Eco-Friendlies » Flipping Great!

October 26, 2012

South African Flip Flop Bracelets via Paper Source

These bright, fair trade bracelets coming out of South Africa are made using upcycled flip flops. They’re dirt cheap, eco-friendly, and the perfect lighthearted accompaniment to all that studded, metal arm swag everyone seems to be wearing this fall. No two are alike. Get a set of ten from Paper Source and rock the 80’s vibe.

Weak in the Knees for Fashion Week: Summer, We’ll See You On the Flipside. Wearing This.

September 26, 2012

Auria x Margot Bowman SS 2013 SwimwearAuria x Margot Bowman SS 2013 Swimwear

“What the Greek goddess Artemis would wear if she fell from the heavens and onto the set of Baywatch.”
— Diana Auria

Here in NYC, the summer already seems like a distant memory – but there’s always the chance of a final freakish weekend of Indian summer weather. So here’s a bit of swim-ready style to keep in reserve for our return to the beach or that rooftop pool. London Fashion Week was certainly bursting at the seams with colorful, exuberant patterns, and the collaboration between swimwear/lingerie designer Auria (Diana Auria Harris) and illustrator Margot Bowman was a standout favorite for the Lo’s List gang.

What we love even more than the campaign shots that initially caught our eye was a snap from Diana’s blog of some badass-looking chicks wearing the collection with fierce conviction. The suits, easily integrated into après-swim cocktail party attire, are 80’s and Baywatch and pastel-pop, but also elegantly constructed and oozing sex appeal. Oh, and the brownie points for this collection don’t stop there. Although you’d never know it, all the fabrics are ethically sourced and 100% recycled. They’re made from – somehow quite fitting – fishing nets, along with other reclaimed materials.

Go for the Gold » Grin and Bear It

August 5, 2012

Frédéric Perigot Gold Bear Bag Large Shopper

Just the right size for a heptathlon
of Olympics-watching treats!

Care about the planet? Might as well be cute about it. Let your green credentials shine with this golden shopping bag by French designer Frédéric Perigot. It tucks away adorably into a little matching golden bear when not in use. We’d bust it out to shlep around our farmer’s market provender – or, better yet, to hold a heptathlon of Olympics-watching treats: Ritter Sports bar, Kind snacks, Volvic, TJ’s trail mix, watermelon, gum and Ella’s Kitchen squishies for the little guy.

The Perigot site is definitely worth a perusal, full of utilitarian-gone-chic household wares and minimalist bags made from one of our favorite materials, Tyvek!

Eco-Friendlies » KeepCups in the Cupboard

July 21, 2012

KeepCups: BPA-free and non-toxic reusable coffee cups

So you’re a city dweller on the go. And a coffee fiend.  And a tree-hugger. You can’t do without your daily brew (or two… or three…), but you hate seeing to-go cups piling up in the recycling bin. What you need is a KeepCup – the nifty, reusable coffee cup from Melbourne, Australia.

Siblings Abigail and Jamie Forsyth were owners of a string of take-away cafés, and they worried about their contribution to our global trash problem (we have a global trash problem). Seeing no acceptable cup designs on the market (too big, too ugly), they set out to design and produce their own. The result is a line of slick cups, available in four sizes and totally customizable (so much time already wasted playing with color swatches on the super-fun site).

Our own cups will soon be making an appearance at our local Lula Bean (we ♥ you guys!). The itty bitty size, while great for YZ’s macchiato, is also perfectly toddler-appropriate. What’s more, your teething terror can chew on the rubbery bits. Not convinced reusing/reducing is for you?! Read these frightening facts and do your part already.

