve-upcycled-eco-product-by looptworks

Ironically, I searched for a while on the Internets for a sustainable case when I first got my new phone in July – the Galaxy S4. I didn’t have any luck, so I gave in and bought some random plastic thing to keep it protected.  But now look what I’ve got!Heartsleeves_Looptworks1 Heartsleeves_Looptworks2

It’s sleek and classy and I love the contrasting colors. The Hainan phone sleeve & wallet has the longevity of leather and a story that I can feel really good about.  I just hope my next 10 phones are about the same size…Heartsleeves_Looptworks3

Thanks to LOOPTWORKS for providing the product for review! As always, my opinions are my own.  Some of the links above is are affiliate links so if you do choose to buy from LOOPTWORKS and you use those links you’ll be supporting HeartSleeves’ mission to improve the fashion industry. 

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When you spend at reweave, you cast a vote for a Better World http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/reweave-sustainable-fashion-marketplace/ http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/reweave-sustainable-fashion-marketplace/#comments Fri, 20 Sep 2013 14:00:59 +0000 http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/?p=3278 Continue reading ]]>

reweave is way more than an online shop.  By selling only products made by businesses with a social purpose, it helps artisans around the world improve their lives and helps the businesses become better and more successful. reweave also literally sends people all over the world (well, for starters to Ghana and Bali) to help those businesses grow. 

Behind every product you buy there’s a supply chain full of human stories.  When you buy something in reweave’s marketplace, you know those stories are good ones.  The mission is to empower social enterprises, and through them to unite communities.


Check them out at reweave.org.

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One Woman’s Sustainable Fashion Journey in Athens, GA http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/sustainable-fashion-athens-georgia-community/ http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/sustainable-fashion-athens-georgia-community/#comments Fri, 20 Sep 2013 03:47:41 +0000 http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/?p=3247 Continue reading ]]> Guest post by Seyi Amosu, a designer and employee at Community, an Athens boutique dedicated to sustainability and style. 

1 (3)My journey at Community started as an accident.

It was early in my freshman year at the University of Georgia and I had just spent the afternoon wandering around Athens’ quaint downtown. After examining every block of town, I decided to grab a bite from the Pita Pit before heading home. When I walked under the awning, I saw a mannequin dressed in floral dress set in front of a winding staircase, and I knew instantly that a Mediterranean wrap wasn’t in my immediate future.

Intrigued, I climbed the staircase.

When I walked into the lofted boutique the first thing that caught my eye was the unique space. Tall windows bathed everything in a glow of natural light and racks of clothes set in front of exposed rafters made me feel like I was walking through a private collection of handpicked clothing rather than a retail store.

Photo by Bridgitte Sifton

Photo by Bridgitte Sifton

As I was looking through the cases of handmade artisan jewelry, the girl who was working the register asked me about the rings I was wearing. When I told her that I made them, she encouraged me to come back the next day and ask Sanni, the owner, about carrying my jewelry in the store.

Locally Made Jewelry Slideimg_1818

Community is All About Sustainability

I started selling my jewelry at Community, and found every excuse I could to spend time in the store. When I heard that Sanni was looking for interns, I jumped at the chance to apply and started to learn what sustainable fashion was really all about.

Community centers on the idea that wearing vintage is really a more glamorous way of recycling.

This can be as straight forward as wearing vintage clothing or as creative as reinventing vintage fabrics into modern garments; both of which Community does.

We do a lot of redesigning vintage clothing and fabrics into the store’s own line called Community Service. Twice a year, we design a collection that we show at our Fall and Spring Fashion shows to let people see how accessible sustainable fashion really is.HS_community

I have the opportunity to work with several creative and talented seamstresses and their skill set has been slowly rubbing off on me. I’ve been learning how to use a sewing machine to redesign clothing from my own closet that is ill-fitting or outdated rather than just tossing it in the trash.

