Greening Hollywood: Fashion Finds Generation Eco

By Paige Donner

Greening Hollywood: Maggie Gyllenhaal Steps Out on L.A.'s (Eco-) Fashion Runway

Maggie Gyllenhaal hosted The Eco-Fashion Runway show presented by Gen Art to kick off L.A.'s Fashion Week. Gyllenhaal, who is known for embracing a natural lifestyle and is particularly interested in supporting the growing trend of eco-friendly fashion, noted "lots of short skirts and amazing fabrics made out of bamboo," at the runway show staged inside The Petersen Automotive Museum.
Eco-where? was the question to ask of the runway show's fashions such were the designs so au courant. Only when it was blatantly pointed out (which it was!) that these designers use organic and sustainable fabrics and business methods, was the "eco" side to the designs in evidence.
Velvet Leaf Design
Featured designers were Velvet Leaf which showed a predominantly silk line by sisters Laura and Becky Carter, 21 and 23 years old; The Battalion, also created by a sister team, Chrys and Linda Wong, exhibited an exotic edge with its Anais Nin inspired theme; Popomomo, the design label of Silverlake's Lizz Wasserman, featured knee socks, ankle socks, stirrup socks paired with sandals and kitten pumps and dresses made from natural Soy Jersey; Brigid Catiis crafted her collection of short dresses with backties, sashes and bandeaus as "the fresh, the chic, the bold."

Gen Art was inspired to stage this first showcase of all eco, natural fashions because, "fashion is not just what you put on but what you put in your body." The Battalion uses only organic fabrics and emphasizes its use of bamboo, cotton blends and cruelty-free silk. It's known for soft drapery fabrics and comfort knits and jerseys.

The sisters Wong were determined to design a high-end, very wearable eco-friendly line that was fashion-driven. "We want to combine social and cultural issues into our fashion line. For this line we were inspired by the 80's New Wave, Flamenco dancing, rock-n-roll music and retro romanticism lifted from our readings of Anais Nin literature," they said. Their showstopper piece was the floor-length, all-white Flamenco ruffle evening gown with headdress/veil that had an Egyptian feel to it. It was cut from Bamboo Jersey.

Popomomo's runway show was a comment on the impact of current events on fashion. "I used a lot of socks and legwear. This season it will be all about separates and accessories, pieces people can afford to add to their wardrobe. When I lived in New York, I was all about tights, but LA is too hot for tights!" said this bio-diesel-driving designer. Wasserman also added that when she's designing her line, "I start with my design ideas. Sometimes those ideas are curtailed by the fabrics I find but this time I found what I was looking for. You can't convince someone to wear a nasty fabric even if it's organic."

The Carter sisters, the brains and creativity behind Velvet Leaf are all about sourcing. "If you want to care about the environment, care about the labor that goes into making your goods," they said. Their line this season used a lot of raw silk and silk jersey which they source from a fair trade co-op in Cambodia operated by women. "So, basically, we're supporting a community of women in Cambodia," they said. They prefer to get their silk from the fair trade co-op rather than a country like China, they said, so they can be sure that the laborers who are gathering and processing the silk are treated fairly and humanely. "We like to be socially responsible as well as environmentally friendly," they said.

Mallyce Miller is another young designer showcased by Gen Art's "Fresh Faces in Fashion" but not in the eco-wear category. Nonetheless, when she chose her plaid and flannel fabrics for last year's line, she opted for an organic bamboo fabric. "I'm clued in to what young people want, which is why I used plaids and flannels and chose a bamboo-based fabric," she said. She added that as eco-fashion becomes more popular as a trend, it will allow designers more ready choices in eco-friendly fabrics which will translate in competitive pricing for consumers. Also, she stays away from leather and fur and looks for shoes made out of other materials, such as Natalie Portman's line of vegan footwear.

The event was co-sponsored by 360 Vodka which is an eco-friendly vodka. Their Close The Loop Campaign donates $1 to charity for every bottle top mailed back in to the company after use. Their bottles are made from 85% recycled glass.

