Monday, December 8, 2008

We Heart Eco-Friendly Holiday Partys

And that is why you should come to ours!

Please join Mountains of the Moon, Climate Cycle, and Butterfly Social Club for this special event to celebrate the holidays the eco-friendly way! Enjoy wallet-friendly drink specials put together just for this event, like $5 organic vodka drinks, $3 Stone Mill Organic pale ale, $3 PBR/Jameson shot combos, $4 cocktails and more! Snack on organic holiday cookies while you mingle with friends.

For $10, you'll get a special wristband that will entitle you to drink specials all night, a free handmade, recycled bookmark (makes a great stocking stuffer!) from Mountains of the Moon, and you'll be helping out a good cause (see below). You'll also have the chance to purchase Mountains of the Moon Gift Certificates (the perfect last minute gift, we must see), and enter our raffle for great prizes including Mountains of the Moon clothing, CDs and posters from our friends at Umphrey's McGee, and more! Bring your friends and join us for this amazing holiday party.

ABOUT MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON (just incase you didn't already know): Mountains of the Moon Eco.Fashion is a sustainable design and apparel organization aimed at creating high-quality, wearable art-style clothing that helps, not hurts, the earth. We see ourselves as collaborators with our customers in an effort to take a stand in making environmentally and socially responsible decisions through our wardrobes. Our goal for our company and our customers is to work together to express ourselves through fashion and art while making a profound collective difference in the state of our world. http://www.mountainsofthemoon.com/

ABOUT CLIMATE CYCLE: Climate Cycle is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to reduce global warming and empower our youth to become leaders in an emerging green economy. We work in close partnership with the Chicago Department of Environment to help foster proactive climate partnerships among local schools, government, green businesses and individuals. http://www.climatecycle.org/

ABOUT BUTTERFLY SOCIAL CLUB: The Butterfly is the first of a kind, eco-built, super food and tonic bar. Butterfly supports organic, chemical free, and wild crafted drink production in over 20 countries. Butterfly utilizes solar energy, kinetic energy from a bike in the front window, and high efficiency lighting and amplifiers. The interior is one of the world's largest earthen structures curved to the specifications of the Windmiller Sound. http://www.butterflysocialclub.com/

We hope to see you at the most fabulously swank holiday party there is. December 19th, Butterfly Social Club. That's at 722 West Grand in beautiful, warm (BAAhaha) Chicago.


xoxo
all of us.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

are you tired?


So what are you tired of? Global Warming? Animal Cruelty? AIDS? Cancer? We're sick off all of it, let me tell you. And that's why we love these fabulous bracelets created by our friends over at I'm Tired Of...


Sister and brother team Dan Hoffman and Carrie Pollare lost their father to heart disease at the age of 37 (when they were only 7 and 10), and then lost several other loved ones to preventable diseases. They decided it was time to take a stand and do something positive to express their losses, as well as the losses that affect all of us. They even took it a step further and decided to also make a difference in the many other important issues collectively affecting our world.


Their "I'm Tired Of" Bracelets, like our clothing, are not only fashionable, but also eco-friendly. Made from recycled tires pulled from landfills, they feature simple yet profound sayings like "I'm Tired of Autism" and "I'm Tired of Child Abuse." At a very reasonable $10, they are very affordable. The best part: $5 from each bracelet (that's half) goes to the causes featured on the bracelets.


We give kudos to like-minded companies like I'm Tired who are making a statement (and helping causes) through art and fashion. Check them out (they make fabulous eco-stocking stuffers).


xo,

melissa

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Organic Holiday Cookies make for Fun Eco-Tricks


I just love being a sneaky little environmentalist and surprising the non-eco-believers with delights such as these organic holiday cookies. My trick is to wait to tell them until AFTER they've tasted these cookies in all their deliciousness that they are - gasp - organic.

(*Be sure to wear your most eco-fabulous sustainable holiday outfit when serving these cookies. We suggest this organic cotton, made-in-the-USA dress, which is 20% off with coupon code HOLIDAYSAVINGS).


INGREDs:
2 cups of (sifted) organic flour
1 1/2 t. aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. organic cinnamon
1/4 t. organic allspice
1/2 cup organic butter or vegan button (we heart Earth Balance, yummy)
1 cup organic granulated sugar
1 organic, cage free egg (or vegan egg alternative)
1 t. organic vanilla extract


Mix one cup of the the flour, baking powder, salt, and delicious spices together in a bowl. In another bowl, cream the butta (aka butter), then mix in the suga (aka sugar), then eggy-weggy (A Clockwork Orange, anyone?), and vanilla. Add your dry mixture to the wet one, then slowly add enough of the remaining flour that the dough is stiff enough to roll. I like to chillllllllll the mixture for an hour or two after this for easier rolling. When it's nice and rollable, preheat oven to 375 degrees, and lightly flour a cutting board. Roll the dough to about 1/8" thickness, then use pretty little cookie cutters to cut out your favorite holiday shapes. Fun! Place your shapes on an ungreased cookie sheets. You can sprinkle them with sugar or decorate them however your little heart desires. Bake those babies for 8 to 9 minutes, cool 'em, or take 'em along with your sassy little eco-trickster self to the nearest holiday party. Spread that eco-cheer to all.


xoxo,

melissa, who thinks it's really funny that she posted a recipe for cookies, since it's basically the only thing she likes to make that involves a kitchen

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Holiday Ramblings of a New Eco-Mom

Ohh Holidays... It's my daughter Halen's first holiday season. She turned 3 months on Thanksgiving. She's getting so big and I keep realizing how big the world is around her, and how content she is in her little house with us. She is usually caught with me hanging out from room to room; in office with the big windows and tall trees outside, or in her room with her beautiful crib adorned with Tibetan Prayer flags around the top (she's already sleeping in her own room, omg!). And in the third room, where we relax in bed, drink our bottles (hers, organic formula & mine, dark red wine ;)) and watch the boob tube - which I think she would like much more if its appearances were more characteristic of its nickname.

We caught the new episode of Samantha Who? and watched as she broke up with her environmentalist boyfriend. Her reasoning was her overwhelming feeling of guilt for her lifestyle pref. Samantha talked about it getting to the point where she took 30 minutes to decide whether the rubber on her shoes from walking 1/2 a block walk was worth the act of recycling one can. I seriously do this every day, seemingly all day. Damn tiring I tell ya.

Anyway back to the Holidays... I didn't do much of anything eco for Thanksgiving, although not by choice. I didn't cook, so I didn't do any organic food for anyone. I drove way too far. I went to a house knowing they didn't recycle and watched them fill up a full size roll to the street trash bin(!) with water bottles, beer bottles, and wine bottles alone (heavy drinkers, yes). The reason this doesn't plague my conscious is because I try to balance it out in other ways. If I take a long shower, I'll make up for it in another way (reduced flushing, driving less, taking recycling from local businesses, whatever I can come up with). The man who owns this particular house, my father, has his own reasons for not recycling: black holes. Haha. The ultimate recyclers. Good point, eh? (just kidding - please recycle!)

That's all for now. Halen is ready for some more bouncing on mom and possible some baby Einstein. Hey, if anyone knows of some other baby Einstein-ish movies for babies/toddlers please write to me and let me know! Adios!

