A Stylishly Sustainable Life: Gifts, Home & Art (Part II)

Summer is here. Welcoming back the sun, we turn to the beauty of art and gift giving for loved ones with special birthdays or summer weddings. Beautifuli’s curators have discovered eco-artisans to help decorate your home or give a stylish sustainable gift to someone special:

Owen Mortensen

From Utah, hails the artist, the man, the genius, Owen Mortensen. In one of the most affecting artist statements we have ever read, he explains his love of transition from one stage to the next. Of metamorphosis, in fact. With an eye on nature’s beauty expressed throughout its life cycle, he sees things not noticed by just everyone. And then he brings that to us in the form of wall art, sculpture, gifts, and accents. Deceptively simple, this “organic modernism”4 gets more intriguing when you learn that each piece starts as a natural object, but meets genius in the finishing. Genius. There’s that word again.


The organized life comes in a riot of color to keep it fun here in the world of Paperthinks. If you struggle with organization, struggle no longer. Here you’ll find accessories, file folders, carry alls, totes and more. There is no reason not to enjoy the very idea of organization when tucking things away is this enjoyable. We salute Paperthinks, and their commitment to work from recycled leathers that are “durable, elegant and just happen to be eco-friendly.” Now imagine your next meeting; they’ve all pulled out their black notebooks. But yours… is the loveliest pink imaginable.


Now here’s a good news story about manufacturing in China. Portland natives, Bambuhome moved their business close to the source of their materials and their workers. That makes them local. Better still the products are keepers. Unique design and assembly processes result in “safe and durable products that will last for years and withstand the toughest use case: real life”. Each product has a story to tell. Who knew that cork was antimicrobial? That it stays sanitary with minimal care? To clean it just pop it in the washing machine. (No, not the dishwasher!). BambuHome uses no glues or lacquers to leech into food. Clean, safe, practical; we love these products, especially the graceful cutting boards.

A Stylishly Sustainable Life: Gifts, Home & Art

by Brenda Nesbitt

Spring is here. Time to cast off winter’s dark, cold days. Welcoming back the sun, we turn to the beauty of art and gift giving for loved ones with spring birthdays or summer weddings. Beautifuli’s curators have discovered eco-artisans to help decorate your home or give a stylish sustainable gift to someone special.

Esque Studio

The lovely blob bowl, our home page image, is a must-have. And the beauty of this is that we’re not sure exactly how we would use it and don’t really care. On to the colorful aperitif set, which is clearly useful, while its matching cup, a kind of hat, prevents dust and other bits from blowing into it. We are at @EsqueStudio, a working habitat for trend-breaking glass artists, Justin Parker and Andi Kovel. Their blown glass objects are works of art and utility—and that goes even for our beloved blob bowl—but the good news continues in their furnaces. Yes. All designed to produced zero CO2 emissions and run on sustainable wind power credits. Their aim in everything the do: “reduce, reuse, reimagine.”

Pacha Design

One person’s waste is another’s wonder. And a passion for turning one into the other is clear at Pacha Design, where Glenn Rushbrooke and Samantha Robb design and make furniture/accessories on the rugged north coast of Devon. Every piece shows their love of wind-winnowed oak, of the magical ways metal and stone weather as imperfections creep in with time. They are recyclers, reclaimers, willing to climb into dumpsters to find materials. Visiting shipyards, building sites, tumbledown farms—anywhere materials are destined for discarding—Rushbrook and Robb find the makings of one-of-a-kind pieces to grace your home as you move through life together.


We can thank @TCHOchocolate for a new way to think about edible gifts. If the bunny drops a couple of bars of “Dark Bright” into your basket expect to ascend directly to heaven. Or you can drop hints about their gift tubs, named variously “Spring Butterfly” and “Spring Magnolia.” Then, munching happily, savor the TCHO story, a mindful partnership with growers and workers to produce great cacao sustainably. Did you know that most cacao farmers have never tasted chocolate made from their beans? In contrast, TCHO makes sure its growers get into tasting “flavor labs” so that they can relate their farming methods to the end product. Translates to “yum” in any language.

Genius In A Little Black Dress

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The Fabulously Innovative Natalia Allen

by Brenda Nesbitt

Three reasons we appreciate Natalia Allen…

Reason #1: Her genius. The way it shows up in a little black dress. As it did for April Rinne (Director of Water.org) on a five-day retreat in Davos for the World Economic Forum in January. Woven by robots in the USA from a single piece of sustainable high-performance yarn, the dress is a luxurious, seamless wonder that fits like a dream.

Rare. Beautiful. Ethical. By Natalie Frigo.


by Brenda Nesbitt

Wouldn’t it be fun to own a piece of jewelry from a limited edition?  That way you could get on a plane, show up at a board meeting or drop your little one off at school and likely never see your necklace around someone else’s neck. And that is because there are only 29 others like it in the world.*

Coclico’s new 2013 collection puts Spring in your step


Traces of winter cling to the sidewalk just outside 275 Mott Street in New York’s tiny, trendy neighborhood of Nolita. But inside, Coclico’s spring collection welcomes the new season like bright blue flowers poking their heads through the snow. And yet the whites, blacks and neutral tones in the palette (along with organic linen-wrapped heels) say wear me all through the summer. Just one of many reasons to start your season’s shopping from the ground up.

A New Year’s Resolution: Sustainable Skin Care


The winter season invites big change – New Year’s resolutions are set and colder weather means your skin is craving the right nourishment. In this post, we focus on beautiful skin, inside and out. Since skin absorbs just about anything we put on it, why not go for the purest and best? And then take a fresh look at makeup with the season’s new palette overseen by the wise eyes at Pantone.

“Fashion is a trend. Style is within a person.”


By Brenda Nesbitt, beautifuli.com

This quote from Oscar de la Renta has set us thinking. If style is within us…how does it get there?

Livia Firth: High Fashion’s Eco-Ambassador


Photo: Ecorazzi

The pleasure in following @LiviaFirth is making new discoveries about sustainable fashion as soon as she does. It’s exciting to watch her use her influence to unearth — not just emerging eco-designers—but a rich cache of information about how they work: sourcing materials wisely, upcycling, and bringing back the true art of fashion creativity.