Looking to add a little "bling" to your life?
Something that'll make sure you stand out at all of those swanky holiday dinners and make a statement at all of those LES parties?
How about the chance to rock handmade pieces that are just as unique as you are?
Well, jewelry designer Kim Rittberg has exactly what your looking for. The New Yorker's handmade necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings have been featured everywhere from Women's Wear Daily and the New York Post to Daily Candy and Playboy. The television producer/jewelry designer is a self-proclaimed art-lover and her aim to ensure k*ritt fans "will never be another face in the crowd" has made her fashion-forward jewels an industry favorite.
Meet... Kim Rittberg!
Angel: What is k*ritt jewelry and how did you come up with the idea to start your own line?
Kim: I had been studying fine arts for many years and in college I studied Art History. I've always been extremely passionate about drawing, painting, sculpture - you name it, I made it! Or I hounded it down in museums and galleries to gawk at for hours!
I had been making clothing, purses and jewelry just for pleasure when I was young. But after college, it really kicked into high-gear. I travelled around the world for a year and I was incredibly inspired by the colors, stones and cultures I saw in Australia, Asia and Europe. I bought materials in the different countries and made jewelry throughout that year. Additionally - I realized the value of a few great necklaces when you only have one backpack to pick from!
When I returned to New York City, I kept wearing my own creations and got stopped on the subway by strangers asking about them! After my initial shock of having a stranger speak to me, I realized then, if people are so excited about unique art-inspired jewelry that they'll break the rule of not talking to strangers on the subway - then I'll make it available for sale!!
Angel: What challenges have you faced with being a young entrepreneur in NYC? Competing with other jewelry lines as an eco-conscious company?
Kim: As a small business, you are always challenged to find new ways to expand your market and introduce the product to new consumers. The good thing about being in NYC is that there are customers who really are looking for cool new artistic concepts and designs. Plus there is a strong network of entrepeneurs looking to team up and break the barriers together! It's a challenge going up against the big brands but i try to focus on what I do well, which is working directly with customers, one-of-a-kind pieces and making things people can't find elsewhere!
Angel: How is your line sustainable and what techniques to you use to ensure your work is as eco-friendly as possible?
Kim: I work in NYC and make everything by hand, I recycle and run many errands either on mass transit or my bike. When i have items that I am not selling or making anymore I almost NEVER throw anything out. When I have extra items, I donate pieces to charities like Safe Horizons (which aids battered women) for events. For example, I have donated my jewelry for many years for their Mother's Day. I also melt down scrap metals that can't be used right now and I refurbish vintage items to make new, eco-friendly pieces. I also try to find out as much as I can about the stones and materials I am using.
Angel: You also work in television. How do you manage the task of balancing work in the media with being an entrepreneur in the fashion industry?
Kim: You just don't sleep! I'm mostly kidding when I say that.
You have to really work hard and can't say no to opportunities, so there is a bit of an imbalance when it comes to relaxing. Television can be very unpredictable so I've had to figure out ways that I can work remotely, on-the-go and truth be told - necessity is the mother of all invention, right!! You push yourself to be more efficient, find ways to make your worlds meld and most importantly, find small ways to have some down time to recharge your batteries.
Angel: What inspires you to make a specific piece, and how long does it typically take to finish a piece of jewelry?
Kim: I get inspired by anything and everything! I'm a big art lover, so if I'm in a museum or gallery, chances are the wheels are turning in my head by what I'm looking at. Some of my pieces are really geometrically-inspired, like my Asymmetrical line, which has been featured in Women's Wear Daily and Playboy. For those, I decided in advance, I planned to make a necklace unlike any other - not a pendant on a chain and that it would lay in an unusual manner.
Other times I see an incredible stone or fabric that really sparks my creativity and I try to think of a way to utilize it that is unusual or hasn't been seen before.
Once I worked on that, I started looking at other fabrics in new ways. I gave a sidelong glance at a stash of leather that I had and decided i wanted to test the boundaries with what might work. That's now a part of my "mixed materials necklaces" collection! That is also tribally-inspired, I like that it reminds me of tribes and battle!
Angel: What's next with k*ritt jewelry?
