Jonna Jensen

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May 052015
 
Jonna Jensen

Jonna Jensen’s Tree of Life

Trees, in all their magical glory, are powerful symbols of physical and spiritual nourishment, transformation, sustenance, spiritual growth, fertility and union. In Norse mythology, the Yggdrasil tree or tree of life is often seen as noble.

Growing up on a farm in the Norse lands of the Netherlands, artist Jonna Jensen spent her childhood exploring the nearby woods, where she would discover a strong affinity with trees under their protective gaze. “I’ve always been very much drawn to nature. I spend a lot of time there, and everything I see, I absorb,” she says. “Some of these things inspire me, mostly trees. I feel a strong connection to them and the forest, sometimes it even feels like I am a part of it all.”

Jonna JensenTrees have always played a significant role in Jensen’s work. Whether the trees she paints are with or without blossoms, the Jonna Jensenbranches and trunk, always the centerpiece of her paintings, are emblematic of strength and power. Fluid lines and bursts of color in acrylic, sometimes bold and sometimes faint, chart the trees through seasons or environmental concern. Winter Soul depicts a towering tree with a full head of red blossoms. While Tree of Life shows a trunk that twists and turns into an infinite loop of branches as it basks in the sun. Then there are the beautiful, ornate wands that Jensen has created from tree branches, and incorporating other earthly elements such as gemstones in her magical offerings.

_85-3“I would describe my art as a spiritual representation of nature, or better yet, a representation of the spirituality that is nature,” Jensen explains. “I feel a deep need to express what I see and what I feel, to capture it before it fades, and to share it. These things are given to me visually, that makes me want to use the brush.

“When I paint, I feel like time stands still, like I am living in the moment, and I am one with what I paint. I then do not get tired, nothing can distract me, I feel complete, there are no worries, there is only me.”

Jensen’s spiritual path started early. The need to paint and draw came intuitively to someone born into a family where creativity was applauded. Jonna Jensen“Most of my family members seemed to have a desire to express themselves in a creative manner, and I was no different,” she says. “As far as I can tell, what was different about me was the way I viewed the world. Some spiritual sight seemed to offer me a different perspective. As a young girl I felt the desire to draw, to paint, to give expression to my dreams, fantasies and visions.”

Jonna Jensen tells an illustrative story of what is going on in the elemental environment around her. Although she was not _85-4“consciously aware” in her youth that she was pursuing art in this manner, she says: “I’ve always had a deep fascination for nature. I believe the urge was there from the very beginning. I started drawing (often nature-related) at a very young age.”

Jonna JensenThrough the eyes of her soul, Jonna Jensen has developed what appears to be a photographic memory of what it is she desires to draw or paint. “I am also inspired by my dreams and visions, which are very vivid, and frequent,” Jensen says. “Somehow I’ve often been able to hold on to these images clearly and long enough to translate them into my paintings. Those times I was able to do that, were the times the inspiration sprang from my inner being.”

Jensen recalls wanting to go to art academy as a young woman, but as with many artists like her born with a gift, art school is rarely the path they need nor should pursue. “More than anything in the world I wanted to attend the art academy, but me being a woman I had little prospective future, my parents told me,” she says. “So my art is purely, and simply, me.”

Today Jonna Jensen mostly uses acrylics, but in the past she used to work with oils. Soapstone have become a particular interest of the artist, whereby she recently created a sculpture depicting a circle of people in a protective embrace, made using the material. She is also looking at gaining access to materials so she can work with wood next. Sometimes, Jenna explains, she can get through several canvases in a week, each with a different tale to tell.

“One time I actually made four paintings in a week, one of a robin, for my sister. An abstract painting for my son, since he liked one I made for myself in the past. I made two others as well, ” she describes. “All of them, except for the robin, came to me in visions. These visions come to me at night, which is often the case.”

A selection of Jonna Jensen’s artwork is available to buy from:

http://www.marktplaats.nl/verkopers/18602180.html

Huria Choudhari is a journalist, creative warrior, intuitive counselor and life coach. She writes about music, fashion and lifestyle for Life & Soul Magazine: www.lifeandsoulmagazine.com. Having carved her journalism career in news and current affairs, Huria is a truth seeker. Applying that very same ethic, she also offers creative coaching and intuitive counselling services to help others discover their own truth. Get in touch with Huria at www.lifeandsoulcreatives.com or www.lifesoulfreedom.com

Apr 172015
 
Kiaroa Eco-Luxury Resort

Kiaroa Eco-Luxury Resort Part 2 in our around the world in 80 Eco Spas Feature

Kiaroa Eco-Luxury Resort

Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia is increasingly becoming a popular tourist destination for its beautiful beaches rivaling that of the well-trodden sandy shores of Rio de Janeiro. But if you are in search of an off-the-radar eco-friendly resort and spa, Kiaroa Eco-Luxury Resort may fit the bill.

Kiaroa Eco-Luxury ResortA six-hour drive from the Bahia capital of Salvador and a far cry from the busy beaches of the north, Kiaroa Eco-Luxury Resort sits in front of an unspoilt beach on the Marau Peninsula, a narrow strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and Camamu Bay.

