April 19th, 2013
When your little one asks if his apple juice is organic and his animal crackers fair trade, you know you've got a little green machine on your hands. Herewith, 5 eco-friendly products that the entire family can feel good about:
An obsession amongst the VitaminDaily.com moms, Mini Mioche sustainable clothing line is designed and made in Toronto and features pared down yet stylish basics - a mini version of what you would wear - in an array of sweet neutrals, never a cartoonish pattern in sight. Fabrics are coloured with eco dyes, packaging is minimal and fair wages are paid to all involved. We love that the clothing lasts and that the basic tees are unisex enough in style to be passed down to the next little boy or girl. From $25 at www.minimioche.com
Not only can your children sip water or fresh pressed juice from their phthalate free, lightweight, completely recyclable SIGG bottles, but now, just in time for Earth Day, they can also save one sq. meter of Panamanian rainforest with the purchase of each specially designed Sigg bottles for CUIPO, a social enterprise focused on rainforest conservation. Ditch the plastic for good and help diminish deforestation – all in one sip. From $17.99 at www.mysigg.com and at select Whole Foods Markets nationwide.
Expand your horizons beyond melamine or even bpa free plastic plates, with the smartly designed Brinware plates. Fashioned from durable tempered glass that does not break easily (even on a tile floor, trust us!), each piece also has a flexible food safe silicone cover that fits snugly around the bottom of each plate, offering extra cushioning from slippery hands, as well as a pop of kid friendly colour that allows the striking prints screened onto the back of each plate to emerge. Ideal for a toddler and up. At www.lussobaby.ca and ttps://www.crocodilebaby.com
Designed in Canada by a busy mom of 3, the SoYoung line of PVC and pthalate free cooler bags are cute enough for your kids but stylish enough for Mom or Dad. Heidi Klum and daughter Lou are fans. Pack their snacks in the insulated bag when you’re out and about, or use one to tote your own healthy, made-at-home lunch to the office. www.soyoung.ca
Fashioned from recycled newspaper, these colourful O’bon pencils last 2-3 times longer than traditional wooden pencils because the leads are better protected. They also manage to inspire awe for the wild in your child, with each pencil showcasing a different animal that corresponds to a particular colour. We love their bright hues. From $2.50 at www.lavishandlime.com
April 16th, 2013
While on the lookout for ethical and sustainable jewelry, we discovered Mala Collective.
Based in Vancouver but handmade in Bali, its jewelry is ethically sourced, sustainably harvested, and combines form and function. Made from rudraksha seeds (known to embody peace and love) and gemstones, the pieces not only look good but will also relieve anxiety, improve circulation, or provide protection, depending on the stone.
We like the Surfer Mala necklace ($138) a combination of lava, obsidian, and turquoise, which will deflect negative energy and protect the wearer on a journey. Let’s test it out on a surfing trip to Bali, shall we? —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Bracelets start at $20, necklaces at $55 in Vancouver at Nicole Bridger, 2151 W. Fourth Ave., and online at www.malacollective.com
April 15th, 2013
With Earth Day just a week away, we've got our eye on all things eco-friendly, starting with our medicine cabinet. Herewith, the beauty-full green picks we love.
How could we resist the brilliantly-named Vitamine & Sea? The Montreal brand opened its first shop-in-shop and stocked it with all things natural and organic for skin and hair. Read the full dose here.
April 9th, 2013
It’s going to take a little bit more than that fact that it’s spring cleaning season to motivate us to start scrubbing.
Enter the latest edition of Method + Orla Kiely ($3.99 each). Much like a new Lululemon look gets us to downward dog more often, these gorgeous products, with labels by Irish designer Orla Kiely and lovely new scents like white nectarine, honeysuckle and tomato fine, help keep chores from being a total bore.
Here’s to cleaning pretty! —Christine Laroche
March 15th, 2013
This weekend, we’re joining the green movement.
