Earth Day And An Urban Angel

22nd April, 2014

Last year, when I was in Bali with the Timo Weiland design team, I connected with a friend from LA, Mark Wystrach, a serious eco warrior and founder of The People’s Movement ~ a shoe line that fights against single-use plastics. His stylish sneakers are built on soles made from up-cycled plastic bags cleaned off of those beautiful Indonesian beaches. Over a starry evening on the lawn of Deus Ex Machina, I grilled him about the work, and how he’d become an environmental defender and regular pilgrim to the island. Turned out he’s been following in footsteps first tread by jeweler John Hardy. JohnHardy2|ABOVE| John Hardy Large Hoop Earrings, Small Round Pendant Necklace and Slider Pendant Necklace JohnHardy3 JohnHardy4John Hardy brought Mark to Bali. He travels there several times a year now, but his inaugural trip was as accompaniment to a former girlfriend who was modeling for them. He saw how polluted the island had become, that it was choking in single-use plastics, washed ashore. He also got to see the inner workings of a company making conscious choices every day to create change.

Like so many of the designers we celebrate here, John Hardy is a sustainable luxury brand that goes beyond pretty mottos and truly makes things the right way. They use 100% reclaimed silver, and are dedicated to becoming completely carbon neutral, planting bamboo across Bali to offset emissions from their own print advertising, business travel and electricity use. Their entire Bali headquarters are even built from bamboo (and they’re beautiful)! The way John Hardy sees it, the immediately impending crises we face are forest management and water preservation. In both cases, bamboo plants help ~ offsetting carbon emissions, maintaining the water table and limiting soil erosion. JohnHardy5|ABOVE| Large Hoop Earrings |BELOW| Slim Band Ring With Diamond Pave JohnHardy6Their Bamboo collection represents their commitment to carbon neutrality, and a portion of its sales have always been used to fund the company’s continual bamboo plantings in Bali. This April, however, they’re extending this promise all the way to New York City, committing 20% of Bamboo collection sales on to TreesNY, an environmental nonprofit organization whose mission is to plant, preserve and protect NYC’s urban forest.

In our mass produced culture, fashion has earned its reputation for being very hard on our earth. There’s no question that our typical systems of production are unsustainable and environmentally destructive. Change will only happen as every one of us chooses to break our own habits and go out of our way to do things differently. We must remember to be stewards of the land, to leave it better than we found it. JohnHardy10My friend Mark’s convictions are contagious; he believes so deeply in his mission. Because of our talks in Bali, my sense of obligation and conscientiousness has irreversibly deepened. I’ve not been able to use so much as a plastic stirring stick or straw ever since! It’s so cool how positivity spreads, how John Hardy’s responsible business practices inspired those of Mark Wystrach and The People’s Movement ~ which in turn trickled down to help break some of my own bad habits, both as a businesswoman and a consumer. Earth Day, which we celebrate today, is as good a time as any to readdress our responsibility, to hold ourselves accountable for even the smallest choices.JohnHardy8|ABOVE| Slim Band Ring With Diamond Pave, Hinged Bangle, Slim Bangles and Small Round Ring With Diamond Pave JohnHardy9A lot of companies today sell catchy slogans supporting ideas about social responsibility. Often it’s just a lot of meaningless marketing department ‘greenwashing’ that isn’t backed up by their hidden business practices. The ones who really do it from the feet up are worth celebrating and supporting. Buying from the good guys won’t change the world overnight, but it will continue to set off chain reactions across society that may eventually right our imbalanced relationship to our natural resources. Let’s stop killing ourselves for convenience and instead adopt real accountability. Allow today to be a reminder of what is truly beautiful.

|EARTH DAY & AN URBAN ANGEL| starring Marina Ohm |PHOTOGRAPHY + STYLING| by Kelly Framel |HAIR + MAKEUP| by Ana Sicat |CLOTHING| by Honor |ALL JEWELRY| provided by John Hardy

  • lavieenliz

    I love those braids!!

  • Claire

    Something doesn’t sit right with me when a fashion blog like this starts addressing environmental issues. Whether sustainable or not, less consumption is the only thing that will make a difference and fashion blogs promote conspicuous consumption to a frightening degree. Patting yourself on the back for not using a plastic coffee stirrer isn’t going to make this blog exempt from that, and in fact smacks of a blatant hypocrisy no different than the corporate greenwashing you say you disapprove of.

    • theglamourai

      I absolutely hear what you are saying. If you have followed this site lately you will have noticed we are very interested in striking a genuine balance between celebrating beauty, talent, and design while also reminding ourselves and our readers that less is more. We are far from perfect but we are trying to be more aware and responsible every day, in big and small ways. Will my giving up plastic straws fix the environment? Sadly no, but it’s a practice of awareness that bleeds into a million other choices in my life, and perhaps my sharing that little fact will inspire a renewed conscientiousness in someone else. We are all trying to figure out what to do about an issue that is so much bigger than ourselves. It can feel futile to even try when you really think about how deep and wide our environmental irresponsibility reaches.

      These conversations belong on fashion blogs for the simple reason that they belong everywhere! The Glamourai has never been about having a new handbag every day. But we will continue to celebrate great design on these pages because we believe that artistic expression is one of the things that gives our lives on this earth real meaning. And when we find them, we will continue to celebrate brands who are genuinely dealing in both creativity and conscientiousness. A widespread, systemic change is the ultimate answer. John Hardy is an excellent example of how fashion companies can make a difference. Instead of closing up shop and pretending we don’t live in a worldwide, consumer-driven economy, they are pioneering carbon neutral business practices, recycling materials, and providing needed jobs.

      It’s an enormous issue with no simple solution, but I’m heartened to know that our readers are asking the right questions!


      • Rossana

        Kelly, once again, in your eloquent ways you have responded beautifully to your reader who brings up great points intelligently. XO

  • Elisa Taviti

    Simply amazing photos!

    xoxo, Elisa
    My Fantabulous World

  • Amazing photos! Love the bracelets<3

    New on

  • I love the collection it feels so fresh and young!

  • I love this, Kelly, and I have noticed each time you bring sustainability and more conscious consumption into your posts. Keep up the good work– I know it’s hard to strike a balance when you’re not an eco-blog, and I think your message about quality, timelessness, and beauty (innter and outer) comes through loud and clear. xo Rachel

  • Nico

    What wonderful details!

    How to wear a FOULARD/SCARF tutorial on lowbudget-lowcost Fashion Blog

  • Well said, both in your post and in the comments. I’m so happy to see a grown-up conversation about this issue, rather than people attacking one another. Both you and Claire are obviously very passionate about similar things, and approach them with grace and maturity. 🙂

    Thank you for being a great role model to other bloggers!

  • lindsey

    Love the jewelry, especially the earrings!

    • theglamourai

      The earrings are my favorite too!


  • It takes a special hoop earring to make me look twice and I think I’ve found it. Thanks for the intro to this great brand.

    xx Kayla

    • Kathy Boykin

      I totally agree with you on this…

  • JSchiff

    Really love this editorial–both the message behind it and the fresh and clean aesthetic.

  • shakti

    Such beautiful light!

  • Love your bracelet… amazing photos!

  • Stephanie

    Wow, this is a beautiful and poignant post. I really appreciate it, as someone who tries to live as sustainably as possible and also loves fashion.

  • Smith

    Excellent outfit….nice

    Best Formals for Men

TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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