The Marau Peninsula is a unique microcosm of tropical isolation where you can still find unpopulated beaches, virgin rainforest,Kiaroa Eco-Luxury Resort and sparkling surf. The landscape is characterised by pristine white sandy beaches, coconut groves, Atlantic forest reserves, mangroves and traditional communities of fishermen and boat builders.

Kiaroa Eco-Luxury ResortIdeally located between a deserted beach and the tropical Atlantic forest, the Kiaroa Eco-Luxury Resort blends in perfectly with its environment. Its décor is typically tropical and its 28 suites and bungalows offer guests all the comforts of a five star resort. The refined and individual décor of each room invokes in turn, Bali, Thailand, Africa and Bahia, and they all possess a view of the magnificent Bay of Marau.

When it comes to relaxing, the Armonia Spa offers a dry and wet sauna, heated swimming pool for Watsu therapy, gym, and whirlpool with chromotherapy.

The environmentally friendly Kiaroa Eco Luxury Resort, named after a black pearl found in the region, works harmoniously with the local community Kiaroa Eco-Luxury Resortfocusing on sustainability. Kiaroa is an APA (protected area), and it was entire built according to government standards for sustainability.

Kiaroa Eco-Luxury ResortThe energy applied in water heating is solar, furniture and artefacts around the resort are made by local artisans, the wood used in the construction of the hotel and rooms originates from reforestation areas.

Kiaroa Eco-Luxury Resort is an ideal location for couples and any city dwellers seeking a secluded sanctuary. Even the neighbouring areas are idyllic. The nearby village of Barra Grande, has only about 500 inhabitants and is a true place of peace and tranquility.

The Maraú Peninsula itself is not short of romance either. According to local legend, every couple that first meets at the Maraú Peninsula or travels Kiaroa Eco-Luxury ResortKiaroa Eco-Luxury Resortthere to spend time together will never break up. As the story goes, many moons ago the Indian Saquaíra and warrior Maraú lived happily in love until Camamu appeared wooing Saquaíra taking her away in his canoe.

Desperate, Maraú asked the God Tupã to embellish the place so that his love would come back, but though he was heeded, the beautiful Indian never came back. Before he died, Maraú asked Tupã for a special favour: that all couples that met at the place where he had lived with his beloved or travelled there, would never separate. Kiaroa exists exactly where Tupã supposedly granted Maraú’s wishes.

Pictures: Kiaroa Eco-Luxury Resort

http://kiaroa.com.br

Huria Choudhari is a journalist, creative warrior and intuitive counselor. She writes about music, fashion and lifestyle for Life & Soul Magazine: www.lifeandsoulmagazine.com. Having carved her journalism career in news and current affairs, Huria is a truth seeker. Applying that very same ethic, she also offers creative coaching and intuitive counselling services to help others discover their own truth. Get in touch with Huria at www.lifeandsoulcreatives.com or www.lifesoulfreedom.com

 

Apr 142015
 
Eco Spas

Eco spas are fast becoming a welcome alternative on the spa landscape. More and more spas are opening up the world over which go much further than offering organic beauty products and serving organic food. Greener by design, eco spas now have in-built in facilities to reduce the amount of energy and water used, and use alternative water treatments for cleaning swimming pools. We travel the globe to find you 80 eco spas to whet your appetite for a vacation that brings healing to holidaymakers, without a serious impact on the environment. Here’s the first in our series…

Fivelements, Bali, Indonesia

Eco SpasBuilt on sacred grounds along the banks of the Ayung River, Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa, Bali is a healing and wellness destinationEco Spas deeply rooted in the philosophies and traditions of Bali, nurturing harmony among spirit, human and nature. Designed by Balinese architect Ketut Arthana with these principles in mind, this eco spa has been constructed using primarily renewable materials, mainly bamboo, like that of a traditional Balinese village.

What you get is an idyllic, luxurious eco living space that is in harmony with its surroundings. With just seven villas, each boasting private balconies Eco Spaswith extensive views of the surrounding lush greenery, this lavish five-star hotel is ideally suited for those looking for the ultimate relaxing retreat. With decent sized villas, Fivelements is also perfect for families in need of some healing and downtime.

Raw foodies will love the carefully prepared vegan and vegetarian menu. Healing treatments, based on ancient Balinese healing methods, are administered by native traditional healers drawing on ancient wisdom.

Eco SpasTreatments work to balance the body’s five elements whilst clearing negative energy from the body. Other activities including yoga, martial arts and meditation take place against the river landscape.Eco Spas

With a strong emphasis on maintaining the balance within its surroundings, Fivelements respects water resources by storing rainwater and using it for irrigation, and supports village waste management, tree planting and local organic farmers.

If it’s an all round “feel good” vacation you are after from root to tip, from the inside out, Fivelements may just be the prana your body is searching for.

