Honest to Goodness - September/October 2013
Digital magazine focusing on living a balanced and full life, with style.
OUR INAUGURAL ISSUE! ISSUE 1 - September/October 2013 YOGA THERAPY: FOR THE BODY AND THE SOUL THE REAL PRICE OF FAST FASHION: ARE YOU OVERDRESSED? FARM FRESH VEGGIES AT A FRACTION OF THE COST: THE “CSA” MOVEMENT EASING INTO FALL WE’LL HELP YOU BEAT THE POST-SUMMER-BLUES 2 Honest to Goodness WELCOME TO OUR FIRST ISSUE! Dear Readers, I don’t know about you, but when my favorite natural living magazine shuttered at the end of 2012, I truly felt its absence. Each month, when that glossy publication arrived in my mailbox, I looked forward to the moment that I would open its pages with a hot cup of tea beside me, and enter a world that was healthy, vibrant and teeming with inspiration. In this, our inaugural issue, we’ll do a deep dive into Community Supported Agriculture, and then, in upcoming issues, I’ll be following the farmers at my local CSA, Hamlet Organic Garden, to give an overview of a year-in-the-life of a CSA farm. I hope you will enjoy this ongoing series, and that it will inspire you to eat local, support farmers in your area, and cook with abandon. We’ll also pull back the curtain on fast-fashion, suggest ways Rather than mourn the loss any longer, I to embrace fall after the freedom of sumdecided that I could fill the void. I could mer, and introduce you to a New York City create a magazine that would offer insight based yoga therapist who is changing into the lives of wellness pioneers, advice lives. on living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, messages of spirituality and simplicity I want Honest To Goodness to serve your as well as suggestions for products and needs, so I hope to hear from you. Let practices that will get you excited about me know what you want to read about, living an Honest to Goodness life. and what you don’t. We will grow together and find our happiest, healthiest and So what is an Honest to Goodness life? I most fulfilling lives. believe it is equal parts a life lived with joy, respect for the planet, a focus on fam- Warmest, ily and friends, and a desire to make each day better than the one that came be fore. Your path to an Honest to Goodness life may be different from mine. In fact, it Editor-in-Chief probably will be, but I hope that this magazine will help you along your journey. 3 September/October 2013 CONTRIBUTORS: Amanda Brown started her love affair with healthy, green and natural living while taking yoga classes at age 7. In pursuit of an Honest to Goodness life she has researched the chemicals in her cosmetics, tried acupuncture, reiki, reflexology and watsu and driven home from vacation with a trunk full of frozen, grass-fed beef. She currently resides in New York City with her husband and co-founder, Kevin Brown, and a large, fat cat. Kevin Brown grew up with an outdoorsy family (to say the least). Between skiing, biking, hiking, boating, kayaking, camping and more - he was raised with respect for nature and a love of all living things. The son of an earth-science teacher, recycling was a way of life, so his work at Honest to Goodness is really just the end result of a lifetime of being good to the earth. Elizabeth L. Cline is a New York-based writer, editor, and author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion (Penguin Portfolio/2012). Cline holds a degree in Political Philosophy from Syracuse University and has written for the Daily Beast, New York magazine, The New Republic, Village Voice, GOOD, Etsy Blog, seedmagazine.com, Nerve.com, and many others. She is currently an editor for AMCtv.com. Overdressed is her first book. 4 Honest to Goodness Lynn Crimando BFA, MA, RYT-500 empowers her clients to accommodate their individual needs, abilities, and stages of life with safety and a sense of play. Lynn has taught the able-bodied, as well as people living with Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Dementia, Trauma and back pain. She lives and works in New York City and has taught stress reduction at Tiffany & Co. and meditation to victims of trauma in the South Bronx, sometimes on the same day. Join us! September/October 2013 5 table of contents FEATURES 32 THE FARM OF THE FUTURE What is Community Supported Agriculture, and why you should join the movement. 41 LYNN CRIMANDO The evolution of a yoga therapist. Plus, a practice for transitioning from work to home on page 24. 46 OVERDRESSED Fast Fashion is hurting our environment, our wallets and our consciences. A Gorgeous Fall Sunset! DEPARTMENTS: Don’t let the end of summer get you down. We’ve got ways to make the transition smooth. Greener Goods Rewarding Reads Lynn’s Letters Pack your lunch in ecostyle this fall. The books you’ll want to read. Transitioning from work or school to home with intention. 8 16 Better Beauty Cooking Class Moisturizers to sooth tired summer skin. Recipes to fill those new lunch containers. 12 6 62 EASE INTO FALL Honest to Goodness 18 22 September/October 2013 7 greener goods: A mericans throw away 25 million styrofoam cups every year and 2.3 million plastic beverage bottles every hour. And that doesnâ€™t even begin to tally the plastic baggies, wrappers, boxes and bags that contain our food. This fall, letâ€™s turn over a new leaf and go green with the family lunch! After all, do we really need to help the Great Pacific Garbage Patch grow? $15.99 Lunchskins.com 8 Honest to Goodness L unchskins are reusable sandwich baggies, napkins and lunchtotes - fun for kids, with chic patterns for adults. I bought a navy blue shark pattern before I saw the modern, fun, cyan dots, below. They are dishwashwer safe, which means they are supremely low-maintenance, and are regularly tested to ensure they are toxin free. Use them for sandwiches, pretzels, carrot sticks and more. They c om in OUR e colors ! greener goods T he first Klean Kanteen arrived on the market in 2004 - a 27 oz. original. Since then, they have taken the eco-world by storm. Our Editor-inChief swears by her insulated bottle for hot tea and iced coffee. And they even have a line of entirely plastic free kanteens (the lid is made of sustainably harvested bamboo, food-grade silicone and stainless steel). Best of all, Klean Kanteen is B Corp Certified! T he company is launching a new line of Stainless Steel Food Canisters this fall (check out the image from their new lineup, below). These will be perfect for toting soups and stews and maybe even some hot oatmeal on a cool fall morning! What are B Corps? B Corp certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic Certification is to milk. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The beloved (and beat-up) Klean Kanteen that belongs to our EdtorIn-Chief! $32.95/27oz $17.95/8oz $21.95/6oz kleankanteen.com September/October 2013 9 greener goods M ade of dishwasher and microwave safe food-grade silicone (except for the lids, those youâ€™ll have to handwash), these collapsible containers double in size to carry your favorite foods and then flatten to fit in your bag so you can seamlessly transition to after work (or school) activities! P roduced by SmartPlanet, the kits include a spork and are available in 5 colors. $12.99 SmartPlanetHome.com Perfect for picky eaters or a salad with multiple parts, these containers are the most flexible of the bunch. L aptop Lunches were the brainchild of two moms looking to create containers that would make packing lunch easy, flexible and kid-friendly. Their bento-ware consists of interchangeable smaller containers, each with a lid, that nestle inside one larger box. T he containers are free of BPA, Phthalates and PVC, recycled and recyclable, and made in the USA! $23.99 LaptopLunches.com 10 Honest to Goodness Sometimes You Just Want It All (In Just One Softgel) “I started getting serious about my overall health a few years ago and that’s when I realized just how many fish oil supplements there are. I wanted a fish oil that was high enough in Omega-3s to support my heart, brain, and joints in just one softgel—with no fishy aftertaste.* I found all this and more in Norwegian Gold ® Super Critical Omega.” 1125 mg Omega-3. One Softgel. One Advanced Formula! Norwegian Gold Super Critical Omega: With 1125 mg of Omega-3 per softgel, Super Critical Omega supports the body’s natural inflammation response and promotes healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels already in the normal range.* Promotes brain and joint health and gives added immune support with 1,000 IU of Vitamin D.* Is enteric coated to deliver Omega-3s to the intestines for enhanced absorption and no fishy aftertaste. It also contains Lipase, a natural enzyme to help the body better digest the fish oil.* Is certified with the highest 5-star IFOS purity rating. Try Norwegian Gold ® Advanced Fish Oils today! Available at health food stores and other fine retailers. * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. †Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA & DHA Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. September/October 2013 NG-5453 1-800-830-1800 | www.NorwegianGoldFishOils.com 11 better beauty: W hen summer turns into fall, the light, oil-free moisturizer that was our best friend throughout July and August just doesnâ€™t cut it anymore. Instead, we turn to richer creams and oils full of good-for-the-skin ingredients that will repair the damage inflicted by sun, salt and heat and protect from the dryness and winds of winter days to come. 12 Honest to Goodness better beauty J ohn Masters Organics’ Mandarin Maximum Moisture ($48/JohnMasters. com) includes Japanese satsuma mandarin extract to lighten skin and reduce sunspots - so your face can forgive you for leaving your hat at home that one time. Glycoproteins will stimulate cell growth - damage be gone! I n Acure’s Sensitive Facial Cream ($19.99/AcureOrganics. com) soothing chamomile and probiotics will heal skin that is recovering from a summer of too much sun. Organic argan oil is a superior moisturizer and the company’s Chlorella Growth Factor and Active Stem Cells will keep wrinkles at bay. A nother John Masters selection: Pomegranate Nourishing Facial Oil’s ($30/ JohnMasters.com) blend of 12 plant and essential oils instantly penetrates and nourishes dry skin. Use alone or add to any moisturizer for extra hydration. And it’s USDA Certified Organic! W ith krill oil, argan oil and blackberry seed oil, Marie Veronique Organics Face Oil’s ($80/ MVOrganics.com) special, luxurious blend will provide skin with omegas, antioxidants and a serious hit of moisture. Previously called MVO Anti-Aging Oil+, use this to fend of fine lines and wrinkles. September/October 2013 13 better beauty Y es to Carrots Repairing Night Cream ($14.99/YestoCarrots. com) features beta carotene from organic carrots and vitamin E to soothe and hydrate your skin all night long. You’ll wake up glowing! B urt’s Bees Sensitive Night Cream ($15/BurtsBees.com) is formulated with softening cotton extract to sustain moisture as well as rice extract to hydrate and aloe to soothe. Shea butter is just the cherry on top of this facial treat. E rase the signs of your summer fun (but not the memories) with 100% Pure’s Coffee Cherry Cream ($35/100percentpure.com). It contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and coffee cherry, green coffee and green tea - an antioxidant super-cocktail that will help repair sun damage. Blogger love: No More Dirty Looks is an amazing resource for natural, clean makeup. Check them out at NoMoreDirtyLooks.com, and go get the book: 14 Honest to Goodness P C BIO RO TI BRAN D In N at u ra l H e alt h Sto † re s Introducing Brenda Watson’s Women’s Complete Probiotic A High Potency Probiotic Formulated for a Woman by a Woman “As a woman, I know many of us don’t like to talk about our digestive ‘issues,’ but having good digestive health is critical to having overall good health. That’s why I formulated a new high-potency probiotic with key Lactobacillus strains that addresses the unique needs of women.” * Brenda Watson, C.N.C. Founder/President ReNew Life Formulas New York Times Best-Selling Author Public Television Star More Cultures. One Capsule. Once a Day. Ultimate Flora™ Women’s Complete helps restore and maintain a woman’s digestive and urogenital balance while supporting immune health.* It contains 90 billion live cultures per capsule of 12 specially selected, naturallysourced Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria GPS probiotic strains.* For optimum performance, each delayed-release capsule protects the probiotics Supports healthy digestion from harsh stomach acid and and regularity* helps ensure optimal delivery to Promotes immune health* the intestinal and urogenital tracts Supports vaginal and urinary health* * where they naturally exist. And Formulated with like all Ultimate Flora probiotics, Women’s Complete has potency THE ULTIMATE FLORA ADVANTAGE guaranteed until expiration.