Kim: It's top secret! I'm working on some great new pieces... the only hint is that they will be sparkly and beautiful! I have a trip planned to Brazil and London, so I'm hoping to get some great new stones and ideas!
Angel: Any last words???
Kim: I do a lot of custom work - for brides to give to bridesmaids or people for special events. So I want people to know I'm really accessible and love to work one-on-one with customers! Give us a shout!
If you're interested in purchasing items from Kim's line, visit krittjewelry.com. Her jewelry is also available at Outerluxe in Larchmont, NY; Presence in Woodbury, NY; Roseark in West Hollywood, CA; and Nora Blue at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV.
Nothing like an eco fashion wrap up to start the weekend off right! Here's what's been happening in the world of sustainable fashion this week:
Prince Charles, an avid supporter of conscious consumption and eco clothing, recently sat down with UK Vouge to discuss his ideas about sustainable fashion. Vintage materials and up-cycling (restructuring old clothing into new items) are a few of his fav ways of keeping a stylish, yet earth friendly wardrobe. I say cheers to that Prince Charles! You can catch the full story over at Ecorazzi.
>>Speaking of the U.K., C. Marchuska has traveled to the other side of the pond to offer all our British bound eco lovers a chance to catch the fall collection in London's Soho store, Sherry's. Go check out the online store. Sustainable never looked so international:D
London's Fashion Week>> Estethica, London's premier sustainable fashion showcase, was the backdrop for many aspiring and cutting edge sustainable designers. One of the strongest eco fashion shows in the world, designers pulled out all stops, displaying the avant guard to the demure. Check out Ecouterre's inside scoop on this amazing fashion show.
Events>> Since we are keeping this week's wrap up global, our friends over in the Netherlands are kicking off October in Tillburg during Textile Weekend. There will be enough exhbitions, lectures, and clothing swaps for any eco fashion fanatic.
Oct. 1st marks the last day to register for the annual Ethical Fashion Source Expo, which brings together the movers and shakers of ethical fashion. With so many designers, buyers, suppliers, and lovers of eco fashion in tow, this event is NOT to be missed!
That's all folks..
until next week
Happy weekend everyone! Here's our weekly update:
Blogosphere: Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame (when is that new movie coming out?!) has partnered with the Fair Trade fashion brand, People Tree, to bring us the winter collection, now on sale! The 20 year-old was curious about how the eco-friendly clothing line is made, so she took a trip to the rural towns of Dhaka and Bajshahi in July to visit Swallows, the Fair Trade production firm. Watch this video to see what she experienced!
Also check out the collection via OK Magazine - it's pretty cute!
Another celebrity getting involved with eco-fashion is Chrissie Hynde, who is the frontwoman of the band, The Pretenders. The company is called Fairground Luck and will contain no animal skins and all products will be made in an eco-friendly fashion. While the high-end is targeted towards musicians, almost anything could be worn by anyone since the collection includes stylish t-shirts, skinny jeans, faux leather jackets and cowboy boots. All in all, it should be a rocker-chic look! Read more about it here.
Want to make an impact easily? Wiloh, a green fashion line of hip t-shirts (each designed by an up-and-coming artist from around the world, dyed with water-based inks and made with bamboo fabric) has a philanthropic twist too. Like TOMS Shoes' One for One campaign, for every limited edition t-shirt sold, Wiloh will donate a t-shirt to a child in need through their charity, called "Tee for Tee" and a collaboration with Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) All men's and women's shirts retail for $38 and are available online at Wiloh.
Lastly, have you ever been curious about what the heck it means to be sustainable? Reuters (with content provided by Matter Network) recently published a pretty comprehensive article about the sustainable supply network, describing each and every step of the manufacturing process that can be made more sustainable. Go read it!
ok, have a great rest of the weekend
Hi all! Happy weekend!
It's time for the weekly eco-fashion wrap-up!
Also, we've been featured over on CasterineCouture! Go read it to find out about what it's like Inside the House of CMar.
Blogosphere: There was a great article in the NYTimes this week about zero-waste design and how it's the new trend. Apparel industry professionals say that about 15-20 % of the fabric used to produce clothing winds up in the nation's landfills because it's cheaper to dump the scraps than to recycle them. But now there's a small but impassioned group of designers who are taking the scraps and creating garment patterns with gussets, pockets, collars and trim that fit together like a puzzle. It's not easy, but Parsons the New School for Design will offer the world's first fashion courses in zero waste. Pretty cool!
