Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Proliferation of Vegan Stores and Vegan Products Signal a Paradigm Shift in Fashion

The logo of the Vegan Society (UK), which asso...Image via WikipediaBy Tristan Black

Hard core vegans focus on a dieting regimen and life-style that will not cause injury to animals and the planet directly or indirectly via the processing of animal hides like leather, sheepskin, silk or wool. Vegans reject shoes or boots and garments created from animal derived goods.

At one time becoming "vegan" meant centering on what you had to lose in order to experience an ethical healthy way of life. At this time individuals are more conscious of what they're putting on, what supplies and chemicals have been used, and how it impacts the environment.

The rise of vegan fashions and vegan stores that sell cruelty free merchandise have led vegans and non-vegans alike to change their shopping habits. Only 10 years ago, shoppers looking for animal friendly products had to resort to large box retailers, considered ''vegan'' due to stocking synthetic material items in their product mix.

Today you'll find a plethora of nationwide chains, boutiques, on-line retailers, and eco-minded labels are encouraging consumers, even those merely flirting with a vegetarian eating plan, to acknowledge its precepts past the kitchen and into their wardrobes. Part of the cause for the surge in vegan stores is the fact that the vegetarian population have grown significantly in the past couple of years.

It can be estimated that as of 2011 there are 5.2 million vegetarians within the USA and Canada and approximately Forty percentage are vegans. Youngsters at this time are a lot more most likely to adopt to vegan fashion as they are growing up on the "reduce, reuse, recycle, and repurpose", also known as the 4R's mantra, and debates about global warming.

Ethical fashion items nowadays are durable and come in numerous styles and colors using plant based material, like cotton, hemp, or bamboo, synthetic plastic-like material such as rayon, and all-natural dyes. Vegan products have invaded all item categories and it is not uncommon to locate vegan fur jackets, sustainable bamboo iPhone and iPad cases, vegan boots, vegan purses, vegan belts, and also vegan suits.

These cruelty-free goods compete not simply aesthetically but also on price against conventional goods. The wide assortment of vegetarian product offerings is contributing to a quantifiable growth of vegan style resources.

To "go green" signifies to be cognizant of nature including animals. Regardless of whether you happen to be vegan or not, do your part to promote a green and eco-friendly way of life and take a stand against animal cruelty by getting vegan products. Should you really need to live a green lifestyle, shake things up and go hunt for vegan stores on the internet and around your city today.

If you are learning more about vegan stores, please visit eco3P. eco3P is your trusted source for vegan products, vegan product reviews, basically everything vegan.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: "Chanel and Her World"

Cover of "Chanel and Her World"Cover of Chanel and Her WorldBy Jacqueline Mary

Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel did not just live like a fashion tycoon who invented pants. She had an artist's enthusiasm for fashion.

She lived among the most prominent figures of her time and added credit to their circles. She was a determined social ladder climber who climbed into high society from poverty. She democratized fashion. She liberated women so that they could see themselves as being worthy of wearing pants like men.

"Chanel and Her World" is the preferred Chanel biographical book for fashionistas who want lightweight reading. Of course, this book for fashionistas is filled with pictures of fashion and other scenes that offer a window to the glamour lifestyle.

This is also a book for fashionistas because it features a perspective and writing style that seems to come directly from high fashion magazines.

People outside high society can appreciate this book because it caters to a normal vocabulary and a short attention span. It is substantive, insightful, and articulate enough to elevate the reading level and mind of a typical college student.

The writer manages to combine lightweight reading with a complete narrative by writing about many topics that tie into the larger theme of Chanel's world. "Chanel and Her World" is a good addition to college libraries. It is relevant, intelligent, and straightforward enough to be chosen as assigned reading at a typical college.

"Chanel and Her World" also chronicles a rags to riches life story that can appeal to people outside high society. Coco Chanel can seem like a more relatable person to readers because of her impoverished countryside background. High society originally rejected her and discriminated against her. That rejection humanizes the stiff and private fashion mogul.

"Chanel and Her World" does not deserve the status of a modern classic, or even a top selling book. It is a lightweight book filled with too many pictures to allow more room for text. The writer does not shed enough light on Coco Chanel's character, psyche, or even manage to cover everything basic about her life.

The author is insightful enough to offer a clear perspective. However, that perspective is oversimplified and puts a mere fashion designing businesswoman on a historic pedestal.

