Second Annual Calm Before the Storm

Fashion week is a time that happens twice a year and is when our industry truly becomes alive. The energy is heightened, New York, London, Milan and Parisian streets become a runway show themselves with everyone wearing their best streetwear as models run from casting to show to casting again with little sleep food or sanity.

With a few seasons under our belt, Dani and I understand how stressful this time of the year can be and therefore wanted to provide models with an outlet. Last year we held the Calm Before the Storm, a bi-annual pre-fashion week event for models to de-stress, primp and prep themselves for the upcoming shows. It was such a success that we decided to throw another one, this year with even more sponsors, more vendors, and super special guests to lead our opening chat.

To see our community come together was so special and we’re happy to see this event grow stronger every year. From new faces in the industry to models with cool side projects, it was a beautiful night of love and laughter and was so fun to be in a space with each other minus the competition or anxiety. We hope everyone went into fashion week with a new friend, a little less stress and confident you can kill it. And if you need advice or a coffee to grab, Dani and I are always down (especially for matcha lattes at Blue Stone Lane;).

Without our community of sponsors, we wouldn't have been able to throw together such a fun night!

Sponsors:

The delicious food we enjoyed was catered by Ripe! Ripe is a healthy food catering company in NYC. They believe food isn't just fuel, it's an experience, it's community, it's growth. We agree! Ripe donated their event space to us for their event! You can tag them on any posts using these handles: @so_ripe

Sustainability was a big topic of our event today. Check out one of our favorite clothing brand's ADAY! Tag your ADAY pics wearing their hat to receive a discount at their store! @thisisaday

Those beautiful serums you received are from Amberlight Beauty, a company started by Dominyka Gajauskaite. Dominyka ensures the best material go into all of her products from rose oil to open your heat to chamomile for calming your senses. Find out more at @amberlightbeauty

The cutest toothbrush + dental floss packs were provided to you all from BOKA. They're a mindful oral care company that stresses the importance of working with our bodies, not against them. See all of their fun pics and share yours @boka!

EcoEnclose provides sustainable solutions for packaging and sent us all of those beautiful recycled paper bags for your goodie bags! I uses them for all of our ODM/ODC shipping, and they're incredibly easy to work with! Check our their Instgram @ecoenclose!

Groceries Apparel is a sustainable style + lifestyle destination for conscious fashion-forward individuals. They’re also the company we use for our Perfect white tees! Follow them @groceriesapparel.

The healthy bubbly was provided by Health-Ade Kombucha! We're addicted! If you are, check out more information or share your pics @healthade.

One of the best feelings in the world is putting on a pair of new white crisp socks. Lucky for us JawxJawshop slipped some of our socks into our goodie bags! You can follow them @jawxjawshop!

Keep your luscious locks shiny + your skin feeling bright with the powerful ingredients in The Seaweed Bath & Co's products! They sustainably hand-harvest certified organic seaweed of the coast of Maine! You can follow their story @theseaweedbathco.

We raffled off beautiful rings donated by Shiffon Co. Shiffon is more than just a jewelry brand, they aim to be supportive, powerful network for women. Follow them @shiffonco for more inspiration!

Everyone searches for that perfect pair of denim, look no more because Simply Suzette definitely has it! They are an online boutique for women looking for ethically + sustainably produced denim! See more from them @simplysuzette.

Artisanal coffee & food delivered with first-class service. That pretty much sums up Bluestone Lane! It was also the place where Dani + I first brainstormed our Calm Before The Storm event, so you know we are big fans! In your gift bags you will find some yummy granola samples from Husk Bakeshop  these goodies can be found in their cafes! Follow them @bluestonelane to see what they are up to!

Modern, sustainable and luxurious: Celsious offers a fresh and new way to "come clean" in a beautifully designed environment in Williamsburg! If you haven't checked them out you can find them at @celsious_social.

The beautiful candles decorating the space in addition to the samples in our goodie bags were provided by Keap. This candle company was created to provide consumers with a middle ground; a candle that was neither cheap and full of harsh chemicals nor overly priced. In addition to making candles that are better for our health and our pockets, Keap started as a Public Benefit Corporation to provide better access of affordable, sustainable living to people outside of the electrical grid. They’ve partnered with SolarAid to provide solar light to communities in need through their Buy a Candle, Light a Home program. 

