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EarthTech Has New Backpack Collections For Cute Pre-Ks to Tech Needing College Students

Getting ready to go back to school can be a very stressful time, picking just the right new clothes and school supplies, including backpacks. I was thinking about ideas for eco-friendly backpack options and l came across a really great site – EarthTech Products – that I like a lot because it’s a one-stop-shop for backpacks for everyone from Pre-K to college.

Animal-shaped backpacks with rollers made by EcoGear. Photo courtesy of EarthTech Products.

The vast majority of the backpacks carried by EarthTech are manufactured by EcoGear, which also sells the same backpacks on its own site (and cheaper right now during back-to-school season), but I’m focusing on EarthTech because they also sell solar power generating backpacks and have lots of other cool solar stuff that make it worthwhile to visit the site.

EcoGear says its bags are made using organic cotton as well as PVC-free and recycled materials with non-toxic dyes. The company also explains that it coats it bags with an environmental-friendly thermoplastic technology that adds a secure, non-slip structure to the fabric weaving.

EcoGear calls this thermoplastic technology Ecoweave, and says its environmental and human health benefits include being: non-toxic, PVC-free, chlorine-free, dioxin-free, phthalate-free, and heavy metal-free. The Ecoweave also contains no ozone-depleting chemicals.

Besides being safe for people and the environment, I’d also like to take a look at the EcoGear backpacks from the view of their functionality and age-appropriate styles.

EcoGear Ecozoo Panda Organic Rolling Bkpk.

One of my favorite backpacks for the younger kids is the EcoGear Ecozoo Panda Organic Cotton Rolling Backpack.

It’s obviously very cute and roomy to fit lots of book and supplies, but my favorite features are the wheels (which are made from recyclable materials) and the telescoping handle. I like this because it gives kids the option of wheeling their stuff along and removing the stress from their backs.

The backpack is made with recycled plastic components and sustainable wood accents. In addition, the material is made with non-toxic dyes and the shoulder straps are padded for extra comfort when kids are not using the rolling option.

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Eco-Conscious Boutiques Expanding Collections of Swimwear Using of Natural & Recycled Fibers

Summer is officially here, and it’s fun in the sun time again. Whether you’re the lay at poolside sort or the active sport sort, if you’re also looking for a stylish swimsuit whose material is gentle for you and the environment, then I have some great ideas for you.

I found some great online boutiques that have really nice eco-swimwear collections. Some of the largest and nicest collections are at: Koru Swimwear, Jita Swim and Island Wear, and FaeriesDance

Koru Swimwear

Kauri Bikini set. Photo by Koru Swimwear.

Koru Swimwear is an eco-friendly company, which primarily provides customers with a wide assortment of bikini styles from sporty to ultra-sexy that are great for tanning.

One of my favorite pieces from the collection is the Kauri Bikini set, which has a strapless tan colored top with a white overlay and a matching bottom. It comes in extra small and goes all the way up to large. This bikini is great for tanning because it’s strapless, and has a really elegant, classic look.

If you’re on the more active side, another great piece that I really like from Koru is the Kiwi Sport Bikini. It’s a sports bra inspired piece that’s made with a muscle control fabric and is designed to fit securely during sports activities.

Koru explains that the top is adjustable with shoulder ties on either side and the fabric is “ultra-chlorine resistant and provides excellent UV 50+ protection.”

Actually all of the swimsuits sold at Koru provide UV 50+ protection. Other features of the swimsuits are that they’re made with 65 percent recyclable materials and 25 percent elastane. They’re also designed for shape retention and thermal protection.

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Hot Ideas For Warming Your Hands This Winter With Gloves Made Of Organic and Natural Fibers

With one of the coldest and snowiest winters in decades, our winter gloves are going through a lot of wear, and I’ve found a lot of companies in the search for new gloves that are either made of natural or organic fibers, and are really warm and durable.

I found several boutiques – the Wild West Alpaca Ranch Store, Awaz Handcrafts, and Patricia Avenue – all specializing in handmade, natural fiber knit products.

Alpaca Driving Gloves with Leather Palms.