‡ Try Ultimate Flora Women’s Complete 90 Billion today! * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. † Based on SPINS Natural Channel data, 52 weeks ending 7.06.13. ‡ Formulated to provide 90 billion live cultures per capsule at time of consumption, if prior to expiration, under recommended storage conditions. Storage and handling conditions may vary, and may affect the total amount of cultures delivered at consumption. September/October 2013 UFH-5583 Available at health food stores and other fine retailers everywhere. For more info or a location near you, call 1-800-830-1800 or visit www.renewlife.com 15 rewarding reads: I n 2006, Jeffrey Sachs, celebrated economist, special advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations and author of The End of Poverty launched the Millenium Villages Project with the audacious goal to end world poverty. Nina Munk, contributing editor for Vanity Fair, spent six years reporting on Sachs’ work, Now, in THE IDEALIST, Munk presents a fascinating and in-depth portrait of a remarkable man. 16 Doubleday 9.10.13 M J cDermott won the National Book Award for Charming Billy and has been thrice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Now, in SOMEONE, her prodigious skill is again on display. With a narrative that moves fluidly through time, McDermott presents the life of Marie Commeford. Part of a tight-knit Irish-Catholic neighborhood, Marie’s path collides with tragedy, scandal and heartbreak to create a moving, eloquent picture of an ordinary life. ulian Barnes (winner of the Booker prize for The Sense of an Ending) combines two seemingly disparate tales in this slim, spare book. One is a semi-fictional account of two 19th-century balloonists and an affair that would leave one shattered; and the other is a 50-page essay about his wife’s heart-wrenching, speedy death due to a brain tumor. Sad? Yes. Deeply moving, elegiac, complex and beautiful? Also, yes. Farrar, Straus and Giroux 9.10.13 Knopf 9.24.13 Honest to Goodness C alcutta is rendered in exquisite detail as the backdrop of this story about two brothers, Subhash and Udayan Mitra. They are inseperable, but headed for very different lives. Subhash is drawn to a quiet career in scientific research in America, and Udyan will sacrifice everything for a political party and cause that he believes in. Covering four decades in one family’s life, this is Pulitzer Prizewinner Lahiri’s (The Namesake) latest triumph. Knopf 9.24.13 books that will make you laugh, cry, and turn the pages late into the night I n Elizabeth Gilbert’s (Eat, Pray, Love) first new novel in 12 years, she weaves a mesmerizing story of love, adventure and discovery. Alma Whittaker, born in 1800 into a wealthy, enterprising family, is a botanist of renown. Her research into evolution puts her at odds with her lover, a utopian artist. Their disparate attempts to understand the universe will carry them on a spellbinding journey across the globe and into the modern age. Viking 10.1.13 I n this humorous look at fear through the eyes of an avowed scaredy cat, Patty Chang Anker (upside-down-patty. blogspot.com) decides to face her fears in order to be a better role model for her daughters. Along the way she discovers she’s not alone in holding onto childhood fears and conquers her own (diving, riding a bike, doing a handstand, surfing) while helping others with theirs (public-speaking, flying, heights, driving). Riverhead 10.10.13 S ince 2003, the revolutionary oral-history project StoryCorps has recorded and archived more than 45,000 interviews. Now, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay has culled from the archives to create a unique collection about families – both conventional and unlikely – in THE TIES THAT BIND. A powerful testament to our need to connect, this collection is alternately heartwarming, hopeful, sad and ultimately life-affirming. The Penguin Press 10.17.13 D onna Tartt’s (The Secret History) highlyanticipated new novel begins with an explosion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that leaves Theo Decker motherless and in possession of a rare, priceless painting. Epic in scale, but written with the brilliance and attention to detail that makes Tartt’s fans devout, THE GOLDFINCH takes readers into the depths of the New York City art world and across the US and Europe in search of family, love and identity. Little, Brown 10.22.13 September/October 2013 17 COOKING CLASS: Fall is the perfect time to fall in love with your kitchen. The produce is bountiful, the recipes can be simple, and the results will be delicious. 18 Honest to Goodness C cooking class ooking the Honest to Goodness way means focusing on in-season produce, eating whole foods grown with as few pesticides (and as much love) as possible, sharing meals with family and friends, indulging at holidays, birthdays and on random Tuesdays, and savoring the moment, the meal and the memories that are created when we gather together: around the stove and the table. It’s not a revolutionary idea, in fact, it seems like it is being shouted from the rooftops lately (organic hydroponic farm rooftops). But we believe it’s a good way to live and hope that the recipes in these pages will provide you with inspiration and the urge to get into the kitchen. Arugula and Barley salad (serves 6) This salad makes a perfect light lunch or side dish for fish or grilled meats. Placing chopped pears in a very dilute mixture of salt water (1/4 tsp salt to 4 cups of water) for 3-5 minutes will prevent browning. 1 cup pearl barley ½ cup plain yogurt 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 3 stalks of celery, chopped 2 pears, chopped ¼ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped Salt and pepper to taste 1 tsp Dijon 5oz arugula, rinsed and dried 1. Cook the barley according the directions on the package, then rinse and let cool 2. In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt, olive oil, cider vinegar, dijon, salt and pepper 3. Add the barley, celery, pears and walnuts, and toss until all the ingredients are thoroughly coated 4. Serve over arugula September/October 2013 19 Frittata with Escarole, Tomato and Manchego (serves 4) Quick and easy, once you master the technique, a frittata is the perfect go-to weekend brunch or weeknight dinner. Economical and endlessly adaptable, switch in any vegetable you like. 8 eggs 4oz Manchego cheese (or other sharp cheese), grated (about 1 cup) 1 small head escarole, washed and roughly shredded 1 ripe tomato, sliced 1 onion, sliced 2 Tbsp olive oil Salt and Pepper to taste 1. Heat a large skillet over medium, and add the olive oil and escarole 2. Cook the escarole in the skillet until it begins to wilt 3. Add the onion to the pan, cooking until the escarole has completely wilted and the onion is soft 4. Whisk the eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl, pour into the pan with the escarole and onion 5. As the eggs begin to set up on the bottom of the pan, pull the edges and bottom away, letting more egg reach the bottom of the pan to firm; after a few minutes, redistribute the onions and escarole around the pan 6. Place the tomato slices on top of the egg mixture, then top with grated Manchego 7. Place skillet on rack set about six inches from the broiler for about 5 - 8 minutes, until the top browns and the eggs begin to puff 8. Remove and serve immediately 20 Honest to Goodness Soup á la Pistou (serves 8) A delicious, healthy soup, Pistou is the French version of Pesto and it brightens a basic combination of vegetables and water. Serve with whole grain bread. Rustic Potato, Chard and Gruyere Gratin (serves 6) Earthy and comforting, this recipe serves 4 with a side salad as a vegetarian supper or 6 as an accompaniment to roasted chicken or grilled steak. 1 bunch chard removed of tough stems, washed and roughly shredded 2 large baking potatoes sliced 1/8 inch thick 1 ½ tsp Herbes de Provence 8oz Gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated (about 2 cups) ½ cup low-fat milk Butter 1 large clove garlic 1. Set oven temp to 350° and place a rack in the center 2. Rub the inside of the baking dish with a peeled clove of garlic, then with butter 3. Place damp chard in a pan over medium heat to wilt, then remove and squeeze out any excess water 4. Layer a third of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish, then a third of the chard, a third of the Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper to taste, and then a third of the cheese to make a complete layer; repeat two more times, finishing with a final layer of cheese 5. Warm the milk in the microwave (about 30-45 seconds), and pour it over layers 6. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven to bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes 7. While baking, open oven and using the foil press down the layers so they meld together and become firm (do this twice) 7. Remove the aluminum foil and place the gratin under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the top is nice and brown 8. Let sit 15 minutes, then serve 1 cup chopped waxy potatoes 2 cups chopped carrots 2 cups chopped onions 12 cups of water 2 cups of green beans, cleaned with the ends trimmed, chopped into 1 inch pieces 1 cup uncooked small pasta ¼ cup tomato paste 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 Tbsp dried basil ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 can (16oz) white beans, drained 1 tsp salt & pepper to taste 1. Boil potatoes, carrots and onions in water until just tender 2. Add green beans, macaroni, salt and pepper to taste 3. In a food processor, combine tomato paste, garlic, basil, cheese and olive oil, process until blended 4. Add some of the hot broth to the mixture in the food processor and blend until smooth 5. Add the tomato mixture back to the soup pot, then add the white beans and serve hot, garnished with additional Parmesan September/October 2013 21 lynn’s letters Fall always brings to my mind a fresh set of crayons and notebooks ready to be filled with exciting new projects. Summer barbecues, pastel skies and sunlight that lasts into the evening give way to packed lunches, crisp air and autumn’s riotous burst of color. For people who juggle work, family and community (that’s most of us), the seasonal flurry of a new school year, project launches, fourth-quarter projections, and the general sense that it’s go-time can easily overwhelm us. Matters that seem so pressing – the overdue report, bake sale cupcakes, committee meeting minutes – often come at the expense of our own self-care. Cell phones, ipads and other digital devices intended to make life easier, don’t help. The technology of busyness follows us everywhere these days. If you’ve ever found yourself in the bathroom stall answering email or crafting a memo in bed at 2 in the morning, you know exactly what I’m talking about. 