Monday, 19 December 2011

KORA Organics Blog



This week O2wear was very fortunate to be featured on Miranda Kerr's KORA Organics blog. Brooke, a contributor to the blog and owner of stylenet.com.au interviewed me about O2wear and our eco friendly focus. You can check out the blog here or visit our site at www.o2wear.com

In other exciting news, I am in the process of finalising the designs for the new range of O2wear! The new collection of bamboo body wear will include tank tops, tees, 3/4 sleeve and long sleeve tops, as well as 3/4 leggings. I hope to have them available online in March but will keep you posted!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas Gift Guide

This year I decided to avoid the crowds and do my Christmas shopping online. While most of my purchases were books, I've put together a list of some really cute, quirky and eco friendly gifts for 2012, all of which are available online.


Lovi
These are made by Lovi, a Finish company. They come as a flat packed postcard and can be punched out and assembled. A perfect light weight gift!

$24
www.mrsparrow.com.au


Sky Planter recycled range:
Upside down plants for indoors. These funky hanging plants add both colour and interest and make a great present for christmas.

From $19.50
www.designforuse.com.au




Crumpled Maps
The Crumpled City Map is waterproof and meant to be crumpled, never get frustrated trying to fold a map again!

$29.95

2012 Animal Calendar
This cute calendar is made up of 6 animals with a month of the year on either side. Pop them out and assemble.

$24.95
www.moma.org

Flatout Bears
I think these are really cute, for any age!
Australian Women's Weekly Favourite Toy of 2011, of course they are the perfect gift for this christmas. Made from 100% Australian sheep skin.

$55.00
www.birdsnest.com.au






Greenbo Planters
These pots are great for balconies and rentals, hang them on a fence or balcony with no need for screws.
Available in a wide range of colours and sizes.

$45.00
www.urbanbalcony.com.au




Flower Nails
A little random but cute! These nails have flower heads and are designed to be seen.

$24.00 for 6
www.designforuse.com.au




Polio Vaccine
Support children and their communities through UNICEF. They have a range of gifts from vaccinations to school supplies.

"Polio is a highly contagious viral infection, and prevention via vaccination is the best solution. Globally the number of polio cases has decreased by over 99% – from 125 countries in 1990 to just four countries today. But the work is not complete. Pakistan is one country where the disease is still endemic, as well as Nigeria, India and Afghanistan."


$29.00 will vaccine 200 children
www.unicef.org.au




Paolo
Fun for kids and adults! A do-it-yourself kit with 122 geometric shapes that can be clipped together.

$79.00



Cycle Sign by Trent Jansen
These reflective signs for bicycles are made from old recycled road signs. They come in two designs, the strap version can be mounted to the front or rear of the bike and the clamp version can be attached to the spokes.

From $14.90
www.cyclestyle.com.au





Polli Jewellery
Cute motifs and designs from two Australian designers. Made from wood, stainless steel or woven, with a focus on recycled and reused materials.

From $49.95
www.polli.com.au



O2wear Gift Pack
Last but not least! The O2wear gift pack includes a camisole in your choice of four colours and a pair of leggings. Made from bamboo fibre and organic cotton.

$59.95
www.o2wear.com

Saturday, 19 November 2011

O2wear Business Profile

O2wear business profile in the I Love Pretty Things Christmas gift catalogue
O2wear was recently profiled in the I Love Pretty Things Christmas catalogue - you can read the full article here. The Christmas catalogue has over 50 pages of Christmas gift ideas and several small business profiles like ours. There are also two prize packs to win (including an O2wear camisole) so make sure you enter!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

London Fashion Week – Estethica



It's London Fashion Week this month and Estethica is showcasing another collection of eco fashion from international designers.

This year is the 5th anniversary of Estethica, an exhibition founded by the British Fashion Council to showcase eco fashion; fashion designers committed to sustainable eco principles. The exhibition is running from the 16th – 20th September, alongside London Fashion Week.

This year there are 19 designers featured, all of which must meet at least one of three criteria to be included in the collection: fair trade and ethical practices, the use of organic fibre and recycled or up-cycled materials. Their guidelines expect designers to give thought to the entire life-cycle of their products from design and use of raw materials, to packaging, transport and end of life.

The Spring/Summer 2012 Estethica Exhibition Designers:

Up-cycled Tote - Lost Property of London

Ada Zanditon
Aiste Nesterovaite
Charini
Dr Noki’s NHS
Environmental Justice Foundation
Emesha
Eva Zingoni
From Somewhere
Goodone
Henrietta Ludgate
Joanna Cave
Junky Styling
Lost Property of London
Michelle Loewe-Holder
Monsoon
Pachacuti
Partimi
Rajkumar Dyeing & Printing Works
Soil Association Certification

The collection is not limited to fashion, but includes accessories such as the photo above by Lost Property of London who create unique, earthy totes and bags from recycled fair trade coffee bags. On the jewellery front there is Joanna Cave who's easy-to-wear collection of earrings and necklaces is made from among other things, recycled silver and describes her pieces as 'ethnic chic'. Another of the featured designers is Charini, a Sri Lankan designer who's high-end lingerie is crafted from silks and lace using traditional Sri Lankan techniques.

