Organic Style Magazine Circa 2008

This was the official website for Organic Style Magazine
Content is from the site's 2008 archived pages offering just a glimpse of what this site offered its visitors.


A little background history:

Although Organic Style shut down in October of 2005, I’m happy to note that the the magazine has just been reborn as an exclusively online mag published quarterly. For now, subscription is free and can be sent right to your inbox.

“In Organic Style magazine, you’ll meet growers, artisans, environmentalists, humanitarians and visionaries — people who are truly inspirational,” said Gerald Prolman, publisher and eco-entrepreneur. “It’s a window to our world, through which you’ll discover the intrinsic beauty at the heart of the environmental movement.”

The issue’s got some great features including audio, video, and the ability to download the issue to your computer. Check it out!


Organic + Style = Loving Life

CHOOSING ORGANIC ENCOURAGES LIFE, and because we express our style through our individual choices and actions, Organic Style says we love life. At Organic Style, we express ourselves by connecting farmers and artisans with you, and we share their stories. Making this connection has been my life’s work. It’s taken me to places all over the world—from apple orchards in Washington state to greenhouses in Ecuador filled with roses.

Over the years, I encouraged growers everywhere to practice organic and sustainable agriculture. At the same time, I convinced commercial buyers of the value of responsibly produced products by connecting them directly to the people behind the products. This new way of doing commerce worked for everyone. We all felt good about what we were doing. The positive experience planted the seed for Organic Bouquet, an online eco-florist—the world’s first—that ships flowers directly from growers to you.

We spent seven years developing dependable sources and a market in the U.S. for sustainably grown flowers. In 2007, we blossomed into Organic Style, an online eco-boutique offering beautiful gifts, eco-chic apparel, bedding for the green home, and much more—and everything’s produced with respect for the earth and humankind. And now we introduce Organic Style magazine (see a video), in which you’ll meet growers, artisans, environmentalists, and humanitarians, learn their stories, and become inspired to love life even more.

Welcome to Organic Style magazine,

Gerald Prolman

Founder and CEO of Organic Style

P.S. In the spirit of loving life, I would like to share with you a beautiful song, “La Vie en Rose,” s ung by French jazz superstar Raquel Bitton (my wife). Click here to listen. Enjoy!

An aside: The "green" / organic movement has really taken off this the beginning of this website. Jump ahead to 2017. In NYC just about anywhere you look you will find grocery stores, restaurants, retail stores all touting their organic products. Just recently I did a local google search for rug cleaners Brooklyn to find a company that offers organic rug cleaning. Bingo, the first site I went to actually offers a $50 off coupon for their organic rug cleaning. I called Sun Light Fine Rug Care & Restoration and found out that their specialty was antique rugs- cleaning and restoring them. I was impressed by their site and decided to use them. I now recommend the company to all my friends who simply must have everything "organic". Check off organic rug cleaning! Organic Style Magazine was way ahead of its time.





Cracking the
Ingredient Code

How to shop for truly natural, organic skincare products BY kIRSTIN BINdER

WHEN YOU GRAB A “NATURAL” SkINCARE PROdUCT off the shelf, it may often feel like you need a decoder ring to decipher the jargon-heavy list of ingredients. Something labeled “organic” may actually contain only one organic ingredient. And a natural-sounding product may in fact be anything but. Here’s what you should look for so you really know what you’re putting on your skin.

which natural ingredients are proven to be effective. Some good sources of information are Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty by Roberta Wilson, Awakening Beauty, the Dr. Hauschka Way by Susan West Kurz, and the FAQ section on the Saffron Rouge web site. Make sure the key ingredients you’re after appear toward the top of the list. That means there’s more of them in the product.

your body, look for the best and purest ingredients possible. 0

Kirstin Binder is founder of Saffron Rouge, the leading online organic skincare, cosmetic, and aromatherapy company.

What to Look for

The easiest thing to spot is a certification label from one of the few organic body care certification organizations, such as BDIH (Germany), Cosmébio by Ecocert (France), the Soil Association (UK), AIAB (Italy), Eco-Garantie (Belgium), or NASAA (Australia). If any of these groups have given their seal of approval, you can be assured that you’re truly getting organic ingredients.

