15 Eco-Vegan Brands to Bookmark This Earth Day

April 22, 2017

When I was wide eyed bushy tailed second grade Christina, I remember running home from school every day so that I could catch the last half of Captain Planet playing on Cartoon Network. I loved seeing those big kids take down evil, money-hungry war mongers (also lived for that kinda-sorta relationship between the wind and fire ringbearers). “Captain Planet, he’s our hero, gonna take pollution down to zero!” I can still belt out that theme song with the best of ‘em.

Back then, the concept of sustainable, conscious consumerism wasn’t a thing, but even 7 year-olds could grasp that pollution and corporate greed were unjust, and that all it took were a few good meaning citizens and their merging of resources to make a difference in the world.

Earth Day reminds us of just that: this planet is magic, we have a lot to care about, and each of us has the ability to do a little more to protect it. Sometimes all that takes is keeping a “sustainable brands” bookmark on your browser so the next time your closet needs a little freshening up, you have tres chic inspiration to draw from. Check ‘em out:

1. Vaute: Like “haute” but with a “v” for “vegan” and pronounced like “vote” cause that’s what we’re doing each time we throw down some bills. Feels good when you can for a company as beautiful inside as it is on the out.

Oh hi sunshines! VAUTE SWIM is made of #recycled carpet fibers and #madeinnyc with love! [link in bio] less than 25 left per color ☀️

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2.  Native Shoes: Native Shoes’ production processes are clean and green with 100%recyclable-material packaging. And their clean and minimal design doesn’t hurt for it. Like they say, less is more. 

Bonafide tourist approved.⠀ The Lennox + Miles.⠀ #keepitlite #beastfree⠀

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3. ROMBAUT: Basically the Ryan Gosling of kicks, blowing up the scene with its lack of toxicity and animal-derived materials—and uses new material innovations made from stone, tree bark, natural rubber, cotton cellulose, and coconut fiber… Wut.

4. In the Soulshine: These tees are made with vegan ink and in a factory in Bali where salaries are three to five times more than the average for a tailor on the island. And! We just collaborated with them on a limited-edition tee on the PETA Catalog; go get it, cuties.

5. Insecta Shoes: Insecta uses recycled rubber and plastic bottles, vintage clothing, and vegan leather to make these pretty babes.

As Cicadas são atraídas pelo friozinho do começo do outono.

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6. Sydney Brown: These shoes are enough to make a grown woman cry. 100% recycled and sustainable uppers with reclaimed wooden soles. All the retro woodland fairy creature vibes.

Presenting our AW17 Collection at the NYC Capsule Show from today through Sunday! #capsuleshow #nyc #roadtocapsule #aw17

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7. Rewilder: This brand’s a real innovator. Its bag fabrics are made from salvaged filter cloth from beer manufacturing plants, and the handles are salvaged climbing rope gathered from local gyms.

To celebrate our 3rd birthday we made ourselves a little something special! What do you think?

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8. Stella McCartney: Stella is forever the queen of my heart. And her vegan leather is made with recycled plastic bottles. That is all.

9. Groceries Apparel: You can shop for clothes on this brand’s website by “ingredient,” ie. eucalyptus, recycled cotton, recycled plastic, vegetable dye, hemp, and organic cotton. I dig them so hard.

10. SUSI Studio: SUSI’s a fave not just cause its owner is a little hottie, but its designs are classic and sexy and made with recycled rubber. Also, they have Emma Watson’s stamp of approval. Good enough for me!

11. Hipsters for Sisters: These aren’t your granny’s fanny packs. Handcrafted from either 100 percent organic cotton or Eco-fi, a high-quality fiber created from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, Hipsters for Sisters frees women and the planet of their baggage.

feeling blue never felt so good 💙 #sustainablefashion

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12. Della: Click if you like owning one of a kind pieces that also support jobs, education, and skills training for the women and men of Ghana + all without harming animals.

