Introducing our monthly inspiration letter with a selection of what’s new and relevant with insights and tips to inspire you to live a conscious and sustainable lifestyle.
As hard as it may be to let the summer go, September eases us into fall and back into routine. Maybe our care-free summer attitude shifts to something more serious as we refocus on work and what we want to see in our career. Or perhaps we jump back into health and wellness habits that got lost in beach lounging and aperol spritz (like yours truly). From style to beauty to coffee, whatever “change” means to you this fall, we hope we can help you embrace it and feel good about it.
Bring Conscious Style to the Office
Ethical fashion often brings to mind flowy, boho-chic pieces better suited for a leisurely holiday than for the boardroom. But slow fashion can keep up with a fast-paced work life, especially as options for designers and textiles grow. Raffia is not just for beach bags, white button-ups can be special and who better than the French do effortless chic? See what I mean below and get inspired to look sharp, comfortable and be conscious all at the same time.
Back on Track: Gyms and Classes that Go Beyond
September means back to work but also back to gym, at least for me. This time, I've decided to look for a higher level of eco-consciousness in my routine. I recently moved to Arlington, Virginia and discovered Spark Yoga. I was there for a sweat-inducing hot yoga class, and they didn’t offer bottled water! Frustration turned into respect when I learned the intent was to dissuade yogis from using single-use plastic (and their commitment to eco-responsibility goes even beyond with their energy efficient studios built with recycled and sustainable materials). Spark’s not alone in this. Boutique empire Xponential Fitness (home to classes like ClubPilates, AKT and RowHouse) is also replacing plastic bottles with FloWater Refill Stations throughout its 3,000 locations nationwide. Gym-goers now have a solution to single-use plastic waste and great-tasting, alkaline water. September resolution is to finally buy one of the S’well or BKR bottles I’ve been eyeing (and maybe one of these Vyayama pieces too).
Taking eco-friendliness a step or two further in their facilities are studios like Sacramento Eco Fitness and New York City’s AQUA STUDIO . Eco Fitness is the first “human-powered fitness facility” in California. What does it mean? Well, each time you show up to workout on the spin studio’s Eco-Power cycles, you’re generating energy -- watts to be specific -- that help power the facility. While AQUA’s in-pool cycling facility is powered a bit more traditionally, the studio maintains a level of consciousness in its use of repurposed building materials, natural shower products, and use of a saltwater pool (nixing the need for chlorination).
In the News: Much Better than a Pumpkin Spice Latte
Never mind that it's still 100 degrees outside, September opens the pumpkin spice latte’s season, at least at Starbucks! I'm usually unexcited about most of what the coffee chain does but it looks like it may be redeeming itself. The company recently announced its sustainability-focused partnership with Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy. Launching the NextGen Cup Consortium and Challenge with Starbucks (and McDonalds), the Partners are committing $10 million toward the development of fully-recyclable single-use hot and cold paper cups. The challenge starts this September, with a goal of diverting 600 billion cups globally from landfills. This news follows the coffee conglomerate’s commitment to eliminating plastic straws globally by the year 2020. Far more impressive than the PSL, Starbuck’s social responsibility efforts might have me opting back in...
If you prefer to support an independent family-owned business, head over to our friends Corinna and Theresa Williams at Celsious the next time you’re in Brooklyn. Besides being the coolest laundromat café we've ever seen, the entire concept has been built with sustainability and ecofriendliness at its core. Think zero waste, organic and local foods and drinks and eco-friendly laundry. It's one of our favorite hangouts in Williamsburg, where you can grab a farm-direct coffee or chill out with a ceremonial grade matcha.
Natural Self-Care Routines: “Meant” Simply
There’s never not a time for self-care, right? And when better than when life starts to demand more from us again? As the days get shorter and our calendars more full, I become more and more a fan of minimalist, multi-tasking products. Our friend Lindsay Knapp has made our dream of making life simpler -- at least in the bathroom -- with her line Meant hitting that trifecta of luxury, sustainability, and getting you out the door fast! Each product is naturally sourced and at least dual use - the toning body scrub doubles as an in-shower moisturizer, for example. For dry skin, we have yet to find a more nourishing and better smelling product than her Absolute Balm. Bonus: the recyclable packaging and the amazing look in your shower. And just like that, I’m over the summertime sadness. Hope you are too!
Words by Nora Gilligan. Nora has a background in global health, public administration, and the arts. Her career in social policy and love of travel led to her interest in sustainable design, which she previously covered for publications such as Papercut Magazine.