Five Ways to be Green in Chicago

Chicago is home to Obama, Oprah and ‘oh so good’ deep dish pizzas but what about its green scene? Here are five impressive green places to get you started.

Shop at Pivot (pictured above)
After you’ve sat in the audience for a taping of Oprah (we should all be so lucky) and then checked out the Oprah store, why not walk a few blocks to Pivot and shop for some sublime eco fashion? Pivot is ‘Chicago’s first boutique devoted to eco-fashion’ and their stylish, CFL lit, zero-VOC painted store has every popular eco label a girl could wish for: Mociun, Del Forte, Ecoganik, She Bible, Toggery, Kate Organic and of course, Chicago based designer, Lara Miller. Pivot often hold events in store which is great news for any local green girls but for those girls not lucky enough to live in Chicago, you can still purchase Pivot’s chic pieces through their online store. Want more good news? It’s currently sale time at Pivot and they are offering a whopping 40-70% off items in store and 50% off online purchases (until July 24th). Just visit their website to nab the special discount code.

1101 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL, 60607
Pivot Boutique

Eat at Green Zebra
This vegetarian-friendly restaurant is located in West Town and offers a slick and sophisticated menu featuring tempting taste bud delights such as Roasted Parsnip Ravioli, Foraged Mushroom Dumplings, Miso Risotto and equally scrumptious desserts. In fact ever since reading the description of their Vegan Chocolate Cake with crispy peanut butter, banana sorbet and salted caramel, I have not been able to think of anything else!

1460 West Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL, 60642
Green Zebra

green-genes-chicagoShop for little ones at Green Genes
This adorable store is relatively new to Chicago (it opened in March 2008) but their carefully selected range of eco-friendly products for ‘children and their grown-ups too’ will excite both locals and tourists alike. Not only do owners Heather and Christina aim to fill their store with organic and eco-friendly products but they even made sure their store interior adopted a similar eco conscious philosophy by using bamboo counters, low VOC paints and packaging from biodegradable materials. Look out for their online shopping site coming soon.

5111 North Clark St, Chicago, IL, 606040
Green Genes

karyns-fresh-corner-cafe-chicagoEat at Karyn’s Fresh Corner Cafe and Raw Vegan Gourmet Restaurant
Karyn Calabrese is making it oh so easy to live a healthy life in Chicago with her two restaurants, holistic day spa and weekly meal program! At the North Halsted location you will find a Raw Salad Bar, Fresh Juice Bar offering exotic smoothies such as the ‘Really Rare and Raw’ smoothie made with ‘nutmilk, dates, banana and vanilla’ and raw, vegan desserts like strawberry cake and lemon squares. Yum, yum, yum! The Raw Vegan Gourmet restaurant serves an eclectic menu from pad thai to tamales of corn husks filled with organic masa and other wondrous delights! There is also a store and an Inner Beauty Center on site.
1901 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL, 60614

Karyn’s Cooked – Conscious Comfort Foods
Vegans need their comfort food as well, so this is the perfect stop for anyone seeking a delicious alternative to the raw food offered at the Raw Vegan Gourmet restaurant. Here you will be served wonderful brunches of banana french toast or lunch and dinner dishes like vegan pizzas, enchiladas and burgers!

738 N Wells St, Chicago, IL
Karyn Raw

greenheart-shop-chicagoShop fair trade at the Greenheart Shop
Shopping for an array of products under one roof is bliss but what about when all the products are fair trade? A green girl’s heaven! Greenheart is Chicago’s ‘only nonprofit eco friendly, fair trade store’ and you can happily, rest assured all the wonderful products lining the shelves come from artisans who have been paid ‘fair living wages’. Greenheart has a treasure trove of items for everyone and every occasion. It is the ideal place to purchase gifts that are both ethical and aesthetical for your family, friends or you (choose from clothing, homewares, beauty, food – it’s all here). They even stock my favourite eco bag brands, English Retreads and Mar y Sol, formerly known as Mad Imports. The store has recently moved into larger premises (1911 W. Division) proving the demand for green is growing in major cities like Chicago.

1911 W. Division
Greenheart Shop (online shopping is available through their website).

On the Road: Fashion, Food and Beauty

Even though I’ve been back in London for a week now, at least I have some fabulous clothes from LA and many gourmet memories to inspire and remind me of my wonderful holiday!

FASHION
fashion-1I’ve mentioned before my love of It’s A Wrap in LA, and my visit to the store this last time only increased the love! It’s A Wrap have two locations in LA and all their stock comes straight from the sets of the TV and film studios. A few years ago I picked up a jacket from the Gilmore Girls and a skirt from Legally Blonde. This time I picked up jackets, coats, cardigans, a bag and shoes (that weren’t made with leather).

Eileen Fisher Swing Coat – I was worried the colour would wash me out but it was so cute I couldn’t say no.

