I was honored to be one of the judges for the CFDA Lexus /Eco-fashion Challenge 2013, along with Julie Gilhart, Amber Valletta, Lindsay Talbot, Lisa Smilor, Melissa Joy Manning and Scott Mackinlay Hahn.

The first award went to Natalie Chanin, founder of Alabama Chanin. I personally felt Natalie exceeded the criteria established for the contest, and by selecting her as the winner it would raise the bar for the next generation of applicants.

When I visited Alabama Chanin’s pop-up showroom in NY, Natalie pointed out that every piece was unique and individually labeled, and up to that date they had crafted 14,853 garments!

For the last twelve years, Natalie has nurtured her business using only the best practices:

– Crafted by hand
– Made in the USA
– Created local jobs
– Local organic cotton
– Natural dyes
– Workshops and books sharing her techniques
– Short supply chain (sourced and manufactured locally)
– Community building
– Close loop (avoiding waste at all costs)

In this beautiful video Natalie Chanin shares her story and the evolution of her company Alabama Chanin.

Alabama Chanin is an American-made lifestyle brand based in Florence, Alabama that focuses on sustainable practices and production of organic heirloom clothing and home wares.

Video by Gael Towey


Giorgio Armani’s Water Campaign

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It takes an average of 2.5 glasses of water to wash a single glass of water…. and I know New Yorkers are very proud about their clean tap water  and most NY restaurants will pour you a glass of water without any request. But I’ve also noticed that most glasses go untouched.

Start calculating your personal water footprint because very soon we will witness clean water scarcity in this country. The movement towards accountability in every industry sector has just started and waste is not part of the equation.

The Acqua for Life campaign is a partnership between Giorgio Armani and Green Cross International (GCI) that has been targeting water-scarce communities in West Africa (Ghana) and Latin America (Bolivia and Mexico), Sri Lanka, Ivory Coast and Senegal.

About the Cause:
It’s about raising funds and awareness for safe, clean drinking water for children in need. Acqua for Life is a campaign by Giorgio Armani to support the UNICEF Tap Project in an effort to help UNICEF improve access to safe, clean water for children around the globe. For every person who “likes” Acqua for Life on Facebook, Giorgio Armani will donate $1* to support the UNICEF Tap Project, up to 100,000. With $1, UNICEF can provide a child with 40 days of safe, clean drinking water.

March 22nd is World Water Day

Another one of my favorites is Charity Water, where I’ve volunteered in the past.