22 It’s easy to let the circumstances of our lives become our lives. Before going into overdrive, try implementing a mindful separation between work time and “other than work” time. Honest to Goodness Yoga can help. I’m not referring to asana practice, i.e., performing physical poses. Performing poses is beneficial in many ways, but the essence of yoga is about building better relationships—to our selves, our condition, our families, our world. A physical practice can be helpful in many ways, but the deeper practices of self-study and contemplation are more effective tools for evoking a personal transformation. We do this by open and honest inquiry, looking deeply, seeking moderation and acting compassionately. When the world is whizzing by at warp speed, giving priority to the obvious and external can be easier than quiet reflection. But chronically melding our work life into our non-work life shortchanges both. Relationships demand attention and care. How can we be fully present for our families, friends, even our pets if part of our brain is still crunching numbers or perfecting a Power Point slide during downtime? When we don’t allow ourselves to rest, recharge and restore, our productivity may actually suffer. Building a block of time in your schedule for transitioning from work to nonwork should not be overcomplicated or time-consuming. Ten mindful minutes should do the trick but committing yourself is key. Put it on your calendar to mark it as a priority and signal that taking care of yourself is among your most important responsibilities. extra turn around the block, if necessary. When you sense a calming in your breath and a slowing in your internal rhythm, it’s time to go inside. • Create a homecoming ritual. Start by putting aside the things of work—remove makeup and jewelry, change into Just as a warm bath, a bedtime story friendlier fabrics, perhaps take a deliand a kiss goodnight prepares a child cious bath or shower to wash the day for sleep, a regular homecoming rituaway. Emerge from your ritual refreshed al can cue your body to shift into nonand fully present for family, friends, comwork mode and help quell the mind that fort, and non-work activities. sometimes continues churning well into • De-stress and decompress before the evening and can interfere with sleep. you begin your evening meal. Stress eating carries its own set of problems, Your routine can be as simple as taking a not the least of which is the total lack of few moments to mindfully hang up your enjoyment of your meal. Whether it’s a coat or shut the door of your home offull mean or a bowl of cereal, come into fice, wash your face and apply a refresha calm state of mind before you begin. ing splash of toner. Eat mindfully and savor your food: chew, swallow, notice that you are eating. Enjoy Here are some other ideas to consider: those Cheerios! • Start your evening before leaving • After work is not necessarily the work. Jot down everything you’ve comtime for a full workout; an energizing pleted, work-in-progress, and tasks you workout late in the day can interfere with haven’t gotten to yet. Make a note of sleep. A short practice that meets your when and how the outstanding items can energy where it is can channel you into be addressed, who you will contact and downtime. The sequence that begins on a reasonable timeframe for completing the next page provides enough moveeach task. When taking work home, make ment to relieve the physical stresses of certain it really cannot wait. When your the day without being too energizing. recap of the day’s effort is complete, get And it can be done in about 10 minutes. up and walk away. It will be there when you return in the morning. If all of this seems too much, try this quick • When nearing your house, rathand easy way to relieve stress any time of er than speeding up, slow down. Focus the day: On inhale, draw your shoulders your awareness on the soles of your feet up to your ears and hold your breath hitting the ground and feel your breath. for a count of three (see image at left). Notice your energy, particularly if there Then open your mouth and say, “ahhhh,” is anxiety, tension or any other residual as you exhale. Release your shoulders work-related sensation. Give yourself the and relax your body. Repeat a few times, gift of not bringing that energy into the extending the length of your exhale each front door. Instead, walk it off, taking an time. 23 September/October 2013 1 2 Uttanasana-Standing Forward Bend Start: Feet sitting-bone distance apart; Hands on the back of your thighs; Soft knees; Gaze forward; Easy breath. 1. Inhale: Lengthen your spine without lifting your shoulders. Expand your chest, finding the outer reaches of your ribcage with your breath. 2. Exhale: Draw your belly in and up and fold over your legs. Let your knees bend softly and slide your hands down the backs of your legs. 3. Fold forward releasing the back of your neck, knees softly bent. Inhale, lengthening the spine from the top down. Slide your hands up your legs to return to standing. Repeat 3-4 times. 4 24 Honest to Goodness 3 Then: 4. Exhale: Fold forward and place the fingertips on the floor. Keep your knees softly bent, head, neck and chest relaxed. Modification: If you cannot reach the floor, grab your ankles or calves. 5. Inhale: Come halfway up with a straight spine. Draw your shoulder blades down your back, keeping your feet grounded. 6. Exhale: Draw your belly toward the back of your spine, while extending into a deep forward fold. Repeat 2-3 times, then stay in the forward fold for a breath or two, releasing progressively without force. On inhale, slide your hands up your legs back to standing. 5 6 N: BEGI 1 Tadasana â€“ Standing Mountain with right/left brain coordination Balance is a great way to clear the mind and release your brain from thinking. Here, we add a deceptively simple looking arm movement to activate left brain/ right brain. Begin in neutral spine; Feet sitting bone distance apart, Shoulders 4 2 resting easily on the ribs; Arms hang at sides. 1. Inhale: Rise up on your toes, sweeping your arms upward, palms up, shoulders relaxed. 2. When your arms reach shoulder height, hold one arm in place and continue to raise the other arm overhead. Stay up for a beat or two, then: 5 3. Exhale: slowly lower your heels while simultaneously bringing your arm down. When both arms are at shoulder level, continue to lower them together. Arms, heels and breath should all reach the end point together. 4. Repeat on the other side, then do both sides again. Then: 5. Inhale: Raise both arms as you rise up on your toes. Stay up, holding your breath for a count of two. Exhale: slowly lower your heels and hands extending your exhale. 6. Repeat, increasing the hold at the top to a count of four, then a count of six. Each time, lengthening your exhale as you come down. September/October 2013 25 N: BEGI 1 2 Vajarasana – Thuderbolt Pose with arm sweep and head turn This pose helps release tension in the head neck and chest. The arm sweep helps release the shoulders. Begin standing on your knees; Hands on low back, palms facing outward. Use a folded blanket to protect your joints. 1. Inhale: rotate your palms upward as you sweep your arms overhead. Fill your chest with breath. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your legs grounded. 2. Exhale: Tuck your chin slightly, lengthen your tailbone and draw your belly inward, bringing your chest toward your thighs, the crown of your head toward floor. As you come down, rotate your head to one side and sweep your arms toward your back body, turning your palms inward. Your hands will land on your lower back, palms facing up. (Too complicated? Try it without the arms a few times first.) 3. On inhale, ground your lower legs into the floor and lengthen your spine as you lift your chest. You are returning to position #2, ready to exhale and turn your head to the other side. Repeat 2-3 times on each side. 4. Keep your neck movement soft and don’t lean to the left or right. Rest in child’s pose for a few breaths at the end of this sequence. 3 4 26 Honest to Goodness 1 2 Virabhadrasana â€“ Warrior 1 with Arm Variations Begin with one leg forward, the other slightly turned out; Back heel is grounded throughout this sequence; Elbows bent; Palms up. 1. Inhale: Slide your hips forward, bending your front leg as you draw your elbows back and lift your chest, lengthening your spine. Elbows stay close to the body. Donâ€™t engage the shoulders. 2. Exhale, lengthen both legs, as you extend your arms forward, hands pressing forward. Draw your belly inward and upward. Do not displace your shoulders; keep your shoulders in line with or slightly in front of your hips. Keep your low back free of compression. Repeat 2-3 times. Then: Slide into warrior stance with your hand on your front knee and: 3. Inhale: Sweep your arm outward and upward in a diagonal arc. Follow the palm of your hand with the tip of your nose. 4. Exhale: Sweep your hand across your body and down to the other side, still following your hand with the tip of your nose. Repeat 2-3 times. Do not force this movement. After the third repetition, remain in the open position for a few breaths. Relax what is tense and open where there is allowance. Repeat the entire sequence on the other side. 3 4 September/October 2013 27 1 Sukhasana Matsyendrasana â€“ Spinal Twist in Easy Pose Start sitting with legs crossed. If this is stressful, put some blankets under your sitting bones or sit in a chair. Place your right hand on your left knee and your left hand near your left hip. Frame your left knee with your head and shoulders. 1. Inhale: Lengthen your spine drawing the crown of your head toward the ceiling. Exhale: Ground your sitting bones to the floor and draw your belly to the back of your spine. Repeat 2-3 times, without increasing the spinal twist. Then: 2. Inhale: Lengthen your spine. Exhale: Gently increase the spinal twist. Use your trunk muscles. Do not leverage the 1 28 Honest to Goodness 2 twist with your arms. Repeat a few times, then stay for two breaths, lengthening the spine on inhale, feeling the spiral on exhale. Repeat on the other side. Pascimattanasana â€“ Forward bend Sit with legs extended in front of you. Knees can be bent. 1. Inhale: Lengthen the spine and lift your arms overhead. 2. Exhale: Draw your belly in and extend over your legs. Do not pull your shoulders forward. Feel the movement in your spine. Come in and out of the posture a few times, then stay in the forward fold for 2-3 breaths. Do not force the pose. 2 Seated meditation After you’ve released the tension and relaxed your body, bring yourself into a comfortable sitting position on the floor or in a chair. Take a few mindful moments to enjoy your breath, the relaxed feeling in your body, the quieter state of your mind. You may enjoy following your breath or repeating a favorite mantra, such as “Breathing in, I feel refreshed. Breathing out, I release tension and worry.” Even five minutes of seated practice will help to further calm your mind and ease your transition into the quieter rhythm of the evening. Many thanks to the lovely GIGI BOETTO, our model for this sequence. Gigi is a graduate of the Abhyasa Yoga Center and currently teaches in New York City. **DISCLAIMER: As your would with any movement, check with your medical professional if you are dealing with injury, compromised movement function, a chronic medical condition or are pregnant. If your body is telling you something doesn’t feel right, listen to your body and stop or modify the movement.** September/October 2013 29 Welcome FEATURES.........EATING THE CSA WAY....... THE FAILURES OF FAST FASHION.........THE JOURNEY TO BECOME A YOGA THERAPIST............. EMBRACE THE CHANGE OF SEASON................................... 30 Honest to Goodness to Fall! September/October 2013 31 Community Supported Agriculture: The Farm of the Future What is a CSA, and what can it offer you? Fresh veggies, a fresh outlook on eating, and a fresh community of like-minded friends. I was 22, and living with a roommate in a small walk-up apartment in Brooklyn when I had my first box of organic food delivered to my door. Having been raised by a mother who I fondly refer to as a hippie, it wasn’t a revolutionary decision. I was dragged to out of the way farms and produce stands for much of my life, so why wouldn’t I demand the same quality, freshness and affordability of my food as an independent young adult? Now, nearly a decade later, I’m a member of a Community Supported Agriculture farm, or CSA, for short. O nce a week, beginning in June and ending sometime in November, I drive down a winding road, in a relatively rural part of Long Island, New York, pull up to a greenhouse with my own reusable bags and containers, and begin to weigh and gather seasonal produce that has been grown on 5 acres of organic land. In the high season there are often pick-your-own options available; herbs, flowers, and excess vegetables like sugar snap peas and zucchini. I leave with a car full of greens and dirt, and a head brimming with recipes for the week ahead. It’s one of my favorite parts of the week. C ommunity Supported Agriculture isn’t a new phenomenon, in fact the first CSA farms were introduced in the US in 1986, but I’m startled by how often people look at me quizzically when I mention these weekly outings. I decided to dig deeper into the CSA movement, so I reached out to Steven McFadden, author of The Call of The Land and an historian of the CSA movement. “It was really a community supported idea” he says. Two farms popped up around the exact same time. One was located in South Egremont, Massachusetts and is still in operation as Indian Line Farm. The other original farm, also still in operation, is Temple-Wilton Community Farm in Wilton, New Hampshire. The farms started simultaneously, but Robyn Van En, the owner of the land that would become Indian Line Farm became a sort of unofficial spokesperson for CSA and today the Robyn Van En Center at Wilson College is a national resource center about CSA. V an En came up with the idea of a community-supported farming system after hearing about it from a friend who had lived in Switzerland. In many areas of Europe, biodynamic farming based on the methods and theories of Rudolph Steiner had lead to farms that were owned and operated cooperatively, the precursor to the modern CSA. Born in 1861 in Austria, Steiner was a man of many passions - a philosopher, architect, Robyn Van En September/October 