Diana Iris Baltazar is UrbanLandfill’s type of people.
A fantastic stylist with an eye for detail and an emotional knowledge of the dynamic relationship between a woman and her clothes, Baltazar has had her eyes on clothing and fashion since she was a toddler. Ms. Baltazar is a visual artist, with degrees in Visual Art and Comparative Literature from Brown University, and a master’s degree in Visual Culture: Costume Design from New York University.
Baltazar’s work has been featured in VOGUE Korea, The Wild, BG Magazine, ZINK Magazine, and Volt UK.
Along with having a keen eye for detail, Baltazar has a compassionate heart, and focuses her time and energy on eco-friendly brands and fashion houses.
UrbanLandfill loves Loomstate.
So we were ecstatic when they agreed to a 9 question interview based on their Sandy relief work in relation to hard-hit costal communities and their continued commitment to sustainability.
UrbanLandfill’s 9 Questions for Loomstate:
- Super Storm Sandy caused devastation in at least four states, and hit especially hard waterfront communities along the Northeastern coast. Loomstate has partnered with Waves For Waters to help with the efforts to clean up the aftermath. How did the partnership begin, and how has Super Storm Sandy affected Loomstate employees?
From offering space in our warehouse, attending weekly planning meetings with Waves for Water, working with Fashion Girls for Humanity to fundraise, to volunteering out in Long Beach and Rockaway, we are very emotionally connected to the Sandy recovery effort. Jon Rose, founder of Waves for Water, is also a good friend of Loomstate’s founders Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinlay-Hahn. It has been incredible to see organizations, companies, and individuals working together toward the same goal. Thankfully, none of our employees have sustained any long-term damage to their homes, but we do look forward to getting our surfing beaches and friends’ homes along the coast back in shape.
2. Along with providing hands-on help, Loomstate has created Sandy Recovery Tees. One hundred percent of the proceeds of the sale of these tees go directly to Sandy relief efforts. Where did the design of the tees come from, and how was the decision made to give all the proceeds to relief efforts?
Yes, we currently have an organic cotton Sandy Recovery Tee available online that donates 50% to Waves for Water and 50% to Food Bank for New York. We have been involved with both of these organizations and know first hand what amazing work they are doing! We encourage you to tweet to @Loomstate_org with questions about getting involved.
3. Sustainability and philanthropic efforts often go hand in hand. Many companies have their own foundations, focusing on an issue near and dear to their hearts, such as ethical responsibility, recycling programs, and fair trade initiatives. Does Loomstate have a foundation, or does the company lend itself to causes as they arise?
Our relationships happen organically – we like to have personal connections to a cause and the people behind it to ensure that we are supporting something in the most effective way. Most of the organizations we work with are in the environmental realm, from organic cotton farming to youth sustainability education programs (like Teens Turning Green) to surf-infused projects (like Waves for Water and Stoked Mentoring).
4. The Sandy Relief Bill that only recently passed in Congress was delayed for months, and includes ﬂood insurance payouts for those that were directly affected by the SuperStorm. How does Loomstate feel about the delay of funds?
Just like everyone else. We are hoping for a package that is sufficient in supporting those affected by Sandy. Though out of the media, the physical and emotional recovery process is going to take a long time and this package will help.
5. The Sandy Recovery Tees are imprinted with ideas of restoring, rebuilding, reviving, and returning. What do the ideas showcased on the Sandy Recovery Tees mean to Loomstate as a company?
Our slogan is “We return to our favorite beaches to rebuild fallen homes, restore lost energy, and revive dampened hopes”….to return to our favorite beaches once again. The Loomstate office is full of surfers and those that care deeply about the environment, as well as our local community. It is a statement that we will be here to help throughout the duration of the recovery process, until we can once again return to our favorite beaches for a surf!
6. There is a current debate amongst those who follow sustainable fashion about the impact of using organic fabrics that originate from the same country the company comes from. Do the fabrics that Loomstate use for their collections originate from America, and how does that make a difference for the company?
At Loomstate we primarily source cotton from locations within the United States and India. Organic cotton supports local environmental health, fair wages, clean water quality, and a number of other community benefits, so when it comes down to making the right sourcing decisions Loomstate looks for reliability, knowing that we are already well covered in terms of sustainability. Going local is great, and we try to do it as often as possible. But shipping a large amount of cotton in an ocean going vessel produces less carbon per piece of clothing than trucking smaller amounts of cotton grown here in the US. Organic is about being a good neighbor, and treating other’s soils, souls, and economies as our own, both locally and internationally.
