Kanye West’s latest track may be burning up the airwaves, but don’t count People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals among its fans anytime soon. The fur-loving rapper-turned-designer, who name-checks everyone from Anna Wintour to Kim Kardashian in the lyrics of “Theraflu,” dares someone to “tell PETA [his] mink is draggin’ on the floor.” PETA, for its part, not only received the message, it also had some choice words of its own.
PREVIOUSLY ON ECOUTERRE: PETA Slams Kim Kardashian for Wearing Fur in Upcoming Billboard
NEWLIFE \nü ˈlīf\
n 1 a: A polyester yarn made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. b: Processed through a mechanical, rather than chemical, process in Italy by textile manufacturer Saluzzo Yarns (formerly Filature Miroglio). c: Relies on a patented horizontal integration system that involves a bottle-sourcing company, a materials convertor, and a textile factory. 2: End uses include fashion, sportswear, underwear, technical clothing, workwear, medical garments, outdoor clothes, furnishings, and accident-prevention textiles. 3: Used by Georgio Armani to create an eco-friendly gown for Livia Firth at the 2012 Golden Globe Awards.
Bare Creations dubs its carryalls the “best backpacks ever” and it’s easy to see why. The vegan-friendly rucksacks are minimally designed yet elegant to a fault. Available in three streamlined designs (the “Tailor,” “Lido,” and “Brixton”), the bags comprise sturdy cotton canvas and polyurethane faux leather in a range of on-trend colors. “We believe a backpack can and should be the final touch to any outfit,” says Max Marvin, the Portland-based company’s founder. “It’s high time that fashion and function become a single entity.” We’re sold.
John Patrick of Organic has a new collaboration with Anthropologie, which unveiled its “Made in Kind” label on Thursday. Part of a series of limited-edition collections from emerging and established designers, the “O by Organic” label features the same sustainable fabrics (organic cotton, recycled polyester, recycled rayon) and effortless silhouettes that Patrick built his name on. Starting at $88 for a chiffon tee, the pieces are more accessibly priced than his primary line. More good news? Nearly all of them are made in the United States.
Google gave us a glimpse of the future on Wednesday with the unveiling of “Project Glass,” the tech giant’s long-rumored foray into augmented reality. The interactive glasses, which are now being tested in public, have the ability to superimpose virtual data onto real-world environments. An early concept video reveals how deeply integrated Google’s other services—such as Google Maps, Google+, and Google Talk—will be. (Snap a picture with the built-in camera, for instance, and you can share it with your Circles instantly.) Whether you see the glasses as bane or boon depends on where you stand on privacy. Until you turn them off, you can give up any illusion of solitude—you’re plugged into the hive mind all day, all the time.
Clad in sandy-hued faux suede, Vegetarian Shoes’ “Dragonfly” flat is made to order in factories across the United Kingdom and Europe, including England’s oldest co-op, which was first established in 1881. It’s fitted with lightweight and grippy rubber soles, along with padded insoles for extra cushioning.
Traid Remade’s blue-and-white gingham flat brings to mind fresh-cut flowers, homemade jam, and endless summer picnics. Each limited-edition shoe is cut, lasted, and stitched in the United Kingdom from reclaimed vintage textiles and recycled leather trim.
Olsenhaus’s “Babylon” flat only looks like a traditional ballerina. It’s made of a cruelty-free microfiber derived from recycled television screens, with soles that are a mix of recycled rubber and sawdust.
Olanthe’s primary audience is brides and bridesmaids, but its satin flat could just as easily perk up an everyday outfit. Hailing from the south of France, the shoes are crafted in a family-owned factory that’s been in business for more than a century.
GIVE THEM THE SLIP
Available in orange, black, rust, and gray, the Kestell by Neuaura is so comfy, you’d swear you were wearing a sneaker. The secret lies in its memory-foam footbed, which provides the hemp-and-recycled-polyester upper all the support it needs.
MIGHT IS RIGHT
Love is Mighty packs a cruelty-free punch by marrying polyurethane “leather” with vintage Indian fabrics, woven recycled plastic, and vegetable-dyed jute and cotton canvas.
More than just a shoe, Lalesso’s fair-trade ballet pump spurs economic development in Kenya, where it’s fairly made from locally sourced wax cloth in an assortment of color combinations.
LE RAWR RAWR
Unleash your inner animal with the “Kathleen” leopard shoe by Elizabeth’s Kind Cafe. Each slip-on is crafted in the United States from recycled plastic bottles and other animal-free materials. Bonus: a portion of every sale benefits People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and 1% for the Planet.
A cobalt toe-cap makes a bold statement on the faux-snakeskin “Nora” ballerina by Cri de Coeur, which uses such cruelty-free materials as low-VOC polyurethane, 100 percent recycled Ultrasuede (derived from post-industrial polyester), and reclaimed wooden soles.
RED OR DEAD
Do your best Brigitte Bardot impression (circa …And God Created Woman) in the scorching red—and vegan-friendly—“Esther” by Bourgeois Boheme, a London label-cum-storefront that uses only non-exploitative factories that oppose child labor.
+ Esther £25 (on sale from £40)
PLAY IT STRAIGHT
Handmade in Spain, Beyond Skin’s vegan ballet flat features a shimmery zig-zag pattern that will add graphic appeal to any look.
Drop-tops aren’t the only convertibles for warm-weather fun. This two-in-one heel from Nael Coce features a built-in ballet flat you can pop out when your feet poop out.
Rumor has it that Emma Watson’s ethical fashion aspirations are on hold—that is, if gossip from the Daily Mail is to be believed. An unnamed source claims that the Harry Potter actress, who co-designed three seasons’ worth of styles for People Tree, is disappointed by lackluster sales. “Even at knockdown prices, the clothes were still sitting on the shelves,” the mole told the British tabloid on Saturday.” Despite appearances, Watson’s involvement with the fair-trade pioneer wasn’t your average celebrity vanity project. Watson helped select the fabrics, colors, and silhouettes; modeled the finished looks; and even flew to Bangladesh to visit the slums homes of Dhaka with Safia Minney, People Tree’s founder and CEO.
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