If there’s no organic certification label, look for high-quality, certified organic or biodynamic ingredients such as plants and essential oils, floral waters, and herbal extracts. If you’re targeting a specific issue, whether it’s hydrating dry skin, promoting a youthful complexion, or balancing oil production, learn

10 Ingredients to Avoid

And What to Avoid If it’s really hard to pronounce, chances are it’s not natural. Some ingredients to steer clear of are petroleum derivatives or synthetic chemicals (such as propylene glycol and butylene glycols), synthetic colors or fragrances, synthetic preservatives, and anything genetically modified. These ingredients absorb into your skin. So unless you want petroleum or synthetic chemicals hanging around inside

Click! to see more


Chlorophensin Diazolidinyl urea Parabens (Ethyl, Methyl, Butyl, Propyl) Carbomer Propylene glycol Petrolatum / mineral oil triethanolamine (tEA) D&C colors (synthetic) Synthetic fragrance 2-bromo-2-nitropropane- 1,3-diol (bronopol)

As Pure as Possible

Kirstin’s recommendations: four super-clean, 99–100 percent organic products.




Best Foot Forward

Fashionable British shoemaker Beyond Skin uses no animal products in its wares

NATALIE dEAN IS AN IdEALIST whose vision is best expressed in her glamorous, fashion-forward shoes, refashioning, as it were, the way we look at ourselves, our notions of other species, and our planet. Her exquisite wares are handmade without the skins of animals, as well as without materials that are deleterious to the environment. And her English company is committed to socially responsible management practices and fair treatment of employees.

It all began when Dean chose to become vegan, after years of vegetarianism. Implicit in veganism is a shunning of animal abusers and exploiters and, thus, her wearing of leather shoes became a thing of the past. Searching for stylish, cruelty-free footwear, she found none and, in 2001, created Beyond Skin. Dean has two collections. Her exclusive Sui Generis label is handmade in England and inspired by 1930s vintage chic. Costing between $450 and $800, they’re custom-made to your specifications, with beautiful vintage fabrics to select from. Less rarefied is Dean’s Beyond Skin label, which retails for between $180 and $298.

Dean’s shoes are made from an array of fabrics, faux leather, and faux suedes. The faux suedes are microfiber and the faux leathers are polyurethane, both of which come from Spain and Italy, ensuring EU restrictions on pollution and ethical working standards. Beyond Skin soles are made in part from recycled rubber resin. Stamped on the bottom is “Genuinely Not Leather.”

Many in the creative world share Dean’s philosophy and adore the shoes: Chrissie Hynde, Phoebe Philo, Alison Goldfrapp, Pink, Leona Lewis, and Natalie Portman. Portman wore Beyond Skin in her film V for



Vendetta and Sui Generis for the Oscars and Golden Globes in 2006.

Five percent of Beyond Skin’s profits goes to ethical charities that support people, animals, or the environment. The company has been honored by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, PETA, and the UK-based Vegan Society. 0





Shop inYour Closet

Cut down on waste by cutting up or otherwise repurposing forgotten duds into fab new pieces. By Danna WEiss


EvEry yEar we go out and buy new things to be trendy or because we just can’t resist or you know all the other reasons why. Then one day we realize we never wore all those clothes. We may think about the blown money, time lost searching through the piles, and the space everything took up, but we rarely think about the waste in general— which is sad for the environment and our wardrobe as well!

our fashion green gene. There we can simply remake our old duds to form some fab new pieces.

You know that top where the waist fits great, but the collar is odd? How about a “V” neck?

where you love the fit, but that “T” neck is kind of stretched out. Chop a boat neck, fold it over and insert elastic. Whoa—this top used to only go to work, now it will go out on the town!

Or that favorite dress that’s too snug in the tush? I see a blouse here! Be creative and have fun with this approach.

Not only are we creating more landfill waste, we’re adding to the pesticide problem as well. Cotton grown in the U.S. alone accounts for 25 percent of the pesticides used in this country. Buying less or buying organic and eco-friendly is a way of treading more lightly on our dear earth.

Here are three styles to kick off a new wardrobe rescued from the depths of your closet. It just takes a little sewing or tailoring:


The Winter shorts Take those great-fitting pants where the hem is too short and lop them off at the knee. Hem. Add a chic pair of tights, boots, a cute sweater— and a green fashionista is born.

The Poncho Remember that scarf you bought because you loved the print? You didn’t care that it was a bit too large and figured you’d just find a way to wear it? Dust it off, cut a hole in the top, throw it over your head, and wear something black underneath. Belt that baby to make one hot-looking office queen!

