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]
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.
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.
A woman who designs for women will always find an audience, regardless of the economic climate.
Such is the case for Frock L.A., a Los Angeles-based clothing company founded in 2009. The sustainable principles it lives by (most of all, ‘Waste Not, Want Not’) have only seemed to strengthen the creative team in building clothes based on tailoring and a demanding look at what women want.
Who ever said kimonos were out of date apparently has not heard of Ms. Wood.
The Portland, Oregon based designer has been inspired by the Japanese kimonos since 2007. Since the beginning of her beautiful collection, she’s expanded to offer leather accessories, shoes, and bags.
While her sustainability would never be questioned (her husband, a wood maker, takes care of all things, well, wood and the leather comes from in and around Portland), her attention to the tailoring of the kimonos is most impressive. Ms. Wood’s collections, seen as ready-to-wear and on the runway, are as beautiful as they are versatile.
Monkee Genes are meant for those who care about quality.
The British denim label, which deals in fair-trade and organic denim, has recently been certified by the Soil Association, a fact that they are indeed, extremely proud of. They are the first and only denim company to be certified by the Soil Association, which imparts the strictest rules and regulations for being deemed sustainable. This is an important fact, since in the European Union, a company can claim to be sustainable and not be, and suffer no consequences.
Monkee Genes, whose denim routinely retails at £60, have an incredibly huge selection for men, women, and children.
The Lady in White Flees Across the Navy Yard and the Ink Follows.
That is the name given for the Autumn 2011 collection for Ek0-Lab, a company of artistic detail and overpowering tailoring. The ladies of Eko-Lab (Melissa Kirgan and Xing-Zhen Chung-Hilyard) have moved to a new workspace – the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City.
The photos below were all capture in the Navy Yard, which held inspiration for this season’s collection. Teaming up once again with Jennifer Wen-Ma, an Emmy-award winning artist (Beijing Olympics), the women let the organic fabrics be the canvas and Wen-Ma’s strokes be the painting.
The veteran designer has recently teamed up with Marie Claire Magazine and the fair-trade company People Tree to design the t-shirt dress. The June 2011 issue of all 24 editions of Marie Claire magazine coincided with the product being put on the market, as Dame Vivienne Westwood was guest-editing the magazine’s editorial.
Also a coincidence, the United Nations declared 2011 “Year of the Forest.”
The t-shirt dress retails for £28, of which £7 goes to the Society for Environment and Human Development, a non-profit organization.