Pictures: Fivelements

http://www.fivelements.org/en/

Huria Choudhari is a journalist, creative warrior and intuitive counsellor. She writes about music, fashion and lifestyle for Life & Soul Magazine: www.lifeandsoulmagazine.com. Having carved her journalism career in news and current affairs, Huria is a truth seeker. Applying that very same ethic, she also offers creative coaching and intuitive counselling services to help others discover their own truth. Get in touch with Huria at www.lifeandsoulcreatives.com or www.lifesoulfreedom.com

 

Mar 222015
 

Le Labo: Putting “soulfulness” into the fragrance industry

There are very few scents in the world that make you turn your back on your perfume collection and vow never to wear any other scent again. Le Labo’s Rose 31 comes close to being that sole scent you just may wear for life.

 

A gorgeous, sexy scent based around the famous Grasse Rose, Le Labo’s Rose 31 takes one of the most feminine of all scents and combines it with warm, spicy and woody notes of cumin, cedar and amber, to make a unisex fragrance that is as mesmerizing and captivating as it is ambiguous. Being one who would normally turn her nose up at rose – the traditional scent of rose has always appeared dated to me. But Le Labo’s Rose 31 is darker, more rebellious, enticing and by heck, a rose that men can wear and wear proudly. So a perfect fragrance for a non-floral purist who takes their scent with spicy and woodsy kick notes.

 

In a world where we are constantly being bombarded by new fragrances hitting the shelves and adverts promising to make us stand out from the crowd or “live with passion”, Le Labo is a breath of fresh air quite literally. The New York-based brand certainly does what the perfume industry and advertising industry endeavor to do but in its fallacy fail to do and that is “stand out from the crowd”.

 

Le Labo Bringing creative spirit and craftsmanship to the fore, Le Labo founders, Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi, have created a high-Le Laboend perfume brand that single-handedly challenges the stagnant mass marketing philosophies of the perfume industry. These luxury formulations are hand manufactured, with highly trained staff compounding the perfumes freshly in stores, before the customer. The idea is to keep the scent so fresh that it allows the alcohol and the essential oil concentrates to stay separate right up until purchase, giving a particularly full but delicate end result.

 

What’s more the simple brand philosophy of administering no advertising, plain packaging and limiting distribution to their own stores and a handful of exclusive perfume counters still exists today, nine years after the brand was first launched in 2006. Instead “focus on creation, hope for business” is the mantra that Le Labo observes, Le Labo co-founder, Fabrice Penot, tells me.

 

“Le Labo was founded nine years ago to be an alternative to the raising tide of conformity in perfumery,” Penot explains. “By working with the best perfumers in the world, by making every perfume to the order, by a permanent reverence to craftsmanship, we decided to challenge the perfume status quo.”

 

Le Labo focuses on scents made of a single essence rather than blends. Each fragrance is built around a principal natural essence that comes directly from Grasse, France’s ‘perfume capital’. They range from florals, like ros e, fleur d’oranger, bergamot and neroli, to citruses, spices and musky scents, like sandalwood. The number in the title refers to the exact amount of raw ingredients used in the formula. Le Labo’s range of fragrances are unisex.

 

Le_Labo_LondonAll Le Labo stores – with boutiques in New York City, London, Paris, Tokyo, San Francisco and Los Angeles – epitomize the apothecary lab concept. A cool, minimalist space where ingredients are blended together on the spot, poured into plain glass bottles, wrapped in a brown paper packaging and personalized with labels displaying the date, scent, name of the buyer and name of the ‘lab technician’ that made it.

 

And whilst the brand admittedly “does not shout its ecological commitment from the rooftops”, Penot says it’s in the brand’s core. “Our ecological impact is very small and we are reducing it every day by for example, refilling your perfume in its old bottle (with 20% off) or reducing the shipping impacts by formulating all our perfumes in each one of our stores,” he says. “Also, we are a vegan company making sure no one is hurt by our work. In our manifesto, we say we believe that it is more human to test our perfumes on New Yorkers rather than animals.”

The brand has built a loyal following based on its high-quality products and unique retail experiences. Le Labo also sell limited edition “City Exclusive” scents, available only in certain boutiques by region, as well as candles and body products.

 

Le Labo’s mastery of craft is evident from inception to packaging on the shop floor. The niche perfume brand’s manifesto states that the future of perfumery lies in craftsmanship. Le Labo does this “by a reverence to hand made products”, according to Penot.

 

“All our perfumes are made one by one by our lab technicians,” Penot adds. “Our candles are hand poured one by one in Mississippi, our new concrete candle vessel is made by craftsmen in California. We make sure that the soul of our perfumes is carried by a soulful process across the board.”

 

Soul is markedly at the forefront of everything that Penot and his business partner, Roschi, do. Having met while working for Giorgio Armani, the pair became disillusioned by the industry and the homogenization of perfumes. With a shared vision for a line of scents that would instead be fresh, personalized and refined, they decided to launch their own brand.

 

“Soulfulness is what’s missing in the perfume industry,” states Penot. “We just remind ourselves every day why we are doing what we do. And when you are centered with the why, the rest of the decisions are very easy to make. There is no reason why to take short cuts to get there faster when beautiful and slow work, make your clients and staff happy. We are never pushing the process. Great brands don’t chase clients, clients chase great brands. So if we keep doing what we do with passion and integrity, we’ll still be there in a long time.”