The best insights in the book are on fashion, which is a relatively trivial topic. The author's most insightful writing in the book described Chanel customers as being like recovering fashion victims who were liberated by Coco Chanel's designs.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hemp Clothing - Your Second Natural Skin

The National Organic Program administers the O...Image via WikipediaBy Nadia Ruseva

Hemp clothing is strong, long lasting and doesn't wrinkle. It keeps the coolness of linen and has the softness of cotton.

If compared to cotton, hemp fibers are longer, stronger, more absorbent, more mildew and microbe-resistant as well as more insulative. In other words, hemp clothing will keep you warmer in winter and cooler in summer than cotton.

Apart from all these qualities, hemp is one of the most ecologically friendly plants. When grown organically, hemp fiber 'breathes' and is biodegradable. Briefly, hemp clothing looks great, feels good, and protects the planet, too.

From field to fabric - Natural fiber clothing

Hemp is one of the most ecologically friendly fibers. Hemp plant doesn't need pesticides as it is naturally pest resistant. When hemp is grown in rotation, it has been known to reduce the pests in future crops. Hemp does not require herbicides, because it is grown so densely that other plants can't co-live with it.

Finally, hemp needs little or no fertilizers and it returns most of the nutrients it takes from the soil. All this makes hemp easy to be grown organically. On top of it, the plant grows between 80-120 days and adjusts to many climate zones.

From fabric to clothing - How hemp turns into organic clothing

In creating eco-friendly, organic hemp clothing, growing is only part of the job. Turning fiber into fabric and fabric into hemp clothing must also be done using processes that are healthy both to the individual and the environment.

Modern methods, however, mostly rely on chemical rather than mechanical processes because they save time and money. For hemp clothing to be considered organic none of the processes in creating hemp fabric should involve synthetic chemicals.

Hemp clothing can be dyed or stay with its "natural" color, which is simply the natural beige color of the hemp fibers after processing. That's why hemp clothes with a "natural" color can vary greatly in shades. By the way, hemp fibers are more absorbent to dyes and better screen out UV rays than cotton. This means that the color of hemp clothing fades more slowly than the color of cotton.

Finally, hemp can be made into many fabrics, including linen. When mixed with cotton, linen, or silk, hemp provides a sturdier, longer lasting textile of high quality and softness.

Is your hemp clothing really organic?

In case you want to know for sure if the hemp clothes you buy are really organic, look for an organic certification label. Because the National Organic Program standards apply to food only, you will not see a USDA Organic seal on clothes. Instead, look for the label of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). While other eco-labels for clothing and fabrics address raw materials, or chemical finishes, or labor standards, the GOTS certification is the ONLY one that addresses all of the processes.

Nadia Ruseva is a mom, who in search of some tips to raise her child healthy, found a whole new world of inspiration and ideas about how to be healthy and beautiful inside and out... about how to make a difference.

Her website I Prefer Organic is about healthy, natural, eco-friendly and organic alternatives to conventional products as well as tips, recipes and reviews related to organic and sustainable living, fair trade and vegan products.

Visit Nadia to have a chat, discuss a cause, share a view or just to look around for something interesting or inspiring.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Jacqueline Kennedy, Timeless Style Icon

English: Jacqueline Kennedy in Fort Worth, Tex...Image via WikipediaBy Diane Craig

Last month, a series of conversations recorded in 1964 between Jacqueline Kennedy and Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a former Kennedy aide, was published into the latest book on the legendary first lady - and one of my favourite 20th-century style icons - titled Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy.

During these conversations, Jackie speaks her mind - sometimes controversially so - sharing her opinions on political figures, musing on life in the spotlight, reminiscing on past times with JFK. Though her words in these conversations can be raw, from them emerges a new perspective on Jackie's life from the woman herself - and it serves to remind me what a strong and unforgettable woman she was.

Elegant and poised even in moments of extreme crisis: Jackie Kennedy acted as a role model for women of her time and continues to remain so today. What are the elements that composed such an iconic public figure and, of course, such a revered celebrity in the fashion world as well?

Though her wardrobe revealed her impeccable taste, it was not simply her outfits that made her so celebrated as a paragon of style. It was also how she presented herself: her graceful mannerisms and speech, the way she wore her clothes. She used all the components of self-presentation to her advantage.

