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Sustainable Philadelphia

take one!

october 2010 / issue 19

featuring special


also inside:

fashion insert

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Local Ties


Alex Mulcahy 215.625.9850 ext. 102


verybody eats!” is a rallying cry of food and environmental activists eager to grow a broad-based movement. With the exception of the Philly Naked Bike Ride, everybody wears clothes, too. Can our daily routine of tucking in and buttoning up lead us to a sustainable future? My relationship with clothing has always been tentative, and a little problematic. At the age of 10, I received a pair of blue and yellow hand-me-down sneakers from my cousin. I hated them. I stashed the offending shoes in a closet, and put all my energy into making my feet grow. No sooner had they obliged than a funny thing happened: the sneakers had a swoosh, and that particular brand began to crescendo in popularity. Apparently my cousin was a little hipper than me. Now, I wanted my feet to shrink—a task that proved slightly more difficult. How could my 10-yearold self have been so cruelly misled by my own taste? Of course, now I can see mass marketing’s clever spell, and its hunger for youthful insecurities. While I remember some dubious early forays into attention-grabbing fashion—checkerboard shoes, shirt and hat, a dizzying sea of black and white worn

all at the same time, with a pair of parachute pants— for the most part I wore clothes that discouraged notice. I dreaded shopping, and when I did make the annual or semi-annual trip to the mall, I bought clothes like a drunken oil sheik. I’d find a shirt I liked, and then buy five or six variations on the same theme. Band tees and flannel shirts defined my 20s, polo and oxford shirts have been the uniform of my 30s. Several years ago when my grandmother died, the hodgepodge of pants and jackets I’d assembled to fulfill social obligations seemed inadequate. I needed a good suit. I was amazed at how it made me feel. Loved ones told me I looked nice. I bought another for my wedding last year. I’ve worn both of those suits several times now, and every time I do, my wife is sure to hear me say, “I should dress like this every day!” (The sharp dressers on my current obsession, Mad Men, might be compounding that urge.) Those suits were my first experience of feeling connected to what I was wearing, but, as with most garments made so far away, it can be difficult to feel engaged with our wardrobes. One thing certainly helps: dressing locally. True, not buying anything is choice number one for the sustainably-minded, and choice number two is to buy used, but if you decide to buy something new, shopping carefully is key. Most fashion-minded folks will tell you that you don’t need a big closet, just well-selected articles of clothing that you really like. Putting this issue together was a real eye-opener—there are so many talented and creative people making clothing right here in our backyard. A special thanks to Jamila Payne of the National Association of Sustainable Fashion Designers and Sarah Van Aken of SA VA for giving us good direction. And further thanks to Sarah for the great tie I’m wearing in this picture.

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Claire Connelly 215.625.9850 ext. 100 managing editor

Lee Stabert contributing editor

Ariela Rose art director

Jamie Leary designer

Melissa McFeeters distribution

Claire Connelly 215.625.9850 ext. 100 copy editors

Andrew Bonazelli Patty Moran production artist

Lucas Hardison interns

Mark Syvertson Sam Watson writers

Bernard Brown Tenaya Darlington Jacob Lambert Julie Lorch Natalie Hope McDonald Marisa McClellan Ariela Rose Denise Shardlow Lee Stabert Mark Syverston Samantha Wittchen Char Vandermeer photographers

Shawn Corrigan Vishal Kaliwal Ruth Savitz Albert Yee illustrators

Adrienne Langer Melissa McFeeters published by

Red Flag Media 1032 Arch Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19107 215.625.9850 Alex Mulcahy, Publisher 4

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ECOTISTICAL. Riding SEPTA has always been the fresher, earth-friendlier way to commute. And with our new hybrid buses saving over 20% on fuel, taking SEPTA just got a little greener. To find a SEPTA route, visit or call 215-580-7800 Source: SEPTA / New Flyer


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go green go


Market T Growth The Reading Terminal readies renovations

Book Smart



he Reading Terminal Market is giving its east end a facelift—a move that will increase leasable space, decrease clutter and drastically improve restroom facilities. The plan was conceived when management decided to add a second freight elevator—it became clear that they could move the bulk of the ground floor storage downstairs, freeing up considerable real estate for new vendors and renovation. “It’s long been a goal to make the east end of the market as vibrant as the west end,” explains General Manager

The city releases its guidebook for solar projects

In June, the city debuted its highly anticipated Guidebook for Solar Photovoltaic Projects in Philadelphia, an element of Philadelphia’s participation in the Department of Energy’s Solar American Cities Partnership. Though the name is a bit of a mouthful, the guide is designed for potential vendors and consumers—it’s straightforward enough for the average solar-curious Joe. The guide is divided into four sections: Solar Basics, System Design Considerations, Process Overview and Incentives & Benefits. Each section is stocked with charts, bullet-pointed lists and infographics detailing the who, what, when, where and whys of solar panels. Although the individual sections of the guide can get a little overwhelming at times—the DC to AC inverter does what?—the graphics, FAQs and glossary will keep you on track. —Ariela Rose The Guidebook for Solar Photovoltaic Projects in Philadelphia is available online at



r e c yc l i n g


Food and more

Paul Steinke. In some ways, this project is the next logical step in the market’s renaissance. Reading Terminal is working with Friday Architects, a local architecture and design firm that recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Construction is scheduled to begin right after the holidays and, fortunately for hungry Philadelphians, will require no closures for the historic market. —Lee Stabert Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St.,

Pier Pressure

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC), a non profit organization dedicated to the development of Philadelphia’s “east coast,” recently committed to planting 37 white swamp oak trees, each measuring over 20 feet tall, as part of their Race Street Pier project. In keeping with the DRWC’s mantra of “designing with nature,” the pier will be transformed into a man-made peninsula on the Delaware River, creating a public park just south of the Ben Franklin Bridge. The original plans called for trees about half that size, but according to Marilyn Jordan Taylor, dean of Penn’s Design School, the larger trees will “create a sense of instant permanency and contribute to the quality of the space,” as well as provide shade for the new park. The trees will come from Environmental Design, the firm responsible for landscaping the new World Trade Center Memorial Park in New York City, and the DRWC is looking for sponsors to help offset the cost. For $2,500, donors will be recognized with a plaque set at the base of their respective tree. For information, visit —Mark Syvertson

Impressive trees are added to the Race Street Pier plans

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/ local business no opew n

Natural Harvest Market & Café


eanna Brzeg has taken it upon herself to supply her small town of Mullica Hill, NJ, with locallyproduced, health-conscious food. The recently opened Natural Harvest Market & Café carries a number of food options for vegetarians, allergy sufferers and foodies looking for more diverse options. Brzeg is working with the Fair Food Farmstand, Lancaster Farm Fresh Coop and a number of other local businesses to stock the market’s shelves and create a community of local suppliers. “I really feel like when you have a passion you can’t help but be happy, and for me that’s what life’s all about,” says Brzeg. “It’s about taking care of people in a good way with local products.” —Ariela Rose 45 S. Main St., Mullica Hill, NJ,, Mon. – Wed. 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Thurs. 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Falls Bridge

The Trolley Car Café opens as a gateway to East Falls, and a haven for bike lovers by lee stabert


riting about the recently opened Trolley Car Café in East Falls was the best assignment ever—on a beautiful August morning I hopped on my bike and took a leisurely six-mile ride down the Kelly Drive recreation path to meet with owner and developer Ken Weinstein. Situated just a stone’s throw from the Schuylkill, the beautifully refurbished building—which had a previous life as the bathhouse for a municipal swimming pool—has been completely redone, incorporating many impressive green features. “My guess is that the building would have collapsed in a few years if we hadn’t saved it,” explains Weinstein. Instead, it got a new roof, solar hot water heaters that satisfy 70 percent of the café’s water needs, passive solar lighting tubes and a flourishing kitchen garden. The garden is adjacent to an inviting patio where diners can eye the river on one side and lush raised beds on the other—butterflies and bees hum among rows of fresh herbs, carrots, string beans, zucchini and 10 different varieties of tomatoes (acquired from Weaver’s Way Farm). The menu boasts a wide range of upscale comfort food, from fresh salads to sandwiches to dinner entrees. The Café also serves 8

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breakfast, ice cream and La Colombe coffee. It was the East Falls Development Corporation that first approached Weinstein (owner of the Trolley Car Diner in Mt. Airy) about creating a “gateway to East Falls” at this site. The neighborhood has been incredibly supportive, and the café is perfectly placed between Philadelphia’s Northwest neighborhoods and Center City—a relatively short bike ride from both. Valley Forge Bike Rentals is also a tenant at Trolley Car, and on weekends they rent bikes and do quick repairs for cyclists from the recreation path. “It’s a great date place,” suggests Weinstein. “It’s an opportunity to have a nice dinner and work it off at the same time.” ■


Trolley Café Café, 3269 S. Ferry Rd. (intersection of Ferry Rd. and Kelly Dr.), BYOB,, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. everyday

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West Phillie Produce Market


rnett Woodall opened the West Phillie Produce Market with help from a $10,500 Food Trust grant and support from the Enterprise Center and the Reinvestment Fund (TRF). The store recently celebrated a year in business. Not only does the market bring healthy food to an underserved area, it also acts as a community support center, employing neighborhood teens and donating extra food to a local homeless shelter. “Nothing goes to waste; nothing goes bad,” says Woodall. “Before it can go bad, we get it to the shelter so somebody can eat it, or we give it to the neighbors in the community.” “He’s been quite successful; he’s been open a year and he’s very dedicated,” says Christina Szczepanski, Program Manager at TRF. “Now we have access to fruits and vegetables in a community that did not have access to fresh food.” —Ariela Rose 18 S. 62nd Street, 215-796-9143, daily, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. p hot os by j ohn baro ne

Diaper Dandy

Mt. Airy’s Nesting House is a bastion for eco-aware parents by ariela rose


or many, choosing a baby’s diapering system is as easy as running to the nearest convenience store and grabbing a box of Pampers. But for those with environmental concerns, cloth diapers may be the best choice. In a reusable diaper landscape full of cleaning services, snappies and bamboo liners, where is a new parent to begin? Jennifer Kinka, co-owner of Mt. Airy’s Nesting House, has the answers, and is ready to guide frazzled parents as they tackle diaper duty. Since the store’s opening in June, Kinka and her business partner Meredith Jacoby have been stocking the shelves with helpful products for eco-minded parents. Jacoby handles the new and used merchandise, while Kinka is the store’s cloth diapering guru. “We’ve been friends and we often talked about sustainable ways to have babies,” says Kinka. “Eventually we thought, ‘We should open a store that has cloth diapers and gently used stuff, and then newer, organic, sustainably created kind of stuff as well.’” Kinka is no stranger to the world of cloth diapers. Prior to opening the Nesting House, she ran the Philadelphia Cloth Diaper Company out of her home. She also had the hands-on experience of using them on her own children. “I ordered hundreds of different types of diapers to try and find out what held up over time, what actually worked well,” she explains. “My market pho tos by Al bert Yee

research was definitely done on them.” These days, there is a vast array of cloth diapering systems available. Gone are the days of cloth squares requiring intricate folding techniques and dangerous pins—today’s models are easier to use and less bulky. They are also more sustainable. A look through the Nesting House’s cloth diaper catalog reveals a plethora of options made from earth-friendly fabrics, including organic cotton, hemp and bamboo. The reusability of cloth diapers, coupled with new sustainable fabric options, make a strong case for cloth as the most environmental option. But the amount of energy and water used to clean them has been cause for concern. “One thing disposables have on cloth is water use,” says Kinka. “You use more water in washing than is used to create disposables. But, especially in our area, water is the least of our issues. Resources, energy and trash are bigger issues.” Disposable diapers create an incredible amount of waste. According to the Clean Air Council, 18 billion disposable diapers are thrown out each year. This waste eventually finds its way into landfills, where it will sit for at least 300 years.