For more coverage of the exhibition and designers, the Ecologist has reviewed the exhibit and profiled a number of the fashion designers in their article: Fashion special The Ecologist guide to Estethica.

- by O2wear Australia - style basics | specialising in women's bamboo clothing under layers

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Top 10 benefits of Bamboo Clothing

Black Footless Bamboo Leggings - $39.95

I've been making a few updates to the O2wear website and among them was a closer look at the reasons why bamboo clothing, and eco friendly fashion in general, is becoming increasingly popular. Below is a list I compiled of the Top 10 Benefits of Bamboo Clothing based on all the information I have read over the past couple of months. So as not to be completely biased, I've also addressed some of the criticism of bamboo clothing and its eco-credentials, namely the use of chemical treatments in the manufacturing process.

  1. Eco-Friendly: bamboo is considered eco-friendly primarily because of the crop, which grows organically without the aid of pesticides, fertilisers or irrigation.
  2. Softness: super soft and gentle on sensitive skin - you can buy our leggings and camisoles online and feel for yourself!
  3. Sensitive Skin: the rounded fibres, antibacterial properties of bamboo and chemical free fabric (our products are certified with the Okeo-Tex 100 Standard) means that many allergy and eczema suffers find bamboo clothing particularly comfortable.
  4. Easy Care: machine washable, and a cool iron or tumble dry if necessary.
  5. Moisture Wicking: bamboo clothing is particularly good at wicking moisture away from the body, evidenced by the popularity of bamboo fibre in sporting and active wear.
  6. Biodegradable: when disposed of, bamboo clothing will break-down in land fill much faster than synthetic fabrics.
  7. UV Protection: A study by Deakin University showed that bamboo clothing is 60% better than cotton at protecting the wearer from the sun's harmful UV rays.
  8. Breathable: Because it is derived from plants, bamboo fibre is naturally temperature regulating - cool in summer, warm in winter.
  9. Insulating: When woven into fabric, bamboo clothing helps to trap a small layer of air against the skin. This layer acts as insulation, helping to regulate your temperature.
  10. Antibacterial: Bamboo plants are naturally antibacterial, resisting fungi and pests. It's believed that this characteristic is also a property of the fibre, but this hasn't been proven.

So here are 10 more reason's to check out our online store! You can read a more extensive review of each of these benefits on the O2wear bamboo clothing page.

I should say however, there is still some debate as to what extent bamboo clothing really is environmentally friendly and that is because of the manufacturing process. To manufacture the yarn, the leaves and centre pith of the bamboo plant are crushed, pulped and put through various treatments, some of which involve the use of chemicals. The end product is bamboo viscose, which is spun in to yarn to make bamboo fabric. It is the use of these chemicals that means some people question the eco credentials of bamboo clothing.

While these are legitimate concerns, the organic and environmental way in which the crop is grown has many advantages over water intensive and genetically modified crops such as cotton. In China where the bamboo is sourced, the industry is tightly controlled, with only one company owning the patent to manufacture the yarn, ensuring a much higher level of regulation than many other industries there.


Sunday, 21 August 2011

The Giant Pandas



A number of years ago, when I was studying in Beijing, I took the opportunity to do a bit of exploring and see a few more parts of China. On one of these trips I went down to Sichuan Province in South-West China, home to the Giant Pandas as they are officially called. The train trip from Beijing to Sichuan was an adventure in itself, 35 hours on a sell-out train ride in the midst of Chinese new year, a ‘food’ cart that left a lot to be desired and a ‘bathroom’ more aptly described as a hole.

The highlight however, was our visit to the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuary, a huge nature reserve surrounded by natural vegetation and not surprisingly, lots of bamboo. UNESCO has listed it as a World Heritage Site and a key focus of the Sanctuary is the captive breeding program aimed at increasing the numbers of this highly endangered and notoriously difficult to breed species. Much like Koalas, Pandas seem to be content sitting around chewing on leaves all day, but if you’re lucky you might get to see a baby Panda!

A little closer to home are the Pandas Adelaide Zoo has just welcomed from Sichuan China, which have proved to be a hugely popular. I visited the exhibit when I was in Adelaide a few months ago and was very impressed with their brand new enclosure. One of the trickier aspects of caring for the Pandas is keeping a ready supply of Bamboo. Pandas really know how to put it away, consuming between 9-14kg a day, and like Koalas, they don’t just eat any old variety. This of course raises the issue of what sort of bamboo is used in bamboo fibre clothing. The bamboo fibre we use in our clothing is a different species to the type that the Giant Pandas like. It is also grown for the purpose of harvesting for fabric which is quite a controlled industry in China, with only one organisation having the license to turn the bamboo in to ‘yarn’ which is then sold to companies who produce the fabric.

To read more about bamboo clothing and the manufacturing process or to see our bamboo clothing products you can visit our site at O2wear. Check back regularly for more updates and news on bamboo clothing, running a business and my escapades in China!