At Community, we are also passionate about encouraging people to support their neighbors by shopping local, and carry a host of artisan products handmade in Athens or Atlanta. These include but are not limited to handmade soaps, chocolates, jewelry and even clothing designed and sewn by local designers.

A Fashion Epiphany

Before I began working there, the idea of shopping sustainably or locally had never really seemed that important to me, but now it has become a central part of my identity as a consumer.


Photos by Ian McFarlane

During my time as a Community intern and now employee, I have gotten to meet many of the artists that use the store to showcase their talents. Hearing their stories as well as the time and skill they put into creating their products adds an incentive to support them by buying their work.

Buying Local Isn’t Just for Food

When I shop locally, I can feel confident that I’m not funding items made using questionable business practices. Each dollar I spend supports people who live down the street from me, shop at the same grocery stores, and go to the same local music shows. I’m using my power as a consumer to keep Athens great.

Sharing the Love

I think my story with Community is exactly the type of experience we hope to generate in people who shop at our small yet selective store. While the content of our store changes as we continually display one of a kind pieces, our mission never does. We offer alterations and teach sewing classes in hopes of giving people who wouldn’t normally think about shopping sustainably the opportunity to become as excited about it as we are.

I’ve occupied many different roles at Community from artisan, to intern, and now manager of our newly opened online store. My personal experience speaks volumes to the fact that we are a place that looks to create opportunity for the people who call Athens home, while teaching people that sustainable fashion is really just fashion.

Check out Community’s online store and Facebook page.

Editor’s Note: We love hearing stories like Seyi’s.  If you’ve got a story to share about how you discovered sustainable fashion, email us for a chance to be featured on HeartSleeves! 

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Announcing: Vividly + ELSA AND ME design challenge http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/announcing-vividly-elsa-and-me-design-challenge/ http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/announcing-vividly-elsa-and-me-design-challenge/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2013 16:49:32 +0000 http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/?p=3253 Continue reading ]]> Ok, this is VERY exciting.  Two of my favorite sustainable fashion lines are teaming up!

Vividly is hosting a challenge to find the perfect print for the sleeveless ELSA dress. Can you say “match made in heaven?”

The challenge opens on Monday, details here.


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New Vividly pieces mean you can wear art ALL OVER YOUR BODY! http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/new-vividly-pieces-mean-you-can-wear-art-all-over-your-body/ http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/new-vividly-pieces-mean-you-can-wear-art-all-over-your-body/#comments Mon, 16 Sep 2013 17:00:00 +0000 http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/?p=3234 Continue reading ]]> A couple months ago, my dear friends Silvia and Sabrina rebranded their startup SewLove as Vividly.co.  With that rebranding, they created a truly unique fashion experience: wearable art.

Golden Gate Top by Lani Woods Model: Megan Murphy Photographer: Gabriel Sanchez

Golden Gate Top by Lani Woods
Model: Megan Murphy
Photographer: Gabriel Sanchez

On Vividly, artists upload their work and shoppers order clothing with the art printed on it. The artists get support and exposure, and we get limited-edition statement pieces.

And those pieces are pretty damn sustainable.  All are Made in the USA with eco-friendly digital printing, and many of them incorporate sustainable textiles.

Up until now, Vividly has been making tanks and scarves, but today they released 3 new fabulous silhouettes: the Silk Bomber Jacket, Organic Cotton Pencil Skirt, and Dress.


