Saturday, October 29, 2011

Vegan Shoes - The Idea Behind Ethical Shoes

Terra Plana Aqua Shoes, November, 2009Image by Maggie Osterberg via FlickrBy Indy M

The world is made up of many things, big and small. And they all have their part to play in the grand scheme of things. The Buddhist philosophy considers even the smallest living creatures, like a flower or an ant, to be intimately connected to the greater world. However, the harmony and grace which animals provide to the beautiful outdoors is now being harmed.

Various industries are now consuming resources at an alarming rate. A rate at which many believe is unsustainable. This is where ethical shoes come into the picture. Primarily a movement that was started by vegans, ethical shoes (or clothes for that matter) are items which are never sourced from animal products.

Additionally, production of such items revolve around sustainable practices with very limited harm to the earth itself.

The lifestyle of a vegan is one that takes all living creatures into consideration. They forsake not just food from animals, but leather and fur as well. While most clothes on the market are made from plant or plastic derived materials, there is a percentage that is still being sourced from animals. Chief among them is leather.

Fortunately, vegetarian shoes are now easily available everywhere and are produced from artificial materials which brilliantly imitate the appearance of real animal fabric

Today, vegan shoes are sold in a wide selection of styles and materials. The styles you may come across are not restricted to only day-wear functions such as slippers or tennis shoes. They also encompass a myriad of other activities and styles including hiking shoes, high heels, boots, and business shoes. As such, there is a vegan replacement for just about any sort of footwear you have in mind.

The best selling forms of vegan shoes today are ethical tennis shoes. They are hugely popular in America and are designed with function and comfort in mind. Essentially, they can also be used as casual sneakers. For that reason, they are some of the better vegan alternatives to casual day-wear.

If there is one form of footwear that fully makes use of animal derived materials, it is the common boot. From winter boots to fashion boots, leather is the preferred material alongside plastic derived materials. As such, this area is of extreme interest to those that produce ethical footwear. There are now great many alternatives that are just as good (or better) than real leather. Looks, functionality and durability are all maintained.

In the past, such shoes were always difficult to find. You had to order from a handful of specialty stores, usually by mail. With the advent of the internet, you can now choose from a wealth of ethical brands online.

For casual wear, Sole rebels make some of the best day-wear shoes on the market. For fancy women's shoes, Beyond Skin and Terra Plana are considered top notch companies that consistently produce stunning women's footwear.

Ethical shoes are always sourced from plant based materials such as hemp and canvas. Canvas in particular is used quite often as it is relatively cheap yet very durable.

We stock Vegetarian shoes, sandals and boots from top brand names like Terra Plana and Beyond Skin at our online store.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Trends In 1960s Clothes Styles

Youth Culture - Mods & Rockers 1960s - 1970sImage by brizzle born and bred via FlickrBy J Enright

The 1960s marked a decade of radical change that touched every aspect of society from culture to music to fashion. Trends came and went at a rapid pace. Fashion rules were broken and 1960s clothes styles were a reflection of the social movement that defined the decade.

Women of the early 1960s could not get enough of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and her refined, ladylike style. Pastel suits with short jackets and large buttons were especially popular with the ladies for business and for playtime they wore Capri pants. The typical ball gown featured a full skirt that flared out from a cinched waist and a low d' colletage.

Men's suits were made with bright coloured fabrics. Ties were wide and decorated with stripes and wild prints. Jackets had no collars and suspenders were worn to hold up the trousers.

London Modernists, more commonly known as Mods, were busy during the early 1960s setting trends for young men in the UK. This group was named for the modern jazz music they preferred.

The Mods wore classy styles adopted from Italian and French designers of high fashion. They wore tailored suits with fitted pants. Shirts were cut slim and nothing but a button down collar would do. When they wore jeans, they had to be Levi's. Their flared pants paved the way for the bell bottoms that arrived with the hippie wave a few years later. Mohair suits were popular with the Mods. This material is naturally shiny, lightweight and comfortable to wear while dancing.

Welsh designer Mary Quant played an important role in mod fashion when she introduced the miniskirt to fashion conscious women in 1964. By then, ladies were officially accepted into the movement. Short hairstyles were in and clothing designs mimicked those worn by the men.

Fashion in the late 60s was influenced by the hippie and skinhead movements. The Skinheads borrowed heavily from the Mods while the hippies were way more casual.

Skinheads cut their hair short and traded Mohair clothing for Tonic suits. Different coloured threads are woven together to create the fabric for a Tonic suit. When the fabric moves under a light source, it changes colours.

They wore Ben Sherman button down shirts and boots or brogues polished to a high sheen. The shirt fabric was plain Oxford cotton and sometimes had a check pattern. They preferred their trousers cut narrow, just like their jacket lapels.

The hippie movement was all about rebelling against authority and the clothing mirrored that philosophy with casual clothing that exploded with colour. Colourful shirts in bright floral prints and tie-died patterns were especially popular.

Denim jeans hugged the hips and were paired with wide, leather belts. Bell bottoms flared out below the knee and jeans were adorned with beads and other embellishments. Skirts reached past the knee and were made out of lightweight fabric that flowed and was sometimes tiered.

The diverse styles seen in 1960s clothes were signs of the times. From Jackie O to the Skinheads, it marked a period of unprecedented change in the fashion industry.

