April 27, 2010

Puma's Clever Little Bag

Two weeks ago, Puma revealed its latest collaborative venture with Yves Behar, industrial designer and founder of fuseproject, of its eco-friendly shoebox at London's Design Museum. Determined to create a new shoebox that was more sustainable, the 21-month-long project included 40 prototypes, and multiple visits to distribution centers, manufacturing plants, storage facilities, and retail points across Europe and Asia. Named the "Clever Little Bag", the final design is a re-usable, recyclable, non-woven plastic bag that functions both as a shoebox and as a plastic retail bag. Through researching various methods of folding and shipping boxes, the "Clever Little Bag" is made by die cutting one flat piece of cardboard without any additional printing or assembly. The structure is created with four walls that taper in to allow for secured stacking, another important element left over from the original shoebox. The bag is stitched with heat, which equals less work and waste. It's made of non-woven polyester with recycled PET, and eventually can be recycled. The bag uses 65% less cardboard than the standard shoe box, has no laminated printing, no tissue paper, takes up less space and weighs less in shipping, and replaces the plastic retail bag.

As part of the PUMAVision, this is just one of the many steps it is making in order to reach it's goal to make all of its packaging materials fully sustainable by 2015. Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz states that realizing these goals will initially have a "slightly negative effect, which we've already factored into our product development costs." But "in terms of net savings in the mid to longer term, we hope that the cost effects will be neutral." By replacing their standard shoe boxes with the new redesign, Puma will be saving 8,500 tons of paper, 20 million Mega joules of electricity, 1 million liters of fuel oil, and 1 million liters of water every year. They will also save 500,000 liters of diesel during transportation; and because they no longer need traditional shopping bags, the company will also save almost 275 tons of plastic.

Understanding that sustainability is about working together, Puma's sustainability index is open to the public and available for other companies to help set global standards of compliance for defining the sustainability of a product. What is great about Puma's vision is that it really understands the importance of thinking sustainably; it is invested in the quality of our future and promotes a healthy, responsible way of living.  The new packaging and distribution system is set to be effective beginning 2011.

In honor of Earth Day, which was April 22, there are also several other companies joining in on promoting an eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle:

via: Sephora
EDUN collaborated with Sephora to released a set of allergen-free and nature-based eyeshadow collection. The palette comes in a wooden box with an organic cotton case. In line with EDUN's company vision, the makeup collection is made in developing countries, providing opportunities for employment. $3 from every sale will go to the Wildlife Conservation Society to fund activities of the Conservation Cotton Initiative in Uganda.
via: Sephora

 via: Stylelist
If you haven't seen their posters already, H&M is working in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of America to collect children's clothing. Bring in any gently used children's clothing to any H&M store and receive 20% off your next purchase. Hurry because the donation drive ends tomorrow, April 29! 

April 21, 2010

Face to Face

The Internet was invented in 1989 and with that came the birth of the cyber world. Through online messaging and emails, our world found a new, faster way of "talking" without the hassle of having to meet face-to-face or dial the phone. Saving time and money (and perhaps some awkward moments), online interaction has greatly changed the way we interact with one another. Even this week, as thousands of flights across Europe have been cancelled due to the Iceland volcano, people are still able to resume work via video chat. Even in extreme natural disasters, it seems that the Internet does not fail us in getting our jobs done. 

We are so accustomed to the cyber world that online interaction has possibly become the main form of interaction, from both a personal and professional level. Even our free time has become dependent on online media as there are endless forms of online entertainment.

As communication today is more about convenience, speed, and efficiency, when is physical interaction appropriate and how much of it is needed nowadays? The Internet makes it increasingly easier to find specific people; whether it's reuniting with an old classmate, finding a community that shares a common interest, or researching a potential employer through an online network. 

However, while it is true that the Internet allows us to engage with a wider group of people in an efficient time, this kind of networking only touches the surface of one's true personality and identity. Yes, online networking is important, especially in the times we are living in, but perhaps we need to reevaluate our physical interactions and find more meaningful, unique ways of meeting new people in our community. In a society that is so technologically advanced and culturally diverse, there should be some more creative, exciting ways of meeting interesting locals around our town.