Corinne

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Annual Green Gift Guide

Bing Crosby may have been dreaming of a White Christmas, but here at Mountains of the Moon, we're dreaming of a Green Holiday Season from start to finish. Our annual Green Gift Guide features tips for an eco-friendly holiday season, as well as our top picks for (affordable!) gifts for your loved ones that are also gifts to the earth and its inhabitants.

You can check out the Green Gift Guide in full at the link above (with a simply eco-fabulous list of conscious gifts - with prices - for everyone on your list), but for now, here are some of our favorite tips on how to celebrate the holiday season, the sustainable way:

1. Wrap Creatively: Americans throw away a million extra tons of garbage each week between Thanksgiving and New Years, much of which is gift wrap. This year, be creative "wrap" your gift in a reusable tote bag, fabric that the receiver can reuse, or recycled newspaper.

2. Dim the Lights: A U.S. Department of Energy study determined that if everyone replaced their conventional holiday lights low-energy LED holiday light, at least two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved over the holiday season.

3. Lower Carbon Emissions: Rather than driving your car to do your holiday shopping, take public transportation, or if you must drive, car pool. Even better, avoid the cold and crowds and shop online. Look for companies who avoid excess packaging and use recycled shipping supplies.

4. Make Meals Mindful: Choose healthy, organic alternatives to traditional holiday foods, and you'll be helping out your body and the earth. Opt for soy-turkeys, free range turkeys, and organic veggies. Use regular dishes and silverware when hosting parties rather than wasteful disposables.

5. Shop with Care: Avoid those big box stores full of cheap gifts made via sweatshop-labor. Now more than ever, there are eco-friendly and fair trade products available everywhere you turn. Rather than stocking up on lots of disposable goods, buy your loved ones well made eco-friendly gifts that will last for many seasons, rather than ending up in landfills. Look for goods made locally/domestically and that use sustainable materials. Or give your friends and family donations to charities in their names. Not sure what to get? Purchase gift certificates to eco-friendly companies and have them e-mailed rather than shipped.



Check our the full Green Gift Guide right here, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

xoxo,
melissa



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Green Holiday Savings, Hooray!


The Mountains of the Moon crew has been busier than ever. We just arrived back in Chicago Tuesday morning after a fabulous time at Green Festival in San Francisco, and then spent Wednesday alongside thirty other Chicago designers and boutiques exhibiting at Glitter: A Holiday Shopping Event. We're all wishing we could sleep for a few days, but alas, there is a world out there that we need to conquer through eco-fashion and all that stuff. We have some great blog posts coming in the next few days, but for now, we're just going to make this a quickie and give you 10% off your next order to tide you over. Get your holiday shopping done early and give your sassy selves a nice 10% savings while you're at it. Just enter GREEN10 in the coupon code box at check-out at http://www.mountainsofthemoon.com/.


xoxo,

melissa

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chewy Not "Crunchy"

Okay, first I have to confess that I stole that title from our wonderful friends at Boutique Chartreuse in St. Louis, who blogged about my recycled candy wrapper dress and came up with that clever phrase. I simple couldn't come up with anything nearly as catchy on my own, so I just had to use it.

That said, on to the sweet stuff. And I mean that literally.

A few months ago, the Apparel Industries Board of Chicago contacted me about creating a dress from candy wrappers for an event called Sweet Chic. Sweet Chic was to be the the finale to Chicago's Fashion Week, and would entail 14 Chicago Fashion Designers teaming up with 14 Chicago Apparel Designers to create couture designs (made from candy wrappers and boxes). The designs would premier at the Museum of Contemporary Art on October 11th, then be auctioned off with all profits going to the Spina Bifida Association of Illinois. Pretty cool.

I was assigned Charleston Chew. Perhaps now it is all coming together as the title of this blog begins to make sense. You know, eco-fashion tends to be associated with being crunchy or granola and all that. Here at Mountains of the Moon, we set out way back when to break this stereotype. And since I was approached about designing my dress from Charleston Chew wrappers and to create a piece that was wearable yet couture, in the end, my dress was not crunchy at all. It was however, chewy. Not literally (I didn't use actual candy), but it was made up of hundreds of Charleston Chew wrappers (which I am still, weeks later, randomly finding not only in every corner of my studio, but also in places like my bathtub and attached to my dog's paws). My boyfriend and I even made up a Charleston Chew robot dance that was induced by the temporary insanity caused by working with these wrappers into the wee hours of the night (and morning) for several weeks. So this design was, truly, a chewy, not crunchy, eco-masterpiece (that sounds really arrogant to call it a masterpiece, but hey, it sounds good when you read it, so I'm leaving it).

I'll spare you the agonizing details of the composition of the design, but I will say that Charleston Chew wrappers do not like to be made into art. They don't sew without ripping. They resist several types of glue. They stick together in very inconvenient places. But through much experimentation, I was able to make it work in the end. I combined the wrappers with vintage silk into an Audrey Hepburn-inspired dress with a modern twist (the bubble/balloon skirt which was hand-tacked and stuffed with tulle).

It was really a wonderful experience for me (despite the ridiculous amount of time that went into it), because it gave me the opportunity to create an eco-friendly work of wearable art from recycled materials that would have otherwise ended up in some landfill. I am used to working with organic and sustainable fabrics everyday, but this was an entirely new adventure. It really did have quite an effect on me, and now I find myself looking at everyday objects that many would consider trash, and envisioning new ways to turn them into art.

The creations are currently on display at shops along the Magnificent Mile (that is the portion of Michigan Avenue where all of the fancy fashion boutiques and department stores are, for all you non-Chicagoans), and afterward will be listed online for auction. I will be sure to post that link once the website is active.

I now dream of ways to empty my trash bin on the floor of my studio and make recycled art from its contents. Gross or fabulous? Perhaps a little of both, but most definitely just one of the many ways we can all combine creativity with environmentalism, which is a wonderful thing in my book.

xoxo,
melissa

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Grunge or Gorge(ous)

I've never been one to blog, but I definitely can't ignore the blog boom. It's great; an optional perspective. A freedom to listen to someone as a friend without ever having to commit to actually listening or responding. Brilliant!

Now that I have that off my chest...

I've come to a new understanding of fashion. Once I was old enough to push and pull, nothing frilly or pink came close to me. My mothers saddest day. After having two boys all she wanted was her little girl dressed in pink frills. Little did she know, she had just birthed a third boy, her little tomboy. I stood by this lifestyle for most of my life (if not all so far). Even through college I was never one to think twice about what I was wearing (which ended up being the same pair of jeans, chuck taylors and bandanna for four years).

I ended up working for a store in college that sold Mountains of the Moon clothing (definitely the best garments the store had to offer). After college I started running the MotM booth at Bonnaroo. But it wasn't until a few months ago that I actually started caring what I looked like and wore (I honestly am still struggling between grunge and gorge(ous)). It's a tough decision for me, one that I struggle with daily. And when I argue with myself I always come to the same final thought - It's about reduce reuse recycle but don't forget to love yourself. I try to take everything I have and turn it into something I'll wear or give it up and donate it. If I buy something new, or see something I like, I try to research the eco-alternative. And in the end, after doing so much for the earth (including taking home and recycling the paper that the chop sticks from my favorite sushi restaurant come in) its important to show yourself some love and appreciation - after all.. we are part of this earth too!