Still, many new parents are worried that cloth diapering will turn into a complicated mess. This is where Kinka’s monthly workshops come in handy. She starts the course by outlining the differences between cloth and disposables, explains the best ways to “go cloth” and ends with a tutorial on tools available to help care for cloth diapers. Kinka never pushes cloth on any of her customers, but is confident that she has changed the minds of many skeptics. As she puts it: “Even people that are totally not on board when they walk in, walk out thinking, ‘Wow, maybe we could do that.’” ■


606 Carpenter Ln., 215-438-1600,, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tues. – Fri.; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sun.; New Mom’s Group meets Mondays, 10 a.m. – noon

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/ urban farming

Sweet Success B Milk & Honey Market bottles urban honey

y the middle of June, Michelle Niedermeier’s oldest son started smelling the honey. Selected as one of seven beehive hosts in the city, the family’s West Philadelphia backyard was a contributor to Milk & Honey Market’s unique summer project. Partnering with Two Gander Farm (Lancaster County), the West Philly market harvested honey from urban beehives throughout Philadelphia. The “Summer in the City Honey” program produced sweet stuff bottled from neighborhoods around town and also offered an unusual opportunity for locals to become urban apiarists. “We would sit by the hives every day and watch the bees fly in and out,” says Neidermeier. In May, the hive, which housed thousands of honeybees, was relocated from Lancaster County to the family’s yard. The bees worked tirelessly to produce honey until July, when it was harvested and they were taken back to their country home. A mother of two, Niedermeier says both of her boys—ages nine and six—have learned lessons from the bees. Her youngest son even created a PowerPoint presentation for his class. “We 10

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by natalie hope mcdonald

learned to stay out of the bees’ flight path,” she says. “And no one ever got stung.” When the project was first conceived, no one anticipated they would bottle thousands of honey jars. But finding homes for the hives was easy— Milk & Honey received at least 35 requests. “We looked for backyards that were fenced and relatively isolated,” explains Milk & Honey co-owner Annie Baum-Stein. Hives were distributed in West, South and North Philly, as well as, appropriately enough, Queen Village. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Philadelphia Orchard Project. “We chose to bottle honey to demonstrate the importance of bees to sustainable agriculture,” says Baum-Stein. “We hope the Summer in the City Honey will get people thinking and talking about eating locally, urban farming and sustainable agriculture. We also hope that while we all enjoy the hard work of the urban bees, some will consider the significant connection between urban farming and rural farming.” She says the Philly bees are exceptionally healthy thanks to their stay. “The bees are now fortified and have been spared a lot of pesticide

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exposure,” says Baum-Stein, who hosted a lively hive on the roof of the market with the help of Trey Flemming, Two Gander Farm’s resident apiarist. “Amazingly, honey harvested from our roof and honey from four blocks away tastes very different, ” she adds. With the exception of two hive tragedies—a tree crushed a hive during a windstorm and a queen died in Powelton Village—the project is a testament to sustainable living, something Baum-Stein says inspired her to open Milk & Honey in the first place. “We created this product for the sake of the bees and for the importance of sustainable beekeeping,” she says. “We hope to keep the bees on our roof year-round, and hope to start the hosta-hive program again next summer.” ■ bee nice

Apiarist Trey Flemming of Two Gander Farm examines a comb of bees on the roof of Milk & Honey.


Milk & Honey Market, 4435 Baltimore Ave., 215-387-6455,

p hot os by Vis ha l Kal iwa l

/ opinion

Growing Pains A fight erupts over an urban farm project in Roxborough


by nic esposito

s a local Philadelphia food system just a curiosity—something that looks good on grant applications—or can it sustain our city? Does it work by revitalizing a portion of the city’s vacant lots or do we rely on the surrounding rural counties to support our agricultural needs? These are just a few of the questions the urban agriculture movement must tackle in the coming years. This summer the Department of Parks and Recreation released a Request for Information (RFI) for Manatawna Farms in Roxborough. The proposed project—destined for five acres of Fairmount Park land, satisfying a portion of the Mayor’s Greenworks Plan—would provide ten half-acre plots, a communal tool shed, equipment, a harvest station and fencing. The City received many innovative proposals for the site, ranging from a small-scale composting service to a farming cooperative that would sell to markets and restaurants. Despite all of this positive energy, the RFI has inspired surprisingly forceful opposition, stalling the project and threatening its future. The charge has been led by surrounding neighbors, Saul High School and the environmental group East 33. They’ve raised three issues: the farm will negatively affect Saul’s hay production, commercial farming will disrupt the tranquility of the neighborhood and cultivation will destroy important bobolink habitats. While it’s true that bobolinks have been seen This project will only succeed through a city-wide effort. To lend your support, visit

in the area, the birds have never been known to nest there. Plus, farming techniques such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and organic soil composition create habitats beneficial for plants, birds and insects, boosting the biodiversity of the site and improving crop yield. Potential farmers for the site have also asserted that commercial farming doesn’t necessarily mean industrial farming. By focusing on smallscale production, they can use techniques that don’t rely on chemicals that pollute waterways or heavy machinery that would infringe on the neighborhood’s serenity. As for Saul High School, the land does produce a fifth of the hay for their animal programs, but applicants for space have expressed interest in working with Saul students and faculty to supplement the lost revenue. Five acres is not going to feed Philadelphia, but Manatawna Farms is an excellent opportunity to foster balance for our urban farmers and for the city. Philadelphia has many amazing educators and community organizers who persevere through unimaginable hardship to grow food and community in the inner city of Philadelphia, but growers can’t only rely on telling people that they need to eat local produce. These five acres can help prove that local food production is not just an idea or a curiosity—it’s a priority for a truly sustainable city. Nic Esposito is an urban farmer, activist and co-founder of Philly Rooted; his advocacy for urban agriculture was profiled in April’s Grid.

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/ bike culture


was terrified to ride with the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia (BCP). Mere mention of the group conjures images of sleek cyclists clad in spandex racing up the Manayunk Wall and through the hills of Northwest Philadelphia. They have skinny tires and aerodynamic helmets. You will get dropped. I met one of BCP’s leaders, Linda McGrane, last March. She is a petite woman with blonde hair and a welcoming smile. That she appears so warm and unassuming only enhances my terror. Linda remembers your name and wants you to join the Club for a ride. On a bike, this woman will crush you. For months, I scroll through the options on BCP’s website, There are weekly rides with lengthy descriptions and reams of archived cue sheets. In April, I become a member. I learn about Ride Classifications: Class A, “Difficult, 15 to 100+ miles, 18-20 mph average on flat terrain.” I am not Class A. I scroll down to Class B: “Advanced, 25 to 90 miles, 15-18 mph average on flat terrain.” Right. I do not go for a ride until July. with... I would have put it off longer had I not run into Linda The of at Neighborhood Bike Works. She encourages me to try an easy ride to get used to cycling in a group. I really like Linda. I go home and scroll through the rides again. I find a Tuesday evening “Delightful, Delicious ‘D’ Ride.” The by Julie Lorch ride description claims it’s an “easy-paced evening jaunt for novice riders and/or anyone interested in a gentle recovery ride.” Class D rides are “Easy, 10 to 25 miles, 8-11 mph on flat terrain.” D it is! the route On Tuesday, I roll up and encounter an older woman riding a 1970s Schwinn cruiser MT. AIRY with fat tires (an easy-paced jaunt) and a tall Wharton student with red and white spandex and a matching Trek Ge (recovery ride). Every BCP rm an tow ride is led by a capable cyclist; St en nA they research and prepare to ve nA the route ahead of time (ride ve leaders generously volunteer their time and efforts to BCP). Linda happens to be leading tonight’s ride. There are nearly 1,000 members of BCP, but she remembers my name—and the names of the evening’s other cyclists—with ease. Linda has been a member of BCP since the early ’90s and president since February 2009. Mc Ca She says that joining BCP was llu m St one of the best decisions she’s re et ever made. “I’ve had the good Fairmount Park fortune to meet so many marvelous people in the bicycling community,” she explains. “I’ve formed many long-lasting friendships.”

Bicycle club


Ca rp en te rL an e

W. W illo w

Gr ov eA ve

Pike em hleh Bet


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Av e

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Have No Fear

Linda McGrane (above), and a group of cyclists ready to go (right).