13. Brave GentleMan: If you have a little extra change to spare, you need some BG in your life. We’re talking a v strong suit and shoe game… made entirely with recycled soda and water bottles, and cotton/poly blends diverted from waste streams.

14. Reformation: Old faithful. Ref brings it with its quality design and eco fabrics, made partially from recycled vintage clothing.

Let the ruffles do the talking. @ellagantblog in the Coral Dress. #refbabe

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15. Nicora Shoes: Bad ass. Everything about this company. I mean, just look at those boots. 

Wynonna never fails.

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Never knew it could be so fun to be green?! Don’t forget to bookmark them. 😉

Happy happy Earth Day, friends. Til next time, xo

Modern Day Hippie

April 9, 2017

I was really excited to see yesterday’s NY Times story about a “hippie” lifestyle and veg gastronomy becoming more accepted and mainstream. With the challenges that come along with being a vegan living in a world dominated by non-vegans, it’s easy to forget how lucky I really am to experience this shift in consciousness and the plant-based boom in business as society begins to recognize the ramifications of our consumer choices.

So pass the kale and coconut bacon, keep marching to the beat of your own drum, and take refuge in the fact that modern day hippie hearts are growing all around you. To celebrate, Hippie Soulstice and I teamed up to give you all a sweet 15% discount using code BraveHeart15 for anything in their collection! How cool is that? Their “still deciding between Coachella or a yoga retreat” vibe is so sweet and fun, and the best part about them is that they’re Made in America or fairly sourced through production with local artisans in India and Thailand, as well as eco-friendly and vegan. YAS. I believe that’s what you call a woke brand.

I’m wearing their Bennett pant in the photos below that are really lovely and well made. Crop top is thrifted and most jewelry is from Silver Lake Farmer’s Market. <3

Photos by Rubidium Wu (Crimson Engine).

Happy shopping and thanks for reading! Til next time, xo

Meet You On The Mat

March 29, 2017

If you practice yoga, you’ve heard the word “Namaste” countless times in class. If not, you’ve probably still had a play on it pass by you on a slogan tee in Whole Foods. It gets tossed around a lot in today’s commercial yogi market, but what does it mean, really?

Namaste’s literal translation from Sanskrit is “bowing to you.” I see, I acknowledge, I honor you. A sentiment that — after an hour focusing on your breath, balance, and teacher’s guidance in class — voicing aloud to a room full of people who’s energy is palpable, can be overwhelming. In the best way.

So best that I recently submitted my packet to exit the Army Reserve so that I can pursue becoming a yoga teacher (well, it’s one reason – Trump provided countless others). Bittersweet because I’ve been wearing some version of the uniform since 2002 (counting my clueless high school cadet days), and the experiences and challenges its afforded me are one of a kind (I’ll never forget you or do you again, night land nav). But it’s time, and now I’ll be able to deepen my yoga practice through teacher training this spring.

I’m so excited because beyond the workout, the challenge of going upside down, the rhythmic flow, or good ol’ shavasana, I show up to class to channel a little bit more of that word– to see and honor you and me and the world we live in. This is the essence of the practice. And why we’re here floating on this magical blue dot through space at all, don’t you think?

Life’s full of human challenges, the little bumps on the road and mountains both. But what I love about yoga is that it puts stuff into perspective. It encourages the space to reflect and turn in, to observe without judgment what’s going through us and the actions we took as a result, to forgive and move past our fears, to let go of what’s no longer useful, to stay present in and grateful for this moment, to stretch the love and light that’s already within us, and to keep passing it on.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built.” – Rumi

It’s this work that convinces me we’re all capable of achieving sustainable happiness and a sliver of the divine in our humanness. We just have to be able to see what’s already there.

Wish me luck on this journey! I plan to keep you guys posted along the way and hope to be lucky enough to guide others (you?) on the mat someday soon.

x Namaste

Winter, Are You Coming?