Duck Duck Goose » Think-Inducing Toys for Tots

February 24, 2011

Little Sapling Toys Organic Number Blocks
Little Sapling Toys Brainbow Stacking Nesting ArchesLittle Sapling Toys Organic Rattle
Little Sapling Toys Organic Sapling StackerLittle Sapling Toys Organic Camera
top: Organic Number Blocks
top: Brainbow Stacking Nesting Arches and Organic Rattle
bottom: Organic Sapling Stacker and Organic Camera

As motherhood inches nearer, I find my mind is preoccupied: where to put the crib, what to put on the iPod for our (hopefully short) stint in the birthing wing of Roosevelt Hospital, whether little Pipsqueek will be as boisterous as his/her cousin Lir, the baby’s college fund, where we’re sending the little munchkin to preschool… Every parenthood-related article that comes my way is read and pondered. It’s clear: my priorities are shifting.

Along with this new lioness mentality comes my scrutiny of modern-day toys: what happened to the gorgeous and imagination-provoking toys of old? I remember this beautiful wooden duck I had when I was a child. I loved it… There are still a few purist companies out there: with toys that don’t require an army of batteries to amuse, that don’t just give it all away without evoking an ounce of exploration. Kid O (which we’ve reviewed here and here) is one. We were thrilled to find another: Little Sapling Toys on Etsy. Nick and Kimber’s collection of wooden teethers, blocks, rattles, and Montessori-esque puzzles are minimalist and beautiful, with delicately rounded corners and a lovely finish of jojoba oil and beeswax. Most of the inventory is available in maple, walnut, and cherry wood versions and now, with they nifty new laser engraver, personalized products are an option for those possessive babies on your list… Toys range from $12 for teethers to $80 for a personalized rocking horse!

“We plant a tree for every toy sold, use FSC Certified hardwoods, recycled content packaging and participate in our local green power program.” — Little Sapling Toys

Eco-Friendlies » Chop-Chop!

February 15, 2011

Geoffrey Lilge Walnut Culina Tray
Geoffrey Lilge Maple Culina PaddleGeoffrey Lilge Full Walnut Culina Tray
top: Walnut Culina Tray
bottom: Maple Culina Paddle and Walnut Culina Tray

The kitchen is such a happy place in our house: full of anticipation, tempting aromas and (mostly) great results – thanks to head chef YZ. I’ve always had quite the weak spot for kitchen supplies but, with my klutzy husband breaking most of the japanese glassware and ceramic treasures of my past life, I realize that my attention should now turn to accessories of a less breakable nature. Already a big fan of beautiful wood objects, cutting boards are a great culinary object to focus on.

For the absolute cream of the crop of artisan cutting and serving boards, look no further than Canadian Geoffrey Lilge’s sumptuous FSC-certified walnut and maple offerings. Use the x-large walnut Slab (love the huge hanging hole) to wow your dinner guests with an endless spread of charcuterie & fromage or whip out a maple Culina paddle if you’ve got some serious chopping to do. Each board is handmade to order and ships from Canada so expect about 4-5 weeks for delivery…. Hmmm, plenty of time to arrive before my birthday {ahem}.

“I happened to grow up on a commune in northern Alberta and first gained a feel for natural materials by sanding maple cutting boards in my mother’s woodshop. Growing up surrounded by woodworkers, potters and musicians introduced me not only to bushy nudists but more importantly to the gratifying acts of making and collaboration. The one object that I have held onto from that time is one of her boards, and I have come to appreciate what it symbolizes to me – the passionate spirit of the craftsperson.” — Geoffrey Lilge (read the full text here)

Geoffrey Lilge Long Walnut Hole SlabGeoffrey Lilge X-Large Walnut Hole Slab
Geoffrey Lilge Long Walnut Hole SlabGeoffrey Lilge X-Large Walnut Hole Slab
top: Long Walnut Hole Slab and X-Large Maple Hole Slab
bottom: Long Walnut Hole Slab and X-Large Walnut Hole Slab

Eco-Friendlies » Bobble On!

January 28, 2011

Baby Bobbles

“Each year, nearly 1.5 million barrels of oil are used to make plastic water bottles. Most of those bottles end up in our landfills, in our oceans, littering our sidewalks.”

With stats like that, the fact that these water-filtering bottles are so slick is superfluous. A new generation of designers, which includes color-happy Karim Rashid, are helping the public ease into an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Make your first foray (or another seasoned step) into green design with Move Collective’s Bobble. For just shy of $10, you get a curvy small, medium, or large recycled, BPA-free bottle with your choice of brightly hued filter-cap. Each cap can filter up to 40 gallons of water before it needs replacing. And, just in time for the little Pipsqueek we’ve got on the way, the company is also making a baby version (above)!