And no, we’re not talking about green beer that will flow freely come Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert is an exposition all about healthy green living. With cooking demonstrations, informative talks and exhibitors of all kinds (from local food producers to authors and experts), it’s the perfect place to inspire and kick start a healthy spring.
Cheers to that! —Christine Laroche.
1000 Jean-Paul-Riopelle Pl., Montreal, 514-871-8122, www.expomangersante.com
January 28th, 2013
Fans of natural products, meet your new favourite label: Vitamine & Sea. (Ed. note: Love that name! #greatminds)
The Montreal brand has opened its first shop-in-shop at Mimi & Coco (Cours Mont-Royal location), a dedicated space that stocks the entire range of good-for-you-and-the-planet goodies. Vitamine & Sea skin and hair care products are natural and organic, as well as free of dyes, fragrances, synthetics, sulfates, parabens, silicones and petroleum-based chemicals.
Green is gorgeous. – Christine Laroche
1455 Peel St., Montreal, 514-904-0697, www.vitamineandsea.com
November 5th, 2012
Some brands hire actresses or models as spokespeople. La Prairie? Jacques Cousteau’s granddaughter.
During a visit in Montreal, we had the opportunity to meet Céline Cousteau, an inspiring filmmaker, documentary host, environmental spokesperson and mom. Looking très chic in a lace dress (and assuring us that her everyday garb is much, much more causal), she the told us about her day in the city (highlights included noshing at Olive & Gourmando and browsing the racks at Holt Renfrew) and her next adventure (off to Australia to spend time with the in-laws).
As for skincare, Céline’s flawless complexion was all the inspiration we needed to start slathering our face with Advanced Marine Biology Revitalizing Emulsion Moisturizer ($160), which is boosted with Salicornia extract, Green Microalgae, Channeled Wrack Extract and Red Algae.
And while it’s pricey, the company’s commitment to the environment – not to mention the effectiveness of the products – makes the splurge worth every penny. —Christine Laroche
At Holt Renfrew, 1300 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal, 514-282-3750, www.laprairie.com
August 31st, 2012
Poppy hates celery sticks and Johnny doesn’t eat raisins on Thursdays, but Sophie needs her fruit separated from her granola. And we thought we left math problems behind in fourth grade.
But even the pickiest eater needs a cafeteria-chic lunch kit. Stock-up on waste-free, natural lunch accessories: sweet reusable sandwich bags ($10), stainless steel food containers, which allow for multiple snacks in one place ($23) and the glorious spork, which does double duty for soups and pasta ($11.50/four).
No plastic wrap, foil or pesky Tupperware to deal with – just simple, eco-friendly, non-toxic lunch buddies.
Happy back-to-school, Mom. —Maria Tallarico
Waste-Free Lunch at Lavish & Lime, www.lavishandlime.com
June 4th, 2012
Ever wanted glass cleaner that smelled like Cake Batter Ice Cream? How about Goji Berry Bliss laundry detergent?
Wish granted at the new Mile End spot Sampson Ecoshop. We fell for the powerful yet natural and Ecocert certified home cleaning products and enjoyed the sweet agony of choosing from 70+ fragrances, including Blooming Tulips, and, um, Butt Naked in Bed, to add to the concoctions.
And to reward ourselves for cleaning green, we head straight for the DIY dispensers of tea and flavored sugars. Here’s to cleaning with a conscience and indulging a sweet tooth! –Christine Laroche
Sampson Ecoshop, 4815A St-Laurent Blvd., 514-326-8852, www.sampsonecoshop.com
April 20th, 2012
Give local designers some love – and score some sweet discounts! – at the semi-annual La Grande Braderie Québécoise.
From today until April 22nd, we’re shopping samples from top Montreal talent including Annie 50, Ève Gravel, Mackage (pictures), and Tavan&Mitto, and even some eco-friendly brands like Harricana, Respecterre and Oöm Ethikwear.
Supporting local design stars at a steal? Count us in! —Christine Laroche
Marché Bonsecours, 350 St-Paul St. East, 514-866-2006 x300, www.braderiedemodequebecoise.com