H&M Launches Sustainable Line

26 02 2010

(picture via WWD)

While you may only have heard about the Sonia Rykiel line for H&M, a new “fully sustainable” line will launch on March 25th. The Garden Collection, which consists of organic cotton and linen, recycled polyester, and Tencel will be the clothing superstore’s first ever completely eco-friendly line.

The Garden Collection is flowy and feminine, and is inspired by spring flowers and 1970’s designs like smock dresses and embroidered jackets. Unlike many other sustainable clothing lines, H&M’s 80 Garden pieces are no more expensive than their other reasonably priced clothing. H&M also promises that this line is completely sustainable, unlike their last “organic cotton” line that used 30 percent genetically modified cotton.

-Caitlin





Seriously Sustainable: skinnyskinny

13 01 2010

Filled with an array of natural soaps, scented oils, potpourris, and pet toys, newly opened boutique skinnyskinny is the Brooklyn hub for all things organic. When owner Clara Thomas couldn’t find an orgnic soap that worked for her, she got creative and made her own. Her products are hand crafted, all natural, and in eco-friendly packaging. Soaps sell for $8, and come in scents like basil mint, lavendar black pepper, and corriander and lemon. Cats and dogs can also go green with handmade toys and soaps.

Not only do shoppers have the opportunity to browse bath salts and lip balms, but also can see Clara’s workspace where she makes her products. Want to make your own? Skinnyskinny offers 3 hour soap making classes for $90 each. Visit the shop at 129 Roebling Street in Williamsburg, not far from space for lease 145 Borinquen Place.

-Caitlin





Getting Organic in the East Village

21 09 2009
Organic Grill in the East Village

Organic Grill in the East Village

If I haven’t given you enough reasons to open a store in the East Village (amazing up-and-coming designers, mouth-watering lobster rolls, and one-of-a-kind bake shops), here is one more. It’s the perfect place to go organic. I visited the area on Friday, checking out local businesses surrounding space for lease 83 E. 7th Street. I first came across a little lunch time spot with sky blue lettering, “The Organic Grill.”

As a secret tofu enthusiast, I was excited to see “tofu rancheros” and “grilled tofu sandwich” on the outdoor menu. Now you know my secret. The restaurant offers a completely organic menu, including breakfast specialties like Vegan, wheat-free Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes and challah french toast, a variety of salads and sandwiches, and even a glass-encased selection of house made vegan desserts. Good news for non-Rachel Rays. The Organic Grill lets visitors purchase food in bulk, so you never have to cook again.  Bulk items include tempeh bacon, spring rolls, and Yukon Gold mashed potatoes.

After stocking up on organic goodies, get your hair done at Today’s Cut, which uses organic color systems. Organic coloring is said to be less damaging to the hair because no ammonia is used. Visitors can achieve colors that don’t fade, but without expereincing the harsh burning and itching like with other chemical products. No toxic odors to inhale! Today’s Cut also uses “MOP,” or Modern Organic Products. MOP strives to bridge the organic community with the salon environment. Their natural shampoo collection includes clean and simple scents like lemongrass, basil, and pear.

Convinced that the East Village is the perfect location for you and your shop? Contact us at 212-213-6480 for leasing information.

-Caitlin

Vegan desserts at Organic Grill

Vegan desserts at Organic Grill

Today's Cut

Today's Cut





The Essex Street Market Experience

10 09 2009

essexOn my way to show a featured space, 75 Orchard Street, a Besen Retail broker introduced me to a Lower East Side fixture that I had never seen before, the Essex Street Market. An explosion of cheeses, fruits, vegetables, coffee, meats, breads, chocolates and other edible goods fill the space. Vendor after vendor line the walkways, making it impossible to check out everything with one pass through.

The Essex Street Market was established in 1940 in an effort to move pushcarts off the crowded streets. The identity of the market was formed by Jewish and Italian immigrants who were not only the vendors, but also the customers. In the 1950’s the Puerto Rican population expanded, shifting the market’s culture, creating more business. But later in the 1970’s, more residents turned to convenient supermarkets, causing a long time economic struggle. In 1992, a new manager stepped in with a new vision, renovating the space.

Today the Lower East Side is wealthier with a new demand for goumet and higher-end products. The market now homes Tra La La Juice Bar, a homemade chocolate shop (with daily free samples!) called Roni-Sue’s Chocolates, and even an eatery, the Essex Restaurant. I have never seen so many different varieties of cheeses in one spot, with both the Saxelby Cheesemongers and Formaggio Essex. Need a Belgian gouda, an Italian gorgonzola, or a German camembert?  Look no further.

Not only can the Essex Street Market provide you with crustless quiche, buttery almond croissants, and the largest apples I have ever seen, but you can also find “La Tiendita,” the only “girl-made and fair trade” social venture business. The shop was founded by the Lower Eastside Girl’s Club, selling baked goods like cupcakes, brownies, girl-power bars, and gingerbread. They also have their own organic fair trade brand, with a variety of chocolates and handmade kitchen accessories. A purchase at La Tiendita supports a plethora of environmental, entrepreneurial, and ethical leadership programs.

Done with your grocery shopping? An art gallery and a barber shop are just two more offerings. Visit the market Monday through Saturday 8am to 7pm, located at 120 Market Street. Since I only got a few minutes to experience it, I will definitely be back.

-Caitlin

Saxelby Cheesemongers at the Essex Street Market

Saxelby Cheesemongers at the Essex Street Market

Ronnie-Sue's Chocolates

Roni-Sue's Chocolates








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