Knours. is an innovative brand that addresses the casual link between a woman's cycle & her skin. Sounds too good to be true! We love the cute pink bags of amazing product they gave us and we hope you do too! Check them out here @knoursknows

Trying to keep healthy while on the go can be a bit tricky at times, luckily Monday Carrot has you covered with their smoothie packs! They combine science backed benefits of a plant-rich, whole-food diet with the latest findings in nutrition research to optimize results from the inside out! Check them out @mondaycarrot

All of that wine we enjoyed was donated by Parcelle Wines! They are a curated wine shop and the first retail concept from Delicious Hospitality Group, the team behind NYC restaurants (and some of our favs) Charlie Bird, Pasquale Jones, and Legacy Records! See more from them @parcellewine

RYU is an incredible clothing line created for the urban athlese that moves with you. They stand for respect and they are #BeyondTough. Check them out @ryu_apparel

Role Models MGMT is an ethical talent & modeling agency started by two models + social activists who came together to start a modeling agency. Role Models MGMT will disrupt the way we think about and see the industry! Check them out there @rolemodelsmgnt. 

Did we not have the best chairs ever?! Those were graciously donated to us by Sub Rosa. They are an independent strategy and design practice that helps organizations explore, learn and grow. Check out their Instagram @wearesubrosa.


And of course our amazing vendors:

Cameron Russell:

We are so grateful to have Cameron Russell Speak at our event, she is such a role-model in our community! Cameron put together the first event that Britt and I had ever gone to where the model activist community first began. We spoke freely about our experiences in the industry and got to meet more models in a space other than a casting. She is now head of the group, we call ourselves the Model Mafia, and we get together for events, talks, fashion shows, climate marches, etc! E-mail brittb@odmodc.com to see how you can get on our e-mail list.

FaceLove:

What looked to be THE MOST relaxing facials were provided to you by Face Love!! They made our event so much more special.  Their massages are the perfect pick-me-up during fashion week! Check their new storefront out in Flatiron @love_facelove.

Dominyka Gajauskaite:

Dominyka started her own skin care lines as a result of being sick of unfriendly products being used on her face time and time again. Her serums are our favorite. Stay in the know about @amberlightbeauty!

Summer Rayne Oakes:

Summer is definitely a jack-of-all-trades! She is literally a master in everything she does, we are so inspired by her! Her love of plants and amazing green thumb have us all asking for advice!! Check her website to discover more and definitely hit up her youtube channel.

Sinead Bovell:

Sinead is the founder and CEO of WAYE (Weekly Advice for the Young Entrepreneur), she is dedicated to building a sustainable working future for the next generation through entrepreneaurship. If you haven't been to one of her talks, make sure to follow her at @sineadbovell!

Daniel Gottlieb:

We hope you were able to experience all or that Hyperice love from Mister Yoga Dan! He has developed a practice that brings together his two passions- sports and yoga- to create a full mind/body fitness for your spirit program! See more from Dan @misteryogadan.

Sandrina Bencomo:

We all know how hard it can be to take care of your health while you are running around for fashion week! Sandrina has a few tips + tricks! If you were not able to speak with her check out her website to book and appointment.

Celsious:

FINALLY doing laundry can be fun (seriously)! Celsous had filled that gap by opening up a snazzy new laundromat in Williamsburg where you can hang out, grab a coffee + do laundry with and eco-friendly approach! @celsious_social

How to Make Every Day Earth Day!

What an incredible past month we’ve had in taking strides towards becoming more transparent and cognizant with sustainability and our environment. I’ve become more inspired than I knew was possible with events ranging from discussion panels at Fashion Revolution week to the People’s Climate March in Washington, and of course, Earth Day [which I celebrated a few weeks ago with SoRipe]. In light of this important month, I thought I’d share a bit of information on Earth day, some takeaway points and how you can make simple changes to contribute to the movement.