 

The alchemy that goes into Le Labo’s creative process is truly inspiring as Penot animatedly explains. “A woman, a man, a landscape, a tear, a leaf, a look, a silence…anything, anytime, anywhere,” Penot says. “The process starts by this inspiration, then you go to the lab trying to shape this inspiration with a perfumer by a first draft with several ingredients, and then it is a back-and-forth process of a few years of wearing, smelling, feedback… some of our perfumes required over 400 modifications – some less than 50. You never know when the magic will happen.”

 

Referring to two of Le Labo’s best sellers – Rose 31 and Santal 33 – Penot says: “Their soul can’t be put on paper. Frank Zappa said ‘writing about music is like dancing about architecture’. Well here we are with perfumery too. I let your readers spray these on skin and let the perfume molecules dance in the air till their nostrils pick up.”

 

Penot describes Santal 33 – with its rich notes of smoky wood alloy, spices and leathery tones mixed with sweeter scents of iris and violet – “like my second skin now after all these years”. But when asked which Le Labo scent he would reincarnate as if given the chance, it is an amalgamation of the scents that’s at the heart and soul of Le Labo and its co-creator. “The pot pourri created by all the perfume being sprayed at the end of the day when you enter our first Nolita store in NYC,” he says. “It is Le Labo’s soul ‘bottled’ to me, especially because that’s where we started”.

 

Travelling is a large part of the Le Labo co-founder’s job – if it’s not to oversee the opening of a standalone Le Labo store or exclusive perfume counter, it is of course to source ingredients. “We source the best ingredients on the planet – depending of where they are harvested – as an example, Sandalwood comes from Australia, Vetiver from Haiti, Tubereuse from India, Rose from France. Perfumery is a journey of the soul but also makes us travel all over physically to find these marvels.”

 

Rose 31, for example, features rose petals plucked by hand in Grasse, which cost a few hundred thousand dollars a kilo. Sourcing the “best ingredients on the planet” and in such significant quantities comes at a high cost to the customer. A 100ml bottle of a Le Labo fragrance will, on average, set you back $240. But while these heavenly scents come at a hefty price tag, the brand has developed a small but loyal client base. And if Le Labo is capable of having someone like me turn my back on my perfume collection – which includes some similarly iconic and innovative brands such as Escentric Molecules – you could certainly be making a saving in the long run.

 

Towards the end of last year, beauty giant Estée Lauder acquired Le Labo. The deal with Estée Lauder will enable the niche perfume brand to “continue to grow into a more fully expressed sensory lifestyle brand” whilst providing Le Labo the resources in which to do so. Speaking at the time of the announcement, Penot said: “The Company [Estée Lauder] has a strong track record of growing and nurturing prestige entrepreneurial brands, and we love that they are so supportive of and committed to our vision.”

 

Le Labo’s own story, an inspiration in itself, is sure to motivate other ‘entrepreneurial brands’ along their journey. Penot is quick to offer advice for other souls wanting to create and do things differently like Le Labo. “You need to be insane to start an innovative project,” he laughs. “But make sure that you are not insane enough to fit into this definition of it by Einstein. ‘Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’.”

Pictures: Le Labo

Le Labo fragrances are available at: www.lelabofragrances.com

Huria Choudhari is a journalist, creative warrior and intuitive counselor. She writes about music, fashion and lifestyle for Life & Soul Magazine: www.lifeandsoulmagazine.com. Having carved her journalism career in news and current affairs, Huria is a truth seeker. Applying that very same ethic, she also offers creative coaching and intuitive counselling services to help others discover their own truth. Get in touch with Huria at www.lifeandsoulcreatives.com or www.lifesoulfreedom.com 

Cabot Creamery

 Cabot Creamery, Conscious Living, Featured Articles  Comments Off on Cabot Creamery
Jan 272015
 
Cabot Creamery
B Corps are to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic is to fruits and vegetables.  B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.  Today, there is a growing community of more than 1,000 Certified B Corps from 33 countries and over 60 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business.
Cabot Creamery, founded in 1919, has its roots in Cabot, Vermont, and is a proud B Corps.  As employers and dairy farmers, they still honor the frugal values of those bygone times.  Over the years Cabot has thrived and grown through the hard work, collaborative spirit, and persistent commitment of 1200 family farm owners throughout New England and Upstate New York who raise their herds to produce quality milk.  Cabot dairy farm members hold to generations of family traditions while adopting new best practices, advancing public agriculture policy and driving sustainable innovations to benefit the land, improve animal care and enrich communities on behalf of their family-owners and consumers.  Cabot is part of a rare remaining breed of dairy manufacturers in the Northeast that are locally owned and operated.
Today, Cabot is one of three brands of the Agri-Mark cooperative family of dairy farms in the Northeast.   They own and operate four dairy facilities that make award-winning cheddar and other dairy products in Cabot and Middlebury, Vermont, Chateaugay, New York and West Springfield, Massachusetts.  Cabot Creamery continues a nearly century-old commitment to returning 100% of profits to the farm family owners whose industrious stewardship provides fair wage employment to hundreds, sustains open working landscapes, and safeguards the companies core heritage of family farming.
In many ways, Cabot Creamery’s cooperative values  are reflected in the spirit of the B Corp movement:  a passion for collaboration and the power of collective voice. Cabot is proud to be the country’s first dairy cooperative to achieve B Corp Certification.  With the launch of Cabot’s committed sustainability journey,  the company assess its impact on the land and on their communities from cow to creamery to consumer, managing, measuring and reporting according to the best practice principles of Context Based Sustainability.  For the present and into the future, Cabot Creamery is working to “enrich the legacy of our farms, our families and our communities by living within our means while ensuring the means to live.”
With thanks to Cabot Creamery press office.
When not writing for Ravenhawks, Kamberlyn works with businesses and business owners who are making the move to employee-ownership and are committed to becoming a certified B Corps.  She can be reached through her website CustomFitBusinessTransitions.com.

