“We make the future of adventure gear,” the brand rightly states on their website, which features pages and pages of science-backed information and videos about the engineering of their outdoor adventure gear, which was designed with extreme athletes, campers, and outdoor adventurers in mind.
Image via Vollebak
Vollebak’s “Solar Charged” jacket stores sunlight, protects from rain and headwinds, and glows in the dark. It was engineered with a phosphorescent compound that rapidly absorbs and stores light, then re-releases that light slowly as day turns to night.
In the video below, watch how the team’s solar powered jacket glows kryptonite green in the dark after charging in the sun all day. Once charged by the sun, the jacket can glow for up to 12 hours, making the transition from daytime to nighttime that much more seamless (it’s great for camping, as you might imagine).
The Solar Charged Jacket filmed over 24 hours - YouTube
“Even if you took away this jacket’s ability to store sunlight, you’d still be left with one of the most technologically advanced jackets ever made,” the brand explains on their website. “That’s because the light-responsive material is also insanely high performance. While the jacket is waterproofed to keep you dry from ocean spray or summer showers, it’s also soft and breathable enough for any sport, and so thin you can roll it up into your hand.”
When fully charged, Vollebak’s solar powered jacket will glow in the dark for up to 12 hours.
The 100 Year Hoodie is made with Kevlar fiber– a durable and heat-resistant fabric that is often used in ballistic-rated body armor. In a video on their website, the Vollebak team drags it across a tarmac tailing from a motorbike, over rocks and through rivers without getting damaged. It’s like the Nalgene Waterbottle of clothing, in that it cannot break, even if you try.
Vollebak’s Night Visibility Jacket, meanwhile, is super reflective despite being jet black. There are 22 black dots embedded with 60,000 black glass spheres to reflect light back at any source from eight key points in the body– elbows, wrists, shoulders, head, hips. According to experimental psychologists, the human brain’s embedded “pattern recognition systems” require only eight dots of light to recognize a shape as a human form when left in complete darkness. “Our brains are so good at it,” Vollebak claims, “That in 0.25 seconds we can predict what [the person is] doing, where they’re going, and how fast.”
As of this writing, Vollebak only makes clothing for men, but we’re hoping they’ll soon expand to include a women’s collection. Solar-power jackets are a good idea, regardless of what gender they serve.
The Garden Conservancy has announced the U.S. theater release dates of Gravitas Venture’s beautiful new documentary about renowned plantsman and Garden Conservancy founder, Frank Cabot.
With its poignant cinematography and endearing narrative style, The Gardener explores Cabot’s creation of Les Quatres Vents— his magnificent garden in Charlevoix County, Québec, which took over 75 years to complete and is now regarded as one of the most stunning private gardens in the world.
Directed by Sebastien Chabot, The Gardener openly reflects on the meaning of gardening and its impact on our lives, while exploring the creative mind of a man who was known by many to be both “eccentric, and a genius.” (Cabot died at the age of 86, in 2011.)
Many of the scenes created in the garden look as if they were pulled from a Wes Anderson film. “It’s garden theater, really,” one observer aptly notes.
Select screenings of The Gardeners will air on Wednesday, March 28 at 7PM at various theaters around the country:
As the New York Times recently reported, the New York Botanical Garden– one of the oldest institutions on the New York culture map– recently hired its first female president, 58-year-old Carrie Rebora Barratt, who comes to the organization from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
At a time when #MeToo and the politics of gender dynamics have never been more visible, Barratt’s hiring marks a progressive step forward, if nothing more than for what it represents. Much like in the realms of photography, fashion, and art, gardening and the institutions that surrounding it have long been male-dominated affairs– at least when it comes to positions of power.
Image via New York Botanical Garden
Horticulture, landscape design, and master gardening, while inclusive of women at the participatory level, tend to become institutionalized along the same power structures as any other industry, with men leading from the top down and few women advancing to positions of major influence.
Barrett will succeed current President and CEO Gregory Long, who has led the institution for an innovative and extremely successful 29 years. Her start date is July 1, 2018.
Once of the first major exhibits under Barrett’s administration will be the summer run of “Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai’i,” which will open at NYBG on May 19. The exhibit represents a continuation of the plant-art theme that the garden continues to pioneer as they curate their special exhibits– a theme that Barrett’s seems well positioned to continue, given her background in the art world.
The highly anticipated Edible Academy will also launch this summer at the garden. An initiative designed to provide education, hands-on activities, and programs to help children and families learn about growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs, the academy will be helmed by Vogue‘s favorite farmer and founder of Eagle Street Rooftop Farm Annie Novak– another amazing women who is advancing the cause of gardening in New York City, one seedling at a time.
