Fresh Friday Finds

October 10, 2008

1. John Patrick Organic Spring 2009

John Patrick has done it again! As one of my favorite designers, his dreamy, bucolic, utopian vision came to life at the Desmond Tutu center in Chelsea last month. This American Gothic reminds us that our land-base in primary, and taking care of it (like using organic cotton, fair-labor, sustainable practices – developing sustainable cottage industries, and growing your own organic cotton in the jungles of Peru) is crucial. Click here to view the complete collection for men and women.

2. Vegetable-Based Leather is my bag, baby!
Vegetable-based ‘leather‘  made by Amazonian natives from sustainable plant matter, and recycled canvas from cargo trucks. Need I say more? The bags and accessories from Paz Apparel are hot, and I love this oversized “Uptown Handbag“. Thanks to reader, Ari for the tip-off!

$125, Paz Apparel

Also from Paz:

3. sea shepherd flag

One of DB’s favorite organizations, Sea Shepherd, will be featured in Animal Planet’s 7-episode special series “Whale Wars”. On Friday, November 7th Animal Planet will premiere Whale Wars at 9 PM ET/PT in the US, and internationally in early 2009. For additional information, photos and a sneak peak at the series go to:

4. Peter Singer is the Godfather…

Joshua & Peter Singer at Karen Dawn's event

I got the honor of meeting Peter Singer, father of the modern animal rights movement and author of “Animal Liberation” at a party for Karen Dawn’s (Dawnwatch) birthday and book reading. It’s not often you get to meet the person who set the new course for your life. I recommend reading both books!

When Purchasing Books, I also strongly recommend supporting local independent bookstores. Use as opposed to the not-at-all-ethically-fabulous Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Do it!!!

Buy Thanking the Monkey now from Amazon

5. Autumn is in the Air

And so are these seasonal smells from DB friend, A Scent of Scandal! Check out: OLD SCHOOL  – granny smith, ROUGH PATCH – pumpkin, & TURNING TRICKS – candy corn.

6. Do Rabbits Scream?

Find out more about Armani on

The answer is yes, and this new undercover video of rabbit fur farms in France and China is enough to make anyone give fur the cold shoulder. PETAs Armani campaign is in full swing. Get involved!

7. Shoes that will make you swoon
A little bird told me that Elizabeth Olsen (Olsen Haus), whose vegan shoe line is blowing up and selling out all over the place right now, will be making vegan shoes for men that are as equally badass as her womens’ shoes. And to get a taste of how she rolls, take a look at these:

(All I can say is that I am looking forward to dancing in some blue suede-like mens’ shoes.) More to come, stay tuned.

8. Home

In Defense of Animals is taking on Zappos‘ hairy sales, exposing outdated primate nicotine experiments,planning for Fur Free Friday, and standing up to Puppy Mills. Check out their campaigns and get involved!

thimble, a monkey orphaned by Spindel's experiments






9. Pick an Apple!

Get out of town before the season is over. If you haven’t been to the Hudson Valley in New York State for an autumn adventure, you don’t know what you’re missing! Click Here! or Here!

10. Party for the Pigs

Support Farm Sanctuary’s Party for the Pigs:
A benefit for the survivors of the Midwest flood disaster

In June of this year, Farm Sanctuary mobilized in Iowa to take part in one of the most ambitious farm animal rescues ever undertaken, after thousands of pigs were left to die in the Midwest flood disaster. During both land and water rescue operations, 69 pigs were rescued, including many pregnant sows who were once confined to gestation crates on factory farms. Now, these pigs, many of whom are still suffering from serious health problems, are at Farm Sanctuary receiving urgent care and undergoing rehabilitation.

On October 18, Farm Sanctuary will honor these survivors of the Midwest floods and raise critically needed funds for their care.

Please, help the pigs by attending the event or making a donation today!


Saturday, October 18, 6-9 p.m.
Equality Center
1640 Rhode Island Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C.


Persia White and Nellie McKay

A special performance by
Singer/songwriter and Broadway actress Nellie McKay

Vegan hors d’oeuvres, a wine and beer bar, and a silent auction

Cocktail attire requested

RSVP now or call 607-583-2225 ext 221 to reserve your space.
General admission tickets cost $50.