As New York City is one of the most crowded and busiest places in the world, many would assume that it's the last place where people want to spend more time with one another. However, New Yorkers are so busy with work that the majority of their time is spent alone. How great is our social skills if we don't even know the name of our next door neighbor?

So maybe we should all take a step out of our comfort zones and try something new for a change. Below are some of the trends we've spotted in New York City that may be worth checking out:

 Lobby of the Ace Hotel via: Trip Advisor
1. Communal Table Dining
New York Ace Hotel
Le Pain Quotidien
Gusto Organics
Tarallucci E Vino

2. Social Gatherings and Events
NYC: Invitations
New York Social Sports Club

Park Slope Food Coop via: NY Times
3. Local Green Initiatives
Sustainable NYC
Park Slope Food Coop
Green Guerillas
Green Hill Food Coop

April 15, 2010

Under Our Radar...

As there are hundreds of new, emerging designers every year, it's only the best of the best that can manage to stay on top and stand out amongst the crowd. Some find themselves famous over night with an instant cult-like following, while others remain under the radar for several years before becoming a household name. Today, we've compiled a listed a few of our favorite designers, who seem to be unshaken by the economic downslide and have continued to remain faithful in their unique fashion sensibility and passion for great design. So without any further delay, here are our top five picks!

Isabel Marant Fall 2010 via: Style.com

1. Although she has only recently generated a buzz in the states, Isabel Marant is no newcomer of the fashion scene. Since her debut in '94, she has had a loyal fan base of stylists, fashion editors, and models who can't get enough of her clothes for it's casual-cool designs that remain stylish beyond it's season. Now with her debut store that just opened in Soho and online sales via Net-a-Porter, it is only a matter of time till she becomes the world's next "It" designer, if not already.

Bodkin via: Refinery 29

2. Using unconventional materials like Himalayan wild nettle-blend fabric and seaweed-blend shirting, Bodkin fashions sustainability like none other. Founded by designer Wendy Mullun and Eviana Hartman, a former features editor at NYLON and fashion writer of Vogue and Teen Vogue, the pair are known for merging the latest technologies with sustainable practices to create truly, unique and stylish pieces for the downtown girl. And now with the 2009 Ecco Domani Sustainble Design Award under their belt, and collections that have only gotten stronger every year, this eco-conscious brand is sure to make way into every trend-setting girl's wardrobe.

The Row Fall 2010 via: Style.com

3. Famous since childbirth, the Olsen twins are not your average fashion designers. But despite the wary trend of celebrities-turning-into-wannabe-designers (remember Lindsay Lohan's collection for Ungaro?), their 3-year old brand, The Row, is credible for it's mature and refined taste that has received approving nods from the fashion industry. Their latest fall winter collection features 19 looks, entirely black, navy, and white. As fashion-icons, the Olsen twins' distinct style and strong dedication to their brand offers a New York City look that satisfies those who seek understated elegance with a slightly edgy twist.

Prabal Gurung for Fall 2010 via: Style.com

4. After his role as chief designer at Bill Blass, Prabal Gurung debuted his first signature label for Fall 2009 at New York Fashion Week. Having only premiered three collections thus far, his career is off to a great start with Demi Moore as his number one fan, and Oprah Winfrey wearing one of his creations on the cover of O magazine. Earlier this year, Gurung was also awarded $25,000 by Ecco Domani for his Fall 2010 presentation. And not much later, the CFDA Fashion Incubator nominated him as one of twelve New York designers to receive a two-year lease on a design studio space with subsidized, below-market rental rates. Known for his hard work ethic and already with a huge support of celebrities and fashion insiders alike, Gurung's quickly-found success is just the beginning.

Edun's Pre-Fall 2010 Lookbook via: Refinery 29

5. Although Edun, Ali Hewson and husband Bono's socially conscious label, is no new emerging brand, it is in the process of revamping itself as it is now under LVMH's wing. Having took a 49 percent stake in the company earlier this year, they recently hired Sharon Wauchob as the new creative director and is expected to have a runway show for Spring 2011. This is the first for any major fashion conglomerate to take part in the ethical fashion market, and we have no doubt that under LVMH's reign, Edun will bring a stronger, positive presence to the fashion scene.