Supporting happy, healthy, eco-everyones,
Corinne

It's a Beautiful day in my neighborhood...

Hello out there in Blog land!

I just wanted to take a moment to share a bit of information about a really cool part of our country that I'm now proud to call home. It goes hand in hand with the world of all things Eco, at least I feel it does.

http://www.prairiecrossing.com/

This little corner of my world is a bit unique in that it is a conservation community. We not only have beautiful, protected prairie to live amongst, but there are also several things about this place, that once again, I'm proud to call home and I can't help but share it with cyberspace!!!


Prairie Crossing hosts its organic farm where we can buy anything from eggs to chickens, to produce, to amazing flowers in the summer months. A percentage of the energy in Prairie Crossing is provided by a wind turbine. We have a Metra train line within walking distance of my house, which definitely helps in these dreadful economic times in which we are living. Since I've moved into this neighborhood I seem to only get in my car once every 3-4 days, and it's starting to feel very foreign to be behind the wheel of a car now. Any of you who are reading this and live in the suburbs can most likely understand how strange that must be because in my old 'hood I had to drive everywhere, multiple times per day.

I'm also very proud to say that both of my children are being educated at a most amazing Charter School that sets up shop within my community. Here's a little blurb taken from our school's website that pretty much sums up school in a nutshell:

"The cornerstone of the Prairie Crossing Charter School is excellence in education, grounded in experience of the local environment. The curriculum draws upon the students' hands-on experiences in the school's natural setting of prairies and wetlands and at the Prairie Crossing Farm."

We are so honored to be a part of this school, and to know that we are helping to raise two little being who have an awareness of our plant/environment that some kids will never have. Living here makes me feel like there is hope for our planet yet. :)

Life is Good.... Hopefully you will enjoy taking a look at this place I call home!

Kari

Saturday, October 18, 2008

In the Spirit of Sustainability


Hello! So, you're here because you want to green your life, you say? How's your hybrid driving, farmers market shopping, canvas toting, Kleen Kanteen- carrying, Brita-on-your-sink-faucet, wind harvesting, bike riding, eco-fit ass doing this lovely fall morning? Wonderful? Fabulous!

We hear so much these days about ways to go green. Odds are, you've already taken many/most/all of the steps above. We write about them in blogs, newspapers, television, festivals, conventions...we make Youtube and box office hits about the eco-movement and we seem- pending Nov. 4th- to be headed in the right direction as a country.

It's easier than ever to make eco-friendly lifestyle choices, from the clothes you wear, to what you choose to eat (and where you choose to buy it from), and now, (YAY!!) the spirits industry has stepped up to the plate with their contribution...that's right folks, ECO VODKA!

Maybe I'm getting a little to excited about this, but maybe not. Sustainable products- whatever they are- have countless benefits. It's about the quality of the product, but also about the quality of the ethos behind it. It's about the plain sight benefits- the superior taste, texture and image, but also take into account the hidden values like creating more American jobs- green jobs- especially for the struggling agriculture industries, creating the product organically, without pesticides, artificial hormones or fertilizers in the corn-base, and also packaging the final product in recycled paper, soy-based ink printed labels, bamboo casing, etc, etc.

Let's look at a few top notch organic vodkas on the market and why they're better than your average Smirnoff, Ketel or Goose...

Square One Organic Vodka
Check out the packaging on this one. They forgo the popular "frosting effect," to avoid a slew of nasty chemicals, they print their labels on sustainably harvested bamboo, cotton and bagasse, and (i LOVE this), once the bottle is finished, the label peels off and the glass bottle is reusable for a water jug, carafe, flower vase- whatever!

Prairie Organic Vodka
Apart from tasting awesome, this distillery converts corncobs and other biomass into bioGAS for powering the stills! They, literally, use their product to run their own distillery...how cool is that?

This next vodka, I have not personally tried, YET, but I can't wait to sample after being WOWED by their corporate ethos of sustainability. This is a company who (at least strongly appears) to really be doing it right:

Vodka 14
Their tagline is: "The Height of Purity"...I'll bite. Check this out: They draw their water from a 200 ft. deep aquifer in the mountains, purchase their grain from individual farmers (grown all in the U.S.A.), every step in the distillation is free from chemicals (even chemical cleaning products), and every element in their packaging is completely recyclable.

Finally, Rain Organic Vodka, probably the most widely seen in bars, at least in the Chicago area. Truth be told this is my favorite tasting of the organic vodkas mentioned here, but doesn't really compete in other areas of sustainability- mainly packaging. Their frosted, chemically- treated bottle isn't the most eco friendly one in town, but it's still light years away from the Gooses of the world.

So, in conclusion, it turns out the only "green" cocktail around isn't the appletini. Organic vodkas can raise your social consciousness...unless of course, you drink too many and become socially unconscious :)

Oh! How could I forget! Make sure to join the lovely ladies of MotM as we celebrate our fall line launch part with ORGANIC VODKA MARTINIS at Crust- Eat Real restaurant...the first all organic restaurant in the Midwest, this coming Tuesday, October 21st at 7:30pm. See Melissa's blog below for details!

Always drink responsibly.

xo,

Eco-Rachel

Monday, October 13, 2008

Smart. Sustainable. Delicious...?

First of all, a little off-topic note. We have no excuse for letting so much time pass between posts, dear readers. So what if I was slaving over my candy wrapper dress (we'll save that for a future entry), preparing for Fashion Focus (Chicago Fashion Week), and finishing up the spring '09 line? Who cares if Corinne was tending to her newborn child, or if Kari was moving her entire house and family into a new abode??? Or if Rachel was taking care of artists at Austin City Limits and planning MotM events galore, while Morgan was teaching her students about how to be thoughtful, caring citizens of America??? I mean, obvi the smart. sustainable. style. blog is much more significant that all of these things combined. So please forgive us. We promise to do better.

That said, on to the good stuff. There is deep meaning behind the title of this entry, my friends. Here at Mountain sof the Moon, we've decided to do something a little different this month. And it involves not only fashion and food, but sustainability as well. Sounds like a delightful, delicious dream.

Mountains of the Moon Eco.Fashion is teaming up with Crust, the first certified organic restaurant/bar in the Midwest to bring you our 2008 MotM Fall Collection Launch Party. We are quite excited about this soiree, because it proves that the many worlds of the sustainaibility movement can come together to create something bigger - and more fun - than we can create as individuals.

If you are in the Chicago area on October 21st, say around 7:30 PM, come check out our latest fall designs, meet fellow eco-warriors, and try delicious organic foods and drinks for very eco-special prices. (Did we mentioned you'll also get 10% off all items from our fall collection?).

Visit the Crust website or Mountains of the Moon's website for more info. And if you can make it, bring your pals. Organic food and eco-friendly clothing together in one place is definitely a cause for celebration.

xo,
melissa, who admits that she is the most excited for the organic vodka.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My City is Greener than Your City

My city is greener than your city, na na na-na na! It's no secret here at the Mountains of the Moon office that I'm incredibly immature, but all taunting aside, Sustain Lane came out with their annual list of the greenest cities in the U.S. today, and our home-sweet-home Chicago was not only ranked number 4, but also the number 1 greenest city not on the west coast! You go Chi-town!

