Fall Back in Style

August 20, 2009

Matt & Nat never disappoints. The new canvas collection is incredibly handsome, and made from recycled soda bottles, and recycled faux-suede lining. Better yet,  you can win one of these bags! Email Matt & Nat at blog@mattandnat.com before August 30th at midnight and tell them what MATT & NAT means to you in 250 words, the best men’s and women’s letters will win one of our new Fall 09 handbags.


Steve Alan presents some nice, basic, organic shirts. We love the black and white, single needle check shirt!

Detail in Black/ Ivory GinghamSingle Needle Organic

Reverse Seam OrganicReverse Seam Organic

These tapered organic cotton pants, slouch pants, and shirts from the Australian company, Bassike are not for the faint of heart. But those gents that have a love for cutting-edge trends, check these out!

http://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/bask0021blk_01?Bassike%20Slim%20Tapered%20PantOversized V-Neck With Tail Graphitehttp://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/bask0023blk_01?Bassike%20Slouch%20Panthttp://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/bask0019grp_03?Bassike%20Tab%20Front%20T-shirthttp://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/bask0001blk_03?Bassike%20Cellweave%20Throw

Arn Mercantile offers up an organic Peruvian cotton “chore jacket” and some comfy pullovers.

http://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/mer0010tan_01?Arn%20Mercantile%20Chore%20JacketArn Mercantile Pullover ShirtArn Mercantile Pullover Shirt

The Japanese company, Kato uses organic cotton from Zimbabwe to make these jackets and shirts.


http://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/kat0008brn_03?Kato%20Plaid%20Washed%20Shirtinghttp://4m.scene7.com/is/image/4m/kat0007blu_03?Kato%20Plaid%20Washed%20ShirtOrganic Cotton Chambray Shirt

Christopher Raeburn: Reclaimed Infantry

May 14, 2009

Christopher Raeburn‘s AW09 menswear collection caused a stir at Paris Mens Fashion Week. Only one year old, his line of “ethically-aware garments” created from recycled European military stock is almost entirely made of parachute material. Utilitarian, intelligently structured, and light-weight – these clothes are made for the active man.




Paris Menswear Fashion Week:




In the past, Raeburn has used some fur in his womenswear collections. There does not appear to be any in his 2009 collections, and we hope he sticks to that trend. If one is going to claim to be “ethically-aware” on their website, yet use the skins, furs, feathers or other body-parts of animals, the integrity of these ethics simply must be questioned.

While the recycled textiles used are eco, some of the Paris Menswear Fashion Week runway collection that Raeburn collaborated on with established British designer Tim Soar were quilted jackets stuffed with duck feathers. It is not stated whether the feathers are also recycled. Are there alternatives to feather down? Of course! Thinsulate, Primaloft, Polarguard, Thermolite, Dryloft, Hollofil, Liteloft, Microloft, Quallofil, and Thermoloft are all hypoallergenic, warm, cruelty-free alternatives.

* UPDATE: after talking directly to Christopher Raeburn, he has confirmed that the feathers are indeed from recycled duvets.

Most feather down is collected after slaughter, providing additional income to the Foie Gras and meat industry. Live Plucking still continues in some cases.  Imagine having your fingernails torn off, because that is what feather-plucking feels like to a duck, goose, or chicken. Even the celebrated “sustainable”, “found” down is most commonly taken from nests, leaving eggs exposed to the elements, and often unable to hatch. Protected Eider ducks are the most common victims of this nest raiding. More on down/feathers.

