My spider-senses are tingling! I’ve been following companies like Bolt Threads and writing about them for quite some time, but this past week, Bolt Threads made history when they launched the first commercially available biofabricated spider-silk product at SXSW 2017 – and it’s a classic, woven men’s tie. Make no mistake, this is a tie that will change the world.

With developments like these, we are able to see the inevitable end of animals used inefficiently and brutally in creating fibers. We can also see the end to animals being killed for other things like flesh and milk. Brewing things like silk in the laboratory isn’t just exciting science, it’s the next industrial revolution that could curb the staggering ecological impacts of raising livestock.


Bolt Threads shot a sleek photo campaign and cinematic trailer to launch this revolutionary product, and I couldn’t be more excited, since I’ve always had a fondness for the charm of a woven tie. I even entered the lottery to be able to purchase one of the 50 ties that were made!


Prospector, Treeline, Uniforms for the Dedicated




Treeline Cheese is a cashew-based, aged, artisan cheese that ripens in upstate New York’s Catskill mountains. Whether you stuff a date with it, eat it on sliced fruit, mix it into rice or pasta, or use it to top-off any dish that would call for a fine cheese, it seems there’s no way to go wrong with fine vegan cheeses. Sometimes, though, nothing is better than enjoying a glass of wine while simply letting one small wedge at a time slowly melt in your mouth.


Keep it Simple, Keep it Green

by Patrick LaDuke
A great alternative to those plastic Britas with wasteful filters. Japanese Kishu Binchotan, or White Charcoal, will turn tap water into mineral water, adding; calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorous. It will also adsorb (meaning the chemicals adhere to the surface) up to 75% of chlorine and all other impurities as well, all the while making your water taste better too. Once it is time to replace it, you can simply crush it and place it into the soil, where it nourishes and regulates PH levels. As to the sustainability: “Local craftsmen have carefully managed the forests that produce the raw material for White Charcoal for centuries. The way in which the wood is harvested promotes rapid and fertile regrowth and maintains a healthy ecosystem. The craftsmen have become the caretakers of the forest and by protecting it they maintain an environment that profits both man and nature.” Get it here.

Koncept is an award winning lighting company that makes all of their products with environmental considerations in mind. Their aluminum housing is fully recyclable, the LEDs do not contain mercury, the color finishes are with water-based paint, the cardboard packaging is FSC certified, and most lamps contain somewhere between 30-40% of pre-consumer recycled material(by weight). List of suppliers here. I purchased mine from Lumens, but you can also get them at Amazon.

Originally developed in 1944 for US ships and submarines in WWII, they were designed to be impervious to salt, water, and as a result are practically indestructible. Emeco builds chairs to last you for a lifetime, many of which have lifetime warranties. Almost all chairs are made from recycled aluminum, which is highly recyclable itself, but other materials include: recycled PET, glass fiber, reclaimed WPP (wood fibers), and natural wood. The upholstery can consist of: vinyl, ABS, fire retardant foam, c.o.m./c.o.l., polyurethane, and powder coat.

Ubico Studio sports a 100% recycled tag throughout the website. Most pieces are made of reclaimed wood, and some of their production is even done by a factory which employs disabled people. Most interestingly, they also conduct research, of which they did a series of cutting board art. This collection was called “Meating reality”.
“When is meat desirable? At what point does the craving become discomfort? The work examines this duality without stating a position but rather raises issue through the use of the cutting board as a plate for a bloody ponder.”

Fracktured Lives: Art that asks, WTFrack?

On Monday October 15th a group gathered in Albany to show their support of “responsible gas drilling” in New York. Apparently, hundreds marched to a park near the Capitol for speeches lead by elected officials and labor leaders. The group says that there are jobs being lost by the inability to frack. In this economy, many are left wondering why there is not more initiative by both private and government organizations to boost jobs. It may be true that fracking would create jobs, as well as decrease the cost of natural gas, but is it worth the trouble?