Rights for Apes, Hollywood Meat, Pig Pilgrimage & Toxic Teflon

July 19, 2008

1. Meat-Head Machismo

Ecorazzi recently revealed that Hollywood frat-boy turned cowboy, Matthew McConaughey, will be using his sensual man powers to get you all horny for dead cows. The National Cattlemans’ Beef Association (NBCA) payed out some big bucks to lasso McConaughey into the gig. I listened to the spot and got so grossed out that I almost ralphed on my keyboard. Hey Matthew, can you pass the torture, disease, and ecological devastation…? Matthew is certainly not a Discerning Brute.

2. Organic is in Vogue

John Patrick of Organic (one of our favorite labels) has been nominated as a finalist in CFDA/Vogue’s Fashion Fund Award! Congrats Patrick!

3. Stuck on Teflon
I always had a suspicion that using teflon was toxic. Ideal Bite just sent out a little blurb on the cancer-causing coating that slowly poisons us.
I recommend using cast iron – especially because the iron is actually incredibly healthy for you!//” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

4. Volunteer for Hog Days of Summer
2008 Midwest Flood Pig Rescue
Almost 70 pigs were lucky enough to be rescued by Farm Sanctuary which was asked by the state of Iowa to assist with rescue efforts. Farm Sanctuary is in urgent need of volunteers to help us care for more than 60 special needs pigs (some of whom are pregnant and expected to give birth any day!) just rescued from the Midwest floods. Massive rainfall escalated concerns of hog waste lagoons overflowing and flooding waterways with millions of gallons of hog waste. Use this opportunity to tell people about modern pork production and the cruel gestation crates employed by the industry, as well as the environmental devastation brought about by factory farming.

If you want to help, Farm Sanctuary is urgently seeking interns to volunteer at their New York Shelter. If you have experience working with farm animals email If you do not have direct experience working with farm animals, but would like to apply to help Farm Sanctuary’s shelter team in other capacities, please contact them today at 607-583-2225 ext. 222 or, or visit for more information.

5. Spanish Parliament Goes Ape-Shit

The Spanish Parliament’s Environment Committee has passed a resolution granting limited rights to great apes. Dawnwatch reported that The Sunday, July 13 New York Times ran a lengthy and thoughtful article on the issue.

“The committee would bind Spain to the principles of the Great Ape Project, which points to apes’ human qualities, including the ability to feel fear and happiness, create tools, use languages, remember the past and plan the future. The project’s directors, Peter Singer, the Princeton ethicist, and Paola Cavalieri, an Italian philosopher, regard apes as part of a ‘community of equals’ with humans.

“If the bill passes — the news agency Reuters predicts it will — it would become illegal in Spain to kill apes except in self-defense. Torture, including in medical experiments, and arbitrary imprisonment, including for circuses or films, would be forbidden.


May 18, 2008

The Farm Sanctuary Gala was amazing! Being with so many compassionate, wonderful people in one room was inspiring. I met my president, Dennis Kucinich, got felt up by Skinny Bitch: Rory Freedman, and ate amazing pastries from Vegan Treats!

Farm Sanctuary Gala 2008

Top Down: Joshua Katcher, Dennis Kucinich, Rory Freedman,
vegan treats cakes, Kevin Nealon, Melissa Fornabaio, Lisa Edelstein
Russell Simmons, Chloe Jo Berman (Girlie Girl Army), Jeremy Davis

I had the pleasure of producing a video for the Gala:

Thanks to Kaight Shop for my hot organic blazer and organic green shirt by Turk & Taylor! I also wore an organic tie by John Patrick Organic, thrift pants, and NOVOCAS Dennis Brown shoes. If you haven’t been to Kaight in the LES, definitely check it out. There is a nice sized organic menswear section!

Kaight Shop

Boutiques, Sweets, Slices, & Endangered Bears

May 17, 2008

1. Eco Boutique Opens in LA.
An awesome eco-boutique, Visionary, has opened in West Hollywood – but so far it’s only for the ladies. Hey Visionary! Don’t forget about us Brutes!

2. Penny Licks is Vegan Sweets Heaven!
Last night at Penny Licks – Melissa, Jodi and I indulged in vegan brownie sundays with soy whipped-cream and a cherry on top! While wearing a gorgeous Organic cotton polo, I had a peanut-butter brownie sunday with temptation cookie-dough vegan ice cream. Jodi went to town on a huge slice of vegan coconut cream cake from Vegan Treats. To top that off, We ate with biodegradable corn-based spoons and ate out of biodegradable cups. Not everything is vegan here, but most of it is, and most of it is organic as well. This is my new favorite spot! See you there….

