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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Julie Church’s Kenyan Company Turns Old Sandals into Colorful Products


Handmade giraffes, elephants and warthogs made by Ocean Sole, a  recycling company in Kenya founded by Julia Church, uses discarded flip-flops and other sandals.  


Toys made out of recycled sandals and flip-flops in Kenya

For more info in this innovative company, click here at Yahoo News

Photo by Ben Curtis

Interview: Cyndi Hubach On Helping Community Gardens Take Root

Cyndi Hubach's Garden/Photo: Stacey Gualandi

By Stacey Gualandi/September 16, 2012
Photos: Cyndi Hubach and Stacey Gualandi

Twitter: @ElysianVlyGrdn

A movement for change first starts with an idea, a seed, if you will.  Once it takes root, you can watch it grow into something tangible for others to follow.

“It’s very much about applying what you learn and making a difference in the world.” Cyndi Hubach

Well, that is literally what Los Angeles-based television writer/producer Cyndi Hubach did in 2010 when she planted her first seed in the Elysian Valley Community Garden.  With little experience, but plenty of desire, Cyndi started a local garden to unite her community and, ultimately, improve the planet.

Cyndi Hubach's Elysian Fields Community Garden/2010

Photo: Bob Berg

She remains hopeful her vision will spread beyond the garden’s surrounding fence. I recently got to visit my friend of 20 years, and found out quickly that helping the planet, one community at a time, takes a lot of hard work, a healthy compost and a good pair of gardening gloves…  [Read more…]

Heatherjean MacNeil On Creating Ethical Proxy Apparel

Heatherjean MacNeil

By Stacey Gualandi

Twitter: @Proxy_Apparel
Facebook: proxyapparel

Heatherjean MacNeil says she’s on a fashion mission. This 30-year-old former pre-med student could have started with a simple idea. But no. She created Proxy Apparel, an ethical clothing line whose cause is to employ and empower women throughout the world thus the name Proxy. In Spanish it means one who is empowered!

“I always envisioned that I would either start a non-profit or run a business that focused on women.Heatherjean

Heatherjean fashion by Proxy

Models in Proxy Apparel

While Heatherjean is new to the fashion scene, she sees a sweatshop-free, fair trade world in her future. Her Boston-based accessories and apparel line launched online last year, and she is already making a name for herself among the social entrepreneur set.

Proxy partners with existing women-owned “cooperatives” in developing countries to help create pieces in the collection. Visitors at last month’s SXSW/Style X got a sneak peek at her Spring “Peacock” Collection.

The entire line will be on display at Proxy’s Earth Day Gala and Ethical Fashion Show April 21st in Boston.

Heatherjean sums it up simply: “Wear the change you seek in the world”! I wanted to find out what this “change” was all about and caught up with her right after Proxy’s successful debut in Austin, Texas… [Read more…]

Sally Dominguez On Her Award-Winning Rainwater Harvesting Tank

Sally Dominguez is an architect, a designer, and an inventor of products she thinks will help make the world more eco-friendly. Now living in Northern California, she started out designing urban housing in Australia, then launched a line of children’s furniture including the multi-award- winning NEST Highchair.

When she couldn’t find a rainwater tank to fit under her patio during a drought, she came up with the Rainwater HOG, a slim and portable container that holds 51 gallons. It can be used for irrigation, emergency drinking water, and greywater recycling. Her newest invention is the HOGzilla that she’s working on with her husband, Simon. It will hold 450 gallons.

As well as writing on sustainability and cars, she is a judge on “The New Inventors,” an Australian television show.

I was fascinated by this new HOG tank and in Sally’s tenacity to create one. I wanted to know more so I asked Sally:

[Read more…]