To establish the rankings, Sustain Lane researched the 50 largest U.S. Cities and evaluated them on 16 categories of sustainability. See where your city ranks right here.

But before you do that, just so we can brag for a moment, check out these eco-wonderful Chicago facts, courtesy of the folks at Sustainable Lane:

When environmental officials send you a several-pages-long "Bird Agenda" for their city, you know they've got all their little eco-ducks in a row. Long-serving Mayor Richard Daley is committed to making Chicago a healthy and attractive place for all creatures great and small, and for residents and visitors alike. The mayor has had greening on his mind since he first entered office in 1989, implementing progressive and sometimes controversial measures. He's planted about a half-million trees, removed traffic lanes in favor of green medians and bulldozed a downtown airport, putting in its place a 100-acre park. Under the mayor's leadership, Chicago has become known as the "Green Roofs City," with carbon-sequestering vegetation covering more than 4.5 million square feet of rooftop. In September of 2008, Mayor Daley took his commitment to combating global warming a step further: he released an aggressive carbon emissions-cutting plan that includes changing city building codes, installing huge solar panels on municipal properties, and retrofitting low-cost housing complexes to reduce water and energy use.

Not bad, if we do say so ourselves.

Also of note is Chicago's official fashion week, Fashion Focus, which this year includes the Museum of Sustainable Style (MoSS), which features clothing, accessories and furniture that "inspire and respond to current form and function necessities, without compromising our environmental abilities to meet future needs." MoSS runs October 2nd through 5th at Brickermade Studio in Fulton Market. Mountains of the Moon's Sophie Pants and Brooke Top are among that designs that were chosen by a juried panel to be on display.

Now if we can just figure out this traffic congestion thing...

xoxo,
melissa

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vote Mountains of the Moon for Green Business of the Year!

Well kids, you did it! Good ole' Mountains of the Moon Eco.Fashion received enough nominations to get us a spot among ten green businesses in the running for Co-op America's Green Business of the Year! This is actually the third year in the row that we've made it to the final ten, and let me tell you, we've been pretty giddy at the office today. We'd be even giddier (is that a word?) if we won, so pretty, pretty please (with organic raw sugar top), take just a second and vote for us right here. We're lucky #7: Mountains of the Moon.

Co-op America states that this award is "a celebration of the leaders of the green economy, and a challenge to corporate America to follow their path. Green Businesses are companies that work to help – not hurt – people, communities, and the planet."

We like to think that we are all of these things (and are proud to dedicate ourselves to these business practices every single day), while also making sure you look absolutely fashionable and gorrrrrrrgeous. In fact, we've been committed to running an earth/human/animal-friendly business since back when I was creating recycled clothing from a rundown sewing machine propped up on a cardboard box in my dorm room at college. The green movement is huge right now, and we are thrilled that the state of the environment is (FINALLY) gaining such widespread attention. But we're also proud that this is a cause that has motivated our designs and business model since day one - well before it became "the thing to do."

If you have any questions about our company, feel free to e-mail us at customerservice@mountainsofthemoon.com. And don't forget to vote for us. Here's the link again, just in case you don't feel like scroll up: Vote for Mountains of the Moon!

With Love & Gratitude,
melissa

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Win a $100 Gift Certificate to Mountains of the Moon!


Did we get your attention? Good. 'Cuz (yes, with a 'z') we weren't kidding. Here's the haps: To celebrate the launch of our fall line (we have already started adding new fall styles and colors to the website, with more to come; See previous blog post), every $40 you spend at Mountains of the Moon between now and September 17th will automatically get you one entry in our raffle to win a $100 Gift Certificate to use on our website any time you want. If you spend $40, you get one entry. Spend $80, you get two entries. $120, three entires. And so on! The winner will be contacted on or around September 18th, and will be announced in our next newsletter. So head over to our eco-fabulous website right now! This very minute! (We just LOVE being bossy).

You can also view our hot-off-the-presses September Newsletter right here.

Kisses,
m.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fall into Autumn... The Eco-Conscious Way


Early September is a very busy time at Mountains of the Moon. Not only are we rushing to finish up our spring collection designs so we can get line sheets sent to stores for spring pre-ordering (yes, it's already next spring in the fashion world!), we're up to our knees in tagging, organizing, folding and boxing up all of the fall orders that our stores placed back in May. (Side note: unlike most traditional clothing lines, we refuse to bag each garment and use brand new boxes when shipping. Waste = bad. We reuse boxes and although we fold very nicely, we skip those wasteful plastic bags). And of course, we're working hard to get these new fall designs on the website for all of you.

We've already starting adding a new color here, a new style there on the Mountains of the Moon website, but our goal is to have all of it up for your viewing/shopping pleasure in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, the sneak peak photo above shows the Sophie Pants in black (55% hemp, 45% tencel, bamboo button, low-impact dyed) with the Brooke Top in shitake (55% hemp, 45% organic cotton, low-impact dyed). I haven't taken my Sophie Pants off in days, by the way. And I'm proud of it.


Your resident sales rep/high school teacher,
Morgan

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sexy = A Man in Climate Neutral Fashion


Let's admit it ladies... As much as we fashionistas can appreciate a boy with a sense of high fashion style, there's nothing quite as sexy as a man in a good ole' t-shirt. My boyfriend works for a band, so over the years, he has accumulated an awful lot of t-shirts that have been given to him on the road. Thankfully, some of them are even (oh so soft) 100% organic cotton. But as attractive as a well-fitting, stylish organic cotton tee is in my eyes, it's when he walks in the room sporting his climate neutral t-shirt that my heart really starts pounding.


Perhaps that made some of you laugh out loud (or gag). "Climate neutral" isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind for most of us when we think of turn-ons. But trust me, knowing that he not only looks good, but also that his t-shirt was produced without creating a carbon footprint, makes him absolutely irresistible.


In addition to our trademark sustainable fashion line, the ladies at Mountains of the Moon also have what we like to call our "eco-side project," which consists of a few unique t-shirts that we buy from other righteous companies and then print with our original artwork. I can't even begin to express the joy I felt a few months back when I found a company who creates a blank tee that is not only organic and fair trade, but that is also manufactured solely using renewable green energy from wind and solar power. We bought those babies up, printed them with our best-selling "Eco Warrior" design, and trust me, I made sure my boyfriend threw one on, immediately. Hot. Very hot. I think I even salivated.


So all you dudes out there, the next time you want to impress a lady with some old suit, try a stylish, eco-friendly t-shirt instead, and see what happens... Take it a step further with one that is not only organic, but climate neutral. Even if you don't get any lovin' from the girl, you can strut your stuff knowing that Mother Earth thinks you are incredibly eco-sexy.


xoxo,
Your favorite man-in-a-climate-neutral-tee-lover,
melissa

P.S. Want your very own organic, climate neutral, and deliciously eco-sexy "Eco-Warrior" tee? Here you go.

Friday, August 15, 2008

'Tis the season


Growing up in the Garden State, I gained a great appreciation for this time of year- gardens and groves are at their peak, and local produce abounds in heaps of corn, apples, peaches, cucumbers... they've been basking in the sun all summer, and now, finally are ready for consumption.