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of extracting natural gas from deep within the earth. A special fracking fluid, made up of water and several chemicals is forced into the sediment in order break up the shale and create new open pockets for the natural gas. Through fracking, natural gas can be extracted at a much higher rate than traditional methods, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds. This drilling process can take up to a month, while the drilling teams delve more than a mile into the Earth’s surface. Once created, these channels are cased in cement to prevent the gas from leaching into groundwater. Fool proof

You have most likely seen the viral videos of people lighting their faucets up in flame, which is said to be one of the many issues with fracking. While studies are still in process, it is believed that the chemicals used during the fracking process leach into groundwater, contaminating well and drinking water. These chemicals are toxic, leaving the water undrinkable as well as flammable–which leaves me to wonder how useful a fire-hydrant will be in a contaminated area during housing or wild fires. To further the issue of contaminated waters, we don’t even know what the chemicals are:

“In 2005, the Bush/ Cheney Energy Bill exempted natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act. It exempts companies from disclosing the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing. Essentially, the provision took the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) off the job. It is now commonly referred to as the Halliburton Loophole. ” [Gaslands]

Being able to ignite your tap water should probably be enough reason to hold off on fracking, at least until proven or made safe. It gets better worse: It can take 1 million to 7 million gallons of water to free up natural gas during fracking [Gaslands]. Processed with chemicals, these millions of gallons become waste! The Earth is made up of mostly water, that doesn’t make it drinkable. And while I love Tank Girl as much as any 90s kid, unless my friend is a talking Kangaroo with serious rapping skills, a future without  proper drinking-water doesn’t seem very fun. We have technology to clean water, we can filter and purify salt water, one day we might even be able to purify that waste water back into drinking water but we can not eliminate the toxins in ground water.

*All rights to images are reserved by the artist

Where we might be able to survive on clean bottled drinking water, how will plants and animals survive while drinking from polluted streams, lakes, and rivers? In turn, how will we eat?

What can we do?


That is what a rather large group of artists are doing in the upcoming Bullet Space exhibition Fracktured Lives in LES NYC. Currently the work can be seen up at the School of Visual Arts, where the posters were printed, but the work will be on show at Bullet Space (292 E 3rd Street New York, New York 10009) for the month of November. The works are all silkscreened posters in editions of 50 at 20 x 23 inches. Each artist created a design commenting on Fracking, varying from the information heavy to a quick jab and great emblem of the movement against hydraulic fracturing.

There are some very beautiful images and moving pieces in the show, but more importantly these are works that will help make the Earth a healthier place for all life. Obviously, postering the city or displaying one of these designs in your window will not reign in energy businesses or even congress. However, it will begin a conversation. We need to stay informed about the toll we take on Earth. Is a larger resource of Natural gas worth polluting groundwater, let alone the convenience of clean water? We need to keep a dialogue open and assess the cost analysis of fracking on the state of communities and the world as a whole.

Or to put it simply, the power is yours!

Three Leaves, Rapanui and Vivobarefoot
Rapanui is “an Award-Winning Eco-fashion brand from on the Isle of Wight”. They make organic, ethical clothing in factories powered by wind and solar energy. Every piece is rated on its sustainability with a letter grade from A-G: A being organic, ethical and sustainable, and G being none of the aforementioned. Where the award winning comes in however, is through their traceability. For all of their clothing they have both a map and a description of the entire process, what they call “from seed to shop”, showing the journey their clothing takes through the entire supply chain to get to the store. Not only are their products animal friendly, but they also work towards animal welfare.

“At Rapanui we will never use fur and none of the products on our site were made after being tested on animals, nor were they derived from animal products.”

Fairtrade Cotton / FSC Rubber Shoes Wolfpack Sweat

Three Leaves, from Red Hook Brooklyn, is a new eCommerce store entering the foray of ethical menswear. That carry brands using eco-friendly materials, with strict certifications like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), cruelty free shoes like Novacas, and socially responsible brands that would never use sweatshop labor, they strive to offer fashion staples for the uncompromising man. Although not entirely vegan (there is some wool and  leather, e.g. jacket zipper, jean tag) they will make note of it in the item’s description.


Vivobarefoot offers eco barefoot shoes suited for most any lifestyle, from trail running to casual. They are made from recycled, locally sourced materials in ethical factories using sustainable production techniques. Each shoe has an eco matrix, in the form of a numerical rating, to score their environmental impact throughout the lifecycle. If a shoe is vegan, it can be found under the shoe’s “features” labeled “Eco Credentials: 100% Vegan”.