For the purposes of this Tried and True Product Review — Solo, the makers of BARE (Bringing Alternative Resources for the Environment) dinnerware provided us samples of this new line of “eco-forward” disposable plates and cups.
So, what products did we try and what do we think?
- We tried BARE by Solo’s compostable dinner, lunch and dessert plates, (pictured above, right)
- We loved the texture; you can cut food on the plate without tearing the surface; we liked the unusual shape, sizes and neutral color.
- They’re sturdy yet lightweight; and microwavable, too.
- Eco upsides: comprised of plant-based renewable materials, sugarcane. Up and downside: although compostable in a commercial composting facility, (more…)
Here’s our interview with eco fashion pioneers, Howard Brown and Karen Stewart, the design visionaries and founders of seminal ethical fashion line – Stewart + Brown.
Q: With Earth Day fast approaching what do you see as the important green issues facing your brand and the fashion industry in general?
“Overall the economy has had, and continues to have, the biggest effect on the green fashion industry. When fashion is truly organic and fair trade/fair labor the costs are much higher all around and so people who do believe and understand being sustainable most often do not have the financial means to afford buying organic. Another challenge has been a breakdown in the supply chain, as well where, due to the economy and recession, many small family run business have gone out of business – not to mention the continued surge of green-washing and marketing techniques of opportunists who contributed to so much confusion of knowing what is authentically green.”
Q: What role do you see the fashion and clothing industries taking in making the planet a better, more sustainable place?
“At the highest levels companies need to step it up, be authentic and
act in action by doing the right thing – not just in buzz but actually
walking the walk, show strong leadership and stop grandstanding.”
Q: S + B has always been an innovator in earth conscious fashion. What are some of things your brand is doing to make the world a greener, better looking place?
“Stewart+Brown uses only organic and sustainable fibers, no petro-chemicals in our fabrics or production, fair trade labor, we minimize the impact of earth’s precious capital and spreads the wisdom of sustainability and inspires others to do the same.”
Q: Any new eco friendly fabrics, materials, or manufacturing initiatives you’d like to discuss?
“For our spring 2010 collection we are using a new woven linen and organic cotton twill that is so light and easy to wear and was
produced using no herbicides or pesticides.”
Q: What are some of the fashion trends you see emerging in 2010 and 2011?
“Continuing to find new and unique ways to utilize surplus fabrics, discovering new sustainable sources to create innovative designs, and use of color stories within our collections.”
Q: What’s next for Stewart + Brown?
“Coming lines…men’s, kid’s and home textiles.”
Re-using things that already exist is often a rewarding way to go green. Britain-based Matteriashop offers a variety of striking vintage wallpapers in a wide variety of retro animal and nature patterns. These limited edition wall coverings are the perfect adornment for the lair of your family’s discerning, baby environmentalist.
The exploding economies of such countries as India, and China in particular, are making automobiles a more affordable luxury for many of those countries’ consumers. With more cars comes more pollution – and unless those cars are low, or zero emission vehicles – more environmental damage. Toward that end US electric vehicle pioneer ZAP has just outlined production plans to bring all-electric vehicles to the Chinese market. The company is displaying its all-electric ZAP Taxi targeting the fleet market as well as its innovative all-electric Alias prototype sports car at the Beijing Motor Show.
“ZAP is gearing up to meet the need in the China marketplace for high-quality, environmentally friendly vehicles,” said Steve Schneider, ZAP CEO. “Importantly, as these vehicles are 100% electric, they emit zero pollutants and are very economical to operate when compared to traditional gasoline powered vehicles.”
With China’s increasingly more affluent population exceeding 1.3 billion people, reducing emissions from cars, cabs and public transportation is a growing concern. Now if China could stop generating a large portion of its electricity via coal-fired power plants the transition to electric vehicles could prove even more profound.
Find out more details at the ZAP blog.