Monday, April 19, 2010

Celebrate Earth Day -Be Stylish

Accessories are fun. Who doesn't love purses and necklaces and bracelets. I sure do. And why not make them eco-friendly as well?

At the Green Wedding Showcase in February, we had the luck to meet Reena, the woman behind Washington DC's noted green gift & accessory company She has been selling environmentally friendly and chic goodies since 1999 ~ well before it was mainstream to be green. is a web-based gallery of unique, well-made, sustainable and environmentally friendly gifts featuring the original work of over 25 artists who are committed to sustainable living and utilize green mediums. The company has been featured in Time, Good Housekeeping, USA Today, Body+Soul, Planet Green, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications. Reena is on a mission to be spread the word that gifts can be beautiful, well-made, eco-friendly and within a person's budget. We are on board with that!

Recently balance had the chance to photograph some new items for the website. The always fabulous Ashley Riddle (from UpDo's for I Do's) was our model that afternoon.

This is the Eco Mini Bag. The front compartment closes with Velcro and is the perfect size for a cell phone or camera. We are partial to using it for a camera. : ) Mini bags are made from recycled plastic sacks used to carry 100 pounds of rice to market in the Philippines. The graphic design on each mini bag is unique because the Filipino craftswomen reuse every part of the sack to minimize waste.

The Recycled Rice Sack Sport Pouch, aka "the anti-fanny pack", is adjustable to fit over your shoulder, across your chest or around your waist and lays flat. Pouches are lined with eco-friendly material and feature four zipped pockets — three outside and one inside. Perfect for carrying all your stuff to work - or somewhere more fun.

This funky hand-woven clutch was once juice packs! How creative!

Shimmery beaded bangles are made from recycled glass beads and strung on recycled wire. Perfect for any occasion, really - from jeans to office to fancy dress!

A statement piece for the fashion-forward: the tagua nut necklace. Grown in Colombia, Tagua nuts are gathered as they fall to the ground, enabling them to be harvested without disturbing the palm tree from which they came. Next the nuts are dried, painted and then strung on sturdy cotton thread, with knots between them, for added durability. Each necklace is crafted of whole tagua nuts that average 1" wide. When strung together, they make a bold statement in a burst of bright color that can be worn year round.

There are also cool men's accessories as well. Here Nathaniel is wearing cufflinks with his initials, made from recycled typerwriter keys. These look so cool on French cuff shirts. He wears this all the time. Love it!

So there's no reason not to get your shop on this Earth Day - just do it at to find some of the most upscale upcycling available anywhere!
~ Rissa

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