Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Kindness is in the bag!

I don't know about you, but awesome bags are a weakness of mine. I can't seem to stop at just one when there's so many cute patterns, different shapes and sizes and interesting design features! Check out these ethical beauties:

Echino Grassy Plain pleated clutch by Yellow Tree Farm - The fabric is by Japanese designer, Etsuko Furuya and each bag is a one-of-a-kind piece 

Alexa woven faux-leather shoulder bag by Stella McCartney - I love the naturalness of the woven effect and the interesting shape of the bag

Case in Point Bag from ModCloth - Made from vegan faux leather with plenty of room for all your bits and bobs ;o)

Topanga Bag by O'NeillPrinted canvas and vegan leather convertible bag features a strap that can be attached at the top for a tote, or at the center for a smaller bag

Polly Hobo by Cri de Coeur - Vegan + organic. Will go with almost any outfit and has a  splash of cheeky animal print on the lining

Zipper Clutch from Urban Expressions - Very chic and I like the size, certified vegan of course ;o)

Dita Feeling Blue by Squaremoon - This gorgeously different bag was made in South Africa. Lani Edwards, the creator of squaremoon, is an interior designer in Cape Town and her creations are heavily influenced by architecture. This bag just calls at me to keep looking at it!

Handsome Devil Wallet from RVCA - A vegan suede good-looker for the blokes 

Recycled Cement Laptop Bag available at Ethikl

Botanical Falabella Chain Bag by Stella McCartney - Faux leather hobo bag with a coin purse included

Blue Bird Satchel by Missy Mao Mao - The body of the bag is made from quality black marine vinyl which is UV stabilized and sanitized to inhibit the growth of bacteria

Upcycled inner tube and bike tyre strap clutch from Katcha Bilek

Fold Over Canvas & Faux Leather Bag by Stella McCartney - This classy bag has a detachable shoulder strap and a design detail that can transform into a handle

Birdcage Tote by Vinyl Living - Made from heavy duty canvas for an elegant shopping bag or to carry home your library books :o)

Beige 'Parenthesis' Bag by Interro - This unique bag is made from seatbelts but the design was inspired by seashells :o)

Large Weekender Bag from Super Earth Goods - You know when you're only going away for a couple of days and don't need to drag a suitcase around? Well this bag would be perfect for such occasions! Made from repurposed truck tire tube and used coffee sack with 100% organic canvas lining 

The Boston Bag by Vegan Queen - Using 100% recycled eco-polymer & polyester and 100% organic cotton lining with antique brass hardware
Red Lollipop Clutch by Vegan Queen - Love the luscious red! The Vegan Queen, otherwise known as Evelina Kulikovsky is a member of Polish royalty, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, is a talented artist and frankly an inspiration!

Vintage Brick Print Clutch from Minc Design - Oh my this is so elegantly retro! Designed and made in Melbourne by Miyuki Mardon

Ugandan Organic Hobo Bag made by Women Artisans of Uganda

Recycled Rara Butterfly Bag handmade by artisans in Haiti - Proceeds go towards earthquake assistance in Haiti

"Puff" Ring Pull Clutch from Californian-Brazilian design collaboration Escama Studio - This edgy chic bag was hand crocheted with over 200 post-consumer recycled soft drink ring pulls!

Green Styled Bags by Posey Tibbons (that's her in the photo!) - Green Styled Bags are made of 100% reclaimed, classic labeled produce bags. Each beautiful lining is from durable remnant fabric hand-picked to compliment the striking graphics

Beetle Bag by English Retreads - This large and funky bag is made from recycled inner tubes! It also has plenty of pockets for your knick-knacks. Learn more about this amazing eco-brand

Tuxedo Vegan Bag from Big Buddha - I like the playful vibes that come with Big Buddha bags ;o)

Recycled Vinyl Banner Women's Wallet by Demano - I love the bold patterns and colours!

Ikat Vegan Devo by Matt & Natt - Gorgeous...just gorgeous!

Fair Trade Hobo Slouch Bag by Nomad - This whimsical hippy-ish bag is made from printed cotton cambric

Bobble Kiss Nevada Tapestry Bag by Cloth Magpie Handbags - I love this unique looking vintage fabric!

Green Bamboo Cube Clutch by Raw Bags - I adore this colour!

Gabriella Ruffle Clutch by Mar Y Sol - This raffia and cotton bag practically scream flirty and fun! Perfect for cocktails with the girls. Mar Y Sol is a collaboration between artists in New York and artisans in Madagascar  

Amelie Mushroom Satchel by Shiraleah - 100% vegan and very stylish. Available at Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique 

Sea Otter Canvas Bag by Bungalow 360 - Ahhh it's so cute! :D

Mixed Mini Clutch by Ecoist - The recycled papers have been hand folded to create a very cool look indeed!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Ethical Designer Spotlight: Healing Hands

One of the joys of life is a really good massage at a lovely day spa, but what if you could choose a place that also gave back to the community? SCORE! :D


U-Sabai (meaning 'Your Well-Being'), a joint venture of Fiji Fish and the United Blind Project is an inspiring spa treatment facility based in Suva, the capital of the Fiji Islands. The spa opened its doors in late 2010 and is Fiji's first authentic traditional Thai massage centre with a twist...the therapists are visually impaired! According to owner Grahame Southwick "All the therapists there are either totally blind or partially. They specialize in Thai massage – which is something pretty unique to this part of the world". 

The visually impaired employees received 12 months of intensive training by spa manager Phusanisa Malaipoung of Thailand. The driving force behind this unique spa is the desire to give Fiji's blind community a meaningful and fulfilling career option. 