The plant-based polyethylene proposed for this new product will be sourced from sugarcane to make a plastic-like material with the same structural properties as true polyethylene. (Sugarcane is indigenous to tropical South and Southeast Asia, and is not invasive– unlike bamboo, for which it is occasionally mistaken. According to MIT Technology Review, it’s also just as cheap to make plastic from sugar cane as it is to make it from petroleum, a boon to both business and the environment.)
“We are proud that the first Lego elements made from sustainably sourced plastic are in production and will be in Lego boxes this year,” said Tim Brooks, Lego’s vice president for environmental responsibility. “This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all Lego bricks using sustainable materials.”
Lego is aiming for zero waste operations as part of its membership in the RE100— a consortium of the world’s most influential companies committed to using 100% renewable power. Lego has also committed to using sustainable materials in all of its products by 2030– a noble goal towards which using sugarcane based plastic is a first step.
Lego joins a handful of high-profile companies that are finally beginning to embrace sustainability as a cornerstone of their new business model. Apple, IKEA, Adobe, and Burberry have all made 100% renewable pledges– and more and more companies are joining the pledge every day.
All of which makes turning away from technology and maximizing one’s interaction with nature even more appealing.
Photo: Andreana Bitsis
“For only the second time in the last century, the number of farmers under 35 years old is increasing, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest Census of Agriculture,” the Post reports. “Sixty-nine percent of the surveyed young farmers had college degrees — significantly higher than the general population.”
What’s more, a survey conducted by the National Young Farmers Coalition shows that the majority of these young farmers did not come from agricultural families– which is likely a reflection of the growing popularity of the local food movement, which has cemented itself in the cosmology of American eating. In some states, the number of farmers under the age of 35 has increased over 20 percent.
Whereas older generations saw agriculture as a means to an end, young people, it seems, view growing food as a conduit for exercising political views, a symbol of aspirational living, and a deeply fulfilling vocation in addition to sustenance– and if the pattern continues, it will also prove itself to be a healthy, modern way to work. Read the full article over at the Washington Post.
Earlier this year at the 48th World Economic Forum in Davos, the Earth Bank of Codes and the Earth BioGenome Project announced a partnership to create sequence all life on Earth in the next 10 years. Ambitious? Yes. Impossible? That’s to be determined.
In addition to establishing an open source record of all existing data on living things (which would no doubt spur innovation in drug, textile, and energy production) experts speculate that such an endeavor would also curb attempts to defy the Nagoya Protocol— an international quorum to protect and secure access to genetic information.
Now, according to new reporting from Fast Company, entrepreneur and Chairman of Space Time Ventures Juan Carlos Castilla-Rubio is beginning this process with a pilot program that proposes to register all biological assets in the Amazon rainforest on a public blockchain, which he believes could form the basis of a new environmentally friendly intelligence based economy.
“We posit that there is a multi-trillion-dollar innovation opportunity if we make these assets visible to entrepreneurs and corporations around the world,” Castilla-Rubio told Fast Company. “We can develop a whole new bio-economy based on these assets.”
Much like the Human Genome Project– which sequenced a complete genetic map of human beings in 2013– the ABC’s data would be open and would establish an ethical protocol for the use of this genetic data, with provisions to ensure that the plants, animals, and other species being sequenced would remain protected and invulnerable from private interest. Read the rest of the article in full over at Fast Company.
Pressed Juicery is arguably the best juice bar in New York City, and not just because they were early adopters of the trend. The new innovations they’ve made using cold-pressed, non-GMO juices are changing the game of how it is consumed.
Take, for example, their colorful superfood lemonades and their “freeze” option– a signature method of making sorbet and “fro-yo” out of frozen juices and nut milks. By presenting culturally ‘sexy’ idea through the lens of superfoods, Pressed has made them more accessible.
Photo: Pressed Juicery
The ingredients chosen for their superfood lemonades– a collaboration to honor Vogue‘s 125th Anniversary– were selected for antioxidant and skin hydrating properties. Their good-for-you Pink Lemonade, which features lemon, pitaya, rose water, goji berry, camu camu, captured Instagram’s heart alongside it’s, Pressed’s bright blue lemonade, which was colored with blue spirulina.
“Bold colors are really trending right now,” Hayden Slater, one of the brand’s co-founders, told us when the collaboration was still ongoing. Slater was quick to acknowledge the culturally salient aesthetics that made the colorful juices so appealing.
“I’ve never seen color like what was in our two lemonades that wasn’t artificial,” he said. “It was all about education– taking a lemonade and adding functional benefits to it, making it aspirational, functional, and fun.”
Photo: Pressed Juicery
Even more innovative, however, is Pressed’s “Freeze” option, which does for juice and nutmilks what 16 Candles did for Fro-Yo.
Freeze is soft-serve made from 100% fruits, nuts, and vegetables (its non-dairy, gluten-free, and has no refined sugars). One can add toppings just like at an icecream bar, the likes of which include: blueberries, strawberries, shaved almonds, coconut, chia seeds, almond butter, cacao drizzle, honey, and other fruits, seeds, and nuts.