She mentions the great novice rides through flat parts of the city and some of the more challenging BCP favorites through hilly suburbs. “We have a very diverse membership, representing all levels of cycling interest and ability,” she says. “Some of our members are daily bike commuters, others enjoy weekly rides to their favorite eatery and still others do long-distance travel by bike.” The jaunt is so enjoyable that I go again the following week. The ride departs from the Allens Lane Train Station, along with a more challenging C+ ride. I’m tempted to go with the C’s—they looked so sleek and athletic—but stick with the D’s for a relaxing ride around Chestnut Hill. On the McCallum Street Bridge, we D’s are “zoomed” by a racing team of cycling stallions. Silent but for the whir of their methodical cadence, this Class A team of rock hard bodies whizz by with graceful precision. Chasing the stallions are a dozen clydesdales. A couple of awkward ponies bring up the rear. I’m no longer afraid of BCP, and you shouldn’t be either. There are rides for every level, including a list of options designed to help you climb the ladder: the Instructional D Ride for newbies (where no one is left behind), the C Spin-Off that “cheerfully waits to regroup,” and the Saturday Northwest Philly Rides for aspiring B cyclists. The starting points are all over the city and suburbs, and many of the launch sites offer two or more ride options. If you’ve ever longed for a ready-made bike posse, or just want to explore some new parts of the city with cyclists who know the best roads, then make the move. Heed Linda’s call: “Why don’t you try an easy ride to get used to cycling in a group?” They may challenge you to ride farther and faster than you thought you could, but they’re also pretty darn nice. ■


Philadelphia Bicycling Club,

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/ urban naturalist

For the Birds An urban environment is no deterrent to hawk watching

by bernard brown,


n this particular morning, the pigeons were smarter than the squirrels. Walking from my office to the ATM, I noticed breadcrumbs strewn across a stretch of sidewalk in Washington Square Park. A pair of young squirrels took turns jumping on each other and tussling in the grass nearby, but nary a pigeon was there to peck up the crumbs. When a Red-tailed hawk swooped in, I was just as surprised as the squirrels. The hawk missed both of them, thudding into the grass (klutz!) as the squirrels separated and bolted for the trees. Was this some kind of staged nature documentary? (Cue the grim narrator: “The innocent squirrels play, completely unaware that death stalks them from above!”) I looked around at the office and apartment buildings, Independence Hall just a block away—no cameras. The hawk mounted a few more lame attacks before giving up and flying away. A few winters ago, a Cooper’s Hawk in a Roxborough apartment complex had better luck. My wife and I walked into the courtyard and found it butchering a pigeon, scattering feathers and blood all over the clean snow. We stared impolitely; the hawk looked up for an awkward moment and then flew away with its limp, gory dinner. That Cooper’s Hawk (a member of Accipiter genus, faster, more slender hawks than the bulkier red-tails and their Buteo cousins) was onto something. We might think of cities as artificial, tame places, but they’re overflowing with hawk food: lazy squirrels and flocks of breadcrumb-stuffed pigeons. You can see some rarer species in our wilder corners—the harriers nesting at the Heinz National Wildlife Refuge come to mind—but the ones you’re most likely to spot in the city (perched on a light post or tree branch) are Red-tails. I saw one this morning in a Southwest Philly cemetery; it was screaming indignantly as a smaller bird dive-bombed, chasing it away. The Franklin Institute also hosts a red-tailed nest outside its conference room window. You can watch the parents feed fresh squirrel bits to the babies on their hawk nest video stream ( This year’s chicks have fledged, but you can check out the family pictures while you ready for next spring. Tired of our local hawks? Check out the big fall raptor migration from August through November. We’re lucky to be right near a major migration highway, particularly along the Kittatiny Ridge, where raptors from points north make their way south for the winter. You can watch from spots with evocative names such as Bake Oven Knob or—in a lovely bit of plainspeak—Hawk Mountain. You can wing it also make the much shorter trip to Rose Tree A red-tailed hawk perched Park in Media, where the local Hawk Watch in the trees ( keeps track of fly-overs near Thomas and can help you tell the Broad Wings from Jefferson Hospital. the Sharp Shins. ■

Fly Zone Coffee Break

Jump on the Franklin Institute’s website ( to catch some file footage of their building’s resident Red-tailed nest. Come spring, watch it happen live. Afternoon Excursion

Just a hop, skip or short bike ride from Center City, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum (8601 Lindbergh Blvd,) is a great place for spotting hawks and those other flying machines—planes from the nearby airport.

You tell us how much time you have and we’ll tell you where you can spot some hawks. sat | sun

Weekend Warrior

The Kittatinny Ridge might be almost a two hour drive north of the city, but the bird watching is hard to beat. Check out Bake Oven Knob (visit for details) or the creativelynamed Hawk Mountain (hawkmountain. org) to catch the majestic predators as they migrate south. In the spring and fall, the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary offers special educational programs and guided walks.



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p hot o by r ut h savi t z (p hot os ofp hi lade l ph ia .c o m)

by char vandermeer

A Winter’s Tale


t’s easy to become overly attached to the herbs you’ve been growing all summer long. It seems a shame to leave Winston (the English thyme) and Ami (the tarragon) out there alone to confront winter’s whims. So, before the first frost hits, hedge your bets and split your plants. Sure, thyme, tarragon, chives and rosemary might withstand a typical Philly winter, but it’s no longer a safe bet. If you’re a risk taker—and would rather avoid the whole transplanting hassle—simply trim the plant’s foliage back drastically, cover your herbs with a thick layer of mulch, move the pots to a sheltered location and hope for the best. But I’m no gambler, and this year’s thyme, oregano and tarragon are all moving on up— indoors for the winter. Last winter’s blizzardtastic months obliterated my thyme, a hardy veteran who had successfully over-wintered outdoors for five long years. Sure, it’s a bit more labor-intensive than pruning and covering, but indoor herbs provide gardening entertainment throughout those long, cold, dark months. They also add fresh summery savor to all the aromatic roast chickens and winter-garden root casseroles that emerge from snowbound kitchens. Transplant your herbs before temperatures plummet and before the first frost hits (which, in Philadelphia, is typically around the end of October). When it comes time to do the deed, be brutal. Using a dull old kitchen knife, slice the herbs down to a manageable size. Keep as

much of the plant’s root system intact as you can. (In this case, about a third of the thyme made the cut.) Trim off all the excess herby goodness so your plant’s energy is devoted to surviving the transplanting trauma rather than sustaining its existing greenery. Leave the rest in its pot to fend for itself throughout the winter. Plant your herb excerpt in sterile, welldrained soil. Make sure you’ve allowed for adequate drainage (I find that non-recyclable Styrofoam packaging works very well). Inspect your plants very closely for bugs and other nasties. You certainly don’t want to bring outdoor pests indoors to infest your delicate houseplants. It’s not a bad idea to spray the leaves with a soapy aphid-killing solution. If possible, take the time to reverse-harden your new transplants— bring them indoors overnight and return them to their outdoor environment for the day. Basically, your goal is to minimize the shocking impact of the Before outdoor-to-indoor temThyme ready perature change. Plus, this for transplant gives you plenty of time to inspect them for creepy-crawlies. Water your transplanted herbs regularly, but don’t soak them, and place the pots in a sunny window that enjoys five to eight hours of sunlight per day. They probably won’t produce as vigorously indoors, but you’ll have enough for winter dishes, and save time and money come spring. ■


energy audits interior design



Make sure to trim the greenery.

Efficiency -andAppearance oct ob e r 20 10

g r i d p h i l ly. c o m


SCA and Philadelphia

Getting Greener Every Day

SCA is working with the City on a wide range of green initiatives—including Earth Day and America Recycles Day. We’re proud to call this wonderful city our home and to help make Philadelphia one of America’s greenest cities.

SCA, proud manufacturer of towel, tissue, napkin and personal care Products

SCA Americas | Cira Centre | Suite 2600 | 2929 Arch Street | Philadelphia, PA 19104 | 610-499-3700 |


g r i d p h i l ly. c o m

october 201 0

Dress presents

Local behi n d t he s e am s with Ph i l ly ’s susta i na b l e fashi o n comm u ni t y


Melissa D’Agostino

Wows with artisan dying techniques

cotton king

Duke & Winston

Local T-shirts channel international inspiration

ring leaders

Bario-Neal Custom jewelry with a conscience






by Jamila Payne Founder, National Association of Sustainable Fashion Designers


eople with nothing else in common can share a love for style. Fashion is an intimate part of our lives, a language without words—an opportunity to express ourselves. These days, designers are expressing their passion for the environment and their communities.

Sustainable designers are on the rise across the country. The National Association of Sustainable Fashion Designers (NASFD) works to create social change through design and fashion-related businesses by providing education, training and programs that transform the industry in a positive direction. Our members are designers that care not only about how you look, but also about the broader impact of what you wear. So, next time you’re shopping, think locally-made, fair trade and eco-friendly. And if you’re a fashion designer—or thinking of becoming one—consider how these small changes can make a big difference: → → Source

your materials locally an example by having good labor practices → → Produce goods locally and create jobs in your city → → Collaborate with others and share resources → → Create with organic fabrics, vintage textiles or upcycle materials and waste → → Have a social impact by donating a portion of your profits to a nonprofit that’s improving the lives of others → → Be

→→ To learn more about becoming a sustainable

designer, visit


Local produced by Grid Magazine, © 2010 published by Red Flag Media 1032 Arch Street, 3rd Fl Philadelphia PA 19107

Alex Mulcahy, Publisher Claire Connelly, Ad Sales Lee Stabert, Managing Editor Ariela Rose, Contributing Editor Jamie Leary, Art Director Melissa McFeeters, Designer Lucas Hardison, Photo Editor Portraits by Shawn Corrigan

C o ver p h o t o by Sh aw n corri gan

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duke & winston

Long Live Duke Tee, $32; Boneshaker Crew, $32; Man’s Best Friend Crew, $32


ntil last year, Seun Olubodun was working as a web designer in Old City. He abandoned his desk job to launch a line of T-shirts, call-

ing the label Duke & Winston after his bulldog, Duke, and the “British Bulldog,” Sir Winston Churchill. The tees are a mash-up of comfort, sophistication and British history inspired by Olubodun’s upbringing in the United Kingdom. They’re all designed and printed locally—Olubodun works with a Kensington-based printer and is currently collaborating with the FishLocally-made, internationally-inspired town design studio Well Fed to crystallize the company’s aesthetic. Duke & Winston’s no-fuss style is Olubodun’s Georgia-based Alternative Apparel, chosen due to their answer to a fashion market he views as overly in- focus on organic fabrics and fair labor practices. dulgent and flashy. The shirts feature striking screen “I found them and then I came up with five or six printed images—a pen and ink drawing of his bull- designs and started getting out there,” says Olubodog gallantly sporting a crown, or the British WWII dun. “I’ll go to any event in Philly. It’s me and the dog, phrase, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” just selling T-shirts.” —Ariela Rose “The guy I imagine is classy,” explains Olubodun. “He likes the style of J. Crew, but would rather buy from an independent label. Duke & Winston is an →→ Available locally at Mathew Izzo (151 N. 3rd St.) and Love independent label for refined customers with caIlluminati (23 S. State St., Newtown) sual taste.” or online at Looking for the perfect platform for his carefully chosen graphics, Olubodun spent a lot of time researching T-shirt manufacturers. He finally settled on

