Thursday, November 18, 2010

Get Your Organic Clothes - Today 50% Off

Today when I checked my Groupon San Francisco, I was thrilled to see a 50% off coupon for American Apparel, where you can get organic, domestically-produced and un-dyed cotton undies (men's and women's) plus organic shirts and tanks at decent prices.

As you may know, I'm preparing for my "Year of Living Organically" Challenge - start date Jan 1, 2011. I'm planning to measure my toxic load in December and measure it again one year later after wearing only organic clothing, mostly locally produced, and only organic skin products. We all know to eat organic as a way of reducing our exposure to pesticides and fertilizers in our food supply, but meanwhile we wear pesticides and fertilizers particularly in our cotton clothing such as jeans. And women in the US own on average 8 pairs of jeans.

I bought my darling husband, David Gottfied, some organic briefs. When I presented my find, he gave me a withering look: "You are not dragging me into this, you know."

As a friend stated, I'm going NRDC on you. I'm becoming a reluctant activist. I'm also looking for folks to join me - while I know a year-long commitment is daunting, consider joining me for a month or a weekend. I'm also looking for corporate sponsors in case you have some ideas for how best to support this endeavor. American Apparel, Donna Karan, are you reading this?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Botanical Alchemist | Organic Fashion Designer

Was surfing Etsy last weekend, minding my own business, when I came across a mystic from North Carolina named Andrea Crouse. Check her out. That's Andrea (above), modeling her Tulsi dress in organic stretchy wool.

Here she is (above) in her super foxy fall shirt made of organic hemp/cotton with pin tucks in all the right places around the waist. As many of you know, I've declared Mondays to be "Mystic Mondays" - help me find mystics like Andrea. They inspire me, feed my soul, and hopefully feed your soul too.

Planning a green wedding? Here's THE DRESS.... made of organic stretchy wool. Lusciousness. 

Now I'm always looking for what to wear to the office that doesn't disrupt my hormones.

How 'bout this number?

As Rachel Zoe would say: Bananas.

I asked Andrea quatro preguntas.

SG: What draws you to natural dyes?
Andrea Crouse:  I love the idea of working more directly with nature's color bounty and discovering different plants, insects, and minerals that can yield hues that are impossible to get with synthetic dyes. I was also drawn to them out of a desire to find the most eco-friendly way to impart color on my clothing. However, I have come to realize that each have there limitations and some naturals dyes can be very dangerous too.

SG: Have you noticed any health benefits since changing to nontoxic clothing?

Andrea Crouse: I started wearing almost all organic clothing when I was in my early 20s so I didn't really have any health problems that went away. However, one of the reasons I decided to work exclusively with organic fibers was my father being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was a teenager. At that time they where linking the disease to prepubescent exposure to an environmental toxin. As a boy my father spent summers swimming in a Lake that was later found to have batteries dumped there during that time. I wasn't sure what I was going to do as an adult but I did know that it had to be as environmentally sustainable as possible.

Above: Andrea's Babydoll dress in hemp/organic cotton with the yummy pin tucks all the way 'round the waist.

SG: What are the challenges to working with organic fabrics and natural dyes?

Andrea Crouse: Because organic fabrics change from season to season much more then GMO or super controlled crops, it is impossible for me to be super consistent with my colors. I have noticed the same fabric will take the same dye in different ways from one roll to the next.

The type of clothing I can make is limited to what is possible with plant fibers.....however, this is a wonderful challenge that I enjoy! I may also be adding leather and sheepskin from local organic farms...hopefully by next Fall!

SG: Leather and sheepskin? Bring it! What are the benefits of working with organic fibers and natural dyes?

Andrea Crouse: I know that the materials I am working with are safe for my family and clients and of course the beautiful planet we call home.  I'm providing green jobs for my community.  There are always new and amazing advances in the organic world that I get to incorporate into my designs while at the same time working with these materials is deeply connected to human history and a time when natural materials where all we had.

SG: OK, friends. You heard it here first. Now, I need to get me some organic undies. Ideas? Andrea, can you hook me up?

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About Me

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I'm an organic gynecologist, yoga teacher + writer. I earn a living partnering with women to get them vital and self-realized again. We're born that way, but often fall off the path. Let's take your lousy mood and fatigue, and transform it into something sacred and useful.