2013 33 F ounded 61 years after Steiner’s death, Indian Line Farm actually started as an experiment with an apple orchard run by a group of developmentally disabled people in 1985. They sold 30 shares and evenly distributed the orchard’s harvest. At the same time Robyn Van En was working to lay the groundwork for a full CSA. According to McFadden, in the winter of 1986 Van En and the Picking cherry tomatoes in the fields at Hamlet Organic Garden founders of TempleWilton were meeting to social reformer, educator and spiritualist. share ideas and create a model for a He is most commonly known in the US as farm cooperative that would import the philosophical parent of the Waldorf the best practices coming out of Schools - a group of private schools that Switzerland. Van En ended up leasing emphasize self-directed learning rooted the land she owned at Indian Line to in imagination and creativity. Steiner the farming cooperative, and the CSA believed that human beings were three Garden at Great Barrington was born. intricately linked parts, the body, soul and spirit and similarly that all living beings ver the years, the leadership of the were interconnected. These attitudes CSA changed hands numerous spilled over into the world of agriculture times, as did the farmers. This would as Steiner reacted to reports of degraded become characteristic of many future soil in Germany, where he was living in CSA farms: land is preserved for CSA the early 20th century. He believed that use in perpetuity, but the growers in order to be sustainable, agriculture come and go. Then, in 1997, at the must respect the interdependence of all untimely age of 49, Van En died of a living things. He emphasized the use of sudden and tragic asthma attack and manure and compost, rotation of crops, the CSA movement was left without its and avoidance of chemical fertilizers most widely known and vocal leader. and pesticides. Steiner’s agricultural philosophies also included spiritual elndian Line had been willed to Van ements that are more controversial and En’s son, Daniel, who at only 20 less widely practiced. Nevertheless, the years of age was overwhelmed by basics of biodynamics are alive and well the costs and logistics of keeping the today not only in the CSA movement, CSA up and running. He rented the but in winemaking, as well. O I 34 Honest to Goodness land to two young farmers for a few years, and later sold a large portion to the Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy then leased the land back to the farmers with a long-term agreement. This helped alleviate the financial burden of owning the land, and kept management in the hands of the cooperative. the environment, and provides CSA bounty for hundreds (sometimes thousands) of families. I ndian Line and Temple Wilton were necessary pioneers in the CSA movement. They saw a need and worked together to fill it and because of them Community Supported Agriculture is now flourishing in the United States. Since his long-term lease would 1986, the number of CSA farms has become a model for many future increased exponentially. LocalHarvest. CSAs. McFadden told me that land-trusts org, the premiere website for local food, such as the one at Great Barrington take tracks over 6000 CSA farms, though the pressure off the farmers. Often, McFadden believes the number could be farmers can grow beautiful produce, sell well over 6500, “and still growing. When it at a reasonable price, and make a good I talk to locals in Nebraska, where I live, living - without ever coming up with it sounds like the numbers are proliferenough money to actually buy the land ating.” They are highly concentrated in they are working on. This is a problem areas like New England and California, particularly in urban areas, where land but are even spreading into the heartprices are high due to competition land and catching on in places like rural from developers. A cooperative trust Nebraska where McFadden lives. and long-term lease arrangement protects the land for generations to come, ebsites like LocalHarvest.org and removes the land from the fluctuations of JustFood.org make it easy to find the market, helps preserve T W “Websites like LocalHarvest. org and JustFood.org make it easy to find a CSA near your home...” LocalHarvest.org September/October 2013 35 A pile of watermelons ripe and ready for pickup in the greenhouse Photos from H unty A bo utia of be rry e ful ch es. to toma are There three es in ti varie art. u this q Shares often include flowers. Two members are out in the field putting together a summer bouquet. 36 Honest to Goodness Instructions for pick-your-own are written on a chalkboard in the field. Hamlet Organic Garden Most of the pick-up happens inside the greenhouse. Here, members are gathering the weekâ€™s bounty. September/October 2013 37 a CSA near your home with a zip-code look up option and an incredibly helpful map (see sidebar). In most areas of the United States you’ll find quite a few options to choose between. There are a few things to think about before making a decision: how much produce can you and your family cook and eat? Are you willing to try vegetables that are new to you? Can you pay all at once, or do you need a farm that offers an installment plan? Is there a work requirement? Does the farm offer fruit? Flowers? Eggs? season, but there’s no requirement if you have more money than time. Personally, I have volunteered cleaning garlic and picking beetles off of potato plants (potato beetles are immune to most organic fertilizers so it’s hand-to-hand combat). It’s dirty work, but I like being outside and feeling connected to the place that my food is coming from. C SA members join for the obvious reasons - fresh food, usually grown organically, reasonable prices, but they come back year after year for other, amlet Organic Garden, the farm I less-tangible rewards. Parents find that belong to, is one of many options kids are more willing to eat their veggies in my local area. I like it because it is once they’ve run around the farm’s relatively small so I can get to know fields. Cooks are pushed outside of their my farmers and the other members. It comfort zone when confronted with an offers work hours and a rebate on your ugly head of celeriac and an excess of membership fee if you work 15 hours per bok choy. Some members even sleep a bit better at night, knowing their money Tomatoes being weighed for a share at is supporting a local economy, and Hamlet Organic Garden that the latest news story on an e-coli outbreak from a farm across the country won’t affect their family. In world where the safety of our food supply is constantly under scrutiny, isn’t it nice to see the plot of land that your salad was grown on? H C onverting to a CSA operation has also been a boon for farmers. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that less than 1% of the US population currently farms, and fewer than 1 in 4 farms have gross revenues in excess of $50,000 per year. Once costs are accounted for most farms are barely sustainable. But a CSA is a contract between the grower and the consumer. Members (most often) pay for their produce early in the season, 38 Honest to Goodness before the first pick-up occurs. Having this money up-front allows farmers to buy seeds, invest in equipment, hire workers and get the farm up and running each year. Farmers can work backwards from their costs to determine a fair price for the shares which guarantees them a base level of income even in a bad season. In that way the risk of the farm is shared among the entire CSA community. And in a good season, excess produce can be sold at farmers markets and auctioned off to local restaurants creating extra capital. The CSA model also allows the farmer to front-load some of the work of marketing and selling what they grow in the winter and early spring when the actual farm labor is less strenuous. S teven McFadden was involved in the Temple-Wilton farm from the very beginning and “its as close to the CSA ideal as possible.” The farm developed a revolutionary way of distributing their costs: the farmers put a number up on a board that represented their annual budget and then each member anonymously pledged a certain amount towards the total. The number was continually revised until the pledges equaled or exceeded the budget. Every member pledged what they could afford, with wealthier members shouldering more of the burden. That’s still how the shares are assigned, today and McFadden says they “usually meet the budget without too much of a hassle.” It’s an unusual model, but it gets to the heart of a pure CSA arrangement: “the farm provides for the community and the community provides for the farm.” W hile Temple-Wilton’s set up is idyllic, most CSA farms set their share prices in a less communal manner. If you’ve taken the leap and joined a CSA, you can make it a more robust, community supported endeavor by getting involved beyond the price you pay. Get to know your farm and your farmers. Share in the work, and the joy of farmfresh food by taking part Recommended Reading for CSA Members: Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters Harper Collins Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison Ten Speed Press How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson Ten Speed Press September/October 2013 39 in work hours and other events. Many CSA farms offer annual get-togethers such as strawberry-picking festivals and canning lessons during the tomato bounty. Join a committee or the farm’s board - I’m involved in putting together Hamlet Organic Garden’s first cookbook. It has been a wonderful way to get to know my fellow CSA members and to learn more about the food that I pick up each week. B e flexible about what you eat. There are so many amazing cookbooks about vegetables that you should never run out of recipes and ideas (see the sidebar for some of my favorites.) Also, check out Homegrown.org, a website run by FarmAid that offers a “CSA Cookoff” section that is full of inspiration. And if all else fails, you can roast almost anything. When you’re overwhelmed with veggies - freeze them! Blanch and freeze green beans, sugar snap peas and asparagus. Freeze unwashed berries on cookie sheets and then store them in plastic bags for smoothies in the dark days of winter. Chop up herbs and freeze them in ice cube trays for a fresh addition to soups and sauces. And embrace the everything-but-the-kitchen sink salad. It’s amazing what you can use up in one quick lunch or dinner. Finally - accept imperfections. Organic corn is often wormy - cut off the top and eat it anyway. If you have odd-sized pieces, grill it, shave it off the cob, and make a corn salad. You may find a bug or two in your lettuce; they can be rinsed away. Fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables from an organic farm are imperfect and infinitely more delicious than anything you can buy in a grocery store. 