Duke & Winston




Llum Kids’ clothes get a bold makeover Bright, fresh and with the perfect balance of sophistication and whimsy, Llum’s clothes make you smile. Founder and designer Amanda Reichert stumbled upon the business almost by accident. Her husband had a collection of Vera Neumann napkins from the ’70s and she started using them to making simple garments for her children. Friends saw them and fell in love. Fast-forward to today—Llum is manufacturing and shipping out of a warehouse in North Kensington (the clothes are sewn in the same building by a small, family-owned company). Though they ran out of napkins, those bold prints and the mid-century modern vibe still inform Llum’s show-stopping kids’ clothes. “My aesthetic is a little bit vintage,” says Reichert. “It’s very much in the tradition of things your grandmother would make for you. A lot of things are reversible; they’re designed for a lot of wear and to be worn to a lot of different places. I wanted my kids to look dressed, without being dressed up.” —Lee Stabert



Reversible Swing Dress, $55

3/4 Sleeve Bertoia Top, $33; Reversible Dirndl Skirt, $49

→→ Llum is available locally at My Kids

Korner (711 Montgomery Ave., Narberth), Born Yesterday (1901 Walnut St.) and Fiona’s Fairys (The Piazza at Schmidts, 1050 N. Hancock St., Ste. 80); also available online at


Miro Dress, $55

Smak Parlour Two local designers do girly fashion with a twist Abby Kessler and Katie Loftus describe their Old City boutique Smak Parlour as a “funky Barbie Dreamhouse”—think wall-to-ceiling pink, sparkles, chandeliers and carousel horses. The pair met when they were 16 and bonded over a love for fashion. Five years ago, they opened Smak Parlour and, in a whirlwind of ruffles, polka-dots and pastels, established themselves as respected designers with a dedication to keeping things local. “Due to the fact that we design and produce our clothing in Philadelphia, we cut out environmental hazards, including travel, shipping and transportation,” explains Kessler. Smak Parlour also has a no-waste policy, inspiring the plethora of ruffles, pockets and collars that embellish their garments, including the signature Ruffle Hoodie Tunic. “Many of our customers own three or four of them,” says Loftus. “Every season we do a slightly different version. They fly out every time!” —Ariela Rose →→ 219 Market St., Mon., Wed. & Thurs. 11

smak parlour

Red Ruffle Dress, $88

smak parlour

Signature Jacket, $78

a.m. – 7 p.m., Tues. 12 – 6 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sun. 12 – 5 p.m., 215-625-4551,

portrait by Sh aw n c o rri gan

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Deviant Jeans

deviant jeans

The Rewind EMPOWERWRAP, $88; Deviant Heart Camisole, $40

A local company draws inspiration from inspirational women

sa va

Tolani Scarf, $84

Kristin Dudley has been designing clothes for women with cancer for five years. As a senior at Drexel, working towards a degree in fashion design, she met two survivors suffering from lymphedema, a common side effect of breast cancer treatment. They were looking to improve the compression arm sleeves they had to wear—Dudley saw an opportunity to make something stylish, comfortable and functional. The brand Deviant Jeans came out of a partnership with Kristin Kantner. Kantner’s mother was battling ovarian cancer and looking for something to wear to her weekly treatments. “She had always been a fashionable woman,” explains Dudley. “Living in a sweatsuit was something she refused to do.” The team developed the “empower wrap,” a cozy, easy-to-wear, sophisticated cardigan. The cotton lining can be customized with words of encouragement, artwork or family photos. Only the wearer knows its there. The wraps have been popular beyond the cancer community—one husband had his child’s ultrasound printed on the garment for his wife; she wore it to the hospital to give birth and throughout breast-feeding. All of Deviant Jeans’ clothes are made in Philadelphia (at Sarah Van Aken’s manufacturing space) and, at the time of purchase, customers select a charity to receive a portion of the proceeds. —Lee Stabert →→

SA VA Fashion Sarah Van Aken expands the idea of sustainable fashion

sa va

Addison Knit Wrap, $99; Silk Cowl Neck Tank, $124

sa va

Yolanda Convertible Tunic, $163

sa va

Selma Cotton Skirt, $144

Sarah Van Aken has emerged as Philadelphia’s guru of sustainable fashion. A vertically-integrated business, her company SA VA Fashion designs, manufactures and sells its clothing all in one building on Sansom Street. Thanks to that unique setup, she is able keep the business agile, designing on a six-week production cycle, and responding to customers’ input and ideas. She has also created solid manufacturing jobs in a city desperate for them. Van Aken’s fabric decisions are informed by her sustainable ethic—materials are domestic and organic whenever possible; if not, they’re fair trade. All that information is clearly marked on every tag in the store. On October 1, Van Aken will add a denim line to her stylish offerings. All the cotton will be U.S.-grown, U.S.-milled, processed using low-impact dyes and washed here in Philadelphia with low-impact chemicals. Finding domestic denim was a challenge, especially if she wanted to keep prices reasonable. “I don’t want to sell $200 jeans,” explains Van Aken. SA VA espouses an expansive vision of what makes a garment sustainable. “It’s not just about how the garment comes to life,” explains Van Aken, “but also what happens to it after, how it’s sold to people and how we treat the people who work here.” —Lee Stabert →→ SA VA, 1700 Sansom St.,;

for more on SA VA’s upcoming fall fashion show, see the events listings on p. 14. F6



Rupalee A Philadelphia company embraces fair trade fashion


ince 1996, Poonam Singhal has worked with women from villages in India’s Delhi region to create handcrafted apparel,

jewelry and Christmas ornaments for her company Rupalee. “We joined the Fair Trade Federation almost 10 years after we had the business up and running,” says Singhal. “I think there was no such word as fair trade when we started out, but the practices we had were all ‘fair trade,’ so it just fit.” Singhal and her business partner, Anuja Agrawal, ensure that the 275 women they employ are properly trained and paid a living wage. The use of non-toxic materials is also an important part of their business model. They specialize in silk, cotton and bamboo, produced in India by local artisans and treated with vegetable-based dyes. Since Rupalee’s inception, the participating villages have each become a production center organized by the women. They set their own hours, work within their skill sets and elect a mentor in charge of quality control. The business offers the women financial independence. “The women themselves came up with the idea for how to do quality control,” says Singhal. “Over time it has become so good that we actually never have any defects.” —Ariela Rose


Chandelier Lak Earrings, $48 rupalee

Rosalia Dress, $550

→→ Rupalee is sold locally at Ruka (114 S. 19th

St.) and Kellijane (1721 Spruce St.), and is also available online at rupalee

Raquel Dress, $970

BLUEREDYELLOW Finding a solution to toxic dyes on vacant land Urban agriculture advocates have long extolled the promise of our city’s vacant lots, but food is not the only thing that can be grown there. All-natural dyes will be an essential element of the nascent sustainable fashion industry and they have to come from somewhere. A group of local women working under the moniker BLUEREDYELLOW have seized this opportunity. Here in Philadelphia, they’re cultivating marigolds (yellow) and indigo (blue), and eventually hope to add madder root—it produces a red color but takes multiple years to mature. Organizer Elissa Meyers graduated from University of the Arts with a degree in industrial design. She did a lot of fabric printing when she was in school. “I’ve always been aware of how many chemicals are in a lot of fabric dyes,” she explains. She started growing marigolds and indigo on the U Arts roof, and eventu-

ally received a small grant from the school to expand the project. Meyers and her colleagues are currently seeking a permanent growing location—they submitted an application to the Manatawna RFI. But this season, they planted in a vacant lot across from Bouvier Community Garden in the Newbold neighborhood. They also started their own indigo vat at the site—a process similar to cultivating a sourdough starter that involves fermenting the leaves. Some indigo vats in India are hundreds of years old. BLUEREDYELLOW hopes to eventually market the dyes and sell garments (made from organic cotton) colored using this sustainable, locally-grown resource. —Lee Stabert →→

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melissa d’agostino

Chocolate and Gold Shibori Decadent Diagonal Wrap, $225

melissa d’agostino

Apricot Scarf, $35 melissa d’agostino

Black and Ivory X Ray Vertebrae Dress, $175


he patterns that define textile and fashion designer Melissa D’Agostino’s collection can only be achieved through an intensive

dying process known as Shibori. The technique relies on an intimate relationship between designer and cloth, allowing her to create one-of-a-kind details. “In each traditional form, the initial process for the fabric is through a selection of steps such as folding, tying, wrapping or stitching a hand-made mark—thus a pattern is composed,” explains D’Agostino. “The pattern is then transferred to the fabric through the use of dyes.” She has been practicing the method for 10 years and enjoys the deliberate, time-consuming work. Her pieces are created in small batches, often focusing on just one dress, scarf or top at a time. “At times my intentions may be to delicate dye process sets dye the fabric first, then cut the piece this designer apart from the inspiration of the design,” she says. “While other garments are designed, sewn and then dyed with a pattern inspired by the cut of the garment.” Although the design itself is flexible, creating a collection is expensive. To overcome financial barriers, D’Agostino has established a group of individuals with whom she trades creative input. She uses her unique skills to assist them and they do the same for her. “I maintain several successful professional relationships through the use of good old fashioned trade,” she says. Her inclusive strategy has created a sustainable community responsible for strengthening her own craft, as well as the careers of fellow entrepreneurs. —Ariela Rose

Melissa D’Agostino A

→→, contact or 215-482-1630 for consultations and custom fittings




port r a it by S haw n co rri g a n

Cohoquinoque Crew A local collective pushes the boundaries The Cohoquinoque Creek once ran through the Callowhill and Northern Liberties sections of the city. It’s now a sewer, but the name is carried on by a group of NoLibs and Fishtown artists dubbed the Cohoquinoque Crew. The goal of the Coho Crew’s nine members is to create a community where local artists can meet one another to share ideas and inspiration. Together, they host a variety of craft fairs and have combined their talents to create a line for this year’s Green Fest Philly fashion show. “We’re only using recycled items and trash,” says crew member Jessica Tyler. “We’re using cardboard boxes and putting laces on them to make them look like shoes.” Other items will include sheer handbags made from found window screens and a hooded dress fashioned from an oversized Tupac T-shirt. “It won’t be your average fashion show,” adds member Ashley Lynn Dodge. “It will be a little racy!” —Ariela Rose

cohoquinoque crew

Cohoquinoque Logo T-shirt by Tristan Wright

cohoquinoque crew

Mesh Handbag and Tumeric Dyed Muslin/Cashmere Scarf by Emily Kane


Functionista An inheritance breeds opportunity for a pragmatic local designer Kenna Weiner received a huge inheritance when her grandmother passed away. No, it wasn’t cash or jewels—it was fabric. Coming up with a use for a room full of vintage cloth was no simple task. But then Weiner was inspired, dreaming up an idea to solve the daily annoyance of two-handled tote bags. “In a two-handled bag all the weight is held on one shoulder so the other handle always falls off,” says Weiner. “I kind of made it my little project to design a bag that didn’t have this problem.” The result is the “One Bag,” a simple tote with one strap that stays put. Functionista was born. Weiner sells her hand-sewn bags alongside microfiber-lined iPhone cases on Etsy, and ships each order using recycled packaging. As her popularity grows, Weiner hopes to contact bloggers and local boutiques, reaching more women in need of simple solutions for everyday hiccups. “That’s pretty much my entire philosophy with Functionista: ‘Make it simple,’” she explains. “It’s one less thing you have to think about.’” —Ariela Rose


The Everyday One Bag in various fabrics, $45; the iGadget Case in various fabrics, $12

→→ →→

Handmade Philly

out of mismatched socks.

