Being Eco-Land

Fashion

By Star Noor, Features Editor

Photos: Courtesy of Beezee EcoLand

FIRST PUBLISHED IN COCO ECO MAGAZINE, ONLINE

Fast fashion has come into our world of consumerism and has quickly taken ahold with our everyday practice of buy more, save more – a mantra that first began with the high savings super-stores that bring the global market to everyone’s doorstep with seemingly affordable prices for everything under the sun – a practice that soon became a part of the fashion world in order to bring a seasonal, trend driven market to every household, enticing fashionistas everywhere to buy, buy, buy!

A trend to let us keep up with the trends soon became the rising star and nearly everyone bought in. Giant bags of low-priced and often on-clearance styles (due to mass turnover and over-production) left giant storefronts in enthusiastic march to become closet-clutter-mashups compiled of everything the owners forgot they ever had, thanks to over-consumerism. These were the first days when we started accepting low-craftsmanship, high industrial pollution, low humanitarian, ethical working standards, and a surge in consumption and waste production rates as acceptable norms. BUY MORE, WASTE MORE, BE MORE…WHATERVER THAT MEANS.

Fast fashion – once a downfall of fashion expressionism altogether due to misguided consumer demand and short-sighted shareholders, has now begun to transform into the new dawn of the style world; the forward progression of conscious-consumerism and ethical production practices of the 21st century which will undoubtedly change the way we see the face of fashion forever.

We have finally come to realize that the past mode of fashion is not only heavier on the collective wallet in the long-run but also far more damaging to our environment and poor working nations than we had been falsely led to believe. We have come to resist the pragmatism of the past eras and revolt against a set system (as we humans often love to do), and begin to reshape our world (in fashion or otherwise) in many creative and conscious ways. One example of this change is BeeZee EcoLand, a label that is aware of its impact in every aspect of their business practices, even at the cost of profitability. I recently chat with Bianca Zvorc Morris about her post-traumatic creation, unique and proactive rather than ‘cookie cutter’ and reactive in its model; an approach which lends to the brand’s very unique personality in many ways.hollyecowood_wed_50ad92f99e16b

A brand that is truly noteworthy due to the wisdom and empathetic nature of its founder-designer, who above all else makes it her life’s mission to stay true to her ideals as an eco-preneur. In our discussions, the veteran PR executive turned designer and clean-living advocate had this to say:

Coco Eco: What brought you to BeeZee EcoLand?

elegant_handmade_5441cd37a9990

BZM: While living in NYC in 2009 the economic crisis moved to the EU and a lot of women I know lost their jobs in the textile industry in my birth town in Slovenia. I wanted to do something more in tune with my general ethical convictions and start a project that would use all of my skills to help others and make this planet a better place for all of us. In 2010 we moved to Germany and I got a job in an advertising agency working as an AD/CD [advertising director/creative director for H&M, C&A and Zara. That was the first time I learned how “fast fashion” is toxic and harmful. I left my job and started focusing on BeeZee EcoLand, a project that is supporting three single mothers in Slovenia with earned income.

Coco Eco: Your business model is designed with growth projections purposefully mindful of your brand’s mission as geared towards your personal purpose; why did you choose this model for your brand?

All of my life I was interested in ecology and a healthy, compassionate lifestyle. I like to think global, but wanted to act local. My time on Earth is short so I want to help and make this planet better for all of us – especially the future generations that are inheriting what is unfortunately a truly sad planet. My biggest happiness in life (and a privilege) is to be able to help others – especially children, animals and nature. When I learned about the cruelty and dangers behind fast fashion I had to do something. The topic has received some, but unfortunately not nearly enough, attention in the media. Organic fabrics with the lowest carbon foot print do not cause sickness in people or wildlife with herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, GMO seeds. Fair-trade where people get paid well and work in truly safe conditions were extremely important to me.  Only happy people can make clothes that are full of positive energy and love – I like to think they work as a protection shield in many ways for those who wear them.

Coco Eco: How much of an impact, in your opinion, does the dying process of textiles have on the environment?