Earth Day was formed in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin as a way to spread awareness nationally about the environment. He was inspired by the anti-war movement and saw Earth Day as a way to teach others about air and water pollution, which was especially important after a massive oil spill that occurred in Santa Barbara in 1969. [1]

In just one year Earth Day was so popular that it led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency which subsequently led to the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. By 1990, Earth Day had become a global event. 

Present day, there are unfortunately still many people refuting the idea of climate change; well-funded oil lobbyists, the disinterested public and our newly appointed President Donald Trump. The sense of urgency to spread awareness and fight for a clean environment is still strong and perhaps it’s even more crucial as our President shares his negative views of climate change, especially as he looks to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement.  Fortunately, there are still over a billion people celebrating Earth Day each year and who continue to make it their mission to do good for our planet. [2] 

Mia Yamaguchi, coordinator at the CoolClimate Network at University of California, Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, brings up a good point about the importance of an individual’s impact on climate change in an article on Life Science. We have the power to significantly improve and manage our own environmental impacts by making small changes; taking mass transit instead of driving, recycling, and ditching the plastic utensils are a few that first come to mind. With other things like foreign relations, or national debt, it takes a lot more political involvement to make a small change with a lot less participation from the individual. [3] 

Having lived in New York for the past five years, I have become extremely aware of my carbon footprint and how I can make a change. From the amount of taxis I was taking to castings to the waste as a result of the fashion industry I work in, I began to realize that I was a lot more part of the problem than I thought I was and have made small adjustments in the way I live to ensure I’m a bigger part of the solution. 

On that note, for Earth Day this year I teamed up with SoRipe, an organic health food catering company to go to New Hampshire for a retreat where all 25 of us would get out of the city and surround ourselves with nature. My friend and fellow model Dani Seitz helped organize the event with activities ranging from a hike up Mount Sunapee to candlelit yoga to an organic spa night. We not only wanted this retreat to be a celebration of our Earth but to also raise awareness about the impact we all have on the environment. 

The hike we did on Earth Day, April 22, proved to be the medication we all needed, whether we knew it or not. It didn’t matter how hungry we were, how tired we were, or if our broken toe was hurting or not (sorry Doc, the hike was definitely not flat and I definitely made it worse than it was) but it was worth every minute of the four-five hours we were there. Everyone couldn’t get over how full of life they felt taking in the fresh air as we made our way to the misty mountain top. 

In addition to our hike, we reached out to a few environmentally conscious companies to provide some samples to test out and use. These companies take environmental protection to heart and are fully transparent with all of their practices.

Health-Ade Kombucha
Health-Ade ensures high-quality and good taste for their fermented teas, also known as kombucha. Everything is certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, raw, vegan, and kosher. They look to inspire people to look good and feel good; something that they believe comes from having a healthy gut. 

Herbivore Botanicals
Herbivore values safe, non-toxic products that are good for you and made with natural ingredients from our environment. Every ingredient they use are there for a specific therapeutic reason with no fillers of any kind used. They’re not tested on animals and are made with an emphasis on high quality food-grade ingredients. Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs everything we put on it into our bloodstream. Herbivore ensures everything you use is just as good as the organic food you feed yourself. 

Justin’s
Justin’s is a nut butter company that values innovation and corporate consciousness. Integrity and transparency with their staff and consumers is of up-most importance to Justin’s every step of the way. They take care of the earth by sourcing local, high-quality ingredients, simplifying the supply chain and by mitigating their environmental impact. 

Keap Candles
Keap was created to provide consumers with a middle ground; a candle that was neither full of harsh chemicals nor overly priced. In addition to making candles that are better for our health and our pockets, Keap started as a Public Benefit Corporation to provide better access of affordable, sustainable living to people outside of the electrical grid. They’ve partnered with SolarAid to provide solar light to communities in need through their Buy a Candle, Light a Home program. 

Prana
Prana considers every type of person when they make their clothes with sustainability, style and versatility always to heart. They go out of their way to ensure every part of their supply chain is sustainable from the materials they use to the suppliers and factories they work with. The doers, makers and shakers that wear their clothes not only value style and design but are also environmental enthusiasts that need their clothes to last more than a few washes. 