This local collective offers artistic support

independent artists and building a local economy,”

to its roots.”

says organizer Ruth Schanbacher.

→→, to apply, send your

“Our emphasis is on supporting locally-producing

If you’re looking for a supportive environment to

Once accepted, new members join a mentor-like

hone your blossoming artistic skills, look no further

environment, receiving tips on how to market them-

than Handmade Philly. The member-run collective

selves, while helping to host workshops and events

welcomes artists of every stripe, whether they’re

throughout the city.

showing in upscale galleries or making dog clothing

a buyer,” says Schanbacher. “Philly used to be the workshop of the world, and hopefully it can return

contact information, along with a link to your web page (blog, Etsy, etc.) or three jpegs of recent work, to

“It increases your awareness as a producer and 201 0




COOLMAX® EcoMade Socks in various cuts and styles, $14-$24

Dansko Plastic bottles find new life as footwear Vintage isn’t the only way to don recycled clothes—a local shoe manufacturer is turning plastic bottles into socks. Dansko, based in West Grove, PA, has developed a sterling reputation for its shoes. Renowned for their “all-day comfort,” Dansko’s clogs and sandals are beloved across any industry where people have to be on their feet all day. When the company looked to expand its prod-

Ecomade fabric, a material made from 97 percent recycled resources (post-consumer plastic bottles).

uct line, socks were a logical move. Dansko part-

The socks are not only an environmentally sen-

nered with Defeet, a company known primarily

sitive choice, but also highly functional—moisture

for their performance socks (professional cycling

wicking, with additional padding at the ball and heel

in particular).

and built-in arch support. And the company has not

The resulting line of Dansko socks are all made from either sustainably-harvested merino wool or Coolmax

neglected style: the socks come in a wide range of

→→; available locally at Chestnut

Hill Bootery Inc. (8511 Germantown Ave.), Global Pursuit, LLC. (262 96th St., Stone Harbor, NJ), The Walking Depot (2064 Sproul Rd., Broomall) Velvet Slipper (10 S. State St., Ste. A, Newtown), New Hope Shoes (7 N. Main St., New Hope)

eye-popping colors and patterns. —Lee Stabert

BarberGale designing sustainable brands “The future belongs to those who understand that doing more with less is compassionate, prosperous and enduring and thus more intelligent, even competitive.”

— Paul Hawken

Designing compassionate, prosperous and sustainable brands is our work worth doing.





Lace Earrings, $114


Jute White Necklace (contact for price); Jute Blue Necklace (contact for price)


hoosing a piece of jewelry to wear every day for the rest of your life is a big decision. Ideally, you’ll be able to look down

and know that the symbol of your commitment

was made with care and a parallel commitment to sustainability. Founded by partners Anna Bario and Page Neal, Bario-Neal Jewelry uses reclaimed precious metals whenever possible, derived from recycled jewelry or industrial materials. All their stones are recycled or ethically-sourced—most of their diamonds come from Canada. That ideology is all the more powerful when paired with the exquisite simplicity of their work. From earrings to bracelets to wedding bands, all their jewelry projects a fresh, organic aesthetic. Moments of crisp creativity—a band’s subtle texture, carefully cast enamel, perfectly-played asymmetry—set their collection and custom work apart. Bario and Neal were college friends who reconnected at a wedding. At the time, both were producing their own independent jewelry labels. They started collaborating, working towards embracing a more progressive design process. After a few years of planning and research, they agreed to move to Philadelphia (Bario from San Francisco, Page from New York), a city with a vibrant community and affordable overhead. The city has been a blessing in unexpected ways. Jewelers’ Row, in particular, has been a tremendous asset. “I don’t think we realized how essential that would be to us when we moved here,” says Bario. “They’ve really been mentors to us.” The company’s main focus has become custom and fine jewelry, though they still produce wholesale boutique lines. In mid-September, the pair will open their first retail location at 6th and Bainbridge Streets. Their customer base tends to be young, and looking for something Local jewelry designers a little less traditional. put a ring on it “Doing the wedding bands and engagement rings is really wonderful for us,” explains Bario. “That’s a really meaningful relationship we get to have with our customers. It’s a lot more gratifying than we anticipated.” —Lee Stabert


Asymmetrical Avens Ring, $2,050; Shoot Ring, $141; Senna Tall Ring, $115

Bario-Neal Jewelry

→→ Bario-Neal Jewelry, 215-454-2164,

portrait by Sh aw n c o rri gan

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Where to Shop These boutiques are havens for local fashion by ariela rose

Arcadia Like its Northern Liberties neighborhood, Arcadia Boutique has a little bit of everything. The store carries handmade jewelry from local crafters, cutting-edge garments and simple tees. Items are selected due to their eco-friendly attributes, and most of the clothing is labeled “fair trade” or “Made in the U.S.” The store also features a preloved section at the back and an eclectic mix of vegan and vintage shoes. Owner Ali McCloud uses Arcadia’s space to house occasional art openings, trunk shows and a socially responsible travel business dubbed Away@Arcadia. →→ 819 N. 2nd St., 215-667-8099,, Tues., Wed., Fri. 12 – 6:30 p.m., Thurs. 12 – 7:30 p.m., Sat. 11 – 6:30 p.m. and Sun. 11 – 5 p.m.

Bohema Artisan Boutique Bohema, a colorful, dynamic Roxborough boutique, has been open since 2008. The store carries a variety of local, handcrafted women’s clothing and accessories, as well as imported and vintage items. Expect to find shirts, skirts and dresses in billowy, earth-toned fabrics. Owner Ali Katner hopes that patrons will leave the store with a look that makes them feel “confident and comfortable.” →→ 6152 Ridge Ave., 215-482-5393,, Tues. – Fri. 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

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Nice Things Handmade As the name implies, Nice Things Handmade sells only goods handcrafted by independent artisans. Owner Elissa Kara stocks the East Passyunk Avenue store’s shelves with a variety of jewelry, ceramics, prints and clothing. Nice Things regularly participates in South Philly’s Second Saturdays by featuring exhibits by local artists and offering snacks to visitors. →→ 1731 E. Passyunk Ave., 267-455-0256,, Wed. – Fri. 3 – 8 p.m., Sat. 1 – 7 p.m., Sun. 12 – 5 p.m.

VIX Emporium A wide array of locally-produced merchandise is what keeps customers coming back to VIX. Favorites include “West Philly” tees and tote bags, as well as work from over 200 other artisans. VIX is dedicated to providing the local community with carefullycrafted gifts that are unique and affordable. →→ 5009 Baltimore Ave., 215-471-7700,, Tues. – Fri. 12 – 7 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sun. & Mon. by appointment.

Conscious Clothing Care by

ariela rose

You’ve taken the time to peruse your favorite thrift stores and boutiques, tried on locally-made clothing and spent hard-earned money to call it your own— now you want to make those garments last. Here are some tips on how to care for your clothing while keeping the environment in mind.

Washing → → According to the U.S. Department of Energy,

90 percent of the energy used for washing

discounted refills for your empty bottles at the

clothes is used to heat the water. Switch your

Big Green Earth Store (934 South St.).

washing machine to its cold setting and your clothes will still shine.


→ → Check clothing tags before you buy, and avoid

garments that require warm or hot water washing or dry cleaning. → → Only select the “Full Load” setting if you’re

washing a full load. If your machine has a “Half Load” or “Small Load” option, use that instead. → → Use the tried-and-true smell test to make sure

your clothes are really dirty before tossing them in the hamper. → → Time for a new washer? Choose one that is

→ → According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a

typical dryer uses 1,800 to 5,000 watts of energy. That’s more than your washing machine and dishwasher combined. → → Line-dry or set up a clothing-rack in your laun-

dry room or bathroom. Throwing clothes over the tops of doors or backs of chairs works, too!


front-loading (they use 40 percent less water and up to 65 percent less electricity) with an Energy Star label.


→ → The Department of Energy estimates that an

average iron uses 1,000 to 1,800 watts of energy. That’s equal to turning 100 to 180 10-watt light bulbs on at once. → → Water weight on clothing that is line-dried will

→ → According to the EPA, many conventional de-

tergents contain a combination of bleaches, colorants and brighteners that are potentially harmful to humans and the environment. Use

help smooth out any lingering wrinkles. → → Fold clothing immediately after you take it off

the line rather than leaving it in a crumpled pile. → → Press out wrinkles by putting newly-folded

a laundry detergent that is non-toxic and bio-

clothing beneath other clothing already in your

degradable. Try Sun & Earth—it’s free of al-


lergens, dyes and perfumes. Plus, you can buy

Sustainable Fabrics Crib Sheet Looking to shop more sustainably? Keep an eye out for these fabrics on the labels of your next outfit.

Organic cotton


Soft, breathable and great at taking on color, cotton has long been a staple of American fashion design. Produced from non geneticallymodified plants and grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals (fertilizers or pesticides), organic cotton in the United States must meet requirements enforced by the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP).

Resistant to wrinkles and with the look and feel of silk, soy fabrics drape nicely, dry quickly and are biodegradable—just throw it on your compost pile when it wears out. Soy also allows perspiration to evaporate, which isn’t always true for synthetics; it’s cool and comfortable during hot weather. The fabric is produced using byproducts from processing tofu, soybean oil and other soy foods.

