Alexandra Grecco

I first took notice of Alexandra Grecco while browsing a friend's "favorites" on Etsy a while back, but for some reason never really stopped to look at her lovely creations until today. The Brooklyn-based designer is an FIT graduate and former Ballet dancer, which appears to inspire elements of her designs. Some pieces have a vaudeville quality while others are simply feminine and enchanting. You'll find everything from flirty silk crepe dresses to delicate flowered headbands in her Etsy store.

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>> Her Etsy shop here.

>> Her Blog here.

skinnyskinny

One of my best friends in the world, Steph, works for an absolutely badass green company. skinnyskinny is owned and operated by multi-talented entrepreneur Clara Williams (she also has a masters degree in Sculpture!). The business was mainly a hobby and online venture until recently, when she opened her Brooklyn storefront last November. store-interior

Every product (soaps, body oils, lip balms, bath salts, etc.) is handmade and wrapped within the beautifully exposed wooden walls of the shop. And when I referred to skinnyskinny as a "green" company earlier, I meant that in the truest of form. The packaging materials are recyclable, biodegradable, and sustainable. All of the ingredients are 100% organic, and virtually everything is vegan (with the exception of a single soap, which has goat's milk in it). The store is even run on wind energy! Last year, Greenopia gave skinnyskinny a 4 out of 4 rating, sharing the top nod with only three other major beauty companies.

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Besides feeling fantastic about supporting them in the ethical sense, I also love the fact that I can count the number of ingredients in any given skinnyskinny product on my fingers AND I can pronounce them all (no sodium lauroyl isethionate here!). So, what we have here is a line of ridiculously planet-friendly products that smell amazing, are created by good people, are pretty, and actually work. What is this, heaven?

I am personally addicted to their tea tree and mint lip balm, where the words "peel biodegradable label before recycling tube" are printed. Yeah, this company is not kidding about being eco-savvy - they are the real deal. Maybe someday the hundreds of other companies out there offering sustainable products will catch up with skinnyskinny.

More info: www.skinnyskinny.com

www.facebook.com/skinnyskinny

www.twitter.com/skinny_skinny

VeraMeat

verapolaroid1 Brooklyn-based jewelry fashionista and certified bad ass, Vera Balyura (better known by her moniker, VeraMeat) rocks. She creates lovely, inventive, and wildly imaginative art for your fingers, neck, and ears.

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Vera has made me some beautiful treasures since the fateful day we met at a sweet little boutique in Williamsburg, Bklyn called CatBird, one of the many shops where her jewels are sold. She just made me this little number [the knuckle duster in bold] with my initials engraved in typewriter font (!!!). Bang!

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*For more on Vera, check out VeraMeat.

Waterpod (Waterworld?) Living

A 3,000 square-foot floating waterpod doubling as a social/eco/art experiment launched from Pier 5 (in Brooklyn) on June 12. There are two full-time caretakers who actually gave up their city dwellings to devote themselves to the waterpod. Several rotating artists with varying mediums, specialties and sustainable living skills also play a part...and I should also mention that there are four hens on board the solar-powered raft. nyt2

The project's creator, Mary Mattingly says that she envisioned it as "an eco- and art-friendly sphere that could be recreated in the future, when land resources might be scarce." As I read that quote, I found myself having (slightly uncomfortable) flashbacks of sitting next to my at-the-time best friend Peter, on his superduper religious family's couch, watching Waterworld with Kevin Costner in the sixth grade.

For me, a particularly choice quote from the article is from a Canadian artist named Eve K. Tremblay who, just before pulling herself from it, coined herself "the critical voice" of the project and said, "...sometimes it feels like Frankenstein, like we’ve created this organism that has a life of its own.”  LOLZZZZ! Yes, yes, this is what happens when people are yoinked from their comfort zones (i.e. art studios, private apartments) and thrown into a clustereff mixed bag of creative people, trying to live together, entirely from the earth,  in a small space, all while producing quality art...peacefully.

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But in theory, I find this to be a killer idea on many levels. Especially for those preparing for the very possible major global warming-Waterworld scenario at the closing of the century. Who ever said artists don't plan ahead? Pffft.

PhotoCred: Michael Nagle for The New York Times

Source/For more info, check out the full NYT article here.