At all the outlets, the glove styles include those with and without fingers, as well as mittens.

The looks range from really rugged to highly elegant. Besides gloves, all of the outlets also have great natural and organic clothes and other apparel, as well as household items, but here we’re just going to look the gloves.

Wild West Alpaca Ranch Store

The Wild West Alpaca Ranch Store is a great place to find gloves and other apparel made of natural alpaca fiber, which include: hats, scarves, wraps, purses, and socks.

Alpaca Driving Gloves with Leather Palms.

The store is an outlet of the Alpaca Breeders of Arizona (ABA), which is a cooperative group of alpaca owners and breeders in state that collaborate to sell alpaca made products and promote awareness about the sustainability and health benefits of alpaca materials. All of the products are made in the United States.

There’s a lot to know about alpaca. The ABA explains some of the benefits of alpaca fibers, including that they are hypoallergenic, anti-microbial, and naturally odor resistant.

Also, alpaca doesn’t contain Lanolin oil, which many people are allergic to. Alpaca is also soft, naturally water-repellent, and non-itchy, unlike wool.

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Ideas For Eco-Conscious Shoppers Looking For Winter Coats From Organic and Natural Fibers

Winter is fast approaching and if you still haven’t gotten this year’s winter coat, and are looking for some great eco-conscious ideas made of organic and natural fibers, then I found a lot of great ideas that are worth looking at – from the most budget-friendly to the really pricy.

I came across three great online outlets – Element EcoWear, FaeriesDance, and Indigenous Designs – with a good variety of coat styles made from materials including organic cotton, hemp, alpaca, and merino wool.

Element EcoWear

Eternal Trenchcoat. Photo by Element EcoWear.

Element EcoWear is the easiest on the budget, with outerwear around the $100 range, and all made with natural and organic materials that the company assures are fair trade manufactured.

One of my favorite coats from Element EcoWear is the Eternal Trenchcoat which is made from 100 percent organic cotton. It comes in black and a dark brown called ‘bark.’ The coat’s features including a lining made of medium-weight cotton canvas, button cuffs, a back vent, side seam pockets, and a removable belt.

The supplier information says the “organic cotton is grown in a women-owned organic farm cooperative in China,” and that the coats are made in a “joint venture partnership with international organic farms, mills, and factories [that] require conformity to stringent fair labor standards, audited by a full-time onsite employee.”

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HCJ Gala Raises Over $10,000 Benefiting Largely Poor Communities Across Asia and Africa

HandCrafting Justice had great success this year with its spring fundraising gala, which supports handmade crafts made by artisans at fair wages that live and work in impoverished communities across the globe.

Photo from HandCrafting Justice’s spring fundraising gala taken by Kyriaki Venetis.

“Over $10,000 was raised during the event from combined ticket sales, the silent auction, and the sale of products,” said Teresa Baxter, publicity coordinator with HCJ. The vast majority of the products at the event came from cooperatives of women working to rise up from socially difficult and impoverished circumstances throughout Asia and Africa.

HCJ is a non-profit project of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd that markets over 1,000 different items through its website, wholesalers, and special events.

Photo from HandCrafting Justice’s spring fundraising gala taken by Kyriaki Venetis.

This event included hand-woven handbags made at the Euphrasia Center for Women in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, as well as in other localities in the country, including Embu and Kangeta-Meru.

In Nairobi, the center offers shelter and services to numerous poor women and girls – especially adolescents and orphans – that are often the victims of violence, prostitution, and abuse.

Today, the community in Nairobi similar to the one in Embu runs three operations: a crisis center, a training center for women, and an income-generating project for women. The crisis center also takes in women from outside of Kenya, including from Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania.

The training program at the center provides the women with courses in learning how to knit, weave, and tailor different products, including necklaces, baskets, bags, tablecloths, and clothes.

Specifically, the Euphrasian Kiondo Basket Weaving Project, located in Nairobi, Embu, and Kangeta-Meru, works to create a sustainable source of income for some of the poorest women by providing skills training, a production facility, and marketing the basket weaving.

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