Great things are happening in NYC! This past monday, Mayor Bloomberg signed into law a new program that will try to reduce the amount of clothes dumped into landfills by posting clothing-recycling bins around the city in an effort to re-route the clothes from the trash to thrift stores. An initial 50 bins will be placed in public places, but the eventual goal is to have the majority of bins located in the basement and/or laundry rooms of apartment buildings. Personally, I've always wished that there was an easy way to recycle my clothes! I have been lugging bags of clothes up to Goodwill every year, but it sure would be awesome if I could just recycle it in my very own apartment building!
Fashion week is coming up in a couple of weeks! This means that we'll also be looking forward to the third season of the GreenShows! As the only premiere fashion event exclusively committed to eco-friendly, ethically sound, fair-trade fashion, this 3-day event will showcase some of our favorite designers, including Joann Berman and Samantha Pleet!
This week's reading also included an article about a great eco-fashion business supporting women of domestic violence. The Annie O. Boutique accessory collection was founded by Annie O. Waterman, who was inspired by vibrant Peruvian textiles and the desire to bring work to female cooperatives in South America. The boutique works with 80 women who are victims of domestic violence and/or living in impoverishment to help them attain financial independence by applying their skills in handcrafts to create beautiful hand-embroidered handbags, belts, scarves and more.
ok all - have a great rest of your weekend! make sure to go check out our c. marchuska store - we have some awesome stuff for the upcoming fall!
Happy Friday the 13th everyone!
It's time to announce the winner of our c. marchuska giveaway!
Autum22 has won the Leslie dress! and we loved what she said about our SS2010 video: "Really loved the backgrounds and the sense of the girls being the only people there-It seemed like there should be traffic,noise and so much going on behind them but there wasn't. It allowed you to focus on the lovely outfits."
Thanks Autum22! Get in touch with us so we can ship your Leslie dress!
ok, now onto the weekly update
Events: Levi's is hosting the Care to Air competition - Levi's is asking consumers to let all their good green laundry ideas hang out! They're looking for green pioneers and inventors to submit original air-drying solutions with the chance of winning $10,000 in prizes. A panel of judges will pick the winning design on August 16th! Check out some of the finalist entries (how clever right??)
Nothing is What it Seems by Caleb Hill
Vogue and Fiat have launched an "eco-fashion" competition to design a bike helmet for the Fiat 500 folding bike to coincide with Fashion's Night Out in Milan, Italy. The winner with the best graphic design will win a €3,000-prize pot!
This is kind of fun (if you can find pictures of this online - send it my way!) At London Fashion Week, the Conscious Designers Collective staged a renegade roving ethical catwalk in the street. This featured a half-dressed man courtesy of Pants to Poverty and female models in ethical labels such as Elena Garcia and Tammam.
Blogosphere: I just recently found out about two inspirational up-cycle businesses!
The Clothing Bank, a non-profit organization that helps low-income and unemployed women prepare to enter the workplace, was founded in Capetown by Tracey Gilmore and Tracey Chambers when they recognized the potential of using excess clothing from retailers to drive enterprise development. Go read about them here!
RecycleMyDress.com is Nicole Kulp's business that takes your old bridesmaid dresses (with all the puffy shoulders and unflattering bulges) and transforms them into new creations sold for anywhere between $20-$200. Check out her etsy store and read the article about her business!
Another fabulous eco-friendly mission! Edun has worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to create the Conservation Cotton Initiative (CCI) to improve the livelihoods of communities in Africa by investing in sustainably harvested "conservation cotton." Starting this week, Nowness.com is preventing a preview of a documentary that will air in October highlighting the efforts of the CCI to encourage African farmers to employ organic production efforts. Go watch the preview! Also - can I just say that Edun's fall line is pretty awesome?
have a great weekend! =)
There's good news for everyone! We at c. marchuska are extending our giveaway and will be announcing the winner next Friday, August 13th (yup...Friday the 13th...might be a good test to see how lucky you are =p) Enter now to win a monika, leslie, or roli hoodie! Just comment on our new SS2010 video and tell us which dress you want!
ok...now it's time for the weekly update!