Hemp An easy-to-grow, durable fiber, hemp has been used in clothing for thousands of years. One of the most environmentally-friendly fibers in the world, hemp requires no pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, and very little water to be grown—unfortunately it is currently illegal to produce in the U.S.  

Organic Wool



A soft, versatile, hypoallergenic fiber, wool absorbs moisture and traps heat. Sheep bred for organic wool must meet high standards: feed and forage must be certified organic, no synthetic hormones or genetic engineering is allowed, pesticides are prohibited, and livestock health must be encouraged through good agricultural and management practices.

Made by combining cellulose (wood pulp fiber) with a small percentage of seaweed, this fabric has inspired claims that it induces stress reduction, detoxification, and the exchange of minerals and vitamins between fiber and skin. Developed in Germany, Seacell is currently used mostly in bras and underwear, but is also being incorporated into bedding.

A sturdy, high-quality fabric, bamboo is strong without being thick or heavy. It’s also wrinkle-resistent and often grown organically. There are some problems with the chemical processing, making bamboo a sustainable if not necessarily eco-friendly product. For more on bamboo, see p. 30.

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Dress Local Event Calendar Philadelphia’s fashion scene is preparing for a busy fall

GreenFest Philly The annual event celebrating all things eco is back, and this year’s theme is fashion. The fest promises to cover every corner of Philly’s sustainable fashion world in an effort to educate attendees on the importance of shopping with the environment in mind. Learn how to spruce up your old clothes with a lesson on sewing buttons, where to donate garments you no longer wear, and get tips on the best places in the city to land those vintage steals and high-fashion wares. And what better way to round out your day of sustainable fashion immersion than with an Eco-Fashion Show? Make mental notes to fuel future fashion inspirations while also taking the time to indulge in vegetarian food, practice your downward dog at yoga demonstrations, listen to the Food Symposium or catch a flick at the Green Film Festival. →→ Sunday, September 12, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.,

2nd and South Sts., Denise Shardlow Fall Launch & Trunk Show Elkins Park based designer Denise Shardlow (see p. 30) is debuting her new line of fall wear at the Brick Hotel in Newtown. Shardlow’s designs focus on eco-friendly and sustainable fabrics that offer women of all body types comfort and fit. Enjoy light appetizers as you peruse breezy garments made from bamboo and soy. Makeup artist Rebecca Abel will also be demonstrating organic and paraben-free skincare. →→ Thursday, September 23, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., $12,

Brick Hotel, 1 E. Washington Ave., Newtown, Sustainable Fashion Entrepreneurs Circle Presented in partnership with the National Association of Sustainable Fashion Designers, the Sustainable Fashion Circle will bring together entrepreneurs interested in creating social change and/or being more sustainable in their fashion businesses. Each session will cover hot topics and trends, and offer an educational opportunity to advance your business. The group will also help a fellow designer resolve a current business challenge. (Designers submit their business challenges in advance and an entrepreneur is selected to present.) This month’s circle will be led by 00SBN Board Co-Chair Jamila Payne and will feature a tour of SA VA’s manufacturing facility.




→→ Thursday, September 23, 6 – 8 p.m.,

SA VA 1700 Sansom St., Fourth Floor, attendance is capped at 15; visit to RSVP Philly Swap 2010: Swap O Rama Rama This year’s swap has undergone a major makeover—it’s been dubbed “the colossus of clothing swaps!” The third annual event will take place at Urban Outfitters Headquarters in the Navy Yard, an expansive, beautiful space. And this year’s event isn’t only about swapping: Participants can watch craft demonstrations, learn about local designers and enjoy an art exhibition. If you’re not completely satisfied with your finds, spruce them up at one of many sewing alteration or silk screening stations. →→ Sunday, October 3, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Urban

Outfitters Headquarters, The Navy Yard, 5000 S. Broad St.,,, Philadelphia Fashion Week We may not have Bryant Park, but Philadelphia Fashion Week is still something to get excited about. On the first and second days of PFW, all featured clothes will have been made in our unique city. Day one will feature independent designers, eco-friendly lines and emerging local designers, including Arcadia Boutique and Philly native Autumnlin. Day two will highlight the creations of fashion students from Philadelphia University, Drexel, Moore College of Art and the Art Institute of Philadelphia. The week’s events will even give nods to the city’s youngest designers—sixth through eleventh graders from Handwork Studio’s Passion for Fashion class and Teen Fashion Boot Camp will model designs they’ve developed and created. All events will be held at the 23rd Street Armory, so all you need is your bike and some fashion inspiration to get you there. →→ Wednesday, October

6, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., Thurs., Oct. 7, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Fri., Oct. 8, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., Sat., Oct. 9, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., 23rd St. Armory, 22 S. 23rd St.,

DesignPhiladelphia DesignPhiladelphia and UArts are teaming up to celebrate the sixth year of this design event. The program will cover a plethora of design disciplines including architecture, fashion and urban planning. Happening all over the city, the events aim to broaden the public’s awareness of design happening in and around Philadelphia. →→ October 7-17, various times and locations,

for information, visit Fashion Forward: Two-Part Series This two-part event is perfect for those looking to break into Philadelphia’s sustainable fashion scene. Part one will offer a panel discussion featuring SA VA Fashion’s Sarah Van Aken, Karen Randal from the Philadelphia Department of Commerce and Siw Thai Silk’s Susan Firestone. The group will discuss the pros and cons of running a fashion business that incorporates fair trade and sustainable practices. They will also clue participants in on the eco-minded items that catch the eyes of local buyers. Part two’s panel will also feature sustainable designers who are fighting for a greater presence in the fashion world. These working designers will share personal anecdotes and offer attendees tips on starting and ultimately growing their own fashion companies. →→ Part 1: Thursday, October 7, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.,; Part 2: Thursday, October 18, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., , CBS Auditorium, University of the Arts, Broad and Pine Sts., $20 Sustainable Design members; $25 non-members SA VA Native Gypsy Community Fashion Show & Street Fair Sarah Van Aken’s SA VA boutique is putting on its third outdoor public fashion show. The theme of the show, Native Gypsy, is a representation of the everyday woman Van Aken envisioned while creating the line. “It will represent our moments of native, ethnic and earthly style, as well as our urban, career-driven lives,” she explains. The clothes on the runway were designed in season and are ready to wear. →→ Wednesday, October 13, Sansom St. between

17th and 18th Sts., visit wordpress for event details, savafashion. com, 215-587-0004

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/ energy

Mose Def

A West Philly prog-metal band runs on veggie oil


jacob lambert


Though the conversion was born from high gas prices, its benefits exceed monetary savings. In conversation, Garfield’s affection for the project comes through. “We’ll absolutely stick with it,” he says. “It’s like a job that we can take with us when we’re on the road.” He does offer a “disclaimer” to prospective tourmates: “Everything you bring on this tour, it’s going to have a fine coating of oil on it,” he laughs. “It takes a certain type of mentality.” Gift Horse And that mentality might be is available catching on—the veggie bus has now from Upper become a conversation starter Darby-based with fellow musicians on the Relapse road. “Other bands see the opporRecords tunity and the advantage that this represents,” says Garfield. “It sparks their interest.” ■

or the average band, touring is a difficult proposition: the rush to and from cities, the endless gear-schlepping, the loss of proper sleep. All that makes West Philadelphia’s Mose Giganticus all the more notable: The prog-metal quartet, currently in the thick of a cross-country tour, runs their bus on vegetable oil—a process that, according to lead singer Matt Garfield, “increases significantly the work that you’re already doing” while out on the road. For Garfield, who created Mose Giganticus as a solo project in 1999, the veggie-car concept sprung from necessity. Before embarking on a 100-date 2008 tour—with gas prices peaking— he and his bandmates realized there was no way they could make it work with their current budget. Garfield contacted David Rosenstraus of Braddock, PA’s Fossil Free Fuel, a company that specializes in vegetable oil conversions, and within weeks, the white Mose minibus was smelling like a fry cook. But running on recycled oil isn’t easy. The band must seek out fuel “pretty much anywhere we are when we need it,” explains Garfield. “We’re flying by the seat of our pants whenever


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we roll into town.” When the group is lucky, they’ve made arrangements with a restaurant beforehand. If not, a lengthy search is possible. Once they’ve scavenged a usable amount of oil—often in the bleary post-show hours—the work has just begun. The band still has a halfhour of pumping the grease into a processing tank; two hours of warming it in a water heater; an overnight cool-down to separate water and particulates; and a final, hour-long run through a series of filters. Only then can they spread their maps, shoot to the next town and thrash through songs about science, technology and escape.

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/ energy

View Point

Upgrading your windows will make you more comfortable, and save you cash by samantha wittchen


s any Philadelphia rowhome resident knows, windows work for you—providing much-needed natural light in what can otherwise be a narrow, dark house—and they work against you, leaking heat in the winter and letting scorching sunlight in during the summer. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, windows account for 10 to 30 percent of heating and cooling bills in a typical house. Most windows used in older housing stock (prevalent in Philadelphia) are single-pane. Upgrading from single-pane windows to energyefficient double- or triple-pane windows can cut the window component of your heating and cooling bill in half, equaling an overall 15 percent savings. Now might just be the right time to update your home’s fenestration. Uncle Sam is offering a 30 percent tax credit (up to $1,500) on the purchase price (excluding the installation costs) of qualified energy-efficient windows installed in 2010. So, what exactly qualifies windows as “energy efficient” and eligible for the tax credit? It’s all about U-factors and solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC). The National Fenestration Rating Council certifies performance ratings on windows, and certified windows have a label that displays the window’s performance characteristics. These ratings include U-factor, SHGC and air leakage. The U-factor shows the rate at which a window conducts heat flow that isn’t directly generated from the sun—that is, heat present in the air surrounding the window. The lower the U-factor, the better the window is at insulating your house. To qualify for the tax credit, a window must have a 20

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U-factor equal to or less than 0.3. The SHGC is a measure of the fraction of solar radiation transmitted through a window as heat. The lower the number, the greater its ability to block heat gained from the sun, helping to reduce your cooling bill. Conversely, a high SHGC means that the window is more effective at allowing solar heat into your house in the winter. Therefore, the SHGC that’s most desirable will vary with climate, window orientation and external shading. If you live in a colder climate, you might want to reap the benefits of that solar heat gain in the winter to help lower your heating bills. However, to qualify for the tax credit, the SHGC needs to be 0.30 or lower. Visit the ENERGY STAR website ( and click on the “Tax Credits” link for more information. While the air leakage rating isn’t relevant for the tax credit, it can be very important to your overall comfort. In fact, it’s essential to keep in mind that energy savings is not the sole reason to replace your windows. Reducing air leakage will make your home more comfortable, keeping the inside temperature more consistent from room to room. Another term you may have heard thrown around is “low-E.” Low-E (or “low emittance”) coatings are super thin metal or metallic oxide layers applied to the window surface to reduce the U-factor. Different kinds of low-E coatings