Prelovers, Superfoods, Fur Foibles, & Veganic Farming

February 24, 2009

from the left: Shelley Whelan - Montreal Retail Manager & Rep, Julia Grieve - Founder & CEO, Colin Seymour - Toronto Retail Manager & Rep

From the left: Shelley Whelan - Montreal Retail Manager & Rep, Julia Grieve - Founder & CEO, Colin Seymour - Toronto Retail Manager & Rep

PRELOVED held their first US in-store event on Sunday evening at the Greenpoint, Brooklyn boutique, ALTER. The Spring ‘o9 collection is made entirely of reclaimed items like bed sheets, shirts, suiting, and even curtains! These items would otherwise end up in a landfill, and have been reconstucted into really gorgeous garments for ladies and gentalmen, alike. Founder and CEO,  Julia Grieve told me that she never intended to be an environemntalist, she just liked working with reclaimed fabrics. But now, as Preloved heads to the forefront of the green-fashion movement, she realized the importence and gravity of making sustainability ‘cool’. Nothing says sustainable like turning trash into gorgeous, head-turning garments. You won’t find find any granola on their runway!

The Zuri Tee $169.00 at ALTER

The line does include wool, but it is recycled from old sweaters that would otherwise be garbage. I’m not going to be complaining about it. Hopefully this trend will catch on, and with styles as awesome as the Zuri Tee, who can resist?

ALTER consists of two boutiques across the street from eachother in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Owned and operated by Roy Caires and Tommy Cole, they carry a great selection of eco and veg-friendly items incuding their own repurposed line “This Old Thing?” as well as Matt & Nat accessories, Melissa shoes, and they have more coming! ALTER is carrying the women’s collecion for Preloved currently, and will be carring the men’s collection within a few weeks.

Speaking of Matt & Nat, I love their new vegan, canvas, Bauhaus bag with 100% recycled lining.canvas-men_lo bauhaus_2

gg125x125.jpgGirlie Girl Army shows us how to get superpowers from superfoods! This is a 101 for anyone who wants to know the basics of the superfood phenomenon! This is for dudes too! Wanna stop chugging sugary, milk-protein-laden workout ‘food’ and get a longer-lasting, healthy high for that extra curl, press, or pull-up? Try these foods! Also, if you didn’t hear Chloe’s sexy visit to the boys at Hot97, click here.

Veganic farming is wha…? Veganic farming takes organic farming and brings it to it’s logical conclusion. Who wants to eat organic potatoes that grew in factory-farm feces and blood? Ugh..  the vegan permaculture movement is taking hold! The Huguenot Street Farm in New Paltz, NY is one successful example. Check out their funny video here, and stay tuned for more updates on the veganic farming movement:

FICA is full of it. The ‘Fur Information Council of America’ insists that fur is the “natural, responsible choice“.


If you’ve already started rolling your eyes or laughing, you are not alone. In WWD, for the final day of NY Fashion Week (The Feb 20th, 2009 issue), FICA paid for an ad that was disguised as a part of the paper to make it seem as though fur garments were heavily talked-about in the publication.


In fact, aside from one shawl by Issac Mizrahiny, there wouldn’t have been any fur in the publication that day. Boo hiss to Issac for his hideous new fur collection. Also watch his attempt to lose weight eating “vegan” M&Ms.


"Peanut M&M's are vegan" ...right

Robert Verdi PictureAlso boo, hiss to TV Host and supposed ‘style expert’, Robert Verdi who I spotted in the lobby, surrounded by plastic fur-hags, wearing this atrocious hood (Did his Court-Dress wig fall back, or was he going for the evil Skeksis look?).


Skeksis from "The Dark Crystal"

Tim Gunn should give them both a stern talking-to in the ways of educated and compassionate elegance. The only way to look like a bigger jerk is to have tan-lines in the shape of aviators on your head. Oh wait…

What I love (and by love, I mean hate) about FICA’s pretty-in-pink website is the total avoidance of ever mentioning an animal oustside of abstractions like “species” or “populations”. If they did acknowlegde that individual animals with brains and nervous systems existed, they’d have to follow through with logic that would contradict their reference of animals as “natural resources” to be used “responsibly”. I won’t even make the historical comparisons, you can do that yourself.