The best tasting of any of the above items I've sampled, were from local farmer's markets, road-side fruit and veggie stands, and wooden tables set up in driveways, offering the freshest from a cared-for garden or private family farm.

Yes, I was blessed with the garden goodness that is New Jersey. But wherever you live, there's likely an opportunity for you to support local farmers and their goods. By buying local, you support your local economy and cut back on the harmful effects of transportation. Hell, go all out: bike to a local farmer's market, load up veggies, herbs, fruits, honey, etc! in a canvas bag from the folks who grew 'em, and have yourself an eco-picnic in the late summer sun.

In celebration of my favorite time of year, here's a few of my personally favorite ways to enjoy late summer produce:

ENJOY!!

Peaches and cream
Toast a piece of pound cake or angel food cake in a toaster oven and place in a dessert bowl. Slice up a large juicy peach and add to bowl with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Add the zest of a lemon over top and eat slowly with eyes closed.

Cucumber salad
Easier than pie: Peel and slice up fresh cucumbers and mix with desired amount of mayonnaise, chopped fresh mint, sea salt, and cracked black pepper. Refrigerate for about an hour, and enjoy the cool savory treat.

Tomatoes
If they’re ripe, juicy and in season, just sprinkle a bit of salt on a wedge and eat alone! Or, create a tri-color salad by slicing and layering with mozzarella and avocado slices. Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper and chopped basil. Just before eating, add a dash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Corn on the cob with butter
Pretty self explanatory, huh? Grill up some corn, and serve with creamy, high quality (full fat! No substitutes!) churned butter. (Preferably bought at a farmer’s market) It’s the real thing :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ecopalooza

Ahhhhh, Lolla. Lollapalooza is not only my favorite summer festival here in Chicago, it is also working its way up to being my favorite summer festival, well, pretty much anywhere. My body is a little tired, my brain feels a little fried, my back is a little sunburned, and as adorable as I thought my favorite metallic flats looked with my bright yellow vintage dress on Saturday, my feet feel like they could, at any time, completely fall off my legs. Thanks for the blisters, favorite flats. Despite the fact that my body doesn't seem to bounce back from the Lolla-experience like it did when I attended the traveling version of the festival way back in my high school days, the glow of the event is still surrounding me, with the phenomenal performances (um, wow, MGMT, I didn't think I could possibly have even more of a music-crush on you until this weekend), impromptu dance parties with my best friends, and sustainability galore still dancing in my head. Did I really just list sustainability as one of the best parts of an urban music festival? Why yes, I did. Read on for more.

We all know that everyone and their granny has jumped on the eco-bandwagon these days, and as exciting as it is to find those companies/organizations/brands/events (like music festivals) out there who truly care about making a change in the state of the earth, let's face it - for as many who truly give a crap, there are three times as many who call themselves "green" for no real reason other than marketing schemes to increase sales. I have always been a live music lover (I even spent months at a time on Grateful Dead tour in my late teens - true story). Combine that with Mountains of the Moon's experience exhibiting at music festivals for many years, and mix in the fact that my boyfriend is the stage manager for a touring band, and I am fortunate (and sometimes not-so-fortunate) enough to see the in's and out's, backstages and frontstages, paperwork and production plans of almost every major music festival that goes on in the U.S. Because of that, I have been witness to quite a few nameless festivals who advertise themselves as "green" and fall very, very short. Lollapalooza, my friends, was the real deal.

Take the biodiesel that the festival used to run the generators, the fact that styrofoam was banned (compostable and recycled plates only), the volunteer tees that were 100% organic and the merch tent that used only biodegradable bags, the fact that every ounce of paper used was recycled (including toilet paper in the in the porta-potties) and that there was a ban of any kind of paper fliers/handouts, and combine it with the Be Green Fan Tag, which you could purchase for a measly $5 to offset the festival carbon emissions, and I was pretty eco-impressed.

I am a major skeptic when it comes to anyone - whether an individual, a business, or a major event like this - who blatantly advertises themselves as being eco-friendly. But I did my research, in person, at Lollapalooza this year, and walked away with more than memories of friends and musical bliss, blistered heels and a major need for a full night sleep. I also, dear readers, walked away feeling satisfied, rather than disappointed, with the festival's efforts to truly walk the eco-walk and not just talk the (I can make lots of money by claiming to be sustainable) talk. Recycled paper ain't enough, big music festivals, to throw around around words like "sustainable" and "eco-friendly," mmmkay?

Hopefully some of the other major music events out there will take serious notice of the success of Lolla's green efforts, and perhaps in the future, concerts and festivals will no longer have to advertise themselves as eco-friendly at all - it will just be a given.

Hurry up, Lolla '09!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Project Green Runway

I'm not much of a television person, but I have a weakness for Project Runway (fashion designer who likes Project Runway - predictable, I know). I was especially excited for last night’s episode, which not only featured the oh-so-very-adorable eco-lovin' Natalie Portman, but also focused on a challenge based on eco-friendly fabrics.

The twist was that the models, not the designers, chose the fabrics, which in my mind, was sort of a metaphor to the real-life experience of eco-designers like myself. Eco-friendly fabrics, although more available today than in the past, are difficult to come by. Color choices are limited, prints are virtually non-existent, and with every designer and their eco-grandmother jumping on the green bandwagon these days, the relatively hard-to-get fabrics are snatched up so quickly that sometimes we must work with whatever we can get, even if it’s not our first choice.


I have to admit that I was rather disappointed by the designs. If we, as real-life eco-fashion designers, are able to come up with stylish designs even with limited fabric choices, why was it so difficult for the P.R. designers, many of whom hold degrees in design and have experience at large, well-known clothing lines, to create garments that looked even semi-wearable? I did dig Suede's winning design, which featured organic silk (see pic above). Despite the fact that the bodice strips didn’t allow for much movement and looked a little bulky at times, the silhouette was very eco-cool.

Carry on!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The "Smart. Sustainable. Style." Fall Trend Eco-Fashion List


Ahhhhh, fall. The vibrant leaves, the cool breezes, and best of all, the fashion. What’s that you say? Fall is the furthest thing from your pretty little mind? It's 90 degrees outside and the only way to be comfortable without blasting the AC is to sit around in your underwear sucking on ice cubes? (Just a little FYI: 1/6th of the electricity generated in the U.S. is from air conditioning). Well, hot and sticky weather or not, the fall fashion season is peeking its lovely eyes around the corner. Before you know it, your favorite teeny weeny organic bikini will be shoved in the back of your dresser drawer only to be replaced by sweaters and jackets and thick socks and tear-producing winter winds coupled with bleak gray skies and mounds of dirt-encrusted snow and... Sorry. The vision of last winter here in Chicago caused our entire office to experience a collective panic attack. Breath in, breath out. In, out. Okay. We're back. Fall fashion. Yes.

Here at Mountains of the Moon, we're all a little obsessed with fashion (duh), and there is something especially exciting about fall clothing. For me, there is little out there that invokes creativity and artistic urges like playing with layers and mixing up different textures and cuts, and fall clothing allows for that sort of imaginative experimentation so much more than spring. I also get all giddy about trying out the fresh trends that come with a new season, and this season is no exception. But with the very concept of the word “trend” implying something that is in style for only a short period of time (read: disposable), how does an eco-fashionista justify indulging in the latest styles without committing eco-sins?