Penny Licks

3. Vinnie’s Pizzeria Makes Love to the Vegan Pie.vinnies vegan pizza
Just a few doors down from Penny Licks, Vinnie’s Pizzeria is putting shame to any other pizza place that has attempted to do vegan pies before. There isn’t just one “we have to put something out to take economic advantage of those annoying vegans” pie. Every day there are at least three innovative pies, in addition to handwheels, rolls, and sandwiches. They use Teese, from the same people that brought you Temptation.

4. Polar Bear on Official “Endangered Species” list. this week, the Secretary of the Interior placed the polar bear on the Endangered Species List as a threatened species.The listing is clearly a step in the right direction. Much more needs to be done — to save the polar bear and solve the climate crisis.

Vogue & Mens Accessories

May 6, 2008

1. The Mens Store at Matt & Nat offers by far, the best selection of well-made veg and eco mens’ accessories that I have seen to date. My favorite bag is the Kravitz Brazen:

Also check out these handsome, cruelty-free adornments:

2. Vogue attempted to do an article about Mens’ green fashion in their March issue. The article, “Good to be Green” gave friend of DB, John Patrick of Organic, a big shout-out (Yay Patrick!). Bramfod & Sons, Loomstate, and Earnest Sewn are mentioned, and whispers of the green capsule line from Theory are discussed, but clearly they didn’t have me writing the article or it would have been much more thorough…(pats self on back). The deal on Theory is:

“…Theory is excited to announce our first-ever organic collection for Summer 2008. Made from certified organic materials, the capsule collection includes 24 styles–jackets, dresses, knitwear and more. Theory’s organic collection will be available at Theory retail stores Barney’s New York, and Holt Renfrew, and shortly to follow at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and Bergdorf Goodman in May.”

Downed Animals & Organic Dress-Shirts

May 1, 2008

1. Today, and all this week are National Call-In Days for Downed Farm Animals! The recent Human Society undercover investigation of the cruel treatment of cows at a California slaughter plant has sparked renewed attention to the downer issue, with several Congressional hearings and bills introduced. Now it’s essential that we keep Congress focused on the issue and ensure they take action.

At the California slaughter plant, “downed” animals — those too sick or injured to stand and walk on their own — were prodded with electric shocks, dragged with chains, rammed with forklifts, and subjected to other egregious abuse in efforts to forcibly move them to slaughter. Downed animals may also be left to languish without food, water, or veterinary care, and they are at a higher risk of carrying harmful diseases.

The following bills have already been introduced and others are in the works:

Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act (H.R. 661/S. 394) to ban slaughter of downed livestock and require their immediate humane euthanasia.

Downed Animal Enforcement Act (S. 2770) to ban slaughter of downed livestock and establish stricter penalties for violations of the downer ban and humane slaughter law.

Food Safety Recall Information Act (H.R. 5762) to require release of names of retailers and school districts that purchased meat, poultry, or egg products subject to recall, and ban slaughter of downed livestock.


When you call, you will speak to a staff member who will pass your message along to your legislator. Remember to be polite and professional, and leave your name and address so it is clear that you are a constituent.

Please call your U.S. Representative.

You can say:
“Hello, my name is [your name] and I’m calling from [your town] to urge Representative Maloney to do everything possible to enact legislation to protect downed animals — including H.R. 661, the Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act, and H.R. 5762, the Food Safety Recall Information Act. It’s time to ensure that animals unable to stand are humanely euthanized and do not enter the food supply. Thank you.”

• Please call Your Senator

You can say:
“Hello, my name is [your name] and I’m calling from [your town] to urge [senator’s name] to do everything possible to enact legislation to protect downed animals — including S. 394, the Downed Animal and Food Safety Protection Act, and S. 2770, the Downed Animal Enforcement Act. It’s time to ensure that animals unable to stand are humanely euthanized and do not enter the food supply. Thank you.”

HSUS is tracking the impact of your calls, so click here to let us know you called your legislators:

• Finally, please tell all of your friends and family to call their legislators today and throughout this week.

2. Organic Dress Shirts

A lot of you have asked for resources on standard organic dress shirts, so here ye, here ye! These are some styles from Organic and Arbitrage.