Medium Bobble in PinkMedium Bobble in Blue
Large Bobble in YellowLarge Bobble in Green

Big Screen » Spread the Word, Brooklyn is the New Mission Control.

December 16, 2010

Aside from being visually breathtaking (and goosebump-inducing), this film pretty much showcases some of the best things in life: science, nature, education, experimentation, and… good times with the fam! The film documents the build, release, and recovery of a video- and iPhone-rigged weather balloon that, in the span of a wee 70 minutes, managed to climb nearly 100,000 feet (hitting the upper stratosphere) before bursting and frantically dancing its way back to earth — landing in a tree a mere 30 miles from the launch site!

The project was spearheaded by cinematographer Luke Geissbühler of Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized renown. Of course, he had the giddy help of his 5-year-old son Max and some other intrepid astronomers from the Brooklyn Space Program… If you’re as in love with the project as we are, sponsor it by buying one of the hilarious tees illustrated with the stingray-esque body of the invention. To eternity and beyond!

Duck Duck Goose » Virgil, Thanks for the Horse!

October 18, 2010

KidsOnRoof’s Trojan Horse

Ah, the Trojan Horse… It’s never too early for kids to discover the classics and what better place to start than with Virgil’s The Aeneid: a classic tale of military strategy. Count on the Dutch, this time by way of Amsterdam-based KidsOnRoof, to design eco-friendly playthings that are pleasing to both child’s and parent’s aesthetic. What I love most about this Trojan Horse (aside from the fact that it comes with a mini companion foal) is how perfectly minimalist it is – starting off as a plain white canvas for kids to either draw in their ideal equine creation or enjoy it as it is: simple, recycled, and sustainable.

Duck Duck Goose » Brave Souls Dream of Peace

October 7, 2010

Smiling Planet’s melamine plate collection

An earthy little reminder at the bottom of a bowl of organic fruit or veg is a great way to start and end a day. Smiling Planet’s collection of 100% recycled and 100% recyclable bowls and plates, printed with non-toxic inks and free of bpa, phthalates, pvc, and lead, allows your little one to nosh, worry-free, and get in touch with his or her inner conservationist at the earliest age.

The shop’s wares are illustrated by Freddy Deane — one half of the husband & wife team that runs the entreprise. His simple, pastel-hued drawings bring to mind Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s unforgettable illustrations from The Little Prince and are accompanied by quirky one-liners like “some roar I just smile” and “am I still an elephant if I’m really small?”. Oh, and the best part? It’s Baby Lir-approved!

The current catalog of plates, bowls, and baby tees is due to expand — be sure to check back for upcoming collections of fine china, placemats, cups, bedding, posters, and more!

Eco-Friendlies » Get Wasted with Creatables

September 28, 2010

top: Creatables Bau-Bau-Blocks and Lightweight Wallet
bottom: Creatables Tennis Ultra-Board and Old News

“Creatables is a company and network of engineers and designers that negotiate prices for industrial surplus materials from which we and our fellow designers develop nice consumer products. When you buy a Creatables product you reduce the effects of over-consumption and cast an important vote towards a sustainable development.”

Thank you Creatables, for making it so effing easy to be eco-friendly! Not only are these handy home and office supplies made entirely of factory waste, they’re downright cool — like, cooler than an upcycling hipster cool. Our favorite from the shop is definitely the fuzzy tennis ball Old News magazine/newspaper holder, a collaboration with inudstrial designer Jonas Forsman. Looking around the office, it’s just what this media-cluttered space needs!!

Eco-Friendlies » A Lítill Orb of Green

September 22, 2010

top: Lítill Phloam and Mjög Terrariums
bottom: Lítill Flugum and Lykt Terrariums

While on today’s redecorating, de-stressing binge I stumbled across these breezy, ephemeral terrariums from Lítill. The delicate landscapes use some of Lo’s List’s favorite desert survivors — lithops, tillandsias, craspedias — all housed in hand-blown glass orbs. You can contact Lítell for a custom terrarium or, if you just can’t wait, check their blog for what they currently have in stock!