Follow Paige Donner on Twitter:
Maggie Gyllenhaal hosted The Eco-Fashion Runway show presented by Gen Art to kick off L.A.'s Fashion Week. Gyllenhaal, who is known for embracing a natural lifestyle and is particularly interested in...
Maggie Gyllenhaal hosted The Eco-Fashion Runway show presented by Gen Art to kick off L.A.'s Fashion Week. Gyllenhaal, who is known for embracing a natural lifestyle and is particularly interested in...

Best Green Blogs

Greening Hollywood: Green Is Teen Choice Awards

By Paige Donner

This year's Teen Choice Awards were hosted by Miley Cyrus, the queen of teen. Teens cast approximately 32 million votes in support of their favorite nominees.
Out on the blue carpet -- a royal blue because it was made from recycled plastic bottles and will be re-used at future events -- Greening Hollywood asked best buds, Demi Lovato (Camp Rock) and Selena Gomez (Princess Protection Program) what their eco-anthem might be about?
Selena Gomez -- Princess Protection Program
"If I sang an eco-anthem right now, it would be about global warming," said Gomez. "Turn off the lights, turn off the lights," is what Demi Lovato said might be some of her lyrics. "I'd also sing about another issue that is close to teens' hearts, which is rumors," said the young star who's on tour right now and starts a TV series in September. "And I have a new movie coming out called The Princess Protection Program that also stars Selena Gomez, my best friend."

Teen nominees for this year's Awards relished the idea of a recyclable "blue" carpet. Fox Broadcasting Company, said they'd specifically requested to rent this recyclable blue carpet rather than purchasing it outright and throwing it away after the event. When asked if traditionally at awards shows and big industry events the "red" carpet would just get tossed afterwards, Fox officials replied, "Yes!"
Fox says they're hoping that people will follow suit and rent the blue carpets for their events. "That's what we want everyone to do. We should all up the ante!"
Cast of The Secret Life of The American Teen

The Secret Life of The American Teen was nominated, and won, for Choice Summer TV Show. "The show aired only 5 times. It's ridiculous! I'm so excited!" said Francia Raisa who plays Adrian on the hit ABC Family show.
Greening Hollywood chatted with show cast members Greg Finley (Jack) and Kenny Baumann (Ben) pre-show.

Greening Hollywood: How is it working on the show?
"It's awesome. I can pay rent. Eat good food. And do what I love to do. And be with awesome people," said Finley who moved out to LA in 2005 from Maine to pursue an acting career.
"It doesn't feel like work. We're getting paid to do what we love. It's like a playground, y'know?" said Baumann whose family operates a wildlife rescue in Texas.

Greening Hollywood: What are some of the big issues these days?
"The big issue seems to be the environment. That's what I think every young teen should be all about is helping to make the environment better for future generations," said Finley.
"Any future candidate really needs to focus on environmental issues," said Baumann.
"Taking care of the environment is a really good idea for theworld. For peace," said cast member Luke.
"It's one of the only world issues, I think, that everyone can agree on. So why the heck not?" commented Finley.

Greening Hollywood: And what about the set of The Secret Life of The American Teen? Is it a green set?
"The creator of the show definitely stressed to the network that she wants a very green set and that all materials used for production are recycled and sustainable.," volunteered Finley.
"We recycle on our set. All the wood used in production on the set is recycled wood," added Baumann.

Greening Hollywood: And you guys are behind her on that?
"Oh yeah! Absolutely! You got to!" said all the cast members.

Greening Hollywood: Do you feel the environment is an issue that can bring us all together?
"I hope so. It's gotta be somethin' so why not the environment?" said Baumann.
Winner of Best Comedy Show, Hannah Montana, cast member Anna Maria Perez de Tagle said that, "People should start using public transportation more because our situation kind of calls for it."
This is something else that Joshua Mark of Fox thought about. He partnered with Global Inheritance, a nonprofit run by Eric Ritz, to provide a complimentary gift from show sponsors Neutrogena, JC Penney and Dr. Pepper, to whomever took public transportation to attend the show.
"Gifts will be given to any one of the 6000 audience members who took the bus or the subway to the show. And Universal is actually a very easy place to get to on a bus or by subway," said Mark.
Chris Brown, Teen Choice -- Best Male Artist

Global Inheritance also partnered with Fox on their composting stations throughout the Awards venue which was held at Gibson Ampitheatre. "We brought in compostable cups, lids, straws to the house... so pretty much everything in the house will be compostable when we're all done. A team from Global Inheritance is manning all the trash bins and they'll help people understand the difference between compost recycling and trash," explained Ritz.