I visited U-Sabai for the first time a few days ago and was delighted by my experience. I was greeted so warmly by the staff that I was relaxing even before my treatment had begun! I'd opted for a foot massage which included a gorgeous footsoak, one hour foot massage in an uber-chilled out room while reclining in a comfy chair-bed, PLUS an extra head, neck and shoulder massage was included.....sigh....so good! After my treatment I was gently ushered into a room filled with treasures from Thailand including some amazing lighting fixtures and artworks. Here I was presented with a steaming hot cup of herbal tea and a hot towel for my face. Ummm....AWESOME! All of this came to the equivalent of around AUD$50.00 - what an absolute bargain!

So if you ever find yourself in Suva, I recommend you drop in to U-Sabai for some serious relaxation - Thai-style!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

A Horse is a Horse Of Course, Of Course...

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire
~Sharon Ralls Lemon

Was I one of those girls who loved horses when she was growing up? YES! I never owned my own horse (sob) but I was fortunate enough to go to equestrian school out in the bush and try my hand (and someone's hoof) at dressage, show-jumping and the awesome barrel racing. I love horses still, always and ever. I've galloped through the world of fashion, art and design to bring you some of my fav eco-horsey picks - 

Grey cotton jersey horse print tank by Stella McCartney

Show You Carousel Necklace from ModCloth

Red Horse Necklace by Haberdash House

Ride with me brooch from Cherish Vintage Treasures - This is a one-of-a-kind piece crafted from vintage buckles, buttons and charms. The massive cherry on top is that at least 30% of the sale will go towards an animal welfare agency!

Horse Kaleidoscope by WkShP 

Thirty-eight Impressions by Me and Amber - The horse is hand screen-printed onto acid free, chlorine free, certified carbon neutral paper from well managed forests 

Daria Dress with Horse Shoe by Swedish designers Slowmotion - 100% certified organic cotton

Once-A-Year Book with White Horse by Laikonik - A gorgeous way to chronicle your child's journey by placing one photo of them in a page each year. Also included is a 'Chatter Book' which is a small notebook for keeping a record of the child's first words and funny sayings. Made with eco-friendly materials

Handmade Rearing Horse Silver Pendant with Sterling Ring by Silver Wishes - Beautiful handmade 99.9% silver jewelery using an antique button!

Horse Print Tunic from ASOS

Hand Painted Necklace featuring a Red Swedish Dala Horse by Sarah-Lambert Cook

Horse Necklace from Gemma Lister

Horseplay Dress by Isy & Peeps

The Arabia horse-print swimsuit by We Are Handsome

Hold Your Horses Bracelet from designer Moss Mills

Argentium Horse Necklace by Arcatus Jewelry

Cowgirl Dreams Vintage Assemblage Pin from Stories Divinations - The artist uses a 1930s image to create a sweet horse-themed pin. Tell a story and receive a 20% discount!

Horses Tee from Alloy

A Side of Ranch Door Hanger from ModCloth - A fun way to hang various items up at home

Fusaichi Pegasus Vintage Upcycled Necklace from Bling Around RosiesAll materials are reused, recycled and redesigned

Wall Mount Up from ModCloth - For those whose homes are in need of a zany talking point or simply horse crazy

Cotton Twinkle Horse Tee from Yes Style

BIRD Running Horses Oversized Crop Tee exclusively at Urban Outfitters

Free Spirited Horse Locket by Amber Sky - Using a vintage 1960s locket and an original drawing to create something unique & sweet

Horse Wall Clock from Honeybeegoods - Made from sustainably harvested Australian blackwood timber veneer

Organic Cotton Horse Print Tee from Stella McCartney Kids

Horses T-Shirt by Label New York - Each t-shirt is handmade and therefore unique (which I love!). Made from 100% cotton

Organic Kid's Horse T-Shirt by Little Lark

Stylised Organic Horse Tee by American Apparel Juniors

Printed Vest Top by Lee Lapthorne

Tiny Horses Gumboots by Western Chief - I love my gumboots, they turn a rainy day into splish-splashing fun!

Wild Horses Tee from Go Jeans

1960s Little Horse Brooches from Custom Made - Add a bit of equine flair to a dress or jacket

You'll certainly stand out from the crowd with this eye-catching Gem Horse Sweatshirt (or jumper as we call them in Oz) by designer Markus Lupfer

All the pretty horses carousel necklace from Ruche - So sugary sweet! Love it :o)

French Thoroughbred Horse Purse Holder from 1928 Jewelry - I adore my purse holder! It comes in so handy when you really don't want to place your gorgeous bag on the floor

Wild Horses Maxi Dress by Milk From A Thistle - 100% Cotton

Madison Horse Tee by Lauren Moshi - Hand-drawn design

Polo Pony by Wild Fox - 100% cotton over-sized tee with a chic ye olde Parisian theme

Rain Dance Boxy Tee by Billabong

Paloma's Chinese Zodiac Horse Charm from Tiffany & Co. - This 18k gold horse with diamond eyes was crafted from original designs by Paloma Picasso, youngest daughter of Pablo Picasso and Françoise Gilot

Kaftan Top in Horse Mane by Emma Cook

Silver and Diamond Horse Charm from Debenhams - I really like this whimsical horse with its fairy tale looks!

Front-Pocket Horse Print Dress from BCBGeneration

Calourette Silver Horse Ring by French designer Marianne Rautureau - 'Calourette' is a French colloquial term meaning 'little bohemian' 

White Horse Necklace from Johnny Ramli

Carousel Cheval by Palmo Le Sage Fabrics

Organic Cotton Horsey Hat at Eco Living - Sooo cute and will keep bub's head toasty warm in winter!

Stunning Stampede Light Set from ModCloth

Kindness by Design now has a Facebook Fan Page - Come Visit! 
Also come tweet with me - http://twitter.com/#!/EcoDesignGirl