Jacob Bromwell

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Nov 082014
 
Jacob bromwell

As the revitalization of the American economy takes hold “Made in America” will return to being the norm. Some companies — a very few, but worth celebrating all the more because there are so very few — celebrate their American heritage. These companies have retained their American roots and manufacturing presence, and make products of the highest quality.

This month’s spotlight is on the Jacob Bromwell company of Cincinnati, Ohio, that designs, manufacturers, markets and distributes their own line of non-electric cooking and baking products. Established by frontier entrepreneur Jacob Bromwell in 1819, the company proudly holds the distinction of being the oldest housewares and kitchenwares manufacturer in North America. and is the 34th oldest continuously owned and operated company in the United States. The company is entirely American based and always has been. Unlike its competitors, it has never outsourced its production to lower cost countries.

Jacob Bromwell company is the oldest known American manufacturer of tin and stainless steel products, operating manufacturing facilities in Indiana and Vermont. Their products are sold at select specialty retailers throughout North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe. Their diverse customer base includes homesteaders and environmentalists, hunters, fishermen, cabin dwellers, the “chronically nostalgic”, and even Hollywood celebrities and set designers looking for period-correct pieces.

Jacob Bromwell products are made with a variety of authentic materials, including steel, stainless steel, tin, aluminum, copper, wood, iron, and leather – all sourced domestically. In keeping with the authenticity of the brand, the company’s logo is their founder’s actual signature, made with his own hand. With millions of units sold, the All-American Flour Sifter is their most famous and instantly recognizable product, and vintage Bromwell sifters are coveted by kitchen enthusiasts and collectors. The Jacob Bromwell company patented, manufactured, and marketed some of America’s most popular and iconic housewares products, including the Wonder Shredders, and Original Popcorn Popper – to name a few.  The designs, manufacturing processes, and materials of these products remain virtually unchanged. Even their machinery is original, and as the company proudly boasts, works just as well as the day it was built.

To see the complete line of authentic Jacob Bromwell housewares and kitchenware, visit them at www.jacobbromwell.com

 

About the Author

Kamberlyn has an extensive background in manufacturing. She began her career working for a large American manufacturer, first in the United States, then in their European headquarters. She also owned and operated her own manufacturing facility. One of her passions is seeing good paying manufacturing jobs return to the United States, knowing that along with these jobs will come the resurrection of the American middle class. Another passion is to chronicle the success of companies that have committed themselves to being good employers, and putting their workers, their communities and their products ahead of profits. Her business, Custom Fit Business Transitions, works with business owners transitioning their company into an employee owned organization. For more information, please visit www.customfitbusinesstransitions.com