And the big first for this awards show was the use of B99 bio-diesel fuel to power the generators for the blue carpet and press areas and the staging for the house. Solar was also used and fed into the grid in partnership with SoCal Edison.
"Most shows go B20 at the most. That's 20% bio-diesel and 80% regular diesel. B99 generates dramatically less carbon output. It's a much cleaner burning fuel," explained Mark who stressed that by greening the event, a lot of energy was saved.
"This is a first. It's the first time we've used B99. This is the first major awards show to use B99. This is the start of it," said Ritz.
Chris Brown who won a Choice Award for Best Male Artist, R&B Artist, and R&B Track said he came out not just to receive his awards but also to see what the younger kids were up to and who was doing what.  

Brown agreed with Greening Hollywood, that if our teens have anything to say about it, the color of our future is Green.

Follow Paige Donner on Twitter:
Best Green Blogs


Greening Hollywood: Solar Taxi's Bbq In The 'Bu

 On 3 July 2007 I set off on my first journey around the world with a solar powered vehicle. The solar taxi...should show that every single one of us can take a step towards preserving our planet." Louis Palmer, SolarTaxi Instigator

The bbq in the 'Bu was held out in the Malibu Colony after the SolarTaxi spent the day making friends and fans at the Malibu Arts Festival. Locals attending included Brian Grazer, James Cameron, Larry Hagman, and wife of Universal Studios President, Kelly Meyer.

PICS available here:

Larry Hagman (of Who Shot J.R. fame) is a big believer in solar power. "Before I installed solar panels on my roof in 2005, my electricity bill was $37,000. The next year, 2006, my entire electric bill was $13.00. I went off-grid," Hagman told Greening Hollywood at the bbq in Malibu Colony.

According to Erik Schmitt, SolarTaxi videographer and Thomas Gottschalk, team mechanic, China has proved so far to be the most receptive country to the SolarTaxi and the concept of solar-powered vehicles. China is cornering the market on cheap silicon production which is what's used to manufacture solar cells. Silicon is made from sand.

Also mentioned by the solar sojourners was that Japan did not allow them entry, due to some archaic law about Swiss license plates still on the books. India has 80,000 deaths from traffic accidents each year. And Saudi Arabia finally issued them visas, from the King himself, to allow them to drive across the country albeit with a police escort the entire way!

How It Works
The solar cells that trail the vehicle on the flatbed behind the car produce enough electricity to travel up to 100 km a day.
When they need to drive more than 100 km a day, they charge their ZEBRA battery with additional solar power. Their solar power plant lives on a rooftop in Berne, Switzerland.
The electricity created by these rooftop solar panels in Berne is fed into the grid, offsetting electricity generated by using fossil fuels. "It's like paying money into a bank account and withdrawing the money somewhere else: We feed solar electricity into the grid and charge it into our battery anywhere in the world, from the grid. If all cars in the world were powered this way, cars wouldn't cause global warming!" says Louis Palmer.

The Solartaxi proves it's possible to drive 15,000 km a year powered by 9 square yards of solar cells on a rooftop.

More Pictures

The Solartaxi is a lightweight vehicle, about the size of a SmartCar.
* Ecology: Zero CO2 emission!
* A new energy solution provides independence: 6m2 solar cells on a rooftop yield power for 15,000 km per year!
* Freedom: To drive up to 400 km with the latest ZEBRA battery technology.
* Max. speed: 90 km/h
* Light weight: 500 kg (+ 250 kg for thailer)
* Energy efficient: Consumption of 8 kWh/100 km (equivalent of 0.8 l petrol / 100 km)
Follow Paige Donner on Twitter:

Best Green Blogs


Greening Hollywood: Where Art and Nature Align

By Paige Donner

Art in harmony with Nature is what the G2 Gallery in Venice Beach is all about. The gallery opened March 11th on Venice's chic Abbot Kinney Blvd., and is housed in its very own eco-friendly building. The passion project of Dan and Susan Gottlieb, the G2 Gallery will only showcase art that has a nature or environmental theme.