Interview: John Patrick of Organic

March 17, 2008
John Patrick in Peru

New York-based designer John Patrick has a taste for rouge gamblers. He also approaches his clothing like an artist, a scientist, a politician, and an activist. From growing his own organic cotton, to building fair-trade, sustainable industries, to voicing skepticism of materialism, GMOs, and Free Trade policies, John Patrick is a force to be reckoned with. His vision of new school freedom and sustainability speaks to young people in a way that addresses the invalidity of tired, self-important cris de coeur. I interviewed John Patrick recently about his clothes, his involvement with the Green Revolution, and his plans for the future. Here is the interview:

DB: What is it about clothing that keeps your driven?
JP: Its one of the last “personal” spaces we solely occupy. but even then the consumer is dictated to as to what they are able to choose to wear. I am driven to keep the choices open and to create a dialogue that also includes the thought “you are what you wear”. Stop and think about it; textiles drenched in chemicals and dyes. 500 years ago you were lucky if you had a piece of cloth to wrap yourself in and a wooden or metal utensil to eat. So “you’ve come a long way baby” is still relevant, but creating relevant 21st century choices that are “smart” is what drives me.

Organic Spring 2008

DB: I’ve heard you grow some of your own organic cotton, how did this come about and why?
JP: I worked with 10 farmers in the amazon jungle who grow not only cotton but fruits and vegetables and roots. The jungle is the last “supermarket” to the world and needs to be protected so slash and burn farming doesn’t take over any more than it has. Free-trade agreements are disrupting the natural order of things drastically and the farmers know it outside of the USA. They know that cheap corn from North America will come, and so will GMO seeds and chemicals. We guaranteed a higher price for the 10 farmers for 5000 kilos of cotton, and in turn another 190 farmers were able to command the same price from bigger buyers who the year before paid very little per kilo. So, it became a win-win situation for an entire region. I am working on securing funding to make the project bigger in the future and hire an engineer to live and work in the jungle and help the farmers protect WHAT IS THEIRS. They are the stewards of the earth and without them the “green movement” is meaningless, in my opinion. I will be traveling this spring/summer to Georgia, and visiting a conventional cotton gin and trying to see if I cant start a small project with the gin to encourage them to transition to organic cotton. 1/100th of 1% of the cotton grown in the USA is certified organic. Small percentage, right? This is an area we need to change if we truly want to be able to say there is a Green Revolution.

DB: What was the inspiration behind the menswear in the Fall 2008 collection. Do any artists, writers, philosophers, etc.. inspire your work?
JP: My main inspiration was a rogue gambler who had a huge heart – who was compassionate about living life to the fullest and not being afraid to lose sometimes because in the end it was a huge win. Joseph Bueys is a great inspiration to me because he had many obstacles to overcome, yet there was a profound message in his work that is still being revealed today. I think that he was very forward in his use of organic materials in his art and traveling to New York and staying in a gallery with a dog. His “menu” is even more relevant today than ever.

John Patrick Fall 08

DB: How have other people (including press and other designers) responded to your use of organic, repurposed materials and your vision?
JP: I hope Organic inspires people to work hard on the ethical aspect of the design industry. From LEED Certified buildings to supporting CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). I am just doing my work and what I believe in.

DB: Who are your clothes for? Do you have an agenda?
JP: My clothes are for the people who make them and the people who wear them. My agenda is to do the next right thing that gets put in front of me.

DB: You mentioned you have three offices and no computers. How do you keep it together?
JP: Good orderly direction.

DB: I noticed there was no fur in your collection. What is your opinion of the commercial fur and exotic animal-skins trade?
JP: I support the Animal Rights people.

John Patrick Spring 08

DB: It seems there is an entire generation of young people who want accountability and to redefine that “cool” is more than just the way things look. What is your definition of cool, of chic, and of luxury?
JP: In my opinion, those adjectives are from the late 20th century and have no relevancy in The Now. The Now is about sustainability, individualism and mindful thought as to how we are living. We can be who we are if we think about it. It takes thought to be a responsible consumer and citizen. The Now Generation has rejected the old school materialism in favor of a new school freedom. Just look at the streets of Williamsburg.

DB: If you could change one thing about the fashion industry, what would it be?
JP: It seems perfect in its imperfection. It allows everyone to do what they feel is right. There are a lot of amazing young designers now working and emerging who will push the change in the next 100 years.