This particular innovation initially began with green juice, which remains their most popular option. “People just want the nutrition,” Slater adds. (At Pressed, drinks are formulated based on scientific research and an awareness of what superfoods people are looking for in juice at any given time– another aspect of their business model that sets Pressed apart from some industry peers.)
“Freeze took about 2 years to develop; some people interpret it as a soft serve— but its an alternative to fro-yo or ice-cream made from 100% produce; no binders or chemicals,” Slater points out. “It’s really our way of celebrating health and wellness, and also educating people. Education is not just what you read or having a conversation; its through trial.”
On a recent visit to the shop, an older man in a suit gets a freeze “sundae” to go. “People come in asking for 5 Size-2 vanillas that they keep in their freezer at home,” a cashier knowingly whispers.
Photo: Pressed Juicery
Of course, for each boundary broken there must be an equal and opposite experiment. The brand’s “Heat” option rides the wave of interest in herbal tonics by introducing five plant-based lattes made without coffee.
The Turmeric Latte, Vanilla Almond Latte, Matcha Latte, Beetroot Latte, and Immunity Tonic (made with apple, ginger, lemon, and cayenne) reimagine morning drinks as vehicles for healing superfoods– a boon to those who loved the Unicorn Latte.
Bursting with the expected bright colors and nutrient profile to match, they are perfect fodder for Instagrammers: a quick hashtag search on Instagram reveals over 38,000 entries for #turmericlatte alone.
Pressed’s “Freeze” option does for juice and nutmilks what 16 Candles did for Fro-Yo.
Ultimately, however, the brand’s ethos of “Make it Delicious / Make it Nutritious / Make it Accessible / Make it Affordable / Make it for Everyone” boils down to humility and a willingness to experiment with the tropes that many people are conditioned to doubt or rolls their eyes at– until, that is, they try them.
As a result of this success, Pressed is currently working on expanding the Freeze and Heat options to all of their locations in various cities across the U.S.
“We didn’t invent juice,” Slater is quick to note.
“Juice has been around for thousands of years… but what we do is put a lot of heart and soul into creating something that’s for everyone– every shape, size, and color, whether they’re a kid, a woman, a man, or older– whether they’re ‘living the lifestyle’ or not doesn’t matter; they can walk into a store and find something for them.
What’s the best way to use face oil? How should face oils be layered? What’s the best botanical face oil?
If you’re a skin junkie interested in natural skincare, chances are you’ve had one of these thoughts before.
“My theory is that the use of topical plant based oils has been around since humans discovered medicinal plants and herbs in prehistoric times,” says Medical Esthetician Jordana Mattioli of New York City’s CompleteSkinMD. “We actually have data from ancient times; from Egyptian texts in 1550 BC to first century AD Greek physician references, which show hundreds of medicinal plant uses. Fast forward to the modern day, where we now have the ability to properly research and thoroughly test the benefits of these beautiful ingredients.”
Photo: Maggie Varadhan
All of this, moreover, has lead facial oils to have a big resurgence in skincare the past five years, and rightly so.
Face oils feel good on the skin, have amazing benefits, and leave skin with a natural, glow-y radiance. Plus: plant-based oils go beyond just moisturizing– they offer multiple benefits for the skin, from fighting inflammation to carrying powerful, protective antioxidants.
If you’re new to face oils, Mattioli says, treat them like you would a moisturizer.
“Use a face oil on top of active ingredients like a serum, but under sunscreen. Most skin types will find facial oils hydrating enough to use on their own, but its totally safe and effective to mix them into your moisturizer or even layer underneath.
Experiment and see what works best for you! The biggest mistake you can make when using a facial oil is using a single ingredient oil, like pure argan oil, or just coconut oil. Just as your body needs different nutrients from different foods, your skin will benefit from using a blend of oils instead of just one.”
Photo: Andreana Bitsis
“Skin types that are normal to dry will usually love the feel of a facial oil, where as oily skin may not. Just because it is an oil doesn’t mean it will always leave the skin with a dewy look or potentially clog pores. In fact, many oils can actually help improve skin function by guiding it to be more balanced.”
What Oils Should We Look For?
“If you have Oily Skin, look for omega-6 rich oils that are high in Linoleic acid. Common oils include acai, black cumin, cucumber seed, evening primrose, grape seed, hemp seed, maracuja, prickly pear, pumpkin seed, raspberry seed, safflower, soybean, tomato seed, watermelon seed,” Mattioli says.
“For Dry Skin, look for omega-9 rich oils high in oleic acid, like almond, apricot, avocado, camellia, carrot seed, hazelnut, macula, olive, or shea.”
“For Sensitive Skin, look for omega-3 rich oils high in a-Linolenic acid, like sea buckthorn, rosehip, cranberry seed, and chia seed.”