Retail: In promoting its first hybrid, the CT200h, Lexus has begun the Darker Side of Green campaign, in which they show that eco-friendly can be sexy and not all about "flowery sunshine-filled days in the park." Lexus has created the Dark Ride Card to line up cool hotels, nightclubs, and fashion partners as part of its investment of marketing tools. This includes the Luxury Eco driving glove, created by eco-luxe designer, Linda Loudermilk.
This week, I also discovered the cutest eco-friendly kids boutique! Cornflowerblue is a gorgeous online boutique where you can find eco-friendly, organic, and ethical kids clothing from local and international brands. Go read more about them here! Seriously, aren't these dresses adorable?
Blogosphere: There's quite a bit of eco-fashion movement in the Project Runway world! First, I'm happy to report that the winner of the past two episodes of PR is an eco-lovely, Gretchen Jones of MothLove.
Also, the winner of season 7 of PR, Seth Aaron Henderson, is now creating solar-powered clothing, which he will debut at Portland's upcoming Fashion Week on October 9th. I'm looking forward to seeing exactly how he will mix sustainability with his punk-rock designs.
Sales: Get 50% off all full-price items at Stewart + Brown with the code FIFTYOFF.
NIMLI is also celebrating summer by offering 30% off from 8/3 - 8/9/10. Use the code DOIE30 at checkout
Hi all! Sorry for the delay in posting! This week has been kind of crazy, but I still wanted to do a weekly update for y'all so that you can see the awesome stuff happening.
Retail: Jean-Philippe Gawronski, a former designer at Lanvin, is launching an eco-friendly line - Imitation and Disguise! He's taken his learnings from Alber Elbaz to create apparel, jewelry, shoes, and handbags. I'm pretty impressed by the details he's put into everything!
Need some chic travel essentials? TEICH, a local Brooklyn brand, has created a few items that's making me rethink what I take with me on my trips. The TEICH scallop clutch serves as an awesome makeup bag and the TEICH/Ryann belt with detachable waist acts as a great fanny pack for those touristy adventures. Lucky for all of us, TEICH has a special 40% off summer sale through August 12th.
For a more dressy look, I am swooning over these Cri De Coeur "Hannah" asymmetrical sandals and Terra Plana "Betty" Sling-Backs. For more awesome eco-friendly sandals, check out the list on EcoFashionWorld.
Blogosphere: Last year, actress Julia Stiles put together a hilarious spoof of eco-fashion. This year, she tells Ecouterre that she actually likes eco-fashion, particularly the Edun line by Bono. However, she doesn't know how to find that many other lines in eco-fashion...
By the way, is anybody excited that there's an eco-friendly designer on Project Runway? Go Gretchen Jones!
Have you ever wondered if eco-fashion can be considered sexy? Check out our c. marchuska web spots! Make sure you're sitting down first...haha
Hi all! As you all know, April is really the month where eco-fashion is celebrated due to Earth Day, but there are also a ton of eco-fashion events happening over the summer! Read below...
July 27 - NYC: Elle, Aveeno and Kaight have partnered up to bring you Summer Nights Style where you can get a style consultation from the Aveeno Hair Care eco-friendly celebrity stylist and shop the season's latest at Kaight.
July 29 - NYC: Sustainable Fashion and Textiles Workshop at the Pratt Institute, designed to give you an in-depth review of current practices and innovations, clarity on the various sustainability claims made by companies, an understanding of new business opportunities, and professional development.
August 4-7 - Montreal: The Montreal Fashion & Design Festival is sure to be exciting with fashion shows followed by live performances from well-known artists, parties, and a Shopping Rally in downtown's trendiest boutiques.
Now - Sept 22nd - Online: The Green By Design Summer Light Challenge is for all you eco-lovers! The challenge is to select only 10 pieces of clothing to wear for the entire summer and to share your mix-and-match pieces with the rest of the eco-fashion community. Can you do it?
Sept 28-30 - Vancouver: Eco Fashion Week Vancouver 2010! Need I say more?