Majorly discounted black Michael Kors coat from the set of Law and Order (but no fashion crimes will be committed while wearing this).

Green Banana Republic Coat – this helps me build a wardrobe of quality winter coats, plus its in my favorite shade of green.

I had to fill this $6 brown beaded bag with some of the cardigans I bought. I was determined not to accept a plastic bag even though all my reusable cotton bags were bursting from holding the winter coats.

It’s A Wrap
1164 S. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA (also located in Burbank)

FOOD
urth-caffe-beverly-hillsUrth Caffe – Beverly Hills
I won’t lie, I initially went to Urth Caffe to do some celeb spotting but it was the healthy food and organic tea that made me come back a second time. I loved popping into the Beverly Hills caffe and starting the day with their granola with fresh fruit and soya milk. So good!

Evelyn’s Favourite Pasta – The Cheesecake Factory
Because I was the only vegan travelling we did stop by the Cheesecake Factory in Beverly Hills. I really enjoyed this pasta and would like to try and make it at home some time. Here is how it read on the menu: ‘penne tossed with broccoli, oven-dried tomato, roasted eggplant, peppers, artichoke, kalamata olives, garlic and pine nuts’.

Vegan Pizza – Auckland
My pizza creation from the ‘Make Your Own Pizza’ night we had at my family’s place in Auckland, along with a yummy rice salad made by my aunt.

Vegetable Terrine – The Boat Shed, Bucklands Beach, Auckland
This dish was divine! One of the best meals I’ve had. It had a pepper coulis drizzled over the artistically wrapped courgettes and eggplants and the balsamic vinegar was heavenly. I’ve never noticed the flavours in a balsamic vinegar before but this was sharp, zingy and fruity. I should have asked where it was from.

BEAUTY
sweet-almond-oil-lavender-essential-oilHere are some of the organic and natural beauty products I traveled with. From left to right:

  • Intelligent Nutrients Aromatics Spray: Nice, natural alternative to perfume
  • Eucalyptus Spray: I filled an old glass bottle with purified water and a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to spray in hotel rooms and on the plane. It’s meant to keep the germs away and keep you healthy.
  • Face Spritz: I filled this blue bottle with water to spritz my face during flights but I recently read that this actually dries your skin out. You need a spray with an ingredient such as aloe vera or something.
  • Weleda Everon Lip Balm: Lovely vanilla, rose lip balm
  • Erbaviva Jasmine and Grapefruit Deodorant: A natural deodorant that works!
  • Sweet Almond Oil + Lavender Essential Oil: I made this blend to use as a hand sanitizer. I figured this is as natural as you can get. Lavender disinfects and the almond oil moisturises. It worked well for me.
  • Weleda Skin Food: This ultra thick, gorgeous smelling moisturiser was perfect for my face and hands that were majorly dry from flying.
  • Green People Intensive Repair Shampoo: Such an impressive organic shampoo that leaves hair super soft and shiny.
  • Weleda Plant Gel Toothpaste: One of my favourite natural toothpastes
  • Dr Bronner’s Organic Castille Soap: I didn’t open any toxic hotel toiletries and relied on Dr Bronner instead, using it as a hand soap and shower gel. You can also use it as a shampoo and toothpaste but I’ve yet to try that!

Sorry to waffle on but hopefully some of this info has been helpful! I’ll leave you with this final photo and thought before signing off.

Goodbye London, Hello Wellington!

I can’t believe I’m moving! In two weeks! It’s all happened so quickly. Our place has sold and now we will be out of England by Christmas! Have I seen all there is to see in London? I’m not sure. I just know it has been an exciting city to live in for my twenties but I’m so ready for something new. A slower, better quality of life. I think New Zealand has that in bucket loads.

london-red-busThis mammoth move will affect this blog – in a good way, I hope. I have to settle into a new city and country I have never lived in before. I have to find a place to live and make it completely eco-friendly from the inside, out. I have to find the best places selling scrumptious organic, vegan food and amazing vintage clothing. I hope to share it all on this blog and I will try to keep it interesting. Let’s be honest, I’m a vegan moving to a country that primarily exports lamb and wool (don’t get me started on the poor possums). There could be a few challenges.

New Zealand is a beautiful place though and I feel really fortunate that I can live there. I wasn’t sure whether to return to Australia or try life in New Zealand but here’s a photo that swayed me towards the land of the kiwi.

wellington-chocolate-fish-cafe

I want to be at that outdoor cafe on weekends. In the sun with those kind of views. It’s actually the Chocolate Fish Cafe and it’s close to Wellington. Or Wellywood, as it is sometimes referred to due to the city being a bit of film hub (Frodo and all that).

Okay, we’ve sold the flat. Booked flights. Packed? Not so much. Must get started and decide what essentials can fit into two suitcases and keep me going for three months (before our furniture and belonging arrive by ship). That should be easy. Maybe, I’ll just do a little research on our stopover city – San Francisco first. I’m so excited to be passing through there. I’ve been once before when I was 13 so I can’t wait to see it again.