Method

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Oct 152014
 

Method for the love of clean

method

While you have probably seen their award-winning bubble shaped hand soap dispenser at the grocery store, and even maybe bought a bottle, there is lot more to this company than appealing packaging and nice smelling soap. Founded in 2000 by two former roommates, Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan, .who singlehandedly turned the consumer-packaged goods industry on its head. This is a company founded and run by people who love what they do. They “put the hurt on dirt” while being people, pet and planet friendly. Certified B Corps lead by example, being the change they wish to see in the world. Method’s fun and quirky advertising and their delightfully whimsical website showcases a novel and effective way to make and market soap and household cleaners.
Method’s sees their work “as an amazing opportunity to redesign how cleaning products are made and used, and how businesses can integrate sustainability. All of Method’s bottles are recyclable and made from 100% recycled plastic resulting in zero waste and a 70% lower carbon footprint. Their soap and household cleaners are made from naturally derived cleaning agents, scented with flowers, herbs and the occasional vegetable. As a Certified B Corp, Method does business in accordance with B Corp principles: that people and place matter and that a company’s products and practices should aspire to do no harm and benefit all. B Corps are committed to not only being the best in the world but being the best for the world. Method is a wonderful example of a B Corp making a terrific product while having fun doing it. Their unique and innovative packaging which has won design awards is made from 100% recycled plastic. Their soap is made from naturally derived plants, flowers and herbs and is never tested on animals. Their products are not only highly innovative, but also highly effective. Adam Lowry, Cofounder and Chief Greenkeeper writes: “Our challenge is to make sure that every product we send out into the world is a little agent of environmental change, using safe and sustainable materials and manufactured responsibly. Little green soldiers in the battle of doing-well-by-doing-good, if you will.”
Method is building an advanced facility in South Chicago, with the goal of being the world’s first and only LEED Platinum certified manufacturing plant in its industry. The plant features include a refurbished wind turbine, solar panel installations, large amounts of natural light throughout the factory, and native land renewal across 22 acres. According to architect and sustainability leader, William McDonough, “Method’s new manufacturing home is a clean home – using clean energy, water and materials to create innovative household products. The manifestation of ‘industrial hygiene’ at this scale is beneficial to communities; it provides healthy jobs and is embodied by a facility that is a delightful neighbor. Entrepreneurial companies like Method are modeling a new, clean industrial model for our country. It’s a genuine pleasure to work with them.” Method was built to be the business of tomorrow, aligning our interest as a business with the interest of society and the environment so that the bigger we get, the more good we do,” said Adam Lowry. “Our plant is the next step in this journey.
Three quarters of Method’s products are certified as Cradle-to-Cradle. The Cradle to Cradle Certified program takes a holistic approach to evaluating product design and manufacturing practices by assessing material health, material re-utilization, renewable energy use, water stewardship and social fairness. Earning Cradle to Cradle GOLD means all the ingredients of these products have been tested to assure they pose no risk to human health or the environment. To satisfy the renewable energy and carbon management requirement, Method purchases wind power and provides additional financial incentives for suppliers to directly reduce the carbon intensity of creating Method products. The product lines received high marks for water stewardship because of the biodegradability of their formulas. To meet the social fairness standards, the company has been reincorporated as a benefit corporation and grants all employees three volunteer days per year.

Method has also made a company mission of helping to clean up the world’s oceans. They are raising awareness of the issue and using their business to demonstrate to the industry and to the world smart ways of using and reusing the plastics that already exist. It is estimated that several million tons of plastic makes its way into our oceans every year, polluting the environment and hurting our marine populations. Over the past year and a half Method employees and local beach clean-up groups and volunteers have hand-collected more than one ton of plastic from the beaches of Hawaii. Working with their recycling partner, Envision Plastics, this collected trash has been turned into new plastic bottles. Through this new and innovative use of recovered ocean plastic, Method is leading by example, showing how recycling and design can tackle environmental problems. As the company says, “the solution to the ocean plastic problem is not making bottles out of trash, but by demonstrating that there are alternatives to using virgin plastic. We can turn off the tap, and that is the first, most important step toward improving the state of our oceans.” As Adam writes in his blog: “Take a moment to consider all that is being done to protect and preserve our oceans, and just appreciate it. Appreciation is a necessary ingredient of hope, and hope leads to progress.”

Mateus Bailon

 Art, Featured Articles, Mateus Bailon, Reviews  Comments Off on Mateus Bailon
Sep 262014
 

The magical street art of Mateus Bailon

Mateus BailonMateus Bailon is part of a new wave of street artists from Brazil taking on London, bringing their energy, vigour, creative magic and color palette to the city’s streets. For those fortunate to mateus bailon1have seen some of Bailon’s work in east London’s Shoreditch, north London’s Stoke Newington and south London’s Sydenham, would have been treated to a unique visual display of the natural world, most notably birds and fish – something that street art enthusiasts have not seen before in the London street art scene.

Inspired by myths, worldly folklore and the complex simplicity of the human mind, Bailon’s works exploremateus bailon14 narratives that seek to recall the connection between the human being and nature, and attempt to understand the mystery of people’s personal universes. By making use of opposites like the organic and geometric, the physical and metaphysical, as well as using different techniques on a variety of surfaces, Bailon creates his own original visual language in detailed and yet expressive drawings and paintings.

mateus bailon3A favorite of the Shoreditch Art Wall, Bailon’s work, Big Love, was showcased last year, and a recent collaboration with fellow São Paulo native and friend, Sliks, saw the pair turn the four-panelled wall into their Mateus Bailoncombined artistic beauty with a painting of birds and feathers.

Mateus Bailon, who cites nature as a huge influence, says he was “born an artist”. His abilities are innate, not just something he fell into. “You can’t just decide to be an artist,” he adds. Through his art, Bailon sets out to enthrall a sense of freedom and happiness in viewers.

mateus bailon10Believing that everything we think is as real as everything we can touch, Bailon seeks to give life to imagination using his drawing and painting skills.

By mixing famous characters from different civilisations and some others influenced by his surroundings, Bailon shows to the “real world” an amazing universe of imagination.

Born in Itajai, a small city south of Brazil, growing up by the sea and being surrounded by nature has obviously had a huge impact on his art.mateus bailon5

Bailon explains: “I wanted to build this balance between human beings and nature, because nowadays it seems that we are something apart but we are not, we are all animals so I’m bringing nature into the city.”

mateus bailon11In addition to street art, the artist has incorporated other influences including street artists and comics into his works.

Besides displaying his artwork on London walls, Bailon has also been involved in a range of exciting projects around the world, creating stunning new pieces on walls, canvases and objects alongside artists like Miss Van, Will Barras, She One and Max Ripo.

