A few weeks ago I was approached by Emily's PR office and asked if I would be interested to introduce Emily Anderson and her latest book' Eco -Chic Home' to my readers.
After learning about her and seeing her books I readily agreed. Her philosophy, ideas for green living and her radical attitude to a more sustainable life had me immediately interested.
I subscribe to many of her ideas. Mindful living, re-use and re-purposing has been a part of my daily life for many years. To reduce waste and wastefulness in general is something I try to teach my children.
Emily Anderson has published two more green living books, and is an industry recognized lifestyle and eco-living expert. Previously, she worked in marketing and brand management at Vanity Fair Magazine and Donna Karan New York, leading to her role as Marketing Director at Martha Stewart Living Omni media Inc.
She left her corporate life to write her first book, Eco Chic Weddings, which was published in 2007 by Random House. Emily then wrote a green home book for Popular Mechanics (Hearst Publishing), and in May 2010, Emily’s book Eco Chic Home was published by Skipstone Publishing.
A unique take on green living has given Emily the opportunity to have her work featured in national and international newspapers and magazines, including Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies Home Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post, Canadian Living, Martha Stewart, and more. Emily has also been a frequent guest on television and radio shows such as NBC’s Today Show, CBS’ The Early Show, Martha Stewart Radio, and NPR. Emily’s keen insight into consumer trends has given her the opportunity to work with businesses on eco-lifestyle brand development projects including the recent re branding of Origins (Estee Lauder) and Scott Brand Naturals line “green done right.”
Through her regular articles, appearances and social media Emily has a growing and dedicated audience of influential, green-minded style-seekers who want to be green but don’t want to make unrealistic sacrifices in the process.
Emily Anderson’s writing and designs promote sustainable style, fair trade, environmental awareness, and being a good global citizen, but she also stresses the value of business and its power to effect change.
I posted a couple of questions to her and she was kind enough to answer:
V.Z. What inspires you?
E.A. When it comes to design and decor ideas, I find a lot of inspiration from vintage items I have in my collection, fabrics from the sixties and seventies, things from my mother who was an interior designer and owned a home decor store. I also have a huge collection of vintage clothes, much of it handmade by the women in my family, my grandmothers, mother, and aunts who all loved fashion. I also draw a lot of my inspiration from everyday people--people I relate to, whether they're parents, or single people working in a city, even someone living in the middle of the country--I try to come up with things that resonate with a lot of different people who have two things in common--they like style, and they want to make more thoughtful consumer choices that are sustainable and support social justice.
In terms of my focus on conscious consumerism, making eco-friendly choices, thinking about how people are treated in other parts of the world who are making the stuff we buy. I read a lot, pay attention to the news, what's happening in places like Haiti, China, and I also read about what big businesses are doing. Companies like Wal-Mart can tell you everything you need to know about what's happening in the consumer market--domestically and internationally. They spend millions on consumer research, market testing, product placement. So I use them to help me with my own business. I also think that working for successful brands helps me have insight. When I develop an idea, such as my Paper Crane Chandelier, I know not everyone will take to it, but to make it accessible I have to make is very user-friendly, and not just pretty to look at. I take this approach with all of my designs, and all of the things I write about.
V.Z. When did you begin to think in terms of of Eco- Chic?
E.A. A number of years ago, I wanted to find a way to merge my love of Yoga, my desire to give back, and my experience in fashion and design. I happened to be planning my own wedding, and having spent a few years in the wedding and events business while working for Martha Stewart, I decided to focus on weddings. It seemed the perfect time to take a moment to rethink your lifestyle choices, decor, entertaining, beauty, food, travel--as any bride will tell you, planning a wedding pretty much takes over every aspect of your life. So, going a little more Eco-Chic when picking your flowers will also help you make the same changes in your life after the big day.
V.Z. What is your idea of the perfect holiday?
E.A. Snow on the ground, clear blue skies, a warm fire, and my family all around me. The perfect gifts...Purposeful, made with sustainable materials, wrapped in something reusable, well-designed, and produced using fair labor :)
V.Z. Any eco chic ideas for decorating the halls?
E.A. Wrapping paper: think about using the unusual--the funny papers, kraft paper, leftover tissue paper from a recent purchase, fabric remnants trimmed with pinking sheers (to keep edges from fraying).
Ribbons and Bows: Dried Pinecones or Dried Leaves painted with silver and gold paint, twine, fluffy white pompom made from plastic shopping bags, fabric bows, ornaments--all of these items can be used to decorate your gifts, or your home.
I usually like to work with the natural palette of my home when I decorate--which for me is blues, grey, lavender, honeysuckle (Pantone's color of the year, btw!) One bonus of this route is that you may have extra fabric, tassels, and other accessories on hand that already complement your home, all you need is a little greenery to bring the holiday spirit to life!
The Christmas Tree: I know a lot of people don't like this, but I have a fake tree I use each year (because I live in an apartment, it's a small one) I just hate throwing the dead tree out on the street each year, but that's just me and this is a personal choice. I wouldn't dream of telling you not to have a tree. However, there are some things you must do if you have a live tree for the holidays. First, when you're ready to toss it, you have to remove all decorations, lights, tinsel, hooks, everything--otherwise, it won't be recycled. Second, log-on to Earth911.org to find out when your town is scheduling the tree pick-up day or days.
Thank you, Emily! I am so happy you could take the time! Happy holidays to you and your family!
Reading her latest book inspired me even more to recognize ways to safe energy, re-use materials otherwise discarded and her fun and easy to do projects will appeal to many readers.
Some of Emily’s Eco-Chic Ideas for the Holidays:
1. Have a Heartfelt Holiday: How to make felt out of old sweaters and make a variety of gifts, including: Laptop sleeves, iPod/iPhone cover, nesting bowls, coasters, neck warmer, bracelet, ornaments, clutch bag
2. Re-Newspaper for the Holidays: Five Ways to use Newspaper Paper to Make Holiday Décor: Mini-trees, wrap party favors, party hats, vases, garland, blossoms on the wall, napkin rings, placemats, baskets etc.
3. Fabric in Your Life: Different ways to use fabric, remnants, old clothes for gifts, décor and wrapping paper; make a tree skirt from a real skirt, use traditional Japanese technique to wrap gifts in squares of fabric, recover chairs with temporary “festive” fabric.
I immediately liked her very informative and thought provocing blog EA good with style.
She can also be found on Facebook and twitter.
Many small steps can lead to great results and the idea to take notice of the world around us and to protect what has been given to us is a message I am only to glad to pass on!
Many thanks to Emily Anderson to have given me the opportunity to get to know her and her work!
And this leads - drum roll - to my first give away!
Eco - Chic Home can be yours! Become a follower of my blog and for an extra chance to win follow Emily on her blog and/or like her on Facebook!
Last entry by December 22, 2010 6PM. I will draw on December 23, 2010.