A favorite brand featuring seriously comfortable, beautiful clothing you can slip into and dress up or down, or get down and dirty. I wear it, love it and think you should check it out. Here’s why:
prAna is an ancient Sanskrit word for breath, life and vitality of the spirit, and the term has guided this company’s actions since the day they opened their doors in 1992.
WHAT GOT ME: From the beginning prAna was influenced by athletes and customers who helped inspire designs. As a result, prAna’s “lines fit your lines” with easy style made to be worn no matter where you take your adventure. But the end product isn’t what prAna considers first. This company is all about reducing environmental harm and supporting the people making their clothing and accessories. Motivated by Mindful, every decision prAna takes on—-from what they make to how it is made—-considers prAna’s impact on the ecosystem. As a bluesign® system’s partner, examining their textile production process is just as important as choosing fabrics made from organic cotton, that support fair trade and, in some cases, might put to use wind power.
One more thing: When I need a little inspiration, often I find it in prAna’s ambassadors.
WHY YOU SHOULD CHECK IT OUT: prAna started out making clothes for climbing and yoga, but their stuff was so good they added more clothing for other interests too. Purpose-built designs, contemporary style and unique color palettes make prAna’s clothing look good and feel comfortable on the yoga mat or out on the town. With so many collections to choose from—-from travel wear to climbing gear—-the bright and lively styles are made to perform, but also to get you noticed. And, if you need a little inspiration, you’ll find it here.
prAna is for both men and women: My twenty-two year-old son loves his prAna tops and bottoms I’ve given him over the years. Check out the new spring catalog.
prAna is Bluesign Certified.
Images used with permission from prAna.
Here’s an all-natural, paraben-free body lotion you can stock up on: it’s affordable, it is great for daily use and 10% of EveryDay Shea sales support community empowerment projects in West Africa.
Owned by Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care which was founded in 2003 by Olowo-n’djo Tchala, a Togolese native, this Fair Trade product line generates funds for community enhancement projects in West African nations.
WHAT GOT ME: The first time I reached out to read the label of a bottle of EveryDay Shea Moisturizing Body Lotion someone behind me said, “That company is doing amazing things for the people in Africa.” Immediately I was curious to hear more. A small sample from the pump bottle convinced me of the lotion’s effectiveness. Then I learned the story of founder Olowo-n’djo Tchala who grew up in Togo, married a Peace Corps volunteer, moved to the U.S. and after completing his education, returned to his home town to establish a fair trade shea butter co-op. His motto: Rather than give Africans handouts, give them the resources so they could support themselves. A portion of the proceeds from EveryDay Shea goes to Bicycles for Education, Maternal Health, School Supplies & Repairs and Reforestation. Oh, and think of all the women who hand make the lotion: their job fills the vital need of feeling appreciated and earns them a salary that contributes to their family’s well-being.
WHY YOU SHOULD CHECK IT OUT: This all-natural, handcrafted shea butter lotion is great for sensitive skin, and one squirt goes a long way. I use it all summer long, and as a base lotion when I need extra moisture during the winter. Wild shea trees are abundant in Africa—locals have used their seeds for centuries to make shea butter and shea oil known for its healing properties that protect against climate and UV damage. But it’s only the unrefined shea butter like you find in this product that does the job well. Added bonus: Shea butter is said to enhance cell regeneration and capillary circulation to fight against stretch marks, inflammations, and scarring. And since you are purchasing a product that is fair trade and promotes community empowerment, seriously, what’s not to love?
Images used with permission from EveryDay Shea.
Put your waders on: Local-to-me United by Blue (Philly) casts the light on rugged, organic apparel while tackling community-focused conservation efforts along beaches and waterways.
United by Blue (UBB)
Ocean loving, scuba diving Brian Linton, founder and CEO of Philly-based United by Blue, soaks up all things water-related including UBB, his premium, eco-conscious clothing and accessory company inspired by weathered, nautical designs.
WHAT GOT ME: I love the rugged, USA-made products created from 100% organic cotton or canvas. And that UBB collects one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every item sold. How? By developing a self-sustaining conservation model that involves their staff and the community organizing cleanups in waterways from Maine to Florida. Here’s proof that the company remains dedicated to their mission: since launching in 2010, UBB has organized over 80 beach and river cleanups in 18 different states and removed over 141,000 pounds of trash. That’s a lot of waste no longer floating downstream or buoying above the waves.
WHY YOU SHOULD CHECK IT OUT: First thing you notice is the fit, the feel and the attitude. You can’t resist the super soft, organic cotton slub jersey Tees that are handcut/handsewn and stonewashed for vintage, sea-loving style. Constructed from quality canvas, UBB bags just get better with age.
Every product is packaged in banana-fiber paper topped off with a biodegradable hangtag. Why? Because UBB believes that individually wrapped plastic products are a wasteful and unnecessary step, so they just don’t do it. This way the packaging has a lower environmental impact, plus it’s really very cool.
And just in time for your spring garden: Hangtags are made of elephant dung embedded with flower seeds. Compost your package and plant the seeds. Wait and see how good you feel when the first sprout takes hold.
Images used with permission from UBB.
Finally, my first post. I’ve been blogging for years but I am new at Tumblr. So here goes:
I’m starting off with a favorite hand-made product.
I’ve written about Garden Bon Bons in the past. I keep coming back to them because these clever creations are one-of-a-kind, and Moulton just gets better with age. In fact, the small online store recently added new varieties of garden treats to the Bon Bons collection.
Besides, truffles make great gifts, especially at this time of year when love is in the air.
Garden Bons Bons
If you love truffles, you can love these truffles, and they will love you back.
WHAT GOT ME: These hand-crafted Bon Bons aren’t to eat, they’re for play. Created by entrepreneur Anne Dowell who sells quality garden tools and accessories online at Moulton, these balls of clay are made of organic compost and a seed. Each Bon Bons is hand-rolled with care before getting bundled in a package that most certainly looks like a box of chocolates. Anne was one of the 100 finalists (chosen from over 2,000 artists and craftspeople) in Martha Stewart’s American Made Audience Awards.
WHY YOU SHOULD CHECK IT OUT: Garden Bon Bons are candy you’re not even tempted to eat. Instead, you plant the Bon Bons atop soil and watch them grow…either now on your sill, or later in the spring, outdoors in a pot. Once a sprout appears, it’s not long before you have a mini garden of your choosing: herbs for tea, herbs for cooking, herbs for cocktails. Plus, you don’t have to be skilled at growing your own (details below).
Seed balls are a centuries-old, sustainable planting technique. The Native Americans typically used coin-sized balls of clay, compost soil and seed. The compost provided much-needed nutrients for seeds planted in poor soil conditions, and the clay kept insects and small animals at bay.
But these Garden Bon Bons come wrapped in a box topped with a bow.
• plant them right away, or store them like any other seed;
• place atop a pot of soil (the clay and compost provide the bon bon with nutrients), no need to bury them; and
• add a bit of water to the bon bon and soil, just as you would any seed, and give it plenty of sunshine and love.
Photo from Moulton