40 Honest to Goodness A fter I finished my conversation with McFadden, I kept thinking about a term he used: “Food Patriotism.” He believes that being a member of a CSA is a way to make your city, state and country a better place. It makes you a better steward of the land, and a better member of your community. I agree and would add that I am healthier, and happier because I share in the experience of growing the food that I eat. I find it more satisfying to cook what I receive from the farm, I enjoy my visits with our farmers and my fellow members. I like to walk through the fields to gather flowers and herbs. It makes me feel more in touch with nature, with the seasons, and with my own body. Farming is hard work, and I have greater respect for the growing process after seeing the farmers at Hamlet Organic Garden work, day in and day out, to provide their members with delicious and unique fruits and vegetables. My back ached after a day spent folded over potato plants scouting for beetles. But I slept well that night, and I’m ready to do it all over again. Come back for our four-part series on a year in the life of Hamlet Organic Garden. We start in our January/February issue with Winter at the farm! CHANGING THE STORY: one womanâ€™s journey through pain to empowerment with yoga September/October 2013 41 L ynn Crimando walks into the coffee shop wearing a light, open knit sweater and yoga pants. Her hair is dark and curly and her eyes are bright. The word cheerful comes to mind; she exudes a kind of joyfulness, a sense of being present in the moment that is rare. A former magazine executive (she was the founding managing editor of ESPN: The Magazine) Lynn now spends her days teaching yoga throughout New York City – you’ll find her bent over students in chairs, suffering from arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as the relatively able-bodied. L ynn arrived at this point via a winding and often agonizing path. In March of 1998, “I was doing it all” she says. And all meant working long hours setting up computer systems, hiring staff, and planning for the magazine launch, training for a triathlon, studying Ashtanga yoga, and raising a daughter. In August, Lynn took some time off to take a bike trip on the west coast. Coming around a blind curve she was thrown over the handlebars of her bike and landed on the left side of her body, breaking her collarbone into three jagged pieces. What followed was a recovery process that would be at best, incomplete, and at worst, torturous and depressing. T he accident should have brought life to a grinding halt, but Lynn barely missed a week of work: “I didn’t allow myself any time off, I didn’t cut myself any slack.” She was walking around in a sling, in excruciating pain, and waiting for it to get better. But the middle fragment of her collarbone was set at a perpendicular angle to the other two, and after two months immobilized in a sling, it wasn’t getting any closer to fusing back together. At the orthopedist’s office, staring at her x-rays, “I was speechless. The doctor asked me, “What kind of Lynn adjusts a therapeutic client 42 Honest to Goodness life do you want to have?” I didn’t understand the question. I wanted my old life back. I wanted to do handstands, arm balances, go kayaking.” triggering event.” Lynn’s first two years of yoga practice after the accident were entirely pranayama (breathing exercises). For her, the breath work was a lifeline – soothing to her overtaxed hen a bone breaks, the two ends nervous system and something her communicate with each other, broken body could actually do. Looking and if they are at all close together, a back, “I now know that was the real callous starts to form to bring them back yoga. For someone like me those posinto place. But for Lynn, that was never tures [handstand, crow] may not happen going to happen. again. Nor would they The break was too help me to recover my “I now know that severe; the bone ends sense of self or return too far apart. The was the real yoga. to the person I was orthopedist suggest- For someone like beneath the accident.” ed a bone-growing me those postures machine. So two er patience was months into the rewarded though, [handstand, crow] process of healing and after gaining back may not happen she began to spend much of her mobility, again. Nor would 10 hours a day she was given the hooked up to the they help me to re- opportunity to do machine. She slept yoga teacher training. cover my sense of self propped against her She had always been or return to the per- interested in teaching couch, sitting up, and rarely dozed son I was beneath yoga, but before the off for more than accident she wanted the accident.” 2 hours at a time. to share the physicality After a few months of yoga. She wanted of sleeplessness she was sufferto teach “cool moves” to people who ing from severe depression. were coming to yoga from all different backgrounds. “The physical postures ccording to the Mayo Clinic, resonate with a lot of people, which “Fibromyalgia is a disorder characis great.” But after the accident she terized by widespread musculoskeletal saw teaching yoga as “a way to start to pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, identify myself as something other than mental fog and memory and mood an accident victim. I could change the issues… Symptoms sometimes begin story. And when you aren’t defined after a physical trauma, surgery, infecby pain the picture is empowering.” tion or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually uring the initial training, Lynn accumulate over time with no single realized she needed a much W H A D September/October 2013 43 stronger background in anatomy and physiology. She moved from a 200-hour course to a 500-hour course at Kripalu School of Yoga. The 500-hour course focused on creating practices to serve the whole person with more emphasis on the deeper, more spiritual parts of yoga, such as pranayama and meditation. And everything she learned at Kripalu was applicable to people who were suffering. She realized that, “I didn’t want to teach people who were choosing between me and kickboxing that day.” There were plenty of people teaching the more vigorous, athletic styles of yoga. Lynn wanted to teach people that really needed yoga – the physically challenged, the emotionally exhausted, the victims of trauma. career, and her life as a yogi. In 2007, Yoga won. She left her position at ESPN and started to teach full time. Unfortunately, timing was not on her side, and as soon as she said goodbye to her steady paycheck and generous benefits the economy faltered. F earful about the future, Lynn began picking up more coaching clients and doing some consulting while also teaching yoga and completing further certifications. It wasn’t quite what she had in mind when she made the decision to quit her job, and soon she was, once again, overcommitted and stressed. She calls what happened next the “gun to your head moment.” She realized that if she wanted to be unhappy and do work that she didn’t find to be fulfilling she he taught yoga during her final 5 years could go back to corporate America, a spent working at ESPN, as she moved wholly unpalatable option. It was time from the magazine to the website to a to choose herself, her happiness and position working with the 400-person commit. “I’ve done all the grownup Enterprise division. While she found her things you are supposed to do. I had a career there to be frequently rewarding, career, I had my daughter, she’s successas she climbed the management ladder, ful and independent, and I know how to she became more and more removed be poor. I’ve done that before.” It was from the parts of the job she loved that moment that changed everything. – mentoring, staff development and recruiting. While there she also became an ynn started teaching yoga in asexecutive coach via a licensing program sisted living facilities, working with at New York University. Soon she discov- the Arthritis Foundation, teaching to ered that what she learned in coaching corporate clients and in private onewas incredibly applicable to teaching on-one sessions. She began to delve yoga. In coaching, “Your client is perfect. deeper into anatomy training, which Your client knows what she needs.” You eventually lead her to Leslie Kaminoff are simply there to help her try to achieve at The Breathing Project in New York her goal, and to help her figure out what City. Under his direction she completis essential and what is superfluous. ed a 100-hour training course called “Yoga Anatomy and the Application inally, Lynn realized that she had of Breath Centered Yoga” and was to choose between her corporate introduced to Viniyoga for the first S L F 44 Honest to Goodness time. Using the tools of Viniyoga, for the first time in eight years, she experienced life without constant pain. She says that, “Yoga therapy with rigor and scientific theory behind it is not widespread but it is growing.” And Viniyoga is leading the charge. This therapeutic branch of yoga is based on the ancient teachings of the sage Patanjali, was further developed by the great teacher, Krishnamacharya, who passed the tradition on to his son, Desikachar, who in turn passed it on to Lynn’s teacher, Gary Kraftsow, founder of the American Viniyoga Institute. Lynn applied to study with Gary, and soon found herself flying out to California for two weeks every six-months to take his course. P er the requirements of Gary’s curriculum, Lynn began taking on therapeutic clients after the first twoweek immersion. “The minute I came back clients just started appearing. When you are offering something that people can’t get anywhere else, you don’t have trouble finding clients. Most of the people I worked with in that first year had left physical and other forms of therapy that hadn’t worked for them.” In her line of work, she says that you should feel a difference in the first two to three weeks. If you don’t sense a change, even a small one, “I tell my clients to fire me. It’s not a good fit.” She develops very specific, targeted practices to meet the needs of each individual, and expects them to be active participants in their own recovery. “From the moment I hand you a practice, my assumption is that you are going to own that practice.” Most importantly, Lynn believes that everyone can improve their condition. “Even people who are going to be in pain for the rest of their lives can improve their lives and have a better, more compassionate relationship with their pain.” L ynn graduated from Gary’s course in 2011, and today has a thriving private practice in addition to continuing her work with the Arthritis Foundation and various other group clients. She doesn’t make as much money as she did when she worked for ESPN, but finds her work infinitely more rewarding. As we finish our conversation, she says to me “ I know this sounds like I’m bragging, but I’m really not. When someone tells you that you have changed their life, it is the most authentically touching thing a person can say. And it happens to me all the time. How could making more money compete with that?” You can find our more about Lynn by going to her website: September/October 2013 45 ARE YOU OVER cheap fashion is costing you more than you think 46 Honest to Goodness W hen I decided to investigate cheap fashion I got all my clothes out of storage and piled them up in my living room. I cleaned out the closets in my bedroom and hall, pulled out the bins from underneath my bed, and dragged up three trash bags and two oversize plastic containers from my basement. I made a mountain of it, and then sorted it all, making lists of the brand name or designer, the country of origin, the fabric, and, if I could remember, the year I bought it and how much I paid. It took me almost a week to go through it all. My roommate helped me bring the clothes up from the basement and commented dryly, “I find owning so much clothing overwhelming.” DRESS ED? I t was such a simple statement, but she said it as if I’d done it on purpose. Each of those purchases seemed almost inconsequential in the moment, a deal here, a deal there. But just as a few extra calories here and there result in an expanding waistline, my closet and my life were consumed with cheap fashion. H ere’s the damage: I owned sixty-one tops, sixty T-shirts, thirty-four tank tops, twenty-one skirts, twenty-four dresses, twenty pairs of shoes, twenty sweaters, eighteen belts, fifteen cardigans and hooded sweatshirts, fourteen pairs of shorts, fourteen jackets, thirteen pairs of jeans, twelve bras, eleven pairs of tights, five blazers, four long-sleeved shirts, three pairs of workout pants, two pairs of dress pants, two pairs of pajama pants, and one vest. Socks and underwear not-withstanding, I owned by Elizabeth Cline 354 pieces of clothing. Americans buy an average of sixty-four items of clothing a year, a little more than one piece of clothing per week. It might not seem all that extreme, until you see it all piled up in your living room. My wardrobe is what the average American produces in a little over five years, precisely the amount of time I lived in my apartment. My three hundred-plus-piece clothing collection made me almost exactly an average American consumer. A merican style was for hundreds of years handmade or made by a dressmaker or tailor. When factory-made, store-bought clothes became increasingly available around 1900, clothing became less rarified, but buying the latest fashions was out of the reach of most Americans. According to 100 Years of U.S. Consumer Spending, a September/October 2013 47 2006 study by the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American family in 1900 had an income of $750 and spent over 15 percent of their earnings, or $108 a year, on clothing. J an Whitaker, consumer historian and author of Service and Style: How Department Stores Fashioned the Middle Class, has collated prices of clothing from this early period. She found that women’s ready-to-wear suits were the most popular store-bought clothing item at the turn of the twentieth century, as they were somewhat affordable, at $15 apiece (about $380 today). In 1909 a budget ready-towear suit bought in the bargain basement of a department store would have still been around $8, or $200 today. A in the neighborhood wore the same pair of patched-up overalls for a week straight. “You didn’t throw away anything, ever,” she says. “It was unheard of.” I t wasn’t until after World War II that the average American really started to gain wealth, and our expenditures on clothing and everything else grew alongside