Behold the “Smart. Sustainable. Style” Fall Trend Eco-Fashion List. This list will inspire fashion-lovers everywhere this fall, as it is taped to full-length mirrors and closet doors around world, acting as a beacon of ideas and reflections on how to experience the pure bliss of fall fashion trends whilst (yes, whilst) being conscious of our precious mother earth. A bold assumption, I know. But trust me, it’s the first thing to which I’ll be referring when I start drooling over the September issue of Vogue in all its $2000 per pair of couture fall tights glory.


1. Fall Trend: The 1920’s. From Diane von Furstenberg to Betsey Johnson, the biggest designers showed 20s-inspired flapper shifts, feathered skirts and vampy pieces fit for the smokiest of the roaring era’s jazz clubs on the fall runways.

Eco-Solution: Thrift stores and vintage shops = the ultimate in recycling. Retro trends are always great because they are, obvi, inspired by trends of the past, which means fun with vintage. It might be slightly more difficult to find a fringed flapper number at your local Good Will than at a fancy vintage boutique, but it’s easier than you think to find a great piece for next-to-nothing that incorporates the trend in one way or another. If all else fails, try a loose-fitting, strapless dress without a defined waist (either one in your closet or from a thrift store), and add a little fringe around the hem or some beading to the neckline. Think a dash of 20’s spice with a modern twist (vs. a trashy Halloween costume made in an overseas sweatshop).

Side note: For all you grunge lovers, plaid is another “retro” trend making a huge comeback this fall. I’ll bet you your original copy of “Nevermind” - on cassette - that you can find plaid plaid plaid galore at just about any Good Will or thrift store. Try a skinny belt around your waist on top of a plaid button-up shirt for a more current look.


2. Fall Trend: Non-traditional Colors. Unlike the earth-tones and dark shades we usually see for fall, this season mixes things up with jewel tones and both lighter and brighter colors often only reserved for spring. Mountains of the Moon’s Fall Collection features colors like ochre, rust and cream that are usually considered spring tones, and couples them with deeper shades like dark plum, shitake, twilight blue, and of course, fall’s staple color, classic black.

Eco-Solution:
Mixing spring/summer wardrobe pieces with new fall looks. With bolder colors being the big thing this fall, try layering some of your summer pieces with warmer fall designs for a very on-trend ensemble. This not only allows for creative fashion fun, it also prevents one from being environmentally wasteful. Who needs to spend their entire September paycheck on a brand new fall wardrobe when you can choose a few key pieces for fall and make them even more fabulous by mixing them with pieces you already own from summer? Remember kids, mama earth likes it when you reuse.


3. Fall Trend: Baggy Pants. Slouchy, wide-leg, high-waist pants absolutely dominated the fall runways. The wider silhouette of this season’s pants make the waist look smaller (we likey) and are also more comfortable than their skinnier cousins. The more avant-garde designs with MC Hammer-like dropped crotches and tapered bottoms aren’t for me, but the more subdued versions with flattering wide legs and slight pleats (think flowing and sophisticated, not “mom jeans”) look incredible with a fitted top and over-sized sweater.

Eco-Solution: Go for the “less is more” look. With any extreme fashion trend, the more outrageous the design, the more likely the fad to burn out quickly. Choose a piece that embodies the trend in a subtle way, so that you can wear it for many seasons, rather than going for the excessive and only wearing the piece a few times. Re-wearable= good. Disposable = bad.

We at Mountains of the Moon never like to be ones to toot our own eco-horns, but we have a major crush on our new Sophie Pants for fall. With a semi-wide leg and a slightly higher waist than our other pants, this design features everything we like about the baggy pant trend and leaves out the stuff we don’t (sorry, but we don’t do harem pants). We went for subtlety but still threw in a lil' of the fashion-forwardness so that we can be sure to wear these eco-trousers for years to come.

Bonus: sustainable hemp/tencel fabric, eco-friendly bamboo button, made sweatshop-free in the USA. Coming this September to an eco-boutique near you. (Don't let this simple sketch from our line sheets fool ya. These babies are to die for).


4. Fall Trend: Eco-Friendly Designs. Eco-fashion has been making its way onto the runways for the past several seasons, but fall ’08 marks its biggest presence ever, with Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Versace, Givenchy, Narciso Rodriguez and many other top designers incorporating sustainability into their collections.

Eco-Solution: Read the labels. Wait a second. Eco-friendly style needs an eco-solution? When did things become so complicated? Unfortunately, just like in the movies, even your favorite superhero (let’s call her “Eco-Fashion”) must fight to overcome the obstacles of the evil villain (let’s call her “Green Washing.”). The popularity of being green, despite its wonderful intentions, has created new challenges, as some companies (including some clothing lines and designers) play on the eco-trend in order to market themselves to the eco-conscious consumer. As excited as I get when I hear of a designer or label coming out with a new eco-collection or (finally!) incorporating sustainable fabrics into their designs, part of me has to wonder: Why didn’t they ever consider the environment in their fashions before it became the “in” thing to do?

Fortunately, there is a surefire way to ensure that the sexy new eco-fabulous dress you’ve been eyeing for fall is indeed truly sustainable: read the labels. Under fabric content, look for earth-friendly fabrics like “organic cotton,” “hemp,” “tencel, etc.” Then check that label again to see where the garment was made. I’m big on clothing lines that are made here in the USA, rather than those that are made overseas (transporting clothing lines – or any products - internationally creates a HUGE carbon footprint). If the garment isn’t made in the USA (or made locally, in your country), make sure that it is fair trade and sweatshop-free (truly eco-friendly fashion is human and animal friendly too). And after you read those labels, ask questions. The designer or boutique owner should easily (and happily) be able to answer you when you ask with a merry twinkle in your eye: “were these gorrrrrrgeous eco-friendly autumn pants that I am so incredibly close to buying dyed with low-impact dyes?”

It's as simple as the cool autumn breeze. Just keep these ideas in mind when you do your own personal eco-zation of the hottest fashion trends this fall, and not only will you look fabulous dahhhling, you can also brag all autumn long about how “smart, sustainable and stylish” you truly are – and be able to back to up. Got ideas of your own on how to make fall fashion trends more sustainable? We’d love to hear about them.

See you soon, Mr. Autumn. For now, I'm going to relish in the hot, sticky air and lemony sunshine before it’s just a sweet, sweet memory.
xo,
melissa

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cycling in the City (Or Revisiting American Values)

Cycling in the city has such universal roots. I say this as a veteran—as I’ve proudly spent the past two and a half weeks joining the ranks of Chicago’s finest eco-conscious commuters...the “city cyclers.” Unlike their brethren of the country and (more commonly) suburbia, this clan of dare-devils spends their commuting and/or leisure hours, dodging pedestrians and playing chicken with traffic. And, why? I’m finding the answer lies in our most American values.

Did anyone else just gag? Unfortunate isn’t it, that the phrase “American values” triggers nausea rather than pride (or at the very least, nostalgia.) While our values system has been compromised pretty much from its inception- I think we can all agree that it’s time to revisit what defines us as “American” and how some of these definitions are changing in regards to how we see our role in bettering our country and by extension our planet.