It is also the case, and particularly with organic cotton, that developing countries have the most to gain. Supporting small landholders in going organic opens more economic opportunities for those families.
7. The majority of sustainable and ethical clothing companies are geared towards women. There is a smaller but growing demographic that’s calling for ethical basics for men. Will Loomstate have a mens basics collection, or will the company have a unisex collection?
8. Fast fashion clothing companies have a high turnover of clothes, and tend to use conventional fabrics as a means to keep costs down. Loomstate is a smaller, more focused company that prides itself on using organic fabrics such as cotton and Tencel, a new sustainable ﬁbre. Why use organic fabrics when conventional fabrics are cheaper?
Choosing fiber based on price will ultimately sacrifice quality. Loomstate is not willing to do that. We set out to create quality, e.g. soil quality, water quality, environmental quality, economic quality. We do this through purchasing and supporting the manufacturing of the best quality materials we can find, e.g. 100% certified organic cotton, Tencel, and up-cycled fibers.
9. The unique distinction of Loomstate as a company is the ﬂuid designs that comes from collaborations and the Sandy Relief Tees. How does the design cycle work for Loomstate, and how do collaborations come about?
We love to collaborate with creative people and companies that are like-minded. Collaborations generally come through personal relationships and friends of the company and our founders.
Here at UrbanLandfill, we have high standards for our denim.
So we were excited to see our friends HYPEBEAST releasing the images for Nudie Jeans’ S/S 2013 Lookbook.
Nudie Jeans is a Swedish company who works primarily in denim for men, although their loyal fan base includes women (such as here, at UrbanLandfill). Aside from having high standards in the cut, fit, and style of denim, Nudie Jeans also has reached their goal of working in organic denim ahead of schedule.
HERE [for the transition to organic denim]
It’s a difficult thing, finding a mouthwash that doesn’t feel like you’re gargling acid.
Aesop has solved that problem.
The Australian skincare brand that has brought anti-oxidants into the mainstream of hygiene products is set to release an introduction into oral care – the mouthwash.
Formulated for those who have sensitive mouths and/or just need to freshen their breath, this alcohol-free mouthwash maintains your pH levels and leaves your breath with the subtle notes of spearmint (much less harsh than peppermint) and aniseed. The inclusion of spearmint ensures that while this mouthwash will be effective, it will not be overpowering.
Sold in 500ml bottles, this product is set to hit Aesop’s webshop and stockists worldwide beginning 29 January.
Case in Point: Stella by Stella McCartney, the new, more affordable (but no less elegant) lingerie line.
The line, which includes five different types of bras, robes, and different patterns and colors, was designed for a “nearly nude wearing experience.” It’s meant for everyday wear, and not to be a hindrance.
Marin Myftiu’s career is one worth watching.
Take one look at the designer behind the Xtreme KinematiX, and you’ll see why. His portfolio showcases his interest in car design, along with his keen aptitude for aesthetics. The freelance designer and architect spares no artistic expense when it comes to designing this new generation electric roadster.
What’s distinctive and alluring about the XKX is the feline ideal – that is to say, the car was designed to physically resemble a feline predator. The car in profile almost gives you a sense of a predator ready to pounce, the body long, lean, and light, with little interruptions on the frame. Looking at it straight-on, the roadster resembles an aggressive expression of an attacking feline.
Looking at roadsters from the 1960s, they were linked to a minimalist approach, though its doubtful they were categorized as much. The cars had to be light, but powerful, giving the illusion of aerodynamic fluency. It makes sense that the XKX was based on car designs from that era, and one look from the comparisons will tell you that this car is a further improvement on the roadsters from 50 years ago.
An interesting characteristic of the XKX are the 1cm disappearing mirrors. Fully operational when the car is turned on, these mirrors slide into a shallow hatch made within the doors when the car is turned off, adding to the aerodynamic design and preventing any damage to them while parked.
Aerodynamics in a roadster is always important, and you’ll find that the speed of, and indeed the energy consumed, by a roadster is in direct proportion to the intake system which allows the air flow to find the path of least resistance around it. For the XKX, this problem – presented by the introduction of a much smaller and cooler power plant – was resolved by broadening the side deflector intakes, allowing air to flow behind the front wheels, glide along the sides of the cars, and reroute to the rear deflector intakes. This greatly reduces drag and the total flowing path.