Before I say goodbye to Oyster cards in London and hello to Snapper cards in Wellington (seriously), I will try and do a post about some of my favorite things in London, in case you’re stopping by soon.

A Petite Eco Boutique – Rococo

I often dream about having a walk-in closet filled with wonderful and stylish organic and fair trade clothing, so when I stepped into Rococo’s teeny eco boutique in North London, I was immediately smitten and ready to move in. Rococo looks just like the ethical walk in-closet I’ve always wanted!

The rails are lined with the very best eco friendly fashion from brands such as People Tree, Enamore, Tammam and Miksa. Rococo is great for actually sighting and trying on organic clothing (which is still surprisingly hard to do in London with the small sprinkling of eco boutiques around). If you can’t make it to Muswell, you can still shop online though and now couldn’t be a better time to visit Rococo’s site because they are having a sale, with many gorgeous People Tree items available at bargain prices!

Shop at Rococo online
Visit– 16 Avenue Mews, Muswell Hill N10 3NP. Ph: 07779 01004 (Saturdays only or by appointment)

Rokit – Vintage Shop in London

Vintage Shopping – Another way to build the ultimate eco friendly wardrobe.

I thought I should incorporate a few posts about my green life in amongst the regular postings on organic beauty and ethical fashion. My ‘greeniphany’ happened about 18 months ago and I have enjoyed the cross over to a more ethical lifestyle where I now take time to consider where my clothes come from and what ingredients I am putting on my skin. There have been challenges along the way (so long H&M and cheap European flights) but mostly there have been exciting discoveries, which is what prompted me to start Green Lashes and Fashion. I would love this site to be a resource for green girls who want to find the very best eco products.

Today I’ve been out and about in East London poking around Brick Lane, Spitalfields Market and Columbia Rd Flower Market (quite small but very cute, quaint shops behind the flower stalls). I made sure I visited vintage mecca, Rokit too as I had heard it was the place to buy vintage in London.

I must be honest, in the past I haven’t spent much time in vintage stores and was never too keen on wearing other people’s clothes (it must be an only child thing). However, once I stepped into Rokit, I immediately saw the error of my ways. The store was filled with urban trendsetters, the rails lined with spectacular fashion and the price tags so low I had to keep double checking them. My inner stylist came out and I began reaching for clothes I would normally shun. Bubblegum pink coat? ‘Sure, why not?’ Orange polo top? ‘Yeah, it’s tight but do it while you’re still in your twenties’ I thought to myself. Okay, maybe I was in a slight vintage stupor!

vintage-orange-topVintage Purchases – 3 items for £26
Pink Coat – £10
Orange Top – £4 (I know!)
Navy Sheer Shirt – £12

I seem to have channeled a ‘Samantha from Bewitched, 60’s vibe’ with the pink and orange colours.

Green Glee (how I was green today)
I refused the store paper bag in favour of my reusable bag which I had stashed in my handbag. Felt quite chuffed that I was proving you can get by without paper or plastic. Also walked away (some might say pulled away) from a divine aubergine cardigan at Spitalfields with sweet little buttons on the bracelet sleeves. It was £10 but because it was not made ethically and the fabric wasn’t organic or recycled, I said no. I had to be strong but I said no.

Mean Green (how I was not so green)
I don’t think this one is too bad but toay I got a tea to go in a paper cup. I read somewhere that Julia Roberts takes her own thermos to coffee houses to get her drinks (or maybe it was her own tupperware to the supermarket deli section). Either way, I wanted to be like Julia but instead I sheepishly drank from my paper cup. I should say I carried the cup all the way home because I couldn’t see anywhere for it be recycled! I don’t know if carrying it all the way home (along with my friend’s plastic dessert dish) was admirable or tragic?

I will definitely be stopping by Rokit more regularly, which won’t be difficult as they have several London locations at Brick Lane, Covent Garden and Camden. Rokit also have an online shopping site.

My London Travel Guide in the New Issue of Coco Eco Magazine

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to let you know the new issue of Coco Eco magazine is out now which is especially exciting for me for two reasons. Firstly, Issue 6 is the first annual resort issue and is overflowing with gorgeous swimsuit fashion, summer beauty ideas and much more eco loveliness!

This is also the first issue featuring one of my articles! I am now working as the Travel Editor at Coco Eco and have written a green guide to London that covers all the best and most stylish places to shop, eat, indulge and sleep. I would love you to check out the magazine (and my article). You’ll be ready to be a true green goddess this summer after reading Coco Eco’s Resort Issue!

I look forward to sharing with you my next green travel guide to another must-visit city soon.

Thank you everyone for visiting Green Lashes and Fashion each day and for liking it enough to subscribe. I truly appreciate your support!

Best wishes and have a great August!

View the new issue and eco-chic travel guide to London – Coco Eco – Issue 6