Welcome Home » Unto This Last

July 28, 2010

Unto This Last Cage bin, Facet chair, and Lock table

Your Lo’s List London correspondents have recently moved into new, unfurnished digs in Islington and, as you can imagine, we’ve had flat-pack on our minds for weeks. But while it’s all well and good to put together beds and shelves with nothing more than Allen keys and some frustrating pegs, some pieces of furniture demand more care in their selection.  With all the hours we spend at our computers each day, the choice of a perfect writing desk was always going to be a difficult one. What a relief, then, that a weekend trip to the Columbia Road flower market and Brick Lane led us right to the door of Unto This Last.

This furniture workshop uses up-to-the-minute digital manufacturing techniques to produce quirky and elegant pieces with light, clean lines. We immediately fell in love with Unto This Last’s ‘Lock’ table (seen above) — and are writing from it now — but we’ve been designing imaginary houses around our favorite pieces from their broad catalog: the tapered ‘Ply’ table, the ‘Cell’ shelf, the ‘Nurbs’ coffee table and the surprisingly comfortable ‘Facet’ chair.

Unto This Last Ply Feet Sideboards

Unto This Last take their odd name from a book by John Ruskin that critiques the economic and manufacturing practices of his time, giving a Victorian take on green principles and urging a ‘return to the local craftsman workshops’. The atelier’s ‘micro-manufacturing’ process carries on this tradition and is tailored to limit their carbon footprint. They also provide a maximum of affordable and customizable design options. The two shops (one in Brick Lane, one in Battersea Park) don’t warehouse any stock; all pieces are built to order and to spec from sustainably sourced, FSC-certified birch laminate and are available in four standard finishes. The resulting degree of control that customers have over their orders is particularly appealing: we had our own little table built to fit an awkwardly-proportioned window alcove—now the best seat in the house.

Clockwise from top left: Unto This Last Spline chair, Triangle table, Norma chair, and Round table

From: Tel Aviv » Gal Shkedi Goes Green

July 22, 2010

All images by Gal Shkedi for BBDO Israel

Ever wonder what the Hoopoe (national bird of Israel) looks like in the creatively bursting brain of Tel Aviv-based illustrator/art director Gal Shkedi? Well, thanks to this uber-approachable ad campaign by BBDO Israel for the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, you now know: scruffy and chamood (cute) but a wee bit depressed-looking too — the standard chasm that exists in so many of Shkedi’s riotous characters. This Hoopoe, with some local friends: a pair of giggling otters, a toothy turtle, a sparrow bird with poor posture, and an iPod-touting fallow deer, amongst others, invite you to visit the diverse eco-systems of Israel’s parks: whether for a camping trip, a desert excursion, or a dip in your local watering hole. Be sure to check out Gal’s Flickr photostream and Vimeo channel for more stunning work!

Eco-Friendlies » The Nonlife Zoo

July 17, 2010

The Nonlife Zoo plushes

Well, it’s old news that we’re killing the planet and along with it, many of these adorable fuzzy creatures! Need some crappy stats to scare you into action? The Nonlife Zoo’s mission statement is chock full of them. How about this doozy: “more than one kind of species vanishes from earth daily”. Or this one: “human activities have resulted in the extinction of 736 kinds of biological species as of 1600”. A mere-mortal response would be to throw our hands in the air and assume that these planet-crumbling issues are bigger than us, but the key to the conundrum is in the baby steps. By acting on a local level, instigating conversation amongst friends, and, when gifting or when scratching that consumer itch, supporting projects like The Nonlife Zoo (who donate percentages of their sales to the WWF’s conservation efforts), these baby steps add up to a planet leaps and bounds more likely to survive. Read more about designers Owen & Cloud’s activism-through-design here!

The Nonlife Zoo card and Keychains (with eco grocery bags!)

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