If you have very reactive or sensitive skin, look for face oils without (or with minimal) fragrance or essential oils. And as always, it’s best to patch test before using a new product.
Our founder grew up in a West Coast home with a garden full of potted Meyer Lemons, and in her opinion, that is the best indoor citrus plant you can buy. The Meyer Lemon is beautiful, iconic, and easy to care for; you just need sun, the correct soil, fertilizer, and a perfected watering schedule.
For those looking to become a #PlantMom to a citrus tree, we recommend buying indoor lemon trees from Four Winds in California— that’s where we got the Meyer Lemon Tree in this article’s photos. (Be advised that Four Winds offers plenty of advice for caring for this plant on their site– every tree we have purchased from them has been a success.)
For fertilizer, we recommend Dr. Earth Natural Wonder to ensure that the tree is well nourished from the roots up (this is a critical step in caring for citrus that most novices overlook).
As Four Winds points out, dwarf citrus trees are especially well-suited to container growing, which keeps them at a manageable size.
Weather it! Condition your lemon tree to the weather if you have changing seasons– put the pot out in the day and bring it in at night so that they slowly adjust to changing temperatures while maximizing direct sun. Eventually, depending on your growing region, you may be able to leave them out full time.
Comfy Commode! Remember to plant your tree in an appropriately sized pot with adequate drainage. A 12″, 5-gallon pot with 4-5 drainage holes in the bottom is ideal for a tree that is 2-3 years old, according to Four Winds.
Fertilizer! Apply the fertilizer we mentioned above only to the soil surface of a plant whose roots have settled. Don’t use a soil mix that contains fertilizer, and when you do apply fertilizer to the surface, don’t mix it in. You don’t want to disturb those roots!
Drainage! Elevate pots above standing drainage water– you want soil at about 50% moisture at all times.
Sun! Face indoor citrus plants to the south or southeast– like the one we photographed facing downtown Manhattan, above. Citrus needs about 8 hours of sunlight per day, and if they can’t get it, you should invest in grow lights.
Evocative of both romantic Italian vistas and lush culinary scenes, Meyer Lemons are a functional and beautiful decor element. We love the way they look, as they add a refined elegance to any window.
Plus, lemons are so trendy right now: they are having a renaissance of visibility given the success of Beyoncé’s era-defining Lemonade, N.E.R.D. & Rihanna’s “Lemon,” and the general obsession that plant-based Instagrammers, models, and actresses have with hot lemon water. Meyer Lemon is also the key ingredient in Sqirl’s famous pesto sorrel rice bowl, and as well as Bedford Cheese Shop’s baked lemon ricotta. In 2018, moreover, this particular fruit is more relevant and visible than ever. So whether you’re a plant lover, a food lover, or simply a design lover, this is one indoor tree that can do no wrong.
Looking for the best way to decorate your home without spending lots of money on renovations? Look no further than ceramics and detail pieces.
While small and relatively cheap, a few statement pieces placed on key surfaces can make even the most drab spaces look brand new– and this Spring, ceramics and vessels are projected to be as trendy as ever, with outlets like the New York Times continuing to point out that handmade ceramics are “totems of good taste.”
Earlier this year, Vogue even went so far as to proclaim that “Pottery Is The Next Big Mindfulness Trend.” We tend to agree. Whereas detail-oriented designers of past eras doted over name-brand kitchen and design fixtures as signifiers of good taste, now, it appears that when it comes to interior design elements, bespoke is better.
Linda Hsiao, the industrial designer behind Knotwork LA, creates her ceramics concepts as “an outlet to identify the work we do in our spare time, it began as evenings and weekends spent in the shop and studio, precious pieces of wood saved from other projects or found while hiking, ideas that came to us in the middle of the night, and a desire to create beautiful, useful things.”
Inspired by natural materials like wood and ceramic, each piece is made by hand– and we particularly love her Garden Dish Catchalls, both in theme and function. Harkening to both the fact that people are increasingly interested in products that are handmade, these nature-inspired catchalls have an asymmetric, imperfect quality that many (millenials, in particular) find endearing.
The 5″ x 5″ stoneware slabs are good for holding jewelry, incense, bobby pins, and food (yes– they are safe for that). With their delicate leaf porcelain inlays and thin glaze, they also pair nicely with the artist’s beautiful abstract planters. (For those of you looking for drainage plates for boutique vases, these are great option, though they are obviously designed for use in isolation.)
We particularly like the idea of buying a set of different sizes for use with different pots, or as holding vessels for succulents that haven’t yet rooted.
Line them on a window sill, fill them with small knick-knacks that don’t really have a place elsewhere, or use them to organize a desk or boudoir. The possibilities are at your discretion. We’re obsessed!
More info about Knotwork LA and other works can be found here.