Bailon also created an exclusive illustration for the latest EJAF (Elton John AIDS Foundation) campaign. Bailon’s art has been showcased in many cities like Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Paris and London with group shows at the Insider Gallery and Curious Duke Gallery.mateus bailon8

http://www.mateusbailon.com

Huria Choudhari aka Stylescribez is a journalist, stylist and creative warrior championing dynamic beatmakers, designers, artists, alchemists and pioneers. Check out her scribez at Life & Soul Magazine: www.lifeandsoulmagazine.com

Aug 152014
 

  Back to School Eco Directory

 

Get your childrens eco ready for the forthcoming school term.

Ravenhawks Magazine’s Back to School eco directory has everything from clothes and uniform through to lunchboxes and stationery to get your kids school year off to a good eco friendly start.

 

Eco Back to School clothing for Children

Back to schoolDhana EcoKids design clothing for kids, aged 4-12, using only 100% certified organic and fair trade fabric and low impact dyes. The boys range includesdhanakids2 polo shirts, t-shirts and tank tops, some of which adorn nature-loving messages and designs. For girls there are dresses, animal-print t-shirts and T-shirts with eco-conscious prints. Clothes are designed by artists from around the world and manufactured by Fair Trade Certified eco partners in Pondicherry, South India. http://www.dhanaecokids.com

 

 

Rawganique offers a limited but classic range of clothing for babies, kids and moms made from cotton, hemp and wool. It’s not the most inspiring range of kids clothing but the range is good for basics such as t-shirts, smocks, long sleeve t-shirts, socks, briefs and panties, many of which are unisex. http://www.rawganique.com/index.htm

 

For Brit kids who have to wear uniform to school, Ecooutfitters have developed a range of school uniforms, which are healthy, durable, sustainable, and practical too – all made from 100% pure organic cotton, certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards), which guarantees that the whole supply chain from field to final product meets rigorous environmental and social standards. There’s skirts, pinafores and shirts for girls and trousers, shorts and polo shirts for boys. The collection which comes in a standard grey and blue, also includes PE kits and sportswear.

 

Set up by two mothers concerned about the “cheap polyester, acrylic or poly cotton mix” of school uniforms, the pair have created a one-stop shop for those parents wanting to have the choice of school uniforms made with better fabrics, natural and eco friendly. http://www.ecooutfitters.co.uk

Eco Back to School bags

If there’s one new item you want to buy your kids for the coming school term, invest in a back pack or bag.engage green

 

zoo packsFor preschoolers, Zoo Packs are fun and durable bags in the shape of zoo animals. Eighteen different animal designs include dino, giraffe, zebra and monkey. Each Zoo Pack is equipped with one roomy compartment big enough for books, an insulated pouch for afternoon snacks and an adjustable mesh pocket for their reusable water bottle. Zoo Packs are also BPA- and Phthalate-free. http://www.skiphop.com/product/zoopacks.html

 

For on-trend high schoolers, check out Engage Green’s range of backpacks, laptop cases and messenger bags. Engage Green is known for its unique, engage green2fashionable designs made out of Recycled Plastic [PET], Recycled Paper and sustainable materials like Organic Cotton, Hemp and Cork. Different colorways and styles make Engage Green’s a unique choice for teens.

http://www.engagegreen.com

 

lunchboxesEco  Back to School lunchboxes

Laptop Lunches are reusable, recyclable, long lasting, and dishwasher safe bento boxes that are perfect for the whole family as well as packing school lunches. The stylish and colorful of range of bento boxes contain NO phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), PVC, or lead. Insulated bags, which bento lunchboxcome in child-friendly designs including the galaxy and flowers, are perfect for keeping your kids lunches stay fresh. http://www.laptoplunches.com

 

Eco  Back to School stationery

poopoopaperThere’s a lot of eco-friendly stationery on the market to choose from, but when it comes to the quirky, POOPOOPAPER has to be one of the most innovative eco brands. An alternative pulp, POOPOOPAPER use the poo fibers from elephants, cows, horses, donkeys, Thai buffalos, and others to make products including notebooks, sketchbooks, scratch pads and cards. And what’s more it doesn’t smell like poop. This exciting and fun range of stationery may not be to every kids tastes, but it is certainly a cool and sustainable alternative to other stationery. http://store.poopoopaper.com

 

Eco Back to School gadgets

Bamboo grows five times as fast as wood and can be grown in a variety of environments, which is what makes it sustainable and the go-to, eco-friendly material nowadays. izenkeyboardThe iZen Bamboo Bluetooth Keyboard is a compact keyboard that looks pretty much the same as Apple’s, including the function buttons on top. A fun device for your kids to use, as it can connect to anything Bluetooth compatible. www.izenbamboo.com

About the Author

Huria Choudhari is a journalist, stylist and creative warrior. She writes about music, fashion, lifestyle and well-being for Life & Soul Magazine. As a creative coach, she helps people live, breathe and embrace their creativity. And adds her styling magic to the www by designing and building websites.

