Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wearable Collections Keeps Cloth Out of the Trash

One of the things I love about making linen sheets is that it doesn't create a lot of scrap fabric. When compared to clothing manufacturing, which is very wasteful, Linoto does pretty well. We use nearly all of the fabric.  Flat sheets and duvet covers use the entire width of fabric with virtually zero waste. The Linoto linen tote bag, for example, is made from scraps after the fitted sheets and pillowcases are cut. 

Linoto linen tote bag made from linen sheet scraps

Linoto donates the scraps that can't be used to Wearable Collections, an agency that collects and recycles clothing and textiles scraps. The scraps can be ground up and turned into short staple yarns for knitted items like socks and sweaters or even insulation. So far we have spared about 300 lbs. worth of linen scraps from going into a land fill.

Wearable Collections can set up collection bins near you and will even work within your building's restrictions to make it work. Usable clothing and rags are resold internationally while what is unusable is sent to facilities where they can be broken down and rewoven into new textiles. They can also help your charity organization by sponsoring clothing drives and will then pay you for for what is collected.

The average annual amount of textile waste in the United States is well over 193 tons. So far Wearable Collections has diverted over 2 million pounds of clothing and fabric from landfills.  They are currently located primarily in New York City, but will soon be expanding to Long Island and Central New Jersey. Imagine how much we can save if Wearable Collections goes nation-wide!

There are drop off centers at these locations:

Friday- W 97th St. between Columbus Ave. and Amsterdam Ave. from 8am-2pm
Saturday-Grand Army Plaza in Park Slope  8am-4pm and Union Sq. @ 14th St. and Broadway 8am- 6pm
Sunday-Tompkins Sq. park @ Ave. A and 9th St. 8am-4pm
Monday-Union Sq. @14th St. and Broadway  8am-6pm

You can also follow them on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter and help them change the way New York recycles clothes!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Art and Inspiration in the Upper East Side: Buck House

I recently met with New York artist and taste-maker Deborah Buck at her upper east side gallery.

Buck House, located in Manhattan at 1318 Madison Ave (Between 93rd & 94th Streets) is an inviting and unique collection of art and antiques from every age.  Deborah surrounds her own paintings with other equally special objects such as glass work, sculptures, and jewelry.  The result: beautiful and harmonious scenes that reflect and inform both her artwork and the items she selects.  These scenes have been collected into a self published book called Tableau, which she graciously gave to me. A second book is currently in the works with new scenes and women as the inspiration. This time, she is redressing the front window of her gallery to symbolize the personality of imaginary female characters. Each display will run from 7-10 days and she plans to have 30 windows finished and photographed within the next year. The window displayed above represents an artist's model and muse in her apartment  in turn-of-the-century Paris. She is surrounded by gifts from artists and admirers as well as images of herself that painters have given her. A. Muse is her name; a tongue and cheek reference to her identity.
"Hands" original artwork by Deborah Buck

"The Indian" by surrealist painter Alvaro Guillot (1931-2010)
Art Deco pedestal

turquoise and exceptional examples of costume jewelry
Integrity in design, Deborah simple motto, is what sets Buck House apart from an antiques showroom or an art Gallery.  The upper east side has plenty of those.  She is not merely collecting and reselling, she is working, creating, and applying her own very tasteful stamp of reference on the gorgeous antiques and vintage items she collects on her travels all across the globe.  From vessels and jewelry to sublime lamps and furniture, each item in the gallery is special.  Though the items originate from different  places and eras, there is a unifying aesthetic that is rich, dynamic, and inspiring.

sublime glass work
a fantastic bronze lamp, ceramic vases and pitcher
Buck House will soon be offering its own line of wallpapers featuring design elements in Deborah's paintings. She gave me a sneak preview of an amazing silver matte-on-shine wallpaper with the same Foo dog from the Buck House logo worked into a geometric key pattern. Very chic. No official release has been set for the wallpapers, but keep watching her blog to find out more.

I was first introduced to Deborah when she purchased several sets of linen sheets from Linoto.  The aqua color she chose is an identical match to the signature "Buck House Blue" that is uses consistently in the gallery interior.

Gilt glazed ceramic vase
Whether you live in New York and enjoy exploring new neighborhoods or you are planning a visit, I highly recommend visiting the Buck House where you're guaranteed to be inspired by the fabulous art and design.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday Photo Shoot

On Wednesday we had a photo shoot for Linoto.com. We're putting together a brand new collection of holiday photos and I wanted to give a sneak peak and a look at the process. We were fortunate enough to shoot at a gorgeous loft apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

In these behind-the-scenes images, you can only see a snippet of the amazing interior. In the final photos, you'll be able to get the full effect of the space. A great deal of time was spent setting up the different scenes, organizing props and making sure everything was perfect for the shoot.

Katrina Parris Flowers designed the floral arrangements for our dining room table shots. She used hydrangeas, dahlias, orchids, roses, and snap dragons.

The photographer, Alexey Kotlik, been shooting interiors and portraits in New York for 5 years. He has a great eye and really understands the technical rules of photography.  He used a Canon 5D Mark II camera, which he typically prefers to film. You can see more of his work at his website.
The work paid off in the end and I'm thrilled with the results. I'm sure you'll be too when the new images go live on Linoto.com!