John Patrick Fall 08

DB: What was the most recent book you’ve read?
JP: Ways of Seeing by John Berger. A quote: ” seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak”.

DB: Where do you see your focus and creative development heading in two years?
JP: I want to continue my archeology and dig more and more and more and find the things that speak to me.

Fresh Friday Finds

March 7, 2008

Better World Shopping Guide1. The Better World Shopping Guide.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a resource that graded (A+ through F) companies on their practices affecting ecosystems, people, and animals? My sister recently pointed out a great resource: “The Better World Shopping Guide” by Ellis Jones. Dr Jones has 2 books out. The Better World Handbook is a big book that catalogues the many ways one human being can make a difference in the world around a wide range of social and environmental problems. You can read nearly the whole book RIGHT HERE.

2. Pureology Styling Products
PureologyPureology is a biodegradable, vegan, cruelty-free haircare product line used by top salons and stylists. I got my hair cut at Beehive in Williamsburg, and my stylist Kay made me fall in love with their nano-wax! Smells really good too. Pompadour heaven.

3. Reclaimed, recycled, repurposed furniture from Brooklyn!

Reclaimed Pine BenchReclaimed Table

Founded in 2004, by Bill Hilgendorf and Jason Horvath, Uhuru is a small design + build furniture company dedicated to sustainability and creating timeless designs and interiors. Uhuru builds each piece by hand, in their Red Hook Brooklyn studio.

4. Soy Undies
Soy UndiesSpotted these 2(x)ist man-briefs made from SOY! According to the 2(x)ist website, soy is “more luxurious than cashmere, breathes like cotton… and is a ‘green’ fiber”. Locate them HERE.

5. Bergmans Organic Pima Cotton Collection
Bergman's I’ve had a lot of people ask me where they can get nice organic dress shirts, khakis and such. Check out this organic collection from the respected Bergman’s, who’s been on top of the organic cotton game since 1986! If you don’t know why conventional cotton is so terrible, you much read my previous post: White Gold

Organic Cuffed Khaki
Organic OxfordOrganic Polo


February 6, 2008

marisa Custom Dress

When my friend Marisa Olson, video artist extraordinaire, invited me to the opening of Unmonumental, an exhibit she co-curated with Lauren Cornell featuring artists working with Internet-based montage, at the New Museum next week in New York (VIP, of course), I had to ask what she’d be wearing. “I like wearing custom garments that reflect the concepts I work with,” she said. The exhibition will be available online from February 15 to April 6, 2008 at rhizome.org/montage.

Unmonumental“Cutting and pasting, breaking apart and re-assembling, ripping and remixing, the participating artists extend the radical practice of collage to the Internet, demonstrating how previously tried techniques can engender rich, new artistic practices.” – The New Museum

Accordingly, the piece Marisa will debut is a custom-made RUFFEO HEARTS LIL’ SNOTTY sweater-dress that conceptually, could compare with the likes of recent Prada, Miu Miu, and Balenciaga trends, and reflects Unmonumental’s lo-fi montage aesthetic.

And they do menswear! Never grow up, with big bold slabs and blocks of color, snap-on bandit-bandannas, kitsch prints and florals, rainbows, big-lips patches, and hooded-necks that you wouldn’t mind having to wear a brace under after you get whip-lash from watching someone walk by in one.

Denim Bomber

RUFFEO HEARTS LIL’ SNOTTY is the ironic Tee-shirt that grew up and got political. Each garment is hand-made in a Seattle workshop, and the designers take the fashion industry as seriously as they take consumer-capitalism in general – not very. With a disdain for Urban Outfitters and company, and a tongue-in-cheek sensibility, they prepare us for care-free craziness.

Kaleidiscope Classic Doubel Barrel

In a world where everyone wears RUFFEO HEARTS LIL’ SNOTTY, there is no war – just rock-shows, ridiculous cartoons, scrabble clubs, and fixed-gear bicycles. It looks like an 8-bit, space-age video-game puked all over Peter Pan’s Lost Boys after a Salvation Army run – and I love it!