Painted Floral Jacket by Vividly Model: Ria Michelle Photographer: Gabriel Sanchez

Painted Floral Jacket by Vividly
Model: Ria Michelle
Photographer: Gabriel Sanchez

Dried Floral Pink Skirt by Heather Mullin Model: Ria Michelle Photographer: Gabriel Sanchez

Dried Floral Pink Skirt by Heather Mullin
Model: Ria Michelle
Photographer: Gabriel Sanchez

Blue on Blue Dress by Rosie Brown Model: Ria Michelle Photographer: Gabriel Sanchez

Blue on Blue Dress by Rosie Brown
Model: Ria Michelle
Photographer: Gabriel Sanchez

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Photo Gallery: ELSA AND ME Fall Collection Debut (+Knotty Gal, Vividly, & Natalie Frigo) http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/photo-gallery-elsa-and-me-fall-collection-debut-knotty-gal-vividly-natalie-frigo/ http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/photo-gallery-elsa-and-me-fall-collection-debut-knotty-gal-vividly-natalie-frigo/#comments Thu, 05 Sep 2013 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/?p=3186 Continue reading ]]> Just in time for NYFW, ELSA AND ME has debuted a new collection: the Elsa Jacket + Skirt!  (pictured on Founder Maja Svensson, on the right below)HS_elsa debut7

I first met Maja over a year ago when she had just quit her job to make ELSA happen.  Since then she’s given us new colors, the sleeveless ELSA dress, and now these two, equally classy pieces.  For more on Maja’s ELSA AND ME journey, check out my very first profile and recent update on Eco Fashion World

I was incredibly excited to see my dear friends Nur-E Rahman of Knotty Gal and Silvia Scandar of Vividly at Maja’s event as well, and had the pleasure of meeting NYC-based jewelry designer Natalie Frigo.  It’s so inspiring to see such creative business women joining forces to create a more beautiful and sustainable world.  HS_elsa debut1

I’ll stop gushing now, here’s more pics: 

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PR Guru Porsha Thomas

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Knotty Gal Nur-E & I

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Knotty Gal creations

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More Knotty Gal creations

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Jewelry by Natalie Frigo

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Vitamin W‘s Andrea Rudert & Maja

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artsy shot of jewelry & wine

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Nur-E and KG evangelist & raffle winner Stephanie

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Maja with her seamstress, Lee, and daughter

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Maja being adorable

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Silva with Vividly tanks

HS_elsa debut4

Vividly up close & personal

HS_elsa debut3

Nur-E & Silvia (note the artistic blur)

HS_elsa debut2Jewelry by Natalie Frigo


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You might want to buy everything on this site, and if you did, that would be ok. http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/hearts-com-sustainable-fashion-accessories/ http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/hearts-com-sustainable-fashion-accessories/#comments Wed, 04 Sep 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.heartsleevesblog.com/?p=3185 Continue reading ]]> It’s called Hearts.com.  First of all, what a name.

Hearts is a fashion house that works with artisans around the world to create stylish, sustainable accessories.266

Launched in January, 2012, Hearts caters to eco-conscious fashionable ladies of several generations.  “The 6 collections are each inspired by a role we can take to fuel a revolution,” the team told HeartSleeves.  “The style names are meant to empower consumers to create change by purchasing Hearts products.”

They are:HeartSleeves Image_hearts styles

Information and transparency are the names of the game at Hearts.  Each product page includes a “product impact” section explaining the environmental and human effects of production.  You can also read about the artisan that produced the piece, which really brings it full circle.  HeartSleeves Image_hearts infoHeartSleeves Image_hearts artisan infoThe Hearts design team works with the same artisans on a continuous basis.  I asked them how the design process works.

“We begin by asking our artisans what their skills and talents are, what materials and resources they have around them and we address what problems they face,” they told me. “We align our designs with their answers and produce product that directly benefits them, and/or our planet. We design with each artisan group differently, it depends on their design capabilities.”

The arrangement seems to be working.  One group of artisans recently moved into a brand new facility using profits from Hearts products.

The Hearts team also goes above and beyond the economics with gestures like providing a new wheelchair to a handicapped artisan.

From our artisans, we have learned that with passion, determination and love all is possible. When we come together and unite with those around us we have the power to create positive change in the world we live in.

– Hearts.com

In the future, we can hope to see apparel and footwear on Hearts.  They’re certainly off to a great start.

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