March 8, 2006
I arrived early at People Tree’s
Rachael, Steve and the rest of the PR and Marketing staff were on overdrive. In addition to Fairtrade Fortnight, it was announced just a few days prior that Top Shop, a trend-setting UK Department store would be selling some of People Tree’s signature styles until the end of this month (hopefully longer). Fashionable fair trade items have hit an all time high in the
Dreaming up Business
Spoke at length with Safia and Steve on the geography of consumer demand for products such as People Tree in the U.S. Discussed successful fair trade business models that have begun emerging in the last few years; talked about marketing to the U.S. consumer, the upcoming fashion shows…But here for a photo shoot, so need some beauty rest. I fall asleep in the backroom after a hot shower, hit REM pretty fast, whaddyaknow…dreamt about Africa, more specifically Mozambique, and the line of fair trade products [A.D. Schwarz] I will be helping launch next month. The dream was more riveting than that, but was woken up by Safia from my dream-like stupor.
The Road to
Or should I say “Track to
March 9, 2006
Ol’ Country: Horn’s House
Up at 8 AM. Wrapped in organic cotton pants and sweatshirt by Deity Aton, scuffling around in merino wool knee-highs…the chilliness seems to seep through to your bones if you let it get to you. Porridge and hot tea to ward off the fogginess from early morn wakeups…
The clothes, mainly all hand-woven, hand-embroidered and made of organic cotton from close to a dozen cooperatives. (People Tree works with up to 70 different cooperatives across 20 different countries).
First shot: Thick cowl neck natural white alpaca sweater made in Peru. Navy and aubergine A-line pleated skirt
Second shot: Aubergine V-neck cotton dress with white embroidery detailing
Third shot: Boat-neck red organic cotton long-sleeve with vertically-strip chocolate and red strip wide-leg pants
Fourth shot: Sky blue (well not the sky today) organic cotton boat-neck shirt with a super-soft black string scarf and black alpaca slouch cap.
Fifth shot: In the kitchen in an organic cotton full-length nightie sewing a scarf
Sixth shot: Getting down to my skivvies. Black organic cotton briefs and off-the-shoulder v-neck matching long sleeve
(Maybe I'll upload some images when they come in...)
Time to Wind Down
I don’t wear watches – they never seemed to suit me anyway. I easily lose track of time here. Despite the lack of a watch in NYC too, I always seem to know what time it is – you just can’t run away from it. Time just seems to follow you like a shadow there. But here in
The eight of us sit down for a hearty, home-cooked meal of salted ham, rice and lentils, orange squash soup, winter vegetable stew, and apple pie with fresh, unpasteurized cream. I sneak the cat a piece of ham. Weather remained gray and chilly. Had to run between the misty raindrops for one look…the weatherman calls for a similar day tomorrow…We’ll be off to
March 10, 2006
Austere walls loomed from the street. The castle was both grand and massive (and by far one of the chilliest places I have ever shot in). We shot, however, in some extraordinary pieces that warm your soul: a silk piece with silver and green metallic string embroidered knots and beads from
Safia and I have an interview with
MARCH 11, 2006
Hay is for Horses
Oh if only I had pictures of this! We treaded through 20 centimeters of muddy fields early today for some of my final shots. The neighbors brought out their 2 horses for a classically wonderful shot, having me hold two horses in the middle of the hay field. Peruvian, natural color alpaca was the theme for outdoors (did you know that non-white alapacas are being killed because people find no use for them in textiles because you can't dye their wool? YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! There is an endless amount of natural color already there ranging from oranges to grays to slates to deep navy blues to chocolate browns and blacks).
In the bone-chilling weather, my body was warm wherever there was alpaca: knitted sweater, shawls, hat, gloves…all from the alpaca’s native land:
MARCH 12, 2006
My Day Off
I spent most of the day catching up on some much needed sleep as well as working on business plans and on brand design considerations for the A.D. Schwarz line, which will be launched soon enough. Spent some time on the road again, this time to Safia's mothers house. It was great to meet her family - you can see where a number of values start. Straight from home.
MARCH 13, 2006
Back at the U.K. Office
Headed back to the office and took off with a friend to see the TOPSHOP stand featuring People Tree. Lo and behold my Japanese counterpart and I got stopped by a 14-year old girl and her friend who were "doing a report on fair trade for school" and asked us a 4-page questionnaire on our buying habits, fair trade pricing, and other things. Living proof, that people who are educated on these issues and give a shit are largely from our generation...The 80s and 90s babies!
Left: Safia Minney at Top Shop
MARCH 14, 2006
Back to New York
It's the long flight home. Perhaps when I pick up the Financial Times this time, I'll see another article about fair trade. No, not today? No worries, everything will soon shall come.
Summer Rayne supplies some off-the-cuff, sexually-charged style advice for the Eco Chick reader.
What do sex toys, hybrid cars, fashion, opinions galore, and organic food have in common? Ladies love ‘em. For too long environmental blogs have catered to men and moms. It was either diatribes about peak oil or recipes on how to make organic baby food. When all the rest of us want to know is: Where can I get a fair trade spanking paddle? Eco Chick can fill you in!
The blogteam at Eco-chick includes a model who has a degree in entomology, an alternative health freak who’s used herself as a guinea pig, a science nerd, a news junkie and a Barcelona-based expat; the site is run and hosted by an anarchist webmaster. Today’s chicks want to know what’s going on, and wants to laugh. Eco Chick agrees.