I know it’s so PC to be green these days, especially with Earth Day looming. I’m down with that. I tried to go vegan last year (diet-wise, not fashion!) and that lasted about four months. That’s when the burger craving really kicked in. Anyway, I was pretty non-pulsed about reading a tree-hugging book that was going to try and convince me vegan (aka plastic looking) shoes were cool. That was never going to happen.
I was in for a pleasant surprise reading the recently released Green Chic – Saving the Earth in Style by Christie Matheson. Immediately I related to her. She’s a writer living in San Francisco and Boston. Her work has appeared
in Body + Soul, Glamour, Shape and
The Boston Globe Magazine. She is coauthor of The Confetti Cakes
Cookbook, Vineyard Harvest: A Year of Good Food on Martha’s Vineyard
and Tea Party. Christie is a fashionista (who loves good shoes) lifestyle writer who has decided to lead and live a greener life. In pursuit of learning more without being perceived freakish…she wrote a book.
In the ongoing fight against global warming, being green—thoughtfully, consciously ecofriendly—is no longer just a nice idea; it’s becoming a crucial necessity. These days, however, the idea of going green either conjures up burdensome images of giving up the luxuries you love, or makes you think you need to replace everything you own with green products. This book was written for those of us who are environmentally conflicted.
I recently had a chance to chat with Christie about her new book and being greener in general.
SCS: How and when did you get into this whole green living chicly bit?
CM: I had been a lifestyle writer for a long time and about two years ago saw the Al Gore documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." It made me think about trying to lead a greener life, but I couldn’t find a book written by someone I could relate too. I wanted to know why I should live greener and not by an extremist. Anyway, I started researching and writing articles about green living from a lifestyle perspective and the book came a year later. I spent a year trying everything I preach.
SCS: You had me hooked with your anecdote about natural deodorant. I tried to switch to natural and couldn’t either.
CM: Yes, they smell horribly and don’t work. I get some flack for sticking to my Shower Fresh Mitchum, but so be it. I did try. It’s not an all or nothing proposition. You can still be really green and make a huge impact, even if say, you were 75% greener.
SCS: How do you feel about being green becoming a marketing ploy for so many fashion labels? It seems everyone is jumping on the bandwagon for PR purposes.
CM: Well, I think it’s great that being eco-friendly is getting so much attention. It’s up to the consumer to make sure a label or manufacturer is really talking the talk. We can speak with our money. Don’t buy something just because it’s green, that’s just as bad. Buy something because you love it. If you really think about it, it’s about buying less. Ultimately being greener is a money saving proposition. Buy less, wear more.
SCS: Well that is sure to be good news for those of us looking to save a little during these rather harsh economic times. However, I find much of the eco-fashions kinda suck. I mean what’s with those shoes? I’d rather buy a great leather bag and carry it to death and I am a firm believer in having your fabulous clothes reworked by a tailor.
CM: See? You are more eco-chic than you thought! The fashions are getting better and will continue to. If you bought a cashmere sweater 10 years ago, it was made from sustainable cashmere so you probably already have clothes in your closet that are sustainable. I’d like to say you should stay out of the H&M’s, but Wal-Mart is really trying.
SCS: Do you think this is just a passing fad?
CM: I think we have reached the tipping point with green living. Green fashion has come a long way, but don’t just buy something because it’s labeled green. Again it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. As you run out of stuff (products & clothing), replace them with eco-friendly options.
SCS: Well I don’t know if I cam going to be able to totally jump on the bandwagon, but I will make a conscious effort now to do more. Anything else you would like to add?
CM: Let your readers know that 50% of the royalties from the sale of this book goes to environmental causes.
Green Chic offers dozens of tested, practical ideas that can help
readers sustain the environment AND look gorgeous, travel in style, and
feel amazing at the same time. Christie Matheson explains how readers can easily
make a difference with realistic and accessible ways to be green:
• Take shorter showers and let hair air dry before you blow dry:
Save hundreds of pounds of carbon and get softer skin and silkier hair.
• Sip water from a cool reusable bottle: Reduce waste, and score an
accessory that looks so much sweeter than a disposable plastic thing.
• Support sustainable restaurants: Opt for places that use local,
organic ingredients—and offer a chic, intimate dining experience.
• Go polish-free when you get a mani-pedi: Expose yourself and the
planet to fewer toxins, and end up with a fabulous, long-lasting,
• Get plenty of sleep! Look extra-gorgeous with a lot less effort (and fewer products).
• Before you shop, edit your closet: Use this stylist-tested
technique to get a wardrobe you love without buying anything new.
• And much more…in her favorite things section of the book (includes websites)
Order Green Chic – Saving the Earth in Style $10.36 at Amazon.
Here are some sites to check out for ‘green’ shopping…the fashionista way.
Stewart + Brown
Sworn Virgins (fabulous, super soft, fashionable t’s)
– Lauren Dimet WatersSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40