Jim Enright is owner of Enrights Vintage Fashions which sells 1960s Clothes online. Jim enjoys the scootering scene and all things to do with the 1960s era.
Tel: 07775 893979

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Adelaide Custom Tours: The Adelaide Experience

Old Government House in the Belair National Park.Old Government House, Belair National Park - Image via Wikipedia
Hi everyone,

If you are planning a visit to Australia, stop in to Adelaide which is a wonderful city. I operate custom walking and driving tours around the city and surrounds.

Experience #1: Adelaide's Universities - This is a half-day tour where you are driven to each university campus around Adelaide. As I have worked in all 3 universities here, I have a unique insight into the history, architecture and philosophy of each institution, and I know each campus intimately. Maximum - 4 people (A$50 per head).

Experience #2: Bushwalking in Belair National Park and Mount Lofty - This is a full-day tour where you will be picked up from the city to go bushwalking in the Park. I live about 5 minutes from Belair Park and so I know it intimately, the old buildings (Governor's residences, old railway stations and pavilions, the only cafe in the vicinity (included the best coffee in Australia, seriously!). I know the terrain and the story of much of the flora and fauna of the region. As for Mount Lofty, I know a number of trails, most of the cafes, the private Botanic Gardens, and the strange stories of the region (and there's a few). Maximum - 4 people (A$60 per head).

Experience #3: Cricket Adelaide style - This is a half-day walking tour for cricket fanatics! Being one of the spiritual homes of cricket, Adelaide has a great history and a great group of organisations who have recorded it's history. There's the Bradman Collection Museum, the South Australia Cricket Association Museum, Adelaide oval (of course), the State Library Bradman Collection, and the Bradman Digital Library. Also, having played cricket for many years and knowing lots of great cricket stories, this would be a very entertaining experience for people. Maximum - 25 people (A$40 per head).

Experience #4: The Aboriginal Bush Tucker Tour at the Adelaide Botanical Gardens - This is a short walking tour lasting for 2 hours, through the Aboriginal Bush Tucker (tucker is food) tour in the Adelaide Botanical Gardens. Very few people (even locals) know that this exists. I have taken a number of visiting school groups through this tour and they love it. This is an interesting cultural experience. Maximum - 25 people (A$20 per head).

Experience #5: Mitcham and Springfield, the heart of historic Adelaide - This is a full-day walking tour after being picked up in the city. These are some of the oldest suburbs in Adelaide, nestled into the foothills, where some of the first settlers lived, with many old homesteads still standing. Great old churches, cafes, tea houses, hotels, picturesque streets, Carrick Hill (Adelaide's most famous stately mansion), and even the beautiful Brownhill Creek Recreation Park. Lots to see, all of which can be done on foot. Maximum - 4 people (A$60 per head).

If you are interested in seeing Adelaide with your own personal guide, just call me on 0433 354 383 or email me on:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bamboo Clothing Vs Organic Cotton Clothing

Bamboo Cathedral on the road to the Tracking S...Image via WikipediaBy Dagny McKinley

Those looking to get away from traditional cotton, and the pesticides, insecticides and general damage the growing of cotton does to the environment, have more options that just organic cotton. Alternatives to traditional clothing fall into two categories - organic and sustainable.

Organic clothing can be sustainable, meaning that the crop is grown without harmful chemicals (organic) and doesn't deplete the earth's health (sustainable). Likewise, crops that are considered sustainable, like bamboo, can also be organic. Note I say 'can,' this does not mean they necessarily are.

In order to keep soil healthy, organic farmers often plant a variety of crops that are complementary to one another, or they rotate where crops are grown so they don't deplete the soil of essential nutrients. Another method employed by organic and sustainable farmers is to encourage beneficial insects. This means they provide a habitat for birds that eat insects, or butterflies and bees that pollinate flowers.

As organic farmers know, having a balance of insects and the species that feeds on them prevents crops from succumbing to many bug infestations that can wipe out crops.

What does this all have to do with the bamboo that results in bamboo clothing? Bamboo is considered a sustainable resource. This means it grows rapidly, several inches per day, and when bamboo is harvested, it doesn't result in long-term damage to the area.

For example if an old growth forest is cut down, replacement of those trees could take several hundred years. With bamboo, harvesting can take place on a regular basis without wiping out the crop. Bamboo is similar to a weed. It grows quickly and can survive at almost any altitude and under many different weather patterns.

Bamboo is also considered a rain-fed crop, meaning we don't have to waste valuable water resources in order for it to grow. It simply survives off the rain it gets naturally. The roots of bamboo can help prevent erosion in soil sensitive areas and is a durable species, meaning it doesn't need pesticides or insecticides to grow.

People familiar with bamboo may think of bamboo flooring or bamboo housing, but not necessarily bamboo clothing. Is it comfortable? It really is. Bamboo as a textile is wicks away moisture, keeping the skin soft and dry, is breathable and silky soft. Bamboo can be found in clothing that ranges from bamboo t-shirts to skirts, yoga pants, jackets and more.

Be sure to check out bamboo clothing as an alternative to organic cotton clothing. You'll be amazed at the quality and comfort you find.

ONNO is a manufacturer of organic clothing, bamboo clothing and hemp clothing. ONNO believes in using sustainable and or organic fibers and is a socially responsible manufacturer. We use carbon offsets to balance out the transportation costs of our products. Find out more about ONNO.

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

VIDEO: Hippie Fashion

by acidinurmind on YouTube:

The video is a quick history about 1960s hippie fashion, featuring interviews with Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane and Frank Zappa.