April 7, 2010

Our Spring Shopping Guide: Chic & Green

It finally feels like spring and it's time to put away our winter coats and get ready for the warm, sunny days. But if you have yet gotten the chance to update your spring and summer wardrobe, here are some of our picks that are as eco-friendly as is tres chic! Looking fabulous and helping our earth has never been easier.

100% organic cotton

100% Organic Cotton

100% Organic Cotton

100% silk

     100% organic baby rib cotton

100% organic cotton

78% cotton, 22% seacell

100% reclaimed gold chain & vintage chandelier crystals
chrome-free leather and recycled cork

100% recycled canvas salvaged from a WWII era military duffel bag


April 1, 2010

April MBF Favorite Picks

Welcome to our first bi-monthly blog post of MBF's Favorite Picks! Here you will find the latest and our favorite things in fashion, art, and culture. We appreciate our readers and hope that you find something fun and interesting from our picks. And of course, if you ever have any recommendations, we would love to hear from you!

The theme for this month is exploration-- the question of boundaries, public spaces, and taboo subjects. As our culture modernizes and becomes open to new ideas and changes, the standard for what is appropriate is constantly being changed and challenged. So here are a list of some things we'd like to share:

photo via: Examiner

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Man som hatar kvinnor)
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Cast: Peter Haber, Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, David Dencik, Georgi Staykov
(Read the NY Times Review here)

photo via: Laia Cabrera

"Claim Your Place" 
Barcelona/New York/Berlin/Toulouse - 2009-2010
Creation: Laia Cabrera and Nuria Legarda
Interpretation: Nuria Legarda
Artistic collaboration: Leo Castro, Isabelle Duverger
Video recording and editing: Laia Cabrera

"Claim your place" is an expressive theater-film-video installation for large scale, outdoor or indoor projection that sits somewhere between film-making, theater-dance, digital art and sound design. This project emerged from an encounter between Nuria Legarda and Laia Cabrera, two innovate artists and creators. It explores beauty, desire, and violence. The three pieces (the installation, the multimedia theater play and the film-dance piece) are conceived as a whole but can also function independently. The video installation surrounds the audience with real-time projections as well as pre-recorded ones, putting them center stage. The multimedia theater play takes the audience on a unique journey by merging cinematic art, dance, photography, theater, visual arts and exposition. In the film-dance piece, the audience observes projected imagery from the outside as a cinematic experience. The various physical and virtual elements of Claim Your Place creates a sensorial landscape of storytelling.
(More info here.)

Photo via: Frillr

Editor-in-Chief: Penny Martin
Cover: Phoebe Philo
Photographer: David Sims
Stylist: Camilla Nickerson

photo via: MoMA

Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present
March 14- May 31, 2010
MoMA, New York City 

"This performance retrospective traces the prolific career of Marina Abramovic (Yugoslav, b. 1946) with approximately fifty works spanning over four decades of her early inventions and sound pieces, video works, installations, photographs, solo performances, and collaborative performances made with Ulay (Uwe Laysiepen). In an endeavor to transmit the presence of the artist and make her historical performances accessible to a larger audience, the exhibition includes the first live re-performances of Abramovic's works by other people ever to be undertaken in a museum setting. In addition, a new, original work performed by Abramovic will mark the longest duration of time that she has performed a single solo piece."
(More info here.)

photo via: Fund Art Now

Fund Art Now 
Launches March 25 - April 4, 2010

Larson, 2010 via: Ryan McGinley

Ryan McGinley: "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere"
March 18-April 17, 2010
Team Gallery
83 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013

Quick Intro to Line2 for iPhone from Toren Ajk on Vimeo.

"Line2 adds a second number to your iPhone that works over 3G, WiFi or Cellular networks using the same number... an industry first. Ideal if you have poor cell reception or just want to reduce your cell bill."
(more info here.)

Terracycle's Green Up Shop 
March 27- May 1
Monday - Saturday 11am - 7pm 
641 8th Ave. at 41st Street
NYC, NY 10018
(more info here.)
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