The Eco Index - Consumers have always had a difficult time really understanding what makes one product "green" and another one not. So 100 well-known apparel brands and retailers have developed a software tool to help them measure the environmental impact of their apparel and footwear, from raw material to garbage dump. The companies are hoping to standardize "eco-value" across brands, just like the Energy Star rating on appliances.
Give + Take boutique in the LA area is now offering a unique eco-friendly AND recession-friendly way for women to shop! For just $25 a month (yup, $ per month and not $ per item!) , you can trade in your lightly-used clothing to get something you love in the process, without losing money in the process. This could be the start of a new kind of boutique huh?
ok that's it from me this week! Have a great weekend everyone =)
Happy Friday guys It's time for the weekly update!
Retail: WearAgain.co.uk is launching an eco-fashion boutique which will sell gently used and recycled new clothing for men, women and children. Products will include top quality fashion from popular High Street retailers, designer labels, and vintage sources.
According to the LA Times, baby eco-fashion is coming to Target! For those earth-conscious parents, the Little Seed and Baby Buggy lines have just debuted and they offer budget-friendly choices for eco-friendly babywear.
Blogosphere: Happy 10th Anniversary, Net-a-Porter! To celebrate, the originator of high fashion e-commerce threw a lavish fete in its new London office and invited notable fans such as Victoria Beckham and designers including Christopher Bailey, Christopher Kane and Roland Mouret. Check out Net-a-Porter's magazine for the special anniversary issue which tours the major fashion highlights over the past decade.
Marie-Claire Magazine (UK edition) published its Top 10 in eco-fashion this month. It includes some amazing designers, including Stella McCartney (of course!), Edun, and People Tree. We hope c. marchuska one day makes it to the list!
Brought together by Elle Magazine, Diane Von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Rogan, Loomstate, Loeffler Randall, and Vena Cava worked with Sheila Kennedy, the director of the Portable Light Project, to design nine solar purses that supply both light and power. All the bags are being auctioned of on Ebay, with proceeds going to Portable Light Project's mission of using energy-harvesting textiles to deliver power to developing communities. Below are some of my favorites! Check out more over at Ecouterre!
Stella McCartney has been named the 2012 Olympic designer for Britain. Working with Adidas, she will not only outfit the athletes, but will also release four lifestyle collections "inspired by Team GB" before the games. How exciting! Congrats Stella
c. marchuska: We recently found out that Christine Marchuska, CEO of c. marchuska, has been asked to be the wardrobe designer for a new film called "Playground." Click here to read the interview with the director of the film, Ajay Nayyar, to see how he picked our lovely CEO!
Happy weekend everyone!
It's that time of the week!
Events/Programs: Starting in September, New York City will launch one of the largest textile recycling initiatives in the nation, aiming to increase the convenience of donations so that it is "almost as easy as throwing it away." The city is taking bids for a 10- to 15-year contract with a nonprofit company (e.g. companies like Goodwill) to maintain and manage the bins. Officials say that if the bins are successful in NYC, then it could be launched nationwide.
Yesterday's News (eco-friendly cat litter made from recycled paper) is challenging five leading green designers, including the Lara Miller, Samantha Pleet, and Bahar Shahpar, to create fashion-forward designs using recycled newspaper. The winning pieces will be displayed at the first ever Yesterday's News Green Catwalk Event. Read more about how YOU can compete too!
Have you been using your recyclable grocery bags over and over? It's great to use the eco-friendly solution to replace the regular ol' paper or plastic...but make sure you wash them after every use! American Chemical Society conducted a study and 84 out of 100 bags tested positive for E. Coli and that bacteria can transfer onto your groceries!
Blogosphere: The New York Project sought out Teen Vogue and Style.com's PR Director Eleanor Banco to give us an eco-fashion makeover and she chose her 10 most influential eco-designers, including Stella McCartney, Study by Tara St. James, Doucette Duvall and more.
Ever concerned about the authenticity of the eco-friendly products you buy? How do you know for sure these products are sustainable? A ton of the organic claims made by designers and brands is just confusing consumers, and it would be super helpful if there was some sort of standardization. L.E.A.F. (Labeling Ecologically Approved Fabrics) does just that! WellWire sat down with Elinor Averyt, L.E.A.F. founder and executive director to discuss what will be included in the comprehensive and unifying eco-labeling program. Go read it here!