 

 

 

Aug 092014
 

 L’asticot: Ethi-cool childrens clothes

L’asticot

Keeping our kids comfortable in some of the most aesthetically pleasing
threads is all but part of L’asticot’s mission. The Swiss kidswear brand
is also concerned about our kids’ future and is seeing to it that not
only do our kids look cute and dapper but that mother earth is looking
and feeling darn good too.

L’asticotL’asticot design clothes for babies and children aged two to 10 that is
aestheticallyand ethically on trend. The collections – for both girls and
boys – are an exciting melange of bold prints, retro designs and
superbly cut pieces – which can be mixed and matched – that are
functional, taking into account the demands of active children.

 

 

The Swiss kidswear brand’s winning formula effortlessly combines design,L’asticot
comfort and sustainability. As label owner and designer Christine Mutuel
describes it “a mix of Scandinavian extravaganza with French classicism
designed in Switzerland and produced ethically in Portugal”.

L’asticotSwiss designed and ethically produced, L’asticot uses only the finest
materials and natural fibres such as cotton, linen, wool, flax and hemp
that have been sourced from organic farms whilst respecting fair trade
standards. Some of the threads that go into a L’asticot garment such as
organic cotton, which is hand-cultivated in India, and organic cotton,
from Argentina, has obtained the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard)
label. What’s more, their main manufacturer in Portugal has been awarded
the European Ecolabel, the only European label of its kind.

Dyes and printing materials that are used by the brand meet strictL’asticot
health standards and do not contain chemicals that are a health risk.
With its Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification, product class I for baby
articles, l’asticot brings consumers the guarantee of a safe product.

L’asticotThe brand owes its ecologically clued-up attitude to the labels founders
Christie Mutuel and Danièle McClellan, two mothers inspired to create a
line of baby and kids clothes that are respectful of the planet as much
as they are stylish. Frustrated by the absence of funky fashions for
babies and kids, the pair went to work on setting up the label and
l’asticot was born in 2009.

“The lack of colorful, comfortable and fun clothes for our sons is what
gave us the drive”, Christie Mutuel says. “Once the idea came to mind,L’asticot
we wanted to give our kids something that will preserve our environment
and hence the idea of setting up an ethical brand came to mind. Once
this was set in place, we knew we wanted to produce in Europe and as
Portugal has a great reputation in the textile industry we looked for
serious, yet flexible suppliers there.”

Designing a line of clothes and accessories that are functional and
comfortable yet trendy and timeless is imperative to a label that
believes that “because a garment that lasts longer is a garment that
protects the earth”.

Christie Mutuel explains: “We decided to produce only from organic, GOTS
certified raw materials (cotton, wool) in Portugal and we remain true to
this positioning. The quality that we are able to offer our clients
helps us underline our ethical mission as our clothes last longer and
their unisex style allows them to be passed on from brother to sister
without a problem, prolonging their longevity.”

L’asticotChristie Mutuel, a mum and a stylist, was in the best position to be
taking on the label’s design work. “I do all the designing of the
collection — from coming up with the prints to choosing the color
palette to drawing the styles,” she says. “I wanted to design clothes
for my son and also always wanted to create a clothes brand. Designing
for kids is much easier than for adults due to the more general body
shapes.”

 

Fortunately Christie Mutuel’s mother kept many clothes from when she and
her brother were kids. She says being able to dig them out from the
attic has provided a great source of inspiration for her, which has
leant itself well to the retro designs and 70s sensibility that many of
l’asticot’s pieces encapsulate. “Everyday brings something new and
inspiring,” she adds.

For their Autumn/Winter 14-15, L’asticot take their collection on a
Russian theme as bold prints highlight Russian dolls, rockets and
raccoons. L’asticot’s typical bright and joyful shades mix with powder
rose and light grey tones. And firm favourites including jacquard pieces
and bright-colored corduroy kick off a swanky winter.

Along with co-owner Inga Aellen, Christie Mutuel has developed a brand
of babies and kidswear that is as much about being ethical as it is
playful, unorthodox and experimental in its designs.

“A new and softer feminine touch has been added to certain models such
as the bodysuit, the dress and the blouse with a Peter Pan collar, at
the same time without giving up l’asticot’s brand identity, to provide
unisex styles, as the brand is not afraid to combine them with the
rocket print,” Inga Aellen says. “The Russian dolls with all their
femininity equally impress little boys who wear them on glacier-blue or
very graphic red shades for a timeless unisex style.”

The AW 14-15 collection also marks a new collaboration with Swiss fabric
manufacturer, Stotz. The EtaProof jacket, made out of 100% organic
cotton, is a beautiful alternative to the traditional winter jackets
made out of synthetic fabrics that can withstand all weather conditions.

It is one of a few partnerships that the ethical kids clothing brand
currently has up its sleeve. L’asticot continue to work with temporary
tattoo brand, Tattyoo, providing tattoos with prints from each of their
collections. But the brand have set it sights on working with other
Swiss brands too, which for now, the pair remain tight-lipped on, but no
doubt these collaborations will bring vibrant, stylish ethical designs
that you just have to dress your little ones in.

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