BZM: The chemicals that we use to produce dyes are highly toxic, carcinogenic or even explosive! Chemical Aniline in AZO dyes are considered to be deadly poisons. Other harmful chemicals are dioxin (hormone disrupter), toxic heavy metals (chrome, zinc, copper…) and formaldehyde that is a carcinogen. They are dangerous for dye workers, cause environmental pollution around these facilities (dump water) [mainly] in underground water – many people in the undeveloped world even drink this kind of water – and the chemicals are not safe for those who wear these clothes – the final consumer! 

 

Email your order to info@beezeeecoland.com, and code “BeeZeeEcoLand-ModernRebel” for a 5% discount.

beezeeecolandsuitdressesbysimonkoleznik

Advertisements

These Boots Are Made for Walking.

Celebrity, Fashion

These Boots Are Made for Walking

By Star Noor, Features Editor, Coco Eco Magazine

FIRST PUBLISHED IN COCO ECO MAGAZINE, 2016

In life, we are but stories contrived of the decisions we make, and those which are made for us that propel us into what we humans call, fate.  Like any other human story, Kat Mendenhall’ eventual plunge into a new found career as a shoe designer with a conscious, and vegan eats guru, was like many other stories, serendipitous.

For her, as fate would have it, her longstanding successful career as a telecommunications professional which had allowed her to raise and educate her daughter, became unfulfilling.  She explains that as an empty nester, “I was finally in a position to make a change. I wasn’t exactly sure what that change would look like but I set out to find it…I was able to discover a few hidden passions that evolved into my new career. My advice for others would be: do what you have to do to pay the bills, but on the side work on the thing that sets your soul on fire. No one deserves to be stuck on an unfulfilling career path.”

 

This introspection, combined with extended education brought Kat to designing Western style boots, with all the flair and personality of the designer herself, and true to form she spares no detail or weight to quality. She is particular about the degree of costumer satisfaction she delivers to her clients, as she feels that is as important as the carbon footprint her company leaves while delivering high quality at comfortable prices products.

 

She states, “We put a lot of effort in making our boots as sustainable as possible. The material itself is a high technology “polyurethane” and synthetic based material that contains no PVC; there is no off-gassing in the production. The USA facility where it is produced uses solar power, emissions control and energy reclamation systems, water based production, and power saver lighting. In addition to the material, our other components such as plastic or cardboard are used from recycled material. Our workshop located in El Paso, Texas is a small privately owned shop, not a production factory.”

 

In her business model, as well as her lifestyle she feels that:

 

Lindsey Miller Photo

Lindsey Miller Photo

Choosing a vegan lifestyle is also better for the environment. Factory farming is a huge contributor of waste and greenhouse gasses, which pollute our land, air, and water and contribute to climate change. Our land and trees are being destroyed solely for the sake of raising cattle. Lastly, we can no longer turn our eyes away from the unnecessary cruelty that exist towards the animals for the production of meat, dairy, and eggs. Most people have no clue about the severity of cruelty that exist and most do not want to know. If they knew, then they’d have to deal with their conscious for being a contributor to such cruelty by consuming animal products. We do have a choice though, that choice is to reduce or eliminate animal products from your diet and eventually your clothes and shoes too. We know that animals are smart soulful creatures that feel pain and have friendships and companions just like humans. It doesn’t make sense to love one and eat the other.

 

To some, this might be opinion hard to swallow, until Kat further explains the health reasons why her chosen path might be a better option for others as well, “Choosing a vegan lifestyle has so many positive benefits that can’t be ignored. Research has proven that consuming a diet of whole plant-based foods has tremendous health benefits. It has the ability to prevent, treat, and even reverse chronic disease such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer, which studies show can all be food-borne related.”   She goes on, “In addition, obesity is a risk factor contributing to these illnesses and studies show that people that consume a vegan diet vs. a diet in meat and dairy typically weigh less. America is getting sicker; we need to reverse our mentality to choose plants over pills.”

lindseymillerphoto-katmendenhallboots-76

Regardless of how you feel about her life motto, one thing is for certain, leaving a lower carbon footprint and consuming more sustainable materials than less is better for the world as a whole, and that includes you.  Beautifully crafted and durable to last you more than one season, Kat Mendenhall boots are a stylish addition to any wardrobe coast-to-coast.

untitled

Click on the image above to shop Kat Mendenhall.  Use Promo Code cocoeco16 for 15% off of you purchase, just in time for the Holiday season.