our paychecks. Middle-class life and consumer society had arrived. By 1950 incomes had spiked to $4,237 a year, with $437 of it spent on clothes. Americans started to accumulate far more clothing than they could regularly wear and to follow fashion in ways that hinted at what was to come. But there were still limits to how much clothing was owned, including physical space: The average home in 1950 was 983 square feet, compared to the 2004 average of 2,349 square feet. My mother, born in 1949, guesses she owned about three pairs of shoes and one outfit for each day of the week as a teenager, plus a few church dresses and extra styles for special events. fter World War I, the price of dresses came down which allowed more women of modest means to keep up with fashion trends, but in a very limited way. By one account, in 1929 the average middle-class man owned six work outfits and the average middle-class woman nine. My grandmother, born in 1931 in the midst of the Great Depression, remembers having no more than five ccording to annual statistics comdresses as a child, at least a few of them piled by the U.S. Bureau of Economic made from cloth flour sacks. The boys Analysis, individual spending on clothing A 48 Honest to Goodness is now just under $1,100 a year. Families spend about $1,700 a year on clothes. Though it’s the smallest percentage of our incomes ever dedicated to clothes, our money has never gone further. Nowadays, an annual budget of $1,700 can buy a staggering surfeit of clothing, including 485 “Fab Scoopneck” tops from Forever 21 or 340 pairs of ladies’ sandals from Family Dollar or 163 pairs of seersucker capri pants from Goody’s or 56 pairs of Mossimo “Skinny Utility” cargo pants from Target or 47 pairs of glitter platform wedges from Charlotte Russe or 11 men’s Dockers suits from JCPenney or 6 Lauren by Ralph Lauren sequin evening gowns from Macy’s. C lothing has seen such dramatic declines in price that it’s gone from a budget-buster and a defining purchase for the American household to discretionary spending. I often see women on the subway in New York holding a yellow Forever 21 bag alongside a small Duane Reade drugstore purchase and a bite to eat. A recent Vogue article asked, in light of a $4.95 dress for sale at H&M: “Do I Get a Coffee? A Snack? Or Something to Wear?” Indeed, clothes are so cheap today that buying them often feels inconsequential. W hat American doesn’t have something hanging in his or her closet worn only once or twice, a pair of pants waiting for a diet, or even a brand-new dress or jacket with the tags still on? Common sense and everyday experience tell us that we have so much clothing that a majority goes underused and neglected. According to a 2010 national survey in ShopSmart magazine, one in four American women own seven pairs of jeans, but we only wear four of them regularly. I wear about ten to fifteen garments of the hundreds I own, less than 4 percent of my wardrobe. Not surprisingly, charities regularly see brand-new clothes come in with tags still affixed. According to Michael “Maui” Noneza, an assistant supervisor at the Quincy Street Salvation Army in Brooklyn, “we see people throwing away new stuff every day, I saw a dress come through here the other day—the price tag said $800. Never worn. We sold it for $40.” T here is an enormous disconnect between increasing clothing consumption and the resultant waste, partially because unworn clothes aren’t immediately thrown out like other disposable products. Instead, they accumulate in our closets or wherever we can find space for them. The surplus of clothing weighing down our homes feels distinctly new, and for me worsens by the year. My clothes fit in the tiny closet of my first New York apartment when I moved there back in 2002. Today, even with extra storage containers, hanging shoe organizers, and myriad other “space savers,” I don’t have room for all of my clothes. They pile up on the bed, the dresser, and the floor. C loset-organization professionals and storage-component companies have sprung into action to relieve of us of our overconsumption woes; such retailers as IKEA and the Container Store and companies including September/October 2013 49 Rubbermaid have made a killing off consumers trying to reclaim precious space taken over by all their clothing. Homes built in the past fifteen years have walk-in closets that are bigger than my living room. Master closets now average about 6 feet by 8 feet, a size more typical of a guest bedroom forty years ago. Homes with small closets are an increasingly tough sell. When I rented out the small second bedroom in my apartment, the closet’s single rod and three feet of space were enough to send most candidates running. also estimates that 1.6 million tons of this waste could be recycled or reused. T here’s an equally large disconnect between expanding wardrobes and the additional demands for fossil fuels, energy, and water. In the winter of 2010, I had a lovely high school intern who interviewed her friends about how they bought and disposed of clothing. One of the interviewees, a seventeen-year-old high school senior, stated, “Clothing is not bad for the environment because it can be reused.” This is common public perception. A tremendous amount of roommate of mine once told me she clothing is in fact not getting recycled was applying for a job at a Web site but getting trashed, and the environcalled shoedazzle.com, an online club mental impact of making clothes is that ships members a new pair of shoes being entirely overlooked. Even though every single month, selected by a celeb- plastic can be reused, making it is not rity stylist, for $39.95. This was the same environmentally benign. Disturbingly, roommate who told me she found it over- about half of our wardrobe is now made whelming to own too much clothing. I out of plastic, in the form of polyester. looked at her dumbfounded. “What do you do with last month’s shoes?” I asked. hina, where 10 percent of the world’s And she looked back at me, dumbtextiles are now produced, is an founded. No one seems to be asking, environmental disaster. When I trav“What happens to all of these shoes and eled to Guangdong Province in 2011, clothes after we no longer want them?” the air pollution was so thick I couldn’t photograph anything a quarter mile off onsumers throw plenty of used the highway—it was lost in the smog. As clothing directly into the trash, from I drove along the expressway between soiled and threadbare socks to tatthe industrial cities of Shenzhen and tered bras and underwear and stained Dongguan, I inhaled unfiltered exhaust shirts, alongside perfectly usable not just from unseen polyester plants textiles and clothing. Though these but also from electronics factories, which numbers include all textiles like sheets are highly concentrated in this part of and towels, they’re astonishing noneChina. My throat ached instantly, my theless: Every year, Americans throw eyes burned, my nose drizzled, and my away 12.7 million tons, or 68 pounds head pulsed. I had a sinus infection for of textiles per person, according to the months after returning home. Still, in Environmental Protection Agency, which the United States we are not insulated A C C 50 Honest to Goodness from global environmental problems. Carbon monoxide and other pollutants from Asia have been documented on the West Coast since the late 1990s and are actually affecting weather patterns there as well. Global climate change as a result of global industrialization is now a reality no matter where we live. I asked Lily, a factory sales girl I met in China, about her country’s air pollution, but she didn’t understand the word “pollution.” I gestured toward the gray sky and coughed violently. Lily lit up and said, “Ah, there are so many factories here. The air is not so fresh. It is our dream that one day China will have fresh air,” she said, followed by a long pause. “Maybe in one hundred years.” And then she giggled. China can’t possibly sustain another century of this, I thought. Virtually no city in Guangdong treats waste water. Dye effluents are often pumped straight into waterways. The runoff from dyeing plants has colored Guangdong’s Pearl River red and indigo in recent years. Lily offered to take me mountain climbing nearby. My lungs quivered at the thought, and I politely declined. A t the Quincy Street Salvation Army there is a dimly lit warehouse hidden away on the far side of the donation drop-off area. This room, Maui informed me, is where the “rag-out” ends up, the donated clothing that languishes on thrift-store racks without getting sold or is too threadbare and stained or out of season to sell in the first place. Garments that make it into the Salvation Army thrift stores have exactly one month to sell. At Goodwill, clothes are given a similar three- to five-week window to prove themselves. Then they’re pulled from September/October 2013 51 their hangers, tossed in bins, and end up back in a room such as this one. n the rag-out room, two men were silently pushing T-shirts, dresses, and every other manner of apparel into a compressor that works like the back of a garbage truck, squeezing out neat cubes of rejected clothing that weigh a half ton each. The cubes were then lifted and moved via forklift to the middle of the room, where a wall of wrapped and bound half-ton bales towered. I saw tags for Old Navy, Sean Jean, and Diesel peeking out of the bales, as well as slivers of denim, knits in bright maroons and bold stripes, and the smooth surfaces of Windbreakers. Smashed together like this, stripped of its symbolic meaning, stacked up like bulk dog food, I was reminded that clothing is ultimately just fabric that comes from resources and can result in horrifying volumes of waste. Clothing stores completely separate us from this reality, but a rag-out room brings it home in an instant. The Quincy Street Salvation Army builds a completed I “I once thought that for every garment I grew bored of and donated, there was either some poor, shivering person in need of it or a thrifty woman out there thrilled to give it a second life.” 52 Honest to Goodness wall made of eighteen tons, or thirty-six bales, of unwanted clothing every three days. And this is just a small portion of the cast-offs of one single Salvation Army location in one city in the United States. S ince the end of the nineteenth century in both Europe and the United States, philanthropic groups have been involved in the collection and distribution of clothes to the poor. The Salvation Army started up in the United States in 1870, at a time when the U.S. popu-lation was less than 40 million and almost all clothing was still hand-made. It wasn’t until the late 1950s that charities opened retail outlets, and their income began to come primarily from the sale of used clothing. Charitable clothing donations from that point were used indirectly, by first selling clothes and then using the proceeds to fund charitable works. This is how clothing donations function today. T hen consumer culture set in. During the postwar period, growing incomes allowed Americans to buy more clothes. Our wardrobes became diversified, with juniors’ clothes, office clothes, sports clothes, and street wear becoming common. This was when charities started processing enormous yields of used but still wearable clothing. But it wasn’t until clothing prices started declining in recent decades that charities started seeing barely used and even unworn discarded clothing. Throughout the 1990s, donations to Goodwill increased 10 percent per year. In 2010, Goodwill sold 163 million pounds of used clothing and household goods through their retail stores. I once thought that for every garment wardrobe. Everyone has a different I grew bored of and donated, there relationship to shopping, but I can was either some poor, shivering person tell you after a year of by-default nonin need of it or a thrifty woman out there shopping that I don’t miss it. I used to thrilled to give it a second life. I’ve come always have some new piece of trendy to call this logic the “clothing deficit fashion clogging up my closet; now I myth,” and I’m not the only one who falls don’t. But not shopping didn’t make prey to it. In a 2007 column in the New me love my clothes. I was still walking York Times, a reader wrote in concerned around in an unattractive hodge-podge that her clothof good “deals.” Not ing donations shopping was not did for were being a total solution. “ OVERDRES SED does for T-shirts and leggings what FAST FOOD NATION burgers and fries.” —Katha Pollitt sold for profit in Africa. In ’m the lost genresponse, The eration, one of Ethicist colthe first not only to umnist Randy lack sewing skills, Cohen directed but mending and the reader to altering