Sarah Backhouse

Sarah Backhouse

Ethnically ambiguous with the accent to prove it, I’m thrilled to be on the cutting edge of this brave, new green world.

Tis The Season To Be Excessive

recycled decorations holiday 07 Tis The Season To Be Excessive

The holidays aren’t just about family squabbles, appalling television, overeating and getting drunk.There’s a lot more to it. How about deforestation, gas guzzling, waste and general excessiveness?

First, there’s the whole greeting card burden. I say burden because they’re as painful to send as they are to receive. How many cards are made from recycled paper? Worse yet, how many card and envelopes actually end up in the recycle bin after the holidays? Truth be told, no-one wants to see the annual photo of you and your loved ones in front of the fireplace in matching sweaters, so here’s an alternative: send a holiday e-mail. You can design a nice graphic or find one online. It saves paper and it’ll save you time.

Then there’s the Christmas tree. Since when has ripping a live evergreen from the ground and sticking it in your living room for a month been a good idea? Equally careless is buying a fake tree made of toxic PVC, guaranteed to be around for thousands of Christmases to come. Actor Josh Lucas has the answer, according to Ecorazzi: an organically recycled plastic tree. (I must confess to not knowing what that is exactly, but seems worth investigating.)

recycled decorations holiday 06 Tis The Season To Be Excessive

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Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie | Desert Island Fantasy

brad pitt jolie 01 Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie | Desert Island Fantasy

It’s ironic that the two people most likely to be chosen as fantasy stranded-on-a-desert-island partners have chosen each other. (Selfish sods.) According to Ahlan! Live.com, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have purchased their own private island with the world’s so-exclusive-it’s-eponymous address.

Situated off the cost of Dubai in the Arabian Sea, The World (as the island complex is called) is the brainchild of state-owned developers Nakheel. Consisting of over 300 hundred islands, it was formed using 90% reclaimed land and is fast becoming the “it” destination for the Robb Report set.

brad pitt jolie 02 Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie | Desert Island Fantasy

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Designer Spotlight | Deborah Lindquist Grand Dame Of Green Fashion

deborah lindquist green fashion 01 Designer Spotlight | Deborah Lindquist Grand Dame Of Green Fashion

LA-based designer Deborah Lindquist has been a fixture on the green fashion scene since, well, before there was one. A grand dame of green, she was repurposing and recycling vintage items while some of her A list clientele – Gwen Stefani, Hilary Duff, Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton et al – were still in diapers. Lindquist’s designs are as body conscious as they are ethically savvy. Part couture, part ready-to-wear and completely environmentally fabricated, her signature items include recycled cashmere sweaters, gorgeous yet edgy scarves, fingerless gloves and other accessories, as well as the exquisitely crafted green wedding dresses. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

PureOlogy | Lemon Heads Be Gone, Natural Hair Color Designed To Protect Your Locks

pureology colour care 01 PureOlogy | Lemon Heads Be Gone, Natural Hair Color Designed To Protect Your Locks

Vacations, Wimbledon, gelato, the Hollywood Bowl concert series, gladiators (the sandals, not the blokes — tho I’m open to the latter), daylight savings, alfresco dining… summer certainly has its fair share of balmy perks. Unfortunately, it also comes with baggage — specifically in the hair department.

Dry, dehydrated locks are bad enough, but to add insult to injury, getting bleached out by the sun is just unbearable. It might be okay if you’re a blonde — heck, some you lemon heads even encourage it — but for a brunette like me, having your rich auburn hues blown out to brassy red is not a good look.

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Getting Fit With Five Energizing Foods

trail mix banana chips coconut raisin Getting Fit With Five Energizing Foods

A lack of energy is a common complaint for many of us. It can hit hard in the afternoon — that no man’s land after lunch and before clocking out, which seems to stretch on forever. We’ve all reached for chocolate or another double espresso to get us through. Fitness experts would suggest exercise to fight flagging energy (but then again, that’s their solution for everything — nutters). But from experience, when you’re feeling tired, the last thing you want to do is hit the gym.

Which brings us back to food. What healthy dietary fixes are out there? Thankfully, that’sfit has complied a list of the five most energizing foods.

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Ekovaruhuset | Swedish For Cutting Edge Cool

ekovaruhuset 01 Ekovaruhuset | Swedish For Cutting Edge Cool

Referring to herself as the “self-elected godmother of the eco-nerds”, Scandinavian designer and boutique owner Johanna Hofring is being modest. Clearly, she also has a sense of humor. An ethical designer (who isn’t afraid to spend weeks crocheting a single garment), Hofring helped her birth city of Stockholm along the path to sustainability by opening Ekovaruhuset “House of Organic Products” in 2004. Following her success there, Hofring opened a second boutique with the same name in NYC.