How do we do that? Step one begins in your closet. I know, that’s a terrifying place, but we need to get in there to maximize

You can’t imagine how liberating this green repurposing is! Just remember to leave seam allowance, plot before you cut, and save your leftover fabric for other items or rags. 0

The Off-the-shoulder Top Just take any of your snug-fitting cotton tops. You know the one to choose—

Danna Weiss, shown here, is an eco-life stylist and TV host.

RE-FASHION: For a new off-the-shoulder top, a few snips and a little elastic work wonders.




Altar Your Space

Designer and spiritual practitioner

Jagatjoti Khalsa shares his ideas for making your home beautiful,

comfortable, and uplifting

Paint smartly CliCk! To ge T Video Tip

TO JAGATJOTI kHALSA, the altar is the place “where you find peace, balance, harmony, and grace amid the dueling polarities of life.” His new book, Altar Your Space: A Guide to the Restorative Home, shows how to apply this perspective to your daily life—starting with your home environment. He says, “An altared home is a sanctuary for the body, heart, and soul of you and your family.” We’re pleased to share some of Khalsa’s many soulful design ideas here.

PEACEFUL OASIS: Design your living spaces for comfort and spiritual restoration. Even a child’s room (center photo) can combine stuffed toys and sacred figures.




Healing the
Wounds of War

Zainab Salbi’s Women for Women International offers hope to war survivors around the world

By Ev E kusHnEr

WHEn POliCymakErs anD PunDi Ts discuss war, they focus on armies, weapons, planes, and tanks. So says Zainab Salbi, 38, who founded Washington, D.C.-based Women for Women international to help women rebuild their lives after wars. An Iraqi national who still feels traumatized by the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, Salbi marvels that discourse about war rarely takes into account the way it rips apart civilians’ daily lives.

WOMEN AT WORK: Founder and CeO Zainab Salbi (above) examines a handwoven basket in rwanda. Handcrafted goods sold by Women for Women—such as embroidered garments from Kosovo (near right) or jewelry made in Afghanistan (far right)—help survivors become self-sufficient.

She notes that the nature of war has changed in modern times: “Before, it used to be an army fighting an army.” Now, she says, 90 percent of war casualties are civilians—largely women and children. Nevertheless, she says, we rarely hear of women’s wartime traumas, and the isolation and silence inflict further suffering.

finally talk about what they’ve seen: the destruction of their property and livelihoods, widespread slaughter (particularly of loved ones), and the rapes that the vast majority have experienced. A critical part of the recovery process is pairing female war survivors with sponsors who contribute a small amount of money each month and correspond via letters. (Read a sample letter.) The bonds fostered—akin to sisterhood— promote emotional healing. In 1992, after reading about rape and genocide in the former Yugoslavia, Salbi became determined to do for products, the organization something. Newly married, has assisted more than 120,000 she used money earmarked for women. But lending emotional her honeymoon and traveled support is an even more to Croatia twice to provide aid. important goal.

Women for Women brings their stories out of the shadows. Working in nine countries— Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Sudan—Salbi’s organization establishes support groups for women war survivors. The groups provide a forum in which they can

In 1993, she established Women Salbi’s nonprofit is committed for Women, quitting her job as to helping these survivors for an Arabic translator to work decades to come. As she points

(without pay) for her nonprofit. out, “War doesn’t stop with the

President Clinton writes about signing of a peace agreement.” 0 the organization in his book Giving, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation recently gave Women for Women $1.5 million.

By distributing nearly $40 million and providing vocational training and market access

Organic Style is a proud supporter of the Women for Women income-generating projects. See some of their goodsthat we offer in our boutique. Become a memberof the organization.