skills as well. one internaThe clothes that I TH E SH O C K IN G LY tional labor love the most get leader who the most ragtag from H IG H CO ST recommended constant wear, and OF CH EA P finding charities yet it seems utterly that “bypass foreign to repair FA SH IO N middlemen and them. I have a favordistribute donaite corduroy jacket tions directly to that I wear with a tear people in need, across the back and particularly to a beloved teal carpeople in your digan with a hole in E LIZ AB E TH L . CLI N E community.” the sleeve. Pants that WITH A N E W AF TE RWO R D Most Americans are too long drag the are thoroughly ground, and shirts convinced there is another person in that fit in the shoulders but are baggy their direct vicinity who truly needs and through the torso get worn that way. wants all of our unwanted clothes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. epairing our wardrobes, making sure they properly fit us, and buying ith shopping cheap out of my life the best quality we can for our money and my bank account hovering are all parts of clothing sustainability. near zero, I had to totally rethink my Otherwise, our clothes go unworn or OVER- DRESSED W I R September/October 2013 53 become garbage. On the Web site Brooklynbased.net, I tapped into a surprisingly vibrant tailoring and seamstress scene near me, where rates for a custom A-line skirt start at $80. I’ve had repairs and simple alterations done for as little as $25 an hour. The post on the site reads: “If you’ve ever loved a dress that fell apart after a single summer, held onto a too-long or too-small skirt in the hopes that it would magically fix itself in your closet, or imagined an outfit you’re dying to rock but don’t know nothing more frustrating than sitting at a sewing machine and not knowing how to properly set it up or getting the thread jammed after just a few pumps of the needle. Sewing takes memory, computation, attention to detail, and constant decision making, although patterns make it easy for those intimidated by dreaming up a design from scratch. If you really want to learn how to sew, have someone teach you. I took three classes and learned how to sew a very basic pillowcase. Somehow, it was “I bought my first machine a few weeks later. “ how to make yourself, we’ve found four seamstresses who can re-create your favorite outfit or sew one from scratch.” Once it occurred to me to actually fix my clothes and reimagine their design, I started hiring a friend to patch up my jeans and take up my skirts. The French cleaners across the street from my apartment also offer alterations and are taking in my winter jacket. S ewing is tactile and visual. It’s not something you just sit down and instantly pick up or can even easily learn about by reading. There is 54 Honest to Goodness enough to make sewing part of my life. I bought my first machine a few weeks later. When it came in the mail, I set it up on a little table in my bedroom, sat down and wound the bobbin and threaded the machine. I got out a pair of black jeans that had gone unworn for six months because of a tear. I took a square of black denim left over from a pair of cutoff jean shorts I’d made earlier in the summer and pulled the denim pieces together under the needle. I set the machine to a zigzag stitch to give it extra reinforcement and pressed the pedal. The thread snarled inside the machine immediately. But I simply took everything apart and set up the machine again, and then I patched my pants. Over the next few weeks, I patched more jeans, hemmed skirts, and took in the side seams on my baggy T-shirts. I somehow went thirty-one years without knowing how fulfilling it is to care for and personalize my clothes. M ost people are actually far more particular about their style than they realize, which is partly why we feel so frustrated with the clothes in our closets. There are so many things that we would wear if they were tweaked or just slightly altered. Dresses or skirts are rarely the perfect length, the color is wrong, shirts often hit us in not quite the right place, straps are too long or too short. We buy tops that we love except for that annoying ruffle or tie or bow. For me, learning to sew wasn’t necessarily about making everything I wear. It taught me that clothes aren’t static and unchanging. They can be altered, mended, and even totally rebuilt. Virtually everything in my closet suddenly had some potential to be something I’d get more use out of and maybe even love. Sewing also gave me the ability to recognize garments crafted with skill and care and made me crave quality clothing. I now see what a waste of money cheap fashion really is, because the materials and sewing often aren’t even worth owning. J illian Owens, twenty-nine, is a Columbia, South Carolina, native and was a lifetime thrift-store shopper, until secondhand finds started to dry up. “I got burned out on thrifting because there wasn’t that much there,” Owens says. “A lot of stuff that you’ll find at thrift stores is old H&M stuff, and it’s completely worn-out.” A few years ago she received a sewing machine as a Christmas gift and took it as a sign that she should try to sew her own clothes instead. She went to a local fabric store but was soon feeling defeated again. It was cheaper to buy clothes than it was to make them. S ewing your own clothes can be very inexpensive. The cost depends on the quality of the fabric and the complexity of the garment. For Owens, it was important to not spend a penny more making clothes than she would to buy them new in a store. “Sewing used to be something women did to be thrifty,” she says. “The fact that you could go buy an item of clothing new for less than what it would cost you to go to the trouble of making it seemed weird and wrong.” So Owens returned to the thrift store, this time with the idea of buying used clothes and restyling them. She bought ill-fitting and out-of-date garments and lobbed off shoulder pads, cut off sleeves, and hiked up hems. For one project, Owens took a powder blue 1980s Liz Claiborne sack dress that overwhelmed her small frame and altered it into a cute, modern cocktail dress. She’s made a ball gown out of men’s dress shirts and a hip-hugging skirt out of a soccer jersey. “There’s something so rewarding in making something yourself and fixing something yourself,” Owens says. So rewarding in fact she’s spun her restyling projects into a successful blog, ReFashionista, September/October 2013 55 where she posts a photograph of a reformulated garment every single day. W ith refashioning, there is always a risk of ruining a piece of clothing. “People are afraid to cut into their clothes. They’re afraid to mess it up,” she says. But for Owens the risk is part of the fun. It takes others longer to get used to the idea. A friend of hers complained for months about a ruffle on a new tank top she’d purchased. “Finally, she cut off the damn ruffle and then she liked the tank top,” Owens told me, chuckling. R efashioning is not a new concept. It’s just a forgotten one. In eighteenth-century England, maids took their mistresses’ castoff dresses and turned them into new outfits. My grandmother, who grew up during the Depression, never threw her clothes away. They were patched up and reimagined until they were completely wornout or passed down to siblings. When clothing and shoes were rationed during World War II and textile production was largely dedicated to military uniforms, fashionable women sewed old linens, scrap cloth, and their husband’s suits into quite sophisticated styles. Refashioning was a way of life, as it provided novelty and allowed people to keep up with changing fashions. A new generation 56 Honest to Goodness is reconnecting with the practice. S everal blogs and Internet communities have cropped up dedicated to refashioning. Owens assists in editing the Refashion Co-Op, an online community of refashioners from all over the world. Anyone can contribute to the site (refashionco-op.blogspot.com), with the stipulation that they post at least one new project a month. Owens is inspiring people in her community as well. Her ball gown of men’s dress shirts was put on exhibit at the local museum. She’s also collaborating with a local thrift store by taking damaged or out-of-style donations and refashioning them for resale. The proceeds go to a women’s shelter. Owens says, “These clothes probably would have ended up thrown away if I hadn’t done that. Everybody wins.” V intage dealer Sara Bereket briefly toyed with the idea of starting a fashion line, but realizing the expense and the financial risk involved, she decided to build her business around refashioned vintage instead. The American vintage clothing market is one of the deepest in the world, but a lot of it is stained, torn, or too out-of-date to sell. Not everyone wants to or has the time to restyle or mend secondhand clothing themselves. Bereket offers these services for them. B ereket is part of a growing number of secondhand clothing dealers who refashion and mend used clothes for retail. If something is perfect as is, such as the ’80s Lanvin double-breasted jacket Bereket currently has for sale on her Web site, Sarazcloset.com, she’ll leave it as is. But about three-fourths of the secondhand clothing she buys benefits from some kind of alteration. She’s replaced broken buttons on an Yves Saint Laurent plaid jacket and removed the sleeves on jumpsuits. Since hemlines have gotten dramatically shorter over the years, most dresses and skirts get a lift. “I want to give my customer a finished product,” says Bereket. “I want people to wear it straightaway.” B ereket strongly believes in consumer power and our ability to change the fashion industry through the way we shop. “If we decided we’re not going to support H&M, for example, oh my god, that would change everything,” she told me excitedly. “We blame companies. But at the end of the day we have to be responsible for our actions.” Bereket also offers rentals of vintage dresses for special occasions through her Web site. “Part of eliminating waste is sharing what you have,” she says. “I don’t think we need to own anything anymore because we don’t wear party dresses more than once.” F or variety, and the thrill of something new to wear, clothing rentals and clothing swaps are resonating with many people. Swaps are community - or privately organized events where people bring clothing in good condition to trade for free or for a small donation. Clothing swaps are now being held around the country with more successful organizers like Boston’s The Swapaholics hosting swaps attended by more than four hundred people. USA Today commented on the phenomenon in an April 26, 2010, article: “When it comes A few responsible clothing options that are “Made in the USA” 1. Steven Alan 2. Hanky Panky 3. Nanette Lepore 4. Splendid 5. Earnest Sewn 6. Eileen Fischer 7. 