(Above: Arbitrage, designed to benefit charity: water, an organization that provides clean, safe drinking water to people in the developing world by constructing freshwater wells. For each shirt purchased, Saks will donate $25 to charity: water.)

Fashion Week Highlight: John Patrick Organic, Fall 2008

February 11, 2008

I crossed under the scaffolding on a wet, gray Friday to enter the Bryant Park Hotel where a small crowd had gathered by the elevator, chatting about everything from the rain outside to Hillary Clinton’s pants-suits. I wondered if we were all headed to the same show – I couldn’t imagine the typical fashion-week crowd, ambling around in their furs and expensive-logos, getting excited by anything “eco”. Funny thing was, that on any other winter it would be snowing as opposed to raining. February in New York is typically a slushy mess, but – as we know – our planet is changing – and, being a physical part of it, so must we.

JPO Vest

Once inside the loft, a simple set of raw, wooden benches with recycled felt cushions lined the sides of the runway. The lighting was bright and sunny, and the room was getting packed. John Patrick ran around, saying hello to everyone and offering water. “You’re the one with the blog!” he said to me. “I grow my own organic cotton in the Peruvian jungle, and I recycle wool. I have offices in three different countries and I don’t even use computers!” He must have had some coffee. A suited DJ with classic Ray-Bans readied the turn-tables.

Apparently, John Patrick has mastered the art of turning old bed sheets into chic shirts, using harmless and natural dyes, and like Bono’s ‘Edun’, ORGANIC is comprehensive in it’s approach to labor. He travels around the world, training his factory workers to mill the organic crop into fibers and to maintain sustainable, local cottage hand-production industries.


The menswear featured on the runway had a casual and bucolic, private-school feel. John Patrick’s home in the Hudson River Valley surely played a role in inspiring these rustic looks from the recycled wool herringbone pants and recycled alpaca, storm-dust gray, short-tie to the organic cotton and recycled-wool, kelp-green vest. Another highlight was a gorgeous, organic jungle-cotton henley.

We talked briefly about our common taste for folk-rock, his work methodology, and his motivations. “We make sexy, modern organic clothes for the sexy, modern organic world…to look at ORGANIC and see only clothes is to miss the point: the clothes reflect a lifestyle. To wear them is to vote for the radically modern concept that luxury isn’t about stuff, it’s about integrity.”

JPO4 While we disagree in some areas, specifically on the use of new wool and leather (aside form recycled wool, which I have no problem with, he uses new ‘organic’ Vermont wool and vegetable-tanned cow skin), our vision for a paradigm shift within the industry is mostly united. More and more, the symbology of ‘cool’ and ‘luxury’ is changing, albeit a resistance of status-quo financial interests, and continual waves of color-by-number designers, stylists, and writers who haven’t been exposed to anything but a traditional and dangerous ideology of garment production and it’s equally dangerous iconography.

Let’s be honest; prototypical fashion designers do not concern themselves with ethical issues of ecologicalJPO3 sustainability, social responsibility, and animal exploitation. Some do, however – recently, fur seems to have made a come-back, and even while a psudo-defiant celebration of infantile self-gratification seems to overwhelm the fashion industry’s most influential – there is a growing rebellion that has yet to be embraced as the true calling of the iconoclast. Designers such as Vivian Westwood, Ralph Lauren, Betsey Johnson, Benjamin Cho, Charlotte Ronson, Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Comme des Garçons, Linda Loudermilk, Jay McCarroll, Richard Chai and Marc Bouwer have all banned fur from their designs. Michael Kors and Donna Karen, take note. For more on fur, click here.

Furthermore, organizations like the ICC, UN, and ILO provide standards in working towards sustainability and social justice.
>> Go to ILO

There is a new generation of people (not ‘consumers’) who really care about where their clothes come from and what lives they affect. The important thing is that SSA (Sustainability, Social Responsibility, Animal Advocacy) is no longer just a noble concept to put into action – it is literally crucial for the very existence of the fashion industry.

DB’s Etiquette Recommendation: We live on a finite planet (that means there are limits, not infinite resources) and the typical production model for fashion and most other industries is a linear one. All things considered, common sense tells us this is bound to self-destruct. Watch this video to get a better understanding. It’s high time for the rest of the fashion industry to evolve or die off. The stakes are high, but the reward is the sustenance of fashion itself.

Check back soon for my interview with John Patrick.

*Photos courtesy of Paper Magazine