All of the clothes at Ekovaruhuset are made naturally, from organic materials that don’t use chemical fertilizers or pesticides and with a dyeing process that’s environmentally responsible. Hofring notes that there are a few exceptions “such as zippers, some buttons, threads and ink for printing… areas that have not yet been perfected. We are always looking for better alternatives and are thankful to hear from you about all organic solutions”.

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Fred Segal Green Overflows with Cutting Edge Designs from the Most Innovative Green Designers

fred segal green design 01 Fred Segal Green Overflows with Cutting Edge Designs from the Most Innovative Green Designers

Those in doubt that the green movement is about as far away from hippie culture as one can get need only show up at the following address: 420 Broadway in Santa Monica, California. There you will find a new store that optimizes our society’s infatuation with high-end organic green design — introducing Fred Segal Green.

This latest addition to super-duper exclusive, celebrity-friendly Fred Segal family opened the doors to its 1,200 square foot store (located at the back of its east building) earlier this week. So, what eco-goodies does this green home and lifestyle store boast? How about encasing your laptop in a stylish Monacca laptop bag made “from ecological wood such as trees that have been pulled down during the programmed maintenance plan of Japanese reforestation?” Or planting yourself on tables and chairs made from “sustainably-harvested wood or scrap and recycled materials” or Ronel Jordaan’s stone-like cushions? Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Behnaz Sarafpour | The New Guard

behnaz sarafpour 01 Behnaz Sarafpour | The New Guard

They say old habits die hard. But when the newer habits are organic and more ethically worthwhile, sometimes the process can be sped up.

New York based designer Behnaz Sarafpour has accomplished much in a short time. A graduate of the Parsons School of Design, it wasn’t long until she found herself was working alongside some of the biggest names in the business – Richard Tyler for Anna Klein, Narciso Rodriguez and Isaac Mizrahi. In 2002, she launched her self-named label, which she describes as “the epitome of modern elegance and witty style”. It has certainly gained her a legion of fans including Hollywood leading ladies Claire Danes, Selma Blair, Rachel McAdams, Mandy Moore and Anne Hathaway.

behnaz sarafpour 02 Behnaz Sarafpour | The New Guard

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The Alight Kitchen Encourages Conscious Consumption

alight kitchen micro 02 The Alight Kitchen Encourages Conscious Consumption

It’s the eve of the Apocalypse. We’re running out of food, clean water and other resources. No, this isn’t the synopsis of a new Hollywood blockbuster, but the premise on which the Turkish designers who call themselves Altera Design Studio based their Alight concept kitchen. At first glance, it looks like a minimalist’s wet dream — modular, monochromatic with strategic splashes of turquoise and steel. But there’s substance behind the style.

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Something New Sprouting Up in NYC, A Green Pre-School

christina houri green pre school le petit paradise Something New Sprouting Up in NYC, A Green Pre School

Back in the day, my Japanese mother would pack me a super healthy lunch consisting of a whole-wheat cheese and lettuce sandwich, with tomatoes grown in our garden, accompanied by a flask of freshly squeezed orange juice. Needless to say, I was mortified — longing to be like the other kids in kindergarten who had white spaghetti waffles, green cordial and a packet of Cheetos. But some 30 years on, it looks like Mama knew best after all.

christina houri green lunch school le petit paradise Something New Sprouting Up in NYC, A Green Pre School

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Eköh Organic Beauty in Nashville Tennessee

ekoh organic beauty nashville tennessee 01 Eköh Organic Beauty in Nashville Tennessee

Garth Brooks. Gretchen Wilson. Keith Urban. Carrie Underwood. Kenny Chesney. The Dixie Chicks. These country music legends are the names normally associated with Nashville, Tennessee. But come Thursday, they’ll be competing with some new kids on the block. Introducing Dr. Hauschka, Kevin Murphy, Pangea, Jurlique, Korres and Hamadi. No, this is not the next lineup on American Idol’s Twang Edition; these folks may not be able to strum a guitar, but they can keep you looking groupie fabulous.

ekoh organic beauty nashville tennessee 02 Eköh Organic Beauty in Nashville Tennessee

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John Smedley | Cotton Masquerading As Cashmere

john smedley cotton cashmere John Smedley | Cotton Masquerading As Cashmere

There’s no shortage of bankruptcy-inducing English brands on the market. From Burberry and Alexander McQueen to Paul Smith and Dunhill, these established high-end luxury labels are as desirable as they are decadent.

But here’s something to get excited about: a UK designer label that’s both sumptuous and socially conscious.

Old-time English luxury label, John Smedley (established 1784), best known for their opulent knitwear, have teamed up with Better Thinking Ltd. to come up with the perfect tee. The shirt is touted as “Luxury Redefined” — and with two years in the making, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better made garment.

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