The rhetoric of freedom and independence that lost its luster from overuse and abuse (and by extension induces nausea) can truly be regained in the act of city cycling. It’s independence from the gas pump and freedom to travel on human energy and simple machines. It’s the ultimate self-empowerment, personal control—the positive side of rugged individualism. It’s about fitness—physical AND mental fitness. Conquering the lack of self-control lacking in the OLD Americans.

There is a new breed of Americans, and they’re bike riding, canvas-bag toting, local produce shopping, eco-conscious consumers. And not just as a novelty- people actually are finding it’s actually enjoyable, convenient, cheap and consistent to live this way. I think we’re getting smarter as a country. Not to get too political, but let’s just say we’re learning from our mistakes of the last 8 years. We are taking back ownership of words like freedom and independence and not being so na├»ve as to allow others to control us.

To me, that’s the crux of bike riding. It’s taking back control- creating your own schedule, paths and routes at your own pace. I felt the words of Jack Kerouac the other night, as I rode my bike through alleys in my neighborhood of Lakeview, “The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great, that I thought I was in a dream.” (from On the Road) Maybe the stars aren’t so fine in the city, but the sunsets are, and the skyline takes on a starry quality of it’s own (as much as can be appreciated from light pollution).

And, perhaps this wave of yearning to recently envelop Americans, is now rushing toward the open road, where we, on our bikes, can take back the streets and create new paths. It’s getting back to the idea that we are creators, and not destroyers. And how powerful, cool and empowering a concept to live by, in repairing the ethos of our country, and commitment to our world.

Now, armed with my bike lock and wire basket, there is literally no Chicago-turf unconquerable on my cherry red, vintage 70s AMF ladies cruiser. Until it hits below 45 degrees...

Note: My new commitment in cycling is dedicated to my high-school friend, Eric Ng. In December of 2006, Eric was killed by a drunk driver while riding his bike in New York City, on the Hudson River Greenway. He was an active cyclist, teacher and eco-warrior. Google him to find out more about how awesome this guy is ☺ May his dedication to our planet inspire us all to live greener lives.

(Bicycle pic above taken by Melissa in Amsterdam, eco-conscious cycling city of the universe, March '08)

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Heart BYOB



I'm not talking about booze, you drunks. Not that I don't worship the plethora (yes, plethora) of Bring Your Own Booze restaurants that Chicago has to offer, because trust me, there is nothing like all-you-can-eat avocado rolls washed down with a bottle of wine brought in by my very own self (and hence not marked up three times its value). But today, we are talking about baggage, and, alas, not beer/wine/tequila.

That's right, the BYOB to which I am referring is the concept known as "Bring Your Own Bag." It's not a new idea or anything (we brought our own bags to the grocery store when we were just wee ones, and trust me, our family got plenty of weird looks from the other shoppers), but it has definitely only recently become a mainstream way of thinking. But what's the big deal about just using the free bags that stores give away? I mean, it takes less thought and effort, and none of us have much free time these days (and/or the capacity to add one more reminder to our mental to do lists)...............

Well, here are a few simple things to ponder, and I will be brief as to not get too soap-boxy:

1. It takes about 1,000 (umm, yes, that says ONE THOUSAND) years (or more) for a disposable plastic bag to break down in a landfill. Yummy.

2. Well thank goodness there's the "paper or plastic" option! I'll choose paper! Or maybe not - paper bags destroy forests, and take 40% more energy and generate 70% more air pollution than the manufacturing of plastic bags.

3. Many grocery stores these days will offer you money OFF your total purchase if you BYOB.

4. You will look incredibly hip and stylish walking out of the store with your reusable bag over your shoulder (and no one will know that it's filled with bottles of wine).

It's easier than ever to find reusable bags too. Many grocery stores have them for sale right there at the registers. Or make a trip to Good Will and find a fabulous vintage bag to use for your groceries (style + recycling = TLA - that's "true love forever" for those of you not still in middle school).

Beware though of all the canvas bags out there... Lots of companies are hopping on the trendy eco-bandwagon these days without truly being eco-friendly (stay tuned for a future blog on what is known in the eco-world as "green-washing"), and are selling reusable bags made from pesticide-laden canvas cottons. If you're not using an old bag or getting your bag from a thrift store, look for bags that are made from eco-friendly materials. In fact, the ladies at Mountains of the Moon (that's us!) have designed some pretty sexy reusable bags ourselves with which we like to accessorize ourselves as often as possible. Check out our 100% organic cotton "Eco-Fashionista" Bag or our hemp "Eco-Warrior" Bag (as seen in the gorgeous picture of our very own Rachel, above), and be the coolest shopper on your block next time you head out for a spree at the liquor - I mean grocery - store. Reusable bags are also great for "wrapping" gifts and for overnight bags. We just love our eco-slumber parties.

xoxo,
Your BYOB Goddess and "Plastic Bag Rehab" Counselor,
melissa


Monday, July 7, 2008

On a related note....recycling, etc

After reading Morgan's most recent blog, I got to thinking more about
recycling. I happen to live in a suburb that makes it EXTREMELY easy
for us to recycle. I.E. we were given a huge bin, just as big as our
garbage bin, to put all of our recyclables in. Our city is very
generous and forward thinking about what can be recycled, and I often
wonder why other cities/suburbs aren't the same. We can recycle
pretty much anything but Styrofoam (why oh why do restaurants still
use these for take out? Perhaps I should start bringing my own
containers for left overs. Now THAT's an interesting idea!) Even as
easy as my suburb makes it to recycle, would you believe there are
people who still do not participate? Case in point, my neighbors
never recycle and their garbage can is over-flowing each week with
things that are clearly recyclable materials. I cringe just about
every week that I see this. So I asked them not long ago what the
deal was. Their response "Oh, our recycle bin is being used to store
boxes in our garage, we wouldn't make a difference anyhow" How sad is
that, in the times in which we live, and all of the awareness about
recycling, etc? One person CAN make a difference.

On the same note, my kids go to a charter school that is very
environmentally focused. My son has been there for 6 years now, my
daughter 1, and when we pack lunches they must be "trash free"
Meaning, no throw away, convenient food packages, cloth napkin,
reusable utensils, etc. When people hear where they go to school the
first thing they asks is "ohhh isn't that the school where they can't
have trashy lunches? That must be so hard for you" To which I
respond in amazement "no, it isn't hard at all. It's called
Tupperware containers, etc" I'm amazed at how many people out there
still are just so into the convenience factor instead of just taking a
few more minutes to actually take foods and put them into reusable
containers. It just seems like common sense to me and I hope this way
of thinking continues to spread. At least we know our 2 kids will
have grown up with this way of thinking, as well as all the kids they
attend school with. We need more kids to grow up this way as they
truly are the hope of the future of Mother Earth!

Recycle, Reuse, Recover, Reduce. Words to live by!

~Kari

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Recycling and Composting in a 'Not-So-Green' City

Living in the Chicago burbs for 18 years and having hippie parents, I grew up thinking that recycling and composting was a normal way of life. When I went to college at IU Bloomington at the ripe "naive" age of 18, I discovered that not everyone recycles...can you believe that???

