May 22, 2015

7 Stylish Ways to Celebrate Earth Day in San Francisco

With Earth Day coming up this Sunday, you may find yourself focused on the environmental impact of your fashion habit. Behind whatever’s hanging in our closets, there are fields of pesticide-laden cotton, river-draining amounts of water and tons of buckets of dyes and bleaches involved in producing so much of today’s apparel. So how can a stylish Bay Area-ite satisfy her fashion cravings? Here are seven ways:

  1. Shop vintage. Need an excuse to buy that one-of-a-kind piece you spotted last weekend? Done: buying vintage is good for the environment. (Reuse!) Head over to Fiat Lux in the Castro for a drool-worthy collection of never-been-worn deadstock designer sunglasses or hurry to Ver Unica in Hayes Valley for that perfect vintage party dress.The planet thanks you.
  2. Feed your shoe addiction with Melissa Shoes, plastic (yes – plastic) shoes imported from Brazil. The whimsical footwear is made from 100 percent recyclable materials. There are several stores in San Fran selling the line. Try Nida boutique in Hayes Valley or an Ambiance location.
  3. Drape yourself with eco-friendly hardware. Saving the planet and wearing a few sparklers aren’t mutually exclusive. Designers are using reclaimed materials to make inspired, original jewelry. I had trouble resisting Alkemie’s hedgehog ring at Dress in the Marina, while rhinestone lovers can find Claire Hummel’s fabulous creations at Belljar in the Mission.
  4. Buy some new underwear. But not just any underwear – a pair that will get you off your butt, onto a bike and into a greener mode of transportation! Locally-owned and manufactured Pedal Panties make riding your bike more comfortable, so your eco-friendly bum can “feel as good as you look.”
  5. Order eco-friendly. If Internet shopping is your game, here are a few more players for your roster. Amour Vert’s clothes won’t hurt the planet or your well-honed fashion reputation. If you’ve got money to burn, try Dosa for some of the prettiest hippie-chic clothes out there. They’re available via Polyvore. And watch out for an upcoming online store from my personal favorite, Dipped & Dyed.
  6. Indulge yourself in a local shopping spree. Make your way over to one of Berkeley designer Erica Tanov’s nearby boutiques for some charmingly luxe environmentally-friendly duds.
  7. Stop using Salvation Army as a dumpster. Did you know that up to 85% of what you drop off at Salvation Army will end up in overseas black markets or be turned into rags and insulation? Why not make some money off your old clothes at places like Crossroads Trading Co., Buffalo Exchange or a local consignment shop? Even better for the world: find a charitable program like Reuse and Cleanup Days in Contra Costa County that will find willing takers for anything you want to toss.

More San Francisco eco-friendly fashion

Snap Judgment: Martha Davis Sugi Sandal

Our very-visual, (almost) chatter-free snap judgment of the day: the pleasantly minimalist, but seriously more-than-meets-the-eye Sugi sandal, $320, by Martha Davis and available at The Workshop Residence. Rotate the reclaimed wood heel and lock into place to transform this shoe’s heel height from two inches to three inches.

More snap judgments

See it First: Retrofit Republic Fall ’11 Lookbook Launches

Look good, do good. That’s the motto fueling San Francisco’s Retrofit Republic, a private shopping destination for recycled and vintage apparel and accessories. Fans of Julia and Jenny’s styling prowess that we are, we’re looking forward to viewing the Fall ’11 Lookbook: Community Heroes Edition when it launches Saturday. You can be among the first to see it, too.

The fashionable duo’s latest lookbook launches Ssaturday night at The Summit and features a roster of well-known locals who’ve put their time into the San Francisco community via public service, environmental causes and non-profit organizations, among them San Francisco Supervisors Jane Kim and David Chiu, Cedric Brown of the Mitchell Kapor Foundation and the Brightline Defense Project’s Joshua Arce.

The launch also fetes Retrofit Republic’s first year in business and features a best-dressed competition, photobooth and giveaways from local merchants such as The Brooklyn Circus, Four Barrel Coffee, Umbrella Salon, Lower Haters and Merch.

Making it all the more attractive, the event is free to attend.

For more about Retrofit Republic, check out our conclusion that Julia and Jenny may just be the best personal styling deal in town.

SF Indie Fashion is a media sponsor for this event

Retail Rewards: Matt Costa Concert at Convert

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to visit the eco-conscious Berkeley boutique Convert, we’ve got one for you: during the entire month of July, purchase any RVCA item from the store, and you’ll receive two tickets to a private acoustic concert at month’s end featuring professional skateboarder-turned-singer-songwriter, Matt Costa.

Costa Mesa-based label RVCA intrigues as a brand that’s managed to move beyond the standard skate and surf mold by supporting up-and-coming artists and musicians with its Artist Network Program. The ANP sponsors artists such as photographer Mark Hunter (of, musician Jack Johnson and Matt Costa.

While RVCA is still grappling with ways to become a greener company, a major priority for Convert, the label is making sure to do some good in the world in the meantime. Each year, RVCA gives two percent of its sales from Convert’s store back to Convert annually, and the Berkeley boutique, in turn, donates the funds to a sustainable, eco-focused group. Last year’s funds went to the Surfrider Foundation, which helps preserve and protect beaches all over the world. This year’s designated charity will be announced later this year.

Singer-songwriter Matt Costa


RVCA Shockwave Black sweater available at Convert

Want to sing along with Costa? The concert will take place July 30th at Convert (1809B Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710). Doors open at 7 pm, the show starts at 7:45 pm. In addition to the music, there will be an open bar, small bites and the chance to win a RVCA outfit.

Photography courtesy of Convert and RVCA

Pop Art: Escama Studio 2011 Collection

The fabric-lined Luci tote, $250, features over 200 post-consumer recycled pop tops.

The 2011 line from Escama Studio

The Leda clutch, $150, is lined in silver satin.

With its recently-launched 2011 line of handbags and accessories, Escama Studio takes recycled pop-tops to a new level of sophistication with updated shapes such as the oversized Luci tote shown here and details that include chrome hardware and detachable wrist straps.

Founded in 2004 by Andy Krumholz and now based in San Francisco and Brazil with the help of Krumholz’s friend and business partner Socorro Leal, the company has grown from a small operation employing 12 artisans to one that works with over 100 women in two cooperatives that provide fair wages and a fair trade work environment. Each bag is hand-stitched using crochet techniques and recycled tabs by an artisan who signs her name to the piece when finished.

Moving beyond the simple, sustainable bags the company is best known for, the latest offerings range from the classically-shaped handheld Leda clutch to the slightly slouchy Masha messenger bag. Also new to the line are accessories, including a belt, necklace and brooch.

Want to learn more about the curious path of a pop top from Brazil to the arms of fashionable women around the world? Here’s a short video that traces pop tops from Brazil to their arrival at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

More eco-friendly San Francisco fashion….