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have been developed to allow for different levels of solar gain, so just because a window has a low-E coating doesn’t mean it has a low SHGC rating. Even with the tax credit, installing new windows is an expensive undertaking—but it’s one that can have a positive long term effect on your bottom line. For instance, upgrading from singlepane to double-pane windows will typically add to the value of your home. It’s also important to note that spending a little extra money upfront for a low-e coating or an inert gas-filled window—which has a lower U-factor and can be up to twice as efficient as standard double-panes—is a great investment. But what if you simply can’t afford the expense of new windows, with or without the tax credit? Or what if you’re concerned that replacing your windows will significantly change the character of your historic Philadelphia home? Fortunately, there are other ways to increase the energy-efficiency of your current windows. Storm windows, while becoming increasingly difficult to find, can be a good solution to your problem. Though they won’t add much to the insulating properties of your windows, they help reduce airflow in and out of your house, mitigating your heating and cooling costs while improving your overall comfort level. Caulking and weatherstripping windows can also yield savings, eliminating drafts and reducing the airflow in and out of your house. And of course, you can also go the old-fashioned route and carefully select window treatments and coverings that reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Blinds, drapes, exterior sunshades and shutters all fall into this category. Plus, if you don’t currently have window coverings, your neighbors might appreciate it. + ■ i llus t r at i on by m e lissa mc feeters

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One a Day

Easy options for apple season photos and recipes by

marisa mcclellan,


hough I adore the strawberries, plums and peaches of summer, by the time fall rolls around, I’m ready for apples. They’re at their peak in September and October—crisp, sweet and so, so crunchy (nothing like those mushy storage apples you find in grocery stores come January). Here in the Philadelphia region, we are fortunate to have access to an abundance of orchards, so our apples can go from tree to table in a matter of hours. ¶ One of the things I find most delightful about apples is their versatility. They can be eaten for any meal, and happily fall in line with both sweet and savory treatments. Try them cooked into overnight oatmeal (a life-saver on busy mornings), as the star in a gingery lunchtime salad, or paired with onions and roasted under chicken.


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Overnight (slow cooker) Apple Oatmeal

1 cup steel cut oats 4 cups water 2 apples, cubed ½ cup half and half 1 tsp. cinnamon ½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg ½ tsp. salt

˜˜Before going to bed, combine all ingredients in the bowl of a medium-sized slow cooker. Turn on and allow to cook all night. In the morning, scoop into bowls and serve. Top with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup if you feel it needs additional sweetening.


Roasted Chicken Breast with Apples and Onions

2 tbsp. olive oil, divided 2 crisp apples, quartered, cored and thinly sliced 1 small onion, cut into thin half-moons 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts 1 tsp. kosher salt 4-5 grinds of black pepper

˜˜Preheat oven to 425 degrees. ˜˜Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of a small roasting pan. Toss the apples and onions in the oil to coat. Set the chicken breasts on top of the apples and onions. Drizzle the remaining oil over the chicken and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. ˜˜Cover with foil and bake for approximately 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken is brown on top and has an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

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Gingery Apple Salad

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2 Ginger Gold apples (or any other tart variety) 2 Gala apples (or any other sweet, crisp variety) 2 tsp. lemon juice ½ cup Greek yogurt 3 tbsp. honey 2 inches of ginger root ½ cup chopped and toasted walnuts

˜˜Cut the apples into matchsticks (if you have a mandoline slicer, the julienne blade works really well for this) and put them in your serving bowl. Toss with the lemon juice and set aside. ˜˜In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and honey. Peel the length of ginger and grate it on a fine grater (a Microplane is ideal) into the yogurt and honey. Stir to combine and then pour over the apples. Toss to coat. Top individual portions with the toasted nuts and serve.

Sustainable Design


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Photography by Tom Crane & Dean Gazzo

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/buy local Cheese Boltonfeta, Hidden Hills Dairy of the


by tenaya darlington,


ori Sollenberger owns eight cows. From that limited milk supply, she makes eight different kinds of cheese, including a sharp, salty feta. It pairs beautifully with tomatoes, onion-heavy salads and even watermelon. “Just crumble some feta over the melon and add chopped mint,” she advises. Hidden Hills has been making award-winning feta since 2005. The secret is raw milk. “I think you get a more complex flavor from raw milk,” she says. “You taste the naturally occurring bacteria.” Sollenberger calls her feta “Boltonfeta” after the round hills (or “boltons”) that dot her farm, located off Route 30 between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. She runs her dairy with husband Rex Knepp, but is the sole cheesemaker. Boltonfeta is made in the Greek style, typified by bold notes and a crumbly texture. Sollenberger ages her feta for 90 days and packs it in brine, the traditional method for storing this

hot-weather cheese. “It’s actually pickled,” she explains. “As long as you keep it in the brine, feta will last pretty much indefinitely.” Some fetas can be too salty, but Boltonfeta is just right. There’s a wonderful milkiness to the cheese—grassy and creamy—followed by a sharp finish reminiscent of certain blue cheeses. While

I usually favor sheep’s milk fetas over cow’s milk varieties, Hidden Hills’ effort has made me reconsider my bias. I don’t remember the last time my garden tomatoes met a more perfect topping. Hidden Hills Dairy, 1980 Ritchey Rd., Everett, 814-652-2775,

Pennypack Farm & Education Center Pennypack Farm & Education Center in Horsham has been offering an impressive CSA to nearby households for eight years— they’ve also used that time to introduce the community to the ins and outs of sustainable agriculture. Head farmer, Andy Andrews, has been with Pennypack since 2005. He had a typical suburban upbringing—“I grew up mowing lawns and shoveling driveways,” he recalls—and didn’t tackle agriculture until his mid-twenties. “I loved working outside,” he adds. “I wanted to be of service to people, and I wanted to help the environment.” The farm grows a wide range of vegetables, herbs and berries. In addition to the summer CSA season, they offer a winter option filled with store crops and winter greens, grown in the property’s hoop houses. (The winter CSA is currently accepting members.) Participants pick up their shares at the farm, an integral part of what makes Pennypack special. “Being here is the most incredible experience,” explains farm coordinator Margot Bradley. “There’s just so much going on, from worm composting to beehives to the huge variety of vegetables growing.”


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Shareholders are also asked to get their hands dirty, working a couple hours a year to get the full farm experience; more demanding work shares are also available. There is always something new happening at Pennypack, whether they’re organizing film screenings or hosting “Little Sprouts” programs for kids. This year in particular, the farm had a bumper tomato crop. “We’re most famous among children for our Sun Gold cherry tomatoes,” says Bradley. “They call them farm candy.” Pennypack Farm & Education Center, 685 Mann Rd., Horsham, 215-646-3943,; Pennypack is also a pickup site for Four Worlds Bakery

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Urban Sustainability Forum: Digging into Home Energy Savings

Step into fall with plenty of energy savings. This program will help home and business owners take advantage of rebates, loan programs and tax credits. Speakers include Liz Robinson, Executive Director of the Energy Coordinating Agency, and Andy Rachlin, Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Development. →→ September 16, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Academy

of Natural Sciences, 19th St. and Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., for tickets, visit,

sep 19

Fair Food & Weaver’s Way Urban Farm Bike Tour

Strap on your helmet and stretch your legs—it’s time for a tour of Philly’s urban farms. This year, Fair Food and Weaver’s Way are shaking things up by offering two rides: a 17-miler for beginners and a lengthy 30-mile trek for more experienced riders. Both rides begin in Kensington and end at Weaver’s Way Co-op in Mt. Airy. Riders of all levels will be rewarded with a feast of local food and beer at rides’ end. →→ September 19, 8:30 a.m., $20, for more in-

formation contact christina@fairfoodphilly. org or 215-386-5211 x106,,



Green Drinks at Cedar Run Landscapes

The Lower Montgomery Green Drinks group and the Wissahickon Growing Greener Organization will meet at North Wales’ Cedar Run Landscapes for an evening of light refresh-

ments and a tour. Get a chance to see water features offered by the eco-minded landscape company, including rainwater harvest and reuse systems, rain gardens, waterfalls and permeable patios. →→ September 20, 6:30 p.m., Cedar Run Land-

scapes, 1054 Horsham Rd., North Wales, to RSVP, call 215-653-0707, for information, visit, or



ANS: Global Warming 2010: Creating Jobs and Saving the Planet

Led by environmentalist Bill McKibben, this discussion will cover the who, what, when, where and why of climate change and reveal its positive effects. Learn how a changing climate can “expand the economy, create green jobs and preserve the planet.” →→ September 20, 6 p.m.

The Academy of Natural Science, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., to register, visit, for information, visit



PASA Bike Fresh Bike Local

This third annual event supports PASA’s work with family farms and allows participants to enjoy invigorating bike rides of 75, 50 or 25 miles. The routes vary in difficulty, but each offers scenic views of a countryside full of local farms. Last year’s event brought out over 400 riders and this year’s is anticipated to top 600. →→ September 26, varying times and locations,

$35 advanced registration (until September 20); $40 day-of registration, for more information or to register, visit



PHS Gardening Series: Plants for Fall Containers

Attention urban gardeners: Fall plants that work in the garden also work well in containers. Instructor Janet Carter will show you how to enjoy your blooms both inside and out! →→ September 29, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., Paschalville

Branch, Free Library, 6942 Woodland Ave., to learn more, contact Marilyn Reynolds at or 215-9888872,



GRinCH Energy Audit Forum

Presented by Green in Chestnut Hill (GRinCH) and the Chestnut Hill Community Association (CHCA), this free public forum will answer the question: How will you be affected when PECO’s rate caps expire on 12/31? The event will feature panelists from KO Angotti Energy Audit and Interior Design, Greener U Consulting and PECO. Grid’s own Alex Mulcahy will moderate. →→ September 30, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., Hiram Lodge,

8425 Germantown Ave., for information, visit or greeninchestnuthill.



East Falls Arts by the River and Eco-Fair

Celebrating its five-year anniversary, the Fair is pulling out all the stops. The all-day event will feature a multitude of activities for art lovers and environmentalists, including live entertainment and children’s activities. Guests can enjoy even more art this year with the first-ever Arts by the River Gallery, featuring the work of artists who reside in East Falls. →→ October 2, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Inn Yard Park

oct 01

Kennett Square Fermentation Festival

The Kennett Square Farmers’ Market is celebrating fall with fermentation—and Grid will be there joining in the fun. Enjoy food samples, learn how to make your own kimchi, yogurt and kombucha, and get tips on saving seeds for the next growing season. It’s the market you know and love with a fizzy twist. Related events include a Fermentation Happy Hour featuring local beer, cheese and spirits (5:30–7: 30 p.m.), and a Philly Folk Parade Concert at the Kennett Flash (8–10 p.m.).

Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve PSI Master Class: Oaks Did you know that there are 450 species of oaks worldwide, and that 20 of them reside in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey regions? Botanist Karl Anderson will tell you all about them using slides and specimens. To finish, he’ll guide guests on a stroll through Bowman’s Preserve to get up close and personal with the oaks themselves.

→→ October 1, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., State and Union

→→ October 2, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Bowman’s

Sts., Kennett Square, for information, visit


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and Ridge Ave. (between Midvale and the Falls Bridge along Kelly Dr.), for information, visit

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Hill Wildflower Preserve, 1635 River Rd., New Hope, $30 members; $35 non-members, to pre-register (deadline is Sept. 20), call 215-862-2924,



ANS Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway

Artist Ray Troll and paleontologist Kirk Johnson give life to ancient killer pigs, saber-toothed cats and giant ammonites through whimsical artwork. Use this event to explore questions of evolution, extinction and early life as you peruse Troll’s action-packed paintings, banners and murals. This exhibit is free with museum admission. →→ October 23–January 2, 2011, $10–$12,

The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., for information, visit or call 215-299-1043 “Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway” by Ray Troll



→→ October 7, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Adventure

Calling all gardeners! Do not miss out on this gardening book extravaganza. Get your green thumbs on discounted new books and used classics. Plus, bring along the largest reusable grocery bag you can find. One dollar gets you as many books as you can stuff inside. →→ October 6, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., PHS McLean

Library, 100 N. 20th St., 1st Floor, for information, contact Priscilla Becroft at or 215-9888772,



Mugshots Sustainability Line-Up: Solar Energy for Your Home

Join solar energy experts from Mercury Solar Systems for a discussion of the solar industry, PV design for your home and why incorporating solar into your list of home improvements could be your smartest energy-saving decision. Plus, if you have 10 minutes to spare, the guys will provide a free QuickLook of your home’s solar capabilities. Part of Mugshots Fairmount’s sustainability workshop series, held on the first Wednesday of every month. →→ October 6, 6:30 p.m., Mugshots Coffee

House, 2100 Fairmount Ave., for information, visit or call 267-514-7145



Aquarium, 1 Riverside Dr., Camden, $225 per corporate representative; $100 per government, nonprofit or individual attendee, for tickets or table reservations, call Karen Johnson at 800-445-4935 x101, for information, visit news_dinner_reception.asp

PHS McLean Library Book Sale

Experience the Estuary Celebration

This annual fundraising event will benefit the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, which works to restore the Delaware River and Bay. This year’s theme is “The Delaware River: A National Treasure” and will celebrate all that makes the region worth protecting. Guests will enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres, dinner and an auction as they explore the Adventure Aquarium’s Shark Realm tank.


oct oct

07 17


This year, DesignPhiladelphia and UArts are teaming up to celebrate the sixth year of this design event. The program will cover a plethora of design disciplines, including architecture, fashion and urban planning. Happening all over the city, the events aim to broaden the public’s awareness of design happening in and around Philadelphia. →→ October 7–17, various times and locations,

for information, visit


09 10

→→ October 9–10, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Academy of

Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., $10-$12, for information, visit


→→ October 13, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Meadowbrook

Farm, 1633 Washington Ln., Abington, $18 members; $23 non-members, limited to 20, pre-register at, for information, contact Carol Dutill at or 215-988-8869

oct 21

DVGBC Annual Green Building Celebration

Franklin Institute is hosting the Delaware Valley Green Building Council’s biggest event of the year. This is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with the over 400 like-minded folks in the environmental industry. It’s also your chance to check out the Institute’s new “Changing Earth” exhibit. The night culminates with the recognition of those honored with DVGBC’s 2010 Leadership Awards. →→ October 21, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., The

Philadelphia Shell Show

The Academy of Natural Sciences is hosting the largest shell show in the Northeast and you’re invited. Purchase the regular museum admission and you’re free to peruse (and purchase) thousands of ocean-plucked beauties. Collectors, scientists, craftspeople and illustrators will all showcase their work as they compete for recognition and prizes.


Glenn Ashton will give you tips for avoiding a garden full of icicles.

Meadowbrook Farm: Composting and Putting Your Garden to Bed

Plants get cold in the winter, too. Fall’s the time to make sure that they’re warm and cozy under blankets, or turned into compost to use when the weather heats up again. Instructor

Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St., early bird discount before October 1: $85 DVGBC members;$125 non-members;$50 student members;$60 student non-members, for information or to register, visit event/annual-green-building-celebration


Philadelphia Bike Expo

Holy bikes! This year’s Philadelphia Bike Expo, presented by Bilenky Cycle Works and the BCGP, is two days of utter bike bliss. Over three dozen exhibitors selling bikes, bags, socks, helmets and more will be there. Plus, listen in on panels like “Finding the One” about selecting the right bike, and seminars such as “Yoga for Cyclists.” There will even be a bike fashion show.

30 31

→→ October 30-31, 23rd St. Armory (22 S. 23rd


oct ob e r 20 10

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eople often ask me why i became a fashion designer. My reply: It’s just something I’ve always done. Ever since I was a kid, I made things. I drove my dad nuts with all the projects I had going on at once. I would sneak into his tool box in the garage to “borrow” whatever I needed. His nickname for me—“Neesey-Neesey-thing-maker”— was often said with an exasperated edge. Dad and I did my back-to-school clothes shopping together. We had similar approaches—if you like it, buy it; if you don’t, go to the next store. Once, after a few futile stops, he asked me what exactly I was looking for. I answered in exquisite detail. He looked at me and said, “Kid, do you think you can make it?” “Yep, of course I can,” I replied. He took me to the fabric store, showed me the basics of a sewing machine and told me, “You’re on your own.” I never looked back. Ten years ago, I started selling whimsical handbags to gift boutiques. As I met other artists, craftspeople and boutique owners, it became clear to me that maintaining certain ethical standards for my business would prove essential. About four years ago, I had a conversation with the proprietor of a store that sold my handbags. She told me about a new pajama line she had started carrying, made using fabric derived from bamboo. After hearing her extoll the positive qualities of bamboo fabric and the sustainable upsides of the fiber, I knew I needed to get my hands on some. The timing was good. I was growing bored with handbags, and considered myself a clothing designer first and foremost. It took me six months to find a suitable weight jersey, but once I found it, it was love at first touch. The more I researched, the more excited I became about bamboo. It’s basically a weed—it never needs replanting and requires no fertilizers or pesticides to grow. Bamboo also thrives in impoverished soil; its roots hold soil tight, sustaining river banks and reducing water pollution. If that wasn’t enough, it takes in five times the volume of greenhouse gasses as an equivalent stand of timber trees and releases 35 percent more oxygen. The sustainable elements were obviously important to me, but, as a designer and a woman who wears clothing, I loved the stuff. The fabric is soft, comfortable and has a lovely drape. It’s

controversy, I began to experiment and look for other fibers. I tried hemp, soy and straight organic cotton, as well as fabrics that combined organic cotton and bamboo. I made sample pieces from these fabrics in my silhouettes and invited my core customers to the studio to gauge their opinions. The consensus was clear: There was nothing “wrong” with these fabrics, but they were ordinary. They didn’t offer the same luxurious feeling against the skin. But, since I was originally motivated by the eco-friendly aspect of bamboo, I still wanted to make another fiber work. This spring, I came up with a little shirt that’s a soy/ organic cotton blend, but it still doesn’t lay and drape like the bamboo. Earlier this spring, the Federal Trade Commission ruling on bamboo was released. The news wasn’t good: Manufacturers of bamboo clothing now must call their products “bamboo rayon/viscose” and can no longer claim anti-bacterial or biodegradable properties. The chemicals used in the process have subverted the environmental pedigree of the fabric. For 24 hours after the ruling, the wind was out of my sails. Everything I had based my business on over the last few years was being ripped out from under me. Then I took a couple of deep breaths and continued researching, talking to manufacturers and suppliers of bamboo. When the dust settled, I had gained another perspective: I believe bamboo rayon is not as bad as the FTC made it out to be. I’ll explain. No fiber is perfect. Not even organic cotton—it takes an enormous amount of water to produce a small amount of cotton. Is that ideal? No, but it is an improvement. Manufacturing a sustainable, organic raw material such as bamboo into a fiber is not yet perfect, but it’s a work in progress that remains miles ahead of conventional cotton and polyesters. Most bamboo rayon manufacturers recycle a large portion of the chemicals involved in the first part of the pulping stage. The process is bound to improve. We need to be open and supportive of the new sustainable textile industry, allowing it to go through growing pains while closely monitoring and nurturing it. Turns out the road to a sustainable fashion industry is filled with setbacks and compromises, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth walking. ■



g r i d p h i l ly. c o m

by denise shardlow thermal regulating, moisture wicking, easy to care for and wrinkle resistant. It’s ideal for travel and appropriate year-round. At the time, clothing made from bamboo and organic cotton seemed to be mostly T-shirts, hoodies and yoga pants, so I made an effort not to design what I thought of as typical “eco-friendly” clothing. I started with a line of mix-and-match sportswear that could take a woman through her day in comfort and style. During my first two years of working with bamboo, the business grew through word of mouth. As sales increased, I wanted to concentrate on marketing and shift to online sales. Last summer, I called the Women’s Business Development Center for advice; they recommended I participate in their Fast Track program. I was eager to update our business plan and dove into researching. The technology behind making bamboo into a fiber is similar to the process of making wood pulp into rayon, and I discovered that bamboo was becoming contentious in the eco-friendly world due to the chemicals involved in that transformation. As I waited to see what would come of this

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Grid Magazine October 2010  
Grid Magazine October 2010  

Towards a Sustainable Philadelphia