The gallery's inaugural artist, the renowned nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen, said, "What the Gottliebs are trying to do with their gallery is new and different for L.A. I'm flattered that they chose me to be the first artist to be shown in the gallery. I'm proud to have my work in there." Mangelsen has dedicated his artwork to bringing attention to the need for conservation and protection of wildlife and its natural environment, "When I'm moved by something, such as images or experiences of nature, it helps me be inspired to protect it and talk about it," he said. He is the 2007 winner of the American Photo Images of the Year Competition, Nature category.

When asked if all the artists intended to be shown at her gallery will have a nature or environmental angle to their artwork, Susan Gottlieb answered, "That's what this gallery is about. We may do something other than photographs, we might turn to other art forms, but at this point in time we don't ever see ourselves straying from nature and wildlife, the environmental road," she said.

The G2 Gallery, founded to promote the appreciation and conservation of the natural environment through art forms, has collaborated with the Friends of the Ballona Wetlands and the Environmental Media Association to donate 15% of all sale proceeds.


The G2 Gallery plans on being actively available for lecture series and conferences. "We really want to use this building to that end. We really do. It's a passion," said Gottlieb. "I'm on the Board of Directors for The Friends of Ballona Wetlands. In fact, we're holding our Board Meetings here, now." Any groups or individuals interested can direct their inquiries to Jolene Hanson, the gallery's director.


Installations will last about 3 months. Robert Glenn Ketchum will be shown in the near future. Ketchum was acknowledged by Audubon magazine as one of the 100 people "who shaped the environmental movement of the 20th century."

Commented Susan Gottlieb about photographer/environmentalists Mangelsen and Ketchum, "I guess it would be hard to go out in nature and take these pictures and not see the devastation that is being wrought by our terrible practices."

The G2 Gallery
1503 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90201
Tues-Sun. 11-6

Follow Paige Donner on Twitter:

Best Green Blogs


Greening Hollywood: Going Global and Green at The Oscars

What do these three things have in common? More and more, these days.
Oscars 2008 marks the second year in a row that the Oscars have gone Green, thanks largely to the non-partisan NRDC's initiatives spearheaded at last year's Academy Awards. To see the Environmental Achievements of this year's 80th Annual Academy Awards, please go here.

Global Green USA, another environmental organization operating in the crossroads of celebrity and environmental activists, is the American affiliate of President Gorbachev's Green Cross International which is an organization dedicated to stopping climate change. At this year's Pre-Oscar bash held at Avalon in Hollywood, Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Global Green spoke to us about their philosophy behind galvanizing celebrity endorsements of environmental causes.

Follow Paige Donner on Twitter:


Greening Hollywood: Green With Music

Green With Music -- Grammy's

By Paige Donner
This year the Grammys showed off a distinctly green tint -- green as in eco-conscious and environmentally friendly. As you may know, award season in Hollywood offers a smorgasbord of gifting lounges for celebrities and entertainment industry-ites. Green With Music was an event held this past weekend during Grammys '08 that offered a new and distinctly Green twist on the concept of Gifting Lounges.

Green With Music, the first-ever, all-green gifting retreat held in honor of the Grammy nominees to help promote the ongoing awareness of the environment was housed at The South Collection, Los Angeles' first and only sustainably-built high-rise community. The Collection's Eleven building is currently the only LEED Gold Certified building in Los Angeles and offers eco-conscious design, greenspaces and on-site retail. The South Collection is just steps from LA Live and the Staples Center, home to the Grammys Award show, and have been created in concert to further the identity and aesthetics of the Green Renaissance promoting intelligent building sprouting up in Downtown Los Angeles.
Take a look at the video here to meet some of this year's Grammy nominated Rock'n'Rollers who use music and their lifestyle to promote healthy, eco-conscious living.

Follow Paige Donner on Twitter:
Best Green Blogs