Chocolate to Live For

WHEn lifE givEs sOmE PEOPlE lEmOns, they make lemonade. When life gave chef and farmer Jeff Shepherd berries, he made artful, artisan chocolate. This 20-year veteran of the restaurant business replanted a defunct berry farm in the Applegate Valley region of southern Oregon in 2002, and the berry plants soon delivered.

patrons can shop for chocolate paired with the flavors of blue cheese, chipotle, black pepper, and dried pears from the Rogue Valley, along with traditional favorites like mint and hazelnut. (The rest of us can shop online.)

you and yours love what you taste, but, Shepherd says with pride, “There’s care with every batch, and we use only quality ingredients. Everything is made with love.” 0

Click! to see the

“Everything is made by hand in really small batches,” says Shepherd, and the output is a monumental task for his kitchen staff of just four. For Valentine’s Day, Lillie Belle is putting forth a trio of chocolates in a heart-shaped gift box—a Bing cherry-filled dark chocolate ganache, a nine-spiced Jamaican liquid caramel, and a white chocolate heart covering milk chocolate with a dash of Madagascar vanilla. Not only will


Lillie Belle chocolates combine organic fruit
and chocolate for divine hand-ma
de treats
By karEn sOlOmOn

Shepherd began making extraordinary preserves from his two acres of organic strawberries, marionberries, and raspberries. Then, ready to take things to the next level, he experimented with an organic proprietary chocolate blend, and soon gained popularity for his confections at the local Ashland and Medford farmers markets.

The Chocolatier’s art See Jeff Shepherd demonstrating how he makes his fruit-and-chocolate confections.

Today his summer-ripened berry cordials—the best selling of his 60 varieties of organic chocolates—are a huge critical and chocoholic hit, garnering attention from the New York Times, the Today Show, and a host of other media. He’s moved on from the farmers markets to over 300 stores nationwide, and an entirely posh retail operation that, he says, “looks like a jewelry store,” and which opened in Central Point, Oregon, last December.




Fashion’s Hottest
Color: Green
True colors that don’t poison the earth

By Danna WEiSS

designers to car companies each season. That’s why most designers come out with the same colors and trends at the same time.

There are alternatives. If you are purchasing clothing that’s certified organic—whether it’s cotton, bamboo, or hemp—the manufacturer

is probably using low-impact dyes. In many cases, it will be touted on their label or web site. So read the labels, ask questions, and don’t put trendiness ahead of well-being. 0

Danna Weiss is an eco life stylist and metaphysical jeweler.

liME GrEEn, fire engine red, and hot pink may be the spring colors you’ll find in the pages of glossy magazines, but wearing naturally dyed organic duds has also become a trend, as more people choose to avoid synthetic dyes.

Many conventional dyes contain ingredients such as formaldehyde, heavy metals, and dioxin—that are not only a potential hazard to textile workers but that can also make their way into our water.

Choosing clothing made with eco-friendly dyes and colors may mean you don’t quite follow the fashion herd. The color trail is long and usually begins with something called a “fashion forecaster”— someone who decides what colors the public will be attracted to. Forecasters sell their predictions to everyone from fashion

if you are unclear on choosing fabric dyes, here is a tip sheet:

natural dyes

have been used for centuries to color textiles, and are derived from plants, animals, minerals, and sometimes even insects. They can produce rich colors in a variety of shades. Colors may be somewhat less permanent than with other methods, and the dyeing process typically calls for the use of mordants—sometimes toxic minerals—to aid absorption.

Undyed natural color

means the fabric bears the original color of the fiber. The palette is limited (blues, greens, browns, and purples) compared to other fabrics. (And undyed doesn’t necessarily mean the fabric is organic, so check the certification.)

Clay dyes

are made using natural minerals and iron compounds from the earth for color. They can retain their color better than natural dyes.

Low-impact fiber-reactive dyes are synthetic dyes that chemically bond to the fiber molecules. They have diverse, vibrant tones, require less water for the dyeing process than conventional dyes, and use no heavy metals or known toxins.





Denis Hayes, coordinator of the first Earth Day, weighs in on where the environmental movement stands today. By BarBara tannEnBauM

On April 22, more than 1 billion people in over 170 countries around the world will celebrate the 39th annual Earth Day. The inspiration for the first Earth Day, held in 1970, came from a series of speeches by the late Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson, who urged campus activists to hold a nationwide environmental teach-in. Harvard student Denis Hayes heard the call, and soon was hired as the event coordinator. Some 20 million Americans took to the streets on April 22, 1970, launching today’s modern environmental movement. Hayes, an author, speaker, and political lobbyist in his spare time, is currently the president of the Seattle-based grant-giving Bullitt Foundation, dedicated to sustainable development.

QWhat do you see as the legacy of earth Day? A The event took place at a huge tipping point in our society. Before Earth Day, the environment did not resonate with political activists. They dismissed it as “the birds and squirrels issue.” In 1969, most Americans couldn’t give you a coherent definition of what