The most exciting part of the project, at least for us here at UrbanLandfill, is the process in which a layer (piezoelectric transparent sheet) which houses the body of the XKX stores energy created by air pressure causing friction against the car, which is converted into electricity, and fed back into the car’s battery. This increases both efficiency and performance. Since 60% of the energy used by a typical car on a highway is spent to counter air friction, you can see why this innovative idea makes a problem into an improvement on an already beautiful vehicle.
Marin Myftiu is a designer we will watch closely, knowing his work signals a change in the car industry. Innovation and elegance go hand in hand, as demonstrated by the XKX. They are not mutually exclusive. In time, we will see Myftiu’s designs as the rule, not the exception they are today.
All images courtesy Marin Myftiu.
UrbanLandfill loves architects who are efficient.
Take the Gymnase Clapiers project as an example. Completed this year, the 900sqm facility in Montpellier, France is an elegant, streamlined structure that allows for efficiency of light, air, and energy, without losing any semblance of design.
The building is simple – two long sports halls connected by an open air welcome area. Bay windows in the interior of the building make the majority of the space visible from end to the other. Even the gym’s offices open on the welcome area, but are also visible through both sports halls.
The building is minimal, with colored concrete and exterior windows being the design attributes most would recognize first. But these design choices were not simply aesthetic. Colored concrete is a durable building component, one that lends itself to easy upkeep and a striking appearance. The windows are strategically placed throughout the building to ensure light and heat efficiency throughout the year. Even the depth to which the windows are set (nearly nonexistent to the North, and narrow and deep to the West) plays an important role in the managing of energy consumption of the building.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Gymnase Clapiers is the interior. The sports hall walls are heat and sound proof, and covered with vented wooden slates, which helps reinforce energy conservation. Polycarbonate facades operate within the structure as real light filters, and considerably reduces the amount of artificial light used in the building.
MDR Architectes design team Sancie Matte Devaux, Frédéric Devaux, and Arnaud Rousseau are an exceptional team, marrying their project to the environment in which it is set, and delivering amusing and significant answers to problems they may have faced.
All designs ©MDR Architectes.
All images ©Benoit Wehrlé
Cuyana, \ku-YAHN-uh\ – “to love.”
[Taken from the traditional language of the Andean tribes, Quechua.]
Minimal design for jewelry seems to be a trend right now, but perhaps no company can marry the fine art of elegant minimalism with social responsibility as well as Cuyana.
Founded by Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah, the company concentrates on the traditions of individual countries and societies, and showcases the pieces they have been made for generations. Gallardo, originally from Ecuador, and Shah, an Indian-American, possess a sense of design and strength that few can emulate. With each passing collection, the company grows stronger, not only in their commitment to giving back (a percentage of all profits goes to benefit Charity:Water), but as a role model in sustainable design.
A favored piece from the current collection, India.
Design is a personal, and powerful, statement of who we are. Cuyana is an example of how an understated design can say so much about the person wearing it.
Sakina M’sa has partnered with Puma to create 100 limited edition Grip bags, made completely from worker’s overalls. The bag, which M’sa has explained to the press has an homage to French workers, will be released worldwide.
Ten lucky bags, however, will find a home at Merci, a Paris concept store. Merci hosted a brunch on 11 October 2011 for the launch of the bags, which retails at 350 euro, $475 at current exchange.
M’sa, whose company offers work opportunities for the long-termed unemployed, was one of the 2010 recipients of the Social Entrepreneur Award. Parent company PPR’s Foundation for Women’s Dignity and Rights hold the awards annually.
Tesla has a reputation as one of the luxury companies to turn to for an electric vehicle.
Tesla, which enjoys high profile customers ranging from politicians to celebrities to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, have some of the best models for speed, luxury, and efficiency on the road.
So it’s no wonder why the cool hunters from Yanko Design picked up this E-Max bike concept by Madella Simone. The main attraction of this design is Simone’s ability to use piezoelectric material that converts compression strength to power for the bike. Along with that, a second layer of Halite fabric converts human heat into electricity. The power and extra electricity is routed into the bike’s two motors, which are located in the wheels.
So far, it’s a concept design. Tesla has no plans to construct motorcycles at this time. But with the amount of efficiency and dedication to design this concept has, perhaps Tesla should begin to think about heading in that direction.