How can we take after Jackie to look our best in front of others? First of all, Jackie was a woman who knew how to carry herself. She had superb posture - most likely a result of years of horseback riding as a girl. Good posture can make you instantly appear confident - not to mention taller and thinner. Slouching, however, can make you look disinterested or sloppy, and can even give you back or jaw pain. So keep your shoulders straight and your head held high: you will seem and feel more alert.

Jackie also knew what types of clothes fit her best. For formal affairs, she often chose empire-waisted gowns (a high-waisted dress that gathers just below the bust and has a long, flowing skirt) in order to lengthen her legs. She also wore boat-neck shirts in order to accentuate her collarbone, one of her most striking features.

By knowing her body type and understanding what looked best on her figure, she was able to take fine clothes and make them look extraordinary.

And, naturally, there was her wonderful sense of style. Jackie had a penchant for French fashion; her year studying at the Sorbonne at age 20 perhaps sparked this lifelong passion.

She also had a remarkably colourful wardrobe - sometimes daringly so - that is largely imperceptible in the black and white photographs that documented much of her time as First Lady. Her taste and choices of clothing have been imitated since she entered the public sphere, not only by millions of women around the world, but also by established designers such as Givenchy and Tom Ford.

To me, Jackie Kennedy is a timeless figure of grace, strength, and style. Following her example, women everywhere can adopt her elegance as a model for when we need to look our best in the public eye - whether we are giving an important presentation, making a speech in front of an audience, or even simply sharing our thoughts at a minor meeting. No matter the size of the crowd, Jackie carried herself admirably and let her strength shine through.

Diane Craig
Image and Etiquette Expert

Diane Craig, President of Corporate Class Inc., is a leading image and etiquette consultant. For over 20 years she has provided corporate consultations, helping hundreds of men and women realize their professional and personal goals. She is a sought after speaker at national business meetings, regularly gives comprehensive workshops to corporate groups, and offers private consultations on business etiquette, dress and dining.

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ugg Boots Make Innovative Use Of Natural Materials

Pair of chestnut Ugg boots with jeans tucked i...Image via WikipediaBy Charlotte J Wilson

If there is one brand that has been able to stand the test of time purely because of its innovative use of natural materials like sheepskin and rubber, it has to be Ugg boots. This brand that came into existence in Australia created a flutter in the market when it introduced its range of boots made out of high quality sheepskin.

Consumers who were till then well accustomed to using top notch leather footwear now had something different to look forward to. The Merino sheepskin used to manufacture Ugg boots proved to be not only very durable but extremely soft and with excellent cushion qualities.

What distinguished Ugg boots from others apart from its use of sheepskin was the fact that consumers could wear them during both summer and winter seasons. These boots had wool whose outer part could be enveloped with generous fleece for that ultra soft feeling, while the inners could be covered with skin.

Merino sheepskin with its double faced attribute thus offered a thermostatic kind of setting whereby your feet remained very cosy and warm during cold winter but became cool during summer. Fleece helped in keeping out moisture and thus ensured that your feet always remained dry. The soles were made out of rubber and stitched firmly into the boots on the outside.

The use of such material naturally pushed up the cost of these boots but people were more than willing to pay the price given the exclusive benefits they could enjoy with Ugg boots.

It was not surprising therefore that these boots soon had many imitators who tried to introduce their own brand. Over the years, very few have succeeded in their endeavour as they have not been able to duplicate the effect and comfort Uggs have been consistently delivering to its consumers.

Ugg quickly realised that in order to maintain their competitive advantage, they had to bring out these boots in a whole range of colours and sizes. You thus had access to pretty attractive colours like blue, pink, chestnut, fuchsia and many others. Women found them ideal as they could now complement their attire with the right footwear and rest assured that their feet would remain well protected through the season.

The height of the boots introduced by the brand varied from ankle high boots to those reaching above the knee. Tall boots were always preferred by many women and since they were available in vibrant colours available, they were quickly snapped up.

Unfortunately, like most other successful brands, Ugg too have to face the scourge of duplicates and replicas flooding the market and wooing the consumers. These are made out of cheap pigskin or cowhide and if you are not careful when buying them, you could end up burning a hole in your pocket. Such products are also not good for your skin due to the spurious chemicals used in their manufacture.

It is therefore advisable that you do not look out for cheap Ugg boots, but pay more for the genuine article.

Charlotte Wilson has been sharing her experiences with various fashion brands and retail stores such as online shoes retailer Sarenza UK, through article writing for over 10 years. To view a range of fashionable footwear including the latest Ugg Boots collection, please visit the Sarenza website.

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