So after approximately 10 years of apartment (recycling-free) living, I finally bought my own house in Indianapolis just 5 months ago. FINALLY I got to purchase a recycling plan and receive my glorious orange recycling bin. I even got my very own "Welcome to Recycling" instructions... only to discover that my options are limited. "No cardboard." "No plastics with numbers 4 and on." "No paper." ARRGGGG!!!

At least my carbon-footprint wont be as nasty as it was just a few short months ago. I'm glad Indy got with the times, but seriously... is this 1985? Okay, rant over with. At least now I do have my own house, which enabled me to instantly buy a compost bin, which is now on its sweet way to making organically gorgeous black soil. (Ahhhh organic, salmonella-free tomatoes!! :)). I do have to say that I'm a little scared of the very "human-like" turd that is quietly resting in front of my compost bin right now. I'm not sure if my bin o' compost has pissed off my neighbors or what. Hmmm!

I'm doing my best in this 'not-so-green' city. I do use only 'green' cleaning products. (I may quite possibly be the biggest germ-a-phobe on this planet). One battle at a time right? Once school starts up again, I plan on encouraging my students to recycle their 'straight-A' papers. Yes, I said 'straight-A.' My students are perfect (that's what I like to tell myself as I cry myself to sleep at night). Luckily, we do have paper recycling at the school, and the kids are actually in to it. WOO HOO!!

Cheers to all of us recyclers/composters. Maybe one of these days the great city of Indianapolis will offer cardboard recycling and I can feel a little better about the world.

Over and out...
-Morgan :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

INTRODUCING............ us.

What happens when 5 women who love fashion and eco-friendliness (is that a word?) come together? An eco-fashion empire is built, and the world becomes a better, more stylish place for all of its inhabitants.

Well, not really, but that sounded really cool when I was typing it.


Hi, I'm Melissa, and I am the owner and head designer of Mountains of the Moon Eco-Fashion, an eco-conscious clothing line. I live in Chicago. I really like soy lattes, my dog Leary, anything creative (you should see what I fashioned out of my boyfriend's old Guns N' Roses t-shirt), live music (the non-sucky kind), short dresses, staying up much too late for my age, travel and pretty much anything lemon-flavored. I also like to write, so, ya know, why not start a blog? Everyone else is doing it, and I would definitely jump off a bridge if everyone else was doing it. Wait. Hmmmmmm.

All that said, yay! Welcome to the "smart. sustainable. style" official blog! Way back in 1998, when Mountains of the Moon was just an eco-twinkle in my eye, in those beginning stages when I had little more than a sewing machine set up on a cardboard box and some sketches on scratch paper, way back when I didn't even know how to turn on a computer, I never would have imagined that ten years later, I'd have a clothing line made completely of eco-friendly materials that would be carried world-wide, an incredible staff of intelligent, creative, fabulous women, and a real live blog. I don't think the word "blog" really existed back then, so the last part doesn't count. But you get it.

Starting today, hopefully rather frequently, the GLOMOTM (Gorgeous Ladies of Mountains of the Moon - remember GLOW? Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling? Never Mind.) will be tantalizing your peepers with thoughts, ideas, eco-tips, jokes, stories, product reviews and random babblings. Because our motto is "smart. sustainable. style," we will do our best to focus on topics that are smart, sustainable and/or stylish (duh). We hope that you enjoy this glimpse into the exciting (slight exaggeration, but again, it sounds good) lives of a team of eco-friendly fashion design company co-workers/women of the world.

Before I end our very first blog with something incredibly witty and thought-provoking, let me introduce the BSITW (best staff in the world). They are totes obvi the coolest chicks evs, and yes, we like abbrevs (feel free to contact us if you have any good abbrevs, btw).

Morgan Rainwater - Oh, sweet little Morgan Baswell Rainwater, remember when you used to kick the boys' asses at video games and He-Man/Thundercats showdowns? My how you have grown, all adult-like in your brand new house with eco-friendly cleansers galore, and, like, all married and with pink and dark blue hair and everything. Morgan is my little sister, she is stunning inside and out, and she has been on the MotM Team since day one, doing everything from addressing catalogs to fulfilling orders to co-designing to running Wholesale Accounts to mopping the office floor because it was really grossing her out (eco-OCD seems to run in our family). She lives in Indianapolis with her hubby Josh and her 20 pound killer dog Isis who eats organic dog food, thankyouverymuch. She also teaches psychology to high school students. Major. Morgan resides in Indianapolis. There is more than corn in Indiana.

Rachel Lowen - Rachel is a jack of all trades, but in a really sexy way. In other words, Rach wears a lot of (organic, recycled, incredibly stylish) hats. She is not only the Fulfillment Manager for MotM, but she also works as the Project Manager for the well known Shoe-Gaze band Umphrey's McGee (just kidding about the Shoe-Gaze part, they are actually Two-Step, with a little Boy Band thrown in), has many important roles at Major Music Events (like completely organizing Artist Transportation, which is not an easy feat), teaches Hebrew School, and also helps us exhibit and model. Not bad. Rachel (also known as Eco-Rachel) is also quite the writer, as you shall soon see. Rachel lives in Chicago.

Kari Saul - We like to refer to Kari as Superwoman. She is a really, really hot mom to two little ones, who are undoubtedly going to grow up to be the coolest people in the history of the universe. Kari handles heads up the Customer Service department here at MotM, so if you e-mail or call, she will most likely be the one who will take care of you, and yes, she does accept bribes. Kari, like Rachel, also works for Umphrey's McGee (we prefer to keep things incestuous with these Chicago-based companies and all) as the Fan Liaison, so let me tell you, this woman knows customer service. Kari won't turn away a glass of good organic red wine. She lives in the Chicago area as well, because, let's face, Chicago is totes awesome.

Corinne Witzel - Perhaps you've met Corinne at one of our vending booths. She is what is known as an Eco-Warrior, but she doesn't have one of those mean warrior faces or anything. She is actually one of those people who you gawk at for 5 minutes with your mouth dropped and then say something like, "You should be a model," but it usually comes out with a stutter or burp or something because she's real purdy and you get thrown off. Coco is a soon-to-be-MILF, although it takes everyone a good hour to even realize that this chick is 8 months pregnant. It's amazing. Anyhoo, Corinne has been working in our vending booths for three years now, and the past two, she's taken on the arduous task of completely running our Bonnaroo booths, which is probably one of the most intense experiences you can have (think 90,000 people + hot, hot summer sun in southern Tennessee). Corinne is currently transitioning into our new Wholesale Accounts Manager, which will become her perma-gig in August when Morgan goes back to teaching full-time. (Never fear though, Morgan will take on one of our other 52.789 positions on a part-time basis). Corinne's daughter Halen, who will arrive in just a few weeks, is no doubt going to join Kari's kids in the Coolest-Person-in-the-Universe club. Coco lives in Louisville, y'all.

And that, my friends, is us! Stay tuned, as the life-changing, thought-provoking closing comments I promised earlier will come in our next blog entry (um, or maybe the following one). Either way, check back often. There is lots of Mountains of the Moon smart-sustainable-stylish nonsense coming to a computer near you very, very soon.

xoxo,
Your Friend,
Melissa Baswell, aka DJ Eco-Melly-Mel, aka the one who designs the clothes, and like, stresses out a lot.

Look, neat!