7 For All Mankind September/October 2013 57 to freshening their—and their kids’ and husbands’—wardrobes, more women are exchanging shopping for swapping. Friends are gathering at homes to trade gently worn treasures (and gossip); strangers are exchanging stuff through online swap sites or at organized meet ups.” The article noted that women were gravitating toward swaps because of the interpersonal and social perks, of which shopping today is almost entirely devoid. from my house, it was time to check one out. I dragged all of the clothes I no longer wore out of my closet and selected a few things to trade, picking out a couple of H&M blouses that were still in decent condition, a never-worn sweater dress from Old Navy, a pair of well-made black corduroys from Gap, and a pair of white Diesel sneakers. W hen I arrived at the swap, I handed my bag of clothes to a greeter, a he first time I heard about clothing policy intended to keep each person’s swaps, I had mixed feelings on the donations anonymous. The swap, held idea. It’s impossible, without just showing in a large basement room of the local up to a swap, to know that—even if you library, divided clothes into women’s, bring your expensive designer jeans and men’s, children’s, dresses, outerwear, a good wool coat—everyone else is not shoes, and miscellaneous. The selection going to bring their stretched-out and wasn’t exceptional, but I did find a few stained has-beens. Finding a well-orgathings that I liked—a high-quality long nized swap where the style and quality wool coat, a pair of red running shorts, are what you’re after is all part of the and a baby blue corduroy skirt. After process. When I found out on Facebook trying on everything at home, I decided that a swap was happening a half mile to keep the shorts, and cast the rest T Inside the Quincy Street Salvation Army 58 Honest to Goodness back into the secondhand waste stream by donating them to a thrift store. I ’ve often thought, If only there were some utopian store where the clothes are really fashionable, environmentally friendly, and low priced all while supporting living-wage jobs (ideally jobs based in the United States). Those stores don’t really exist. Clothing that isn’t produced at resource-draining quantities or by shortchanging the people making it is not cheap. Clothing that is well made is not cheap. There, I said it. I’ve had about two years to accept this. Perhaps it will take you less time. But all of these other ideals are now possible. I n recent years many Americans have started shopping at farmer’s markets and dropping extra cash on organic eggs or locally grown produce in increasing numbers. More of us are patronizing farm-to-table restaurants that source their ingredients from nearby growers, all while swearing that the food tastes better and adds to our quality of life. Localism and a more thoughtful, slow approach to eating have a huge following, and slowly but surely the movement is spreading to fashion. S low clothing differs in a number of other surprising ways from what we’ve been trained to expect from chain stores. Often the emphasis is on creating pieces that aren’t trend driven and are instead unique enough not to really date. Trends change so fast now that we are handed two choices: Change trends like a manically flickering light switch or have the courage to develop your own look. A t shops like EPIC in Los Angeles and Kaight in New York City, the owners act as partners instead of gatekeepers, helping designers with strong aesthetic visions clean up their supply chains. The stores will connect the designers with the right ecofriendly textile resources or clue them into certain production techniques, such as vegetable-tanned leather or reclaimed materials. The price on sustainable fabrics is also coming down as more suppliers get into the field; the selection and quality also have improved dramatically in the past few years. Now there are ecofriendly alternatives to virtually every kind of natural fiber. Wool and cotton are preferential, in my opinion, to polyester because they wear and feel better, are not oildependent, and are biodegradable. But I support recycled and repurposed fabrics of all kinds, and the overall goal should be to reduce the amount of toxins and chemicals used across the textile industry as a whole, as well as to reduce our consumption of fiber in general. L et’s talk about price. I asked fashion industry people what a fair price for clothing might be, made at sustainable volumes, at a good quality level, and using responsibly paid labor. It’s a tricky question, as the answer varies so much on what product we’re talking about—a fair price for a winter coat is going to be very different from a fair price for a pair of boxer shorts. Not surprisingly, no one could give me a straight answer. The bottom line is that consumers have September/October 2013 59 to educate themselves about quality construction and good fabrics, so they know when a garment is a rip-off or when they’re actually getting their money’s worth. If we could get to this collective place, retailers would have to be more responsible about pricing and sticker shock would more closely correspond to an exceptionally crafted garment. A custom suit or dress is going to cost far more than anything in a mainstream store. If you’re paying for the upper echelon of creativity and for practically a one-of-a-kind design, I can tell you to expect prices much higher than a couple hundred dollars yet much lower than say, Prada. These are items to save and strive for. And if you’re buying a line through a boutique, remember you’re paying more to support both the designer and the store. And unlike in the luxury market where prices are inflated, an honest retailer’s prices are a better reflection of the ac- tual worth of the garment and the labor and skill involved. I f you currently shop cheap, you can shift your spending without paying more than you’re used to paying overall by shopping less and with more intention. I don’t spend more per year than I used to, and yet I own much nicer stuff that looks better on me. What a concept. I think it’s smart to save up and put your biggest dollars into coats, shoes, and, for men, suits. Paying more in these categories almost always mean better fit and wear and a more classic, long-lasting style that doesn’t have to be replaced as often. 60 Honest to Goodness I n time, I’ve found that the urge to dress trendy and the desire to look good are often at odds. I don’t look good in the billowy, loose- fitting shirts that are in right now. Before that, I didn’t look good in the long, tunic style tops that were in. The further I move away from following trends, the more I am aware of what cuts and silhouettes work for me. This isn’t to say that there aren’t times when trends resonate with me. I like ’90s minimalism in the form of a simple shell. The first place I look for trends is at a thrift store, since they’re usually rehashed anyway or are so quickly discarded. I also don’t have a hard and fast rule against chain stores, discounters, or even the occasional cheap fashion fix. If we just patronized these places at even half the pace that we do, it would put enormous pressure on the industry to clean up its act. No matter where our clothes are purchased, we should buy the best we can, make good use of them, and care for them. A t the risk of sounding too earnest, we are all stewards of our clothing, responsible for seeing it through its different phases of life. Even if we don’t have any use for a piece of clothing, it’s up to us to make sure its next stop in the clothing life cycle isn’t the landfill. Clothing should be kept in good condition, able to be worn after us, which means caring for and maintaining it while we own it and cleaning it and repairing it before we donate it or sell it or give it away. When I pulled my winter coats out of storage this year, I spent a few days trying them on and asking myself, Do the linings need sewing Author Elizabeth L. Cline - covered in clothes. By Keri Wiginton up? Would I wear this if it was taken in or altered somehow? In some cases, the answer was that I simply didn’t like them anymore and had in fact never liked them—with my new eyes I realized they were cheap and shoddy-looking. So I cleaned a handful of my coats, stitched up the linings and sewed back on the dangling buttons, and donated them in the best condition possible. I nstead of driving to a mall and buying predetermined styles owned by thousands of other people, consumers are turning back toward independent businesses and personalized fashion. More shops are opening where designers are combining their workshops and retail spaces so customers have input on the final garment. There’s a shop in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles called Matrushka Construction where everything is handmade on-site and items can be altered on the spot. I had a silk-screened top taken in on the sides, for example. The store also carries classic knit dresses that can be made-to-order based on print and sleeve length. Likewise, tailors and seamstresses that offer clients a choice of fit, color, and style are enjoying a small but significant resurgence. Slow fashion is about thinking and doing for yourself, and it’s amazing to see those who feel inspired by it make it their own. A s for me, slowly but surely, my life and my wardrobe have changed. When people ask me about my clothes, I have a story to tell beyond, “I bought this at fill-in-the-blank” or “I only paid twenty bucks.” September/October 2013 61 BACK TO FALL 62 Honest to Goodness Sure, it’s back-to-school time for the kids, but it’s back-to-routine time for the rest of us. If you’re anxious about kissing the lazy days of summer GOODBYE, here are some wise ways to ease into fall - from mothers, entrepreneurs, doctors, holistic healers, and people just like you. Get out your sweaters, warm up a mug of tea, stir a pot of soup, and cozy up to the SEASON. September/October 2013 63 T he transition from summer to winter can be emotionally rough - one minute, we're wishing away the heat, and the next, we're knee-deep in snow! One way I make the transition a little bit easier is I give my kitchen and closet a major overhaul. I start looking for my favorite fall foods while grocery shopping (I'm thinking pumpkin, oatmeal, and mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy). And I redo my wardrobe, pulling my winter clothes out of hiding and organizing my shelves. Seeing all the fun items that I have to wear - I love scarves! - puts the focus on something lighthearted. ~ Caitlin Boyle, blogger and author of Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful 64 Honest to Goodness M any people are often affected by the change of seasons, especially moving from the long bright seemingly happy days of summer to the shorter more confining days of autumn. For me, this change brings about some mixed emotions, often stirring up some old childhood memories that the fun, carefree days are over. On the other hand the fall into the winter offers routine and structure, warm soups, hot baths, self-massage with sesame oil. Iâ€™ve learned to look forward to the quiet time where I can hibernate in my den, and spend some time with myself and my creator. Itâ€™s a golden opportunity to go within, reflect, pray, meditate, breathe, and become more peaceful, knowing that before long the beach will once again be calling me! ~ Susan Surya Semerade, Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Certified Yoga Instructor September/October 2013 65 A 66 Honest to Goodness fter a long busy summer with my kids, I look forward to fall for getting back into a routine. For my family, itâ€™s a time for setting new schedules, making new resolutions (I make way more resolutions in September than I do in January!). I cram my weekends with as much outdoor fun as possible (such as taking hikes and picnicking with friends) before the weather turns, and I always set aside a day for canning tomatoes and jams for winter.â€? ~ Bea Johnson, blogger and author of Zero Waste Home M y remedy for shorter days and looming schedules is a yogic practice known as prakti paksha bhavanam. Bhavanam means thought, prakti paksha means to invert, to take the opposite. Essentially, you take a negative thought and replace it with a positive one. The way I like to think of it is, finding other possible ways to look atâ€Ś. Just about anything. In case of summerâ€™s end, I focus on what I love about fall- football, crisp sunny days, delicious apples. I remember that the turn of the seasons can be a tremendous blessing, a certain change we can use to inform ourselves. Natureâ€™s little nudge to check in and make sure we are paying attention to our lives. Routines are necessary for stability but without reflection can lead to stagnancy. When routines change, we are reminded to take a look around, recognize where we are and make sure we are heading in the right direction. ~ Courtney Crews, fitness professional, Certified Yoga Instructor September/October 2013 67 I n my medical practice I tell my patients that any life transition is an opportunity for renewal; a chance to reexamine your life and your surroundings, reassess where you are and where you are going, and make a conscious decision to proceed ahead or change your direction. This may apply to your work, health or personal relationships. Allow the invigorating autumn weather to welcome you outside so you get your daily dose of Mother Earth. Utilize your precious daylight hours effectively and take advantage of the longer nights to catch up on much needed rest. And perhaps most importantly, celebrate the seasons, festivals and holidays with those you love most for true friendship and love are the keys to eternal youth and never-ending joy! ~ Alexis Hugelmeyer, D.O., Medical Director of the Suah Center 68 Honest to Goodness re o ur r a s e i od i ch o u h “O ur b w e s to th ardeners.” n e d r ga o ur g e are r e a p s s l e l i k a w iam Sh l l i W ~ “Let fo od be thy med icin e and med icine be thy fo od ” ~ Hippocrates “Health is a s tate o co mplete f har mony of the bo dy, mi nd and s pirit. W hen on e is f ree f ro m p hysical d isabiliti es and mental d is traction s, the gates of the so ul open.” ~ B.K.S. I yengar “Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God, and value it next to a good conscience; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of. ~ Izaak Walton bo dy To keep the h in go o d healt is a duty, other w ise we able shall not be mind to keep o ur lear. s trong and c ~ Bu ddha THE HO NES GOO T TO DNE SS TRU TH September/October 2013 See you in November! 69