December 27, 2016

Hi, friends. Last month, the weather was getting a little nippy. Now that we’re supposed to be in the thick of winter, there is not a breeze in sight. Don’t let the beautiful dead trees behind me fool you, I am perspiring in this coat in the suburbs of Atlanta at the tail end of December. Global warming… I see you. We could of course cut greenhouse gas emissions by 70% if the world went vegan tomorrow (and probably the other 30% if the Electoral College wasn’t a real thing in the 21st century), but I digress.

On the bright side, 2017 is around the corner (thank you, new year gods). I will admit: extremely disappointing election results and elevated bloodshed and conflict around the world aside… 2016 wasn’t a bad year on a personal level. I got to be a student again for a few months at the Defense Information School (Go Army), travel to breathtaking Croatia to see a dear friend marry the love of her life, open up parts of myself I didn’t know I had in acting class and perform in my first showcase, witness my sister chuck her day job and move to NYC to become a plant-based bad ass at NGI, and altogether enjoy more peacefulness and joy in my everyday life through the practice of gratitude and living in the moment.

There is always more to work on, and in my case, that often equals seeing through logistical, routine item to-do lists that are fun to make but easy to misplace 5 minutes later (thanks, ENFP brain). In the spirit of holding myself accountable, here are a handful of things I’m going to conquer in 2017:

– Launch my t-shirt business 😉 (Feb)
– Get yoga teacher certified (Apr – Jul)
– Keep acting and dancing cause it’s FUN
– Keep a book in the purse at all times
– Spend more time in nature

I think… that’s it, guys. I should be able to handle this. Of course, I’ll continue advocating for animals every chance I get, starting with my wardrobe. Currently wearing a little too often: this drapey tencel coat from Reformation (Christmas gift to myself), vegan leather/poly Kate Spade pack, and patented vegan leather booties from ASOS. Here’s to winter coming and staying long enough to frolick around in this coziness.

Happy new year, friends. I wish you all the deepest love and mindfulness in the new year. Til next time, xo

Wool Free + Wonder Full

November 17, 2016

Okay, last time I checked in, I was just a little grumpy because NYC was too cold for the contents of my suitcase. One month later, I have a couple chunky sweaters ready to go but alas, there is nothing resembling even a slight chill here in LA! Sigh. Not going to keep me from getting in the holiday spirit, guys. I will stay conscientious about the materials I’m cuddling up in though, and encourage you guys to do the same. There’s a lot of wool floating around this time of year, but its origins don’t exactly impart warm and fuzzy feelings. It’s not just rough for the animals–wool sucks for the environment. In the last couple centuries, manure generated from livestock has significantly increased atmospheric greenhouse gasses and the concentration of methane in the U.S. which is basically the result of livestock belching and passing gas. Sounds silly, but this accounts for roughly one-quarter of annual agricultural methane emissions and is a therefore a leading factor of climate change. Yikes.

So, alright then, what can we wear in wool’s place? No need to fret your beautiful faces– there are tons of pretty cruelty-free things out there waiting to be snatched up! This wide brim fedora from San Diego Hat Company is made of 100% poly and the oversized scarf from ASOS is a super soft acrylic. If you’re looking for more sustainable fibers, blends of viscose, modal, poly, organic cotton, and tencel are just as soft (and easier to take care of). As for hats, recycled plastic bottle technology is definitely a thing. Check Vaute and Brave GentleMan for lots of cool girl (and boy) options.

hat
P.S., these vegan knits and things are sooo calling your name right now: <3

Stella McCartney pull over: 

stella

Oak and Fort button down: 

oakfort1

Oak and Fort cardi:

oakfort2

Anthropologie fluffy knit: 

anthro1

Anthropologie wide knit:

anthro2

Free People sexy drapiness: 

free-people-1

Free People wide knit:

fp2

Vaute wide brim fedora:

vaute

Village Hat Shop faux suede wide brim: 

village-hat

ASOS two-tone scarf: 

asoa

ASOS Xmas scarf:

asos-2

Happy shopping, loves. The sheep and I thank you for your big, wonderful hearts. Til next time, xo