 

It’s important for us to remain conscious of our habits whether it’s Earth Day or not. We have made significant victories since Earth Day’s began 47 years ago [6], and should continue holding ourselves and our policy makers accountable to our environmental footprint so we can continue with victories. 

While I consider myself a feminist, an organic food advocate and a democratic health care proponent, none of that matters in comparison if we’re living on an unstable planet where communities are forced to migrate because of climate change or if the health of certain neighborhoods are compromised because of their geographic location. Our planet cannot sustain life if we continue to ignore the signs it’s sending us of how unsustainably we’re living. I don’t want my grandkids to ask me why we had the resources (and common sense) to protect our planet and why we chose to ignore them. 

Here are some small steps you can take towards living more sustainably. You shouldn’t feel the pressure to change every way in which you live but as Yamaguchi of CoolClimate stated, we as individuals can make crucial, positive impacts on our climate in small ways and all of that starts with self-awareness.  

1.    Donate
•    If you don’t have the time to get as political as you’d like, invest in companies that are doing the work and research for you! 
•    Project Tsehigh is a nonprofit that provides renewable energy sources to impoverished communities around the world.
•    Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. 
•    EarthJustice is the legal backbone helping back organizations big and small that protect our environment.

2.    Go for a hike
•    Explore the outdoors and enjoy what mother nature has to offer you. It’s a natural remedy that will calm your nerves and lower your stress levels. It’s a great workout and an awesome way to bond with friends and loved ones.

3.    Use mass transit (or better yet, walk or bike!)    
•    Public transportation dramatically reduces vehicle emissions and pollutants that create smog. 
•    Transport accounts for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions just from the U.S. Public transportation will help significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile. [7]

4.    Air dry your clothes
•    In most households, the dryer is the third-most energy-hungry appliance, after the fridge and washer. If we air dry, we have the potential to lower our average household carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds per year. [8]
•    Dryers account for almost six percent of a household’s annual electricity consumption. You can dramatically reduce your spending if you decide to switch to air drying. [9]

5.    Stop using plastic water bottles, straws and utensils. Use reusable water bottles and carry reusable utensils with you. 
•    Over the last ten years, we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. 
•    Enough plastic that is thrown away each year is enough to circle the earth four times. 
•    Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles per year. 
•    It takes 500-1000 years for plastic to degrade. [10]
•    Need a reusable water bottle? Find ours HERE!

6.    Become a conscious consumer. Buy less, buy better!
•    The pattern of consumption has changed so dramatically; we now purchase 400% more than we used to only 20 years ago. [13]
•    Especially in fashion, we’re taught to buy into seasonal, trendy clothes that often only last a few wears, if that, before they’re tossed into landfills.
•    The average American throws away 82 pounds of textile waste each year which end up in landfills, often taking over 200 years to degrade [13]
•    Buy less, buy better; invest in fashion that will last many wears, won’t go out of trend and are made by companies that value an ethical and sustainable production chain. [14]

7.    Educate yourself
•    There are a ton of amazing books, documentaries, and bloggers out there taking charge to raise awareness on climate change and environmental harm. If you’re looking to learn more, start small by educating yourself. 
•    EcoCult, Sustaining Life and Huffington Post Reclaim are all great resources to get in the know.

8.    Get political
•    I myself never considered myself a political person until I realized the importance of each individual to speak up and get involved
•    By voting, donating, or going on a march, you can add to the masses and stick up for change. The fact that we live in a democratic society is so important and often overlooked. We have this incredible privilege to be political so don’t let it go to waste!

9.    Lower your red meat intake
•    In the U.S. red meat, especially beef, accounts for a lot of resources that cause a lot of waste and global warming emissions. [15]
•    Animals require an enormous amount of water to grow crops for the animals to eat. A single cow will drink up to 50 gallons of water per day. 
•    It takes almost 20 times less land to feed someone on a vegan-style diet. [16]
•    Red meat specifically causes 10-40 times as many greenhouse gasses as vegetables or grains. [17]
•    If you’re a red meat fanatic, simply consider lowering your intake or making sure the meat you have is from organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed animals. Small steps can create a huge change for the better! For the better of our environment and for the betterment of your health! [17]