The best part is it’s made from 100% recycled and re-purposed materials (minus the zips & snaps). The even BESTER part is that it’s all relatively affordable and you can buy some right now on Etsy.com

  • If you haven’t been to Etsy.com, you are so missing out on handmade everything from amazing artists all over the place. Go!

DB’s Etiquette Recommendation: If you want to dress like a big toddler, there is a right way and a wrong way. The wrong way is creepy and makes people feel uncomfortable: Form-fitting overalls with running shoes will do this. The right way is taking the cue from RUFFEO HEARTS LIL’ SNOTTY and turning your attitude towards having fun, quitting your boring job, and liberating your inner-child with geometric art, huge color, and a genuine cohesion.

We Can Love You Again: Preloved

January 23, 2008

Our friend Tommy Cole (Alter, This Old Thing?) pointed out the awesome creations from those crazy Canadians at the label Preloved. The name is exactly how it sounds. All of their garments are born of thrift, vintage fabrics and previously-loved articles.

DB’s Etiquette Recommendation: This past fall Preloved recycled over 60,000 sweaters to create their fall clothing. That saves more than a few sheep from being sheared, cows dismembered, and ecosystems pillaged. Anything that requires almost no new materials has much less impact on the integrity of ecosystems. Even organic cotton and bamboo still requires new raw materials to be extracted from the earth – and while the ecological footprint is smaller, it’s still not as sustainable as recycling. So what’s greener than turning used rags into new riches? Shop thrift and re-purpose as often as possible.

Sweater Jacket

Tommy Cole (Alter, This Old Thing?) says: We just returned from the Bread & Butter trade show in Barcelona, Spain and there was a HUGE presence of “green” fashion and sustainable stuff. Pre Loved is from Canada. (don’t be fooled by the “girly” appearance of the site) they do recycled mens stuff as well (they do use a lot of wool… but its all recycled) and it is AMAZING., we are getting new merch from them mid-february.”


So if you’re in the NYC area, head over to ALTER to get some Pre-Love or click HERE for find other locations across the states and the globe!

Organic & This Old Thing?

January 20, 2008

1. John Patrick Organic makes organic fashion that is practical, and wearable for any man.

John Patrick Organic
John Patrick Organic

DB Etiquette Recommendation: John Patrick Organic does use vegetable-tanned leather, cashmere, and organic wool in some products, which is much more than most designers can say- but something that, for those of us who know about ecology or animal advocacy, is not entirely sustainable or desirable. Aside from the ethical argument of domesticating animals, Think of the amount of resources it takes to raise a cow, or a sheep (feed grains, land space, water, energy, possible slaughter, transport etc…) as opposed to a hemp canvas or an organic bamboo (less land space, less water, transportation). Stick to the organic plant-based products.

For a list of where to purchase, click here.

2. THIS OLD THING? Tommy Cole and Roy Caires, fashion photographer and designer, magnificently re-purpose thrift garments into entirely new and gorgeous pieces. I own two of their vests and get asked who, what, and where constantly.red

DB Etiquette Recommendation: I’ve always said, thrift anything is more ethical than new anything. The only time to take heed is being aware of what you’re making look fabulous. While, ethically speaking, a recycled fur or leather bomber may have less impact on the environment and animals than a brand-new synthetic garment – be aware of what you are promoting. Chances are, if you make fur and leather look fabulous, people will continue to demand it, and seek it out – new or not. Please shop thrift and re-purposed – it’s the greenest, but steer clear of obvious leather, fur, and wool.




This Old Thing? can be found at ALTER – a clothing boutique created by Tommy & Roy of This Old Thing? ALTER will feature clothing and accessories by This Old Thing? along with Cheap Monday Denim, jewelry by Fetty of Brooklyn, a stunning selection of vintage clothing… and many more brands to come as they grow. The official ALTER website is comming soon… the ALTER blog is located at: www.alterbrooklyn.blogspot.com