TreeHugger, September 11, 2005
Cush Life and Chic Eco Make Window-Shopping Greener
by Erin Oliver
Those of us who follow green design have a pretty decent handle on how to find sustainable choices in the marketplace. There are a few major retailers that offer eco-choice (mostly in the food and grocery market) and online vendors provide great options for fashion, home décor and gadgetry. But ‘The System’ still isn’t set up to support casual green window-shopping, in other words, a stroll down the avenue probably won’t result in any groovy eco-finds. There are many reasons for the dearth of earth-friendly retail goods, but one of the most important is that small shop owners can have a tough time sourcing the stuff. But there is a growing number of eco-savvy sources offering wholesale vending options for independent producers of sustainable goods. Cush Life and Chic Eco are two of these green middle-marketers helping to establish a thriving system for sustainability.
Cush Life promotes design made from local artists using recycled and sustainable materials. Their goal is to generate demand for these designs by giving them as much exposure as possible through selling wholesale to retailers, promoting designs in the media, and holding design shows to help spread the word. The site features some of the cutest skirts I’ve seen on the eco-web and the accessories are up-to-the-minute boutique worthy finds.
Chic Eco was founded in 1997 to make it easier for stores to source environmentally-friendly products. They serve specialty stores, gift shops, boutiques, architects, interior designers, consultants, garden markets and consumers. Their most high-profile contribution is the Chic Eco Directory, which provides environmental wholesale design sources for homes, bodies and gardens. The directory is a bit pricey at $125.00, but when you consider the work it takes to document thousands of creative products made from artisans around the world and the one thousand verified business that distribute them, the cost makes a lot of sense.
Yogitimes, July/August 2003
Chíc Eco Directory
Reviewed by Slim
If you are a conscientious consumer in regards to earth friendly products (since you are reading this in YOGItimes you probably are!) then an essential addition to your reference library is the “Chíc Eco Directory.” This years 2003 edition is the fourth in an on-going updated yearly publication that is a wealth of information concerning manufacturing of goods ranging from buttons, rugs, upholstery, and jewelry to lotions, potions, and original fashions! Aside from the extensive listings, 140 pages and counting, resource material is also provided concerning periodicals, associations, and helpful internet sites, as well as a helpful glossary. There is even a geographical index listed by state, and also countries outside the United States. Published by Delia Montgomery, who provides a worthy and concise “green reference bible.”
In Business, March/April 2002
New Directory Describes Eco Artists And Suppliers
Following a career in fashion merchandising, Delia Montgomery of Lexington, Kentucky founded Chíc Eco to provide environmental fashion consulting. Areas covered include product development, retail purchases as well as marketing and strategic planning. Her latest project is what she refers to as “the ultimate green business tool” – Chíc Eco Directory 2002 Edition.
More than 700 businesses are listed with contact information, descriptions of merchandise and materials used, ordering data with notes on minimum purchases, etc. Montgomery’s comments on many companies listed bring a special quality to the numerical data:
- For Ontario’s alme inc., we learn it’s “a family owned and operated business with a vision to produce quality, environmentally sound, socially responsible goods for sustainable living .. Donating 25 percent of all profits to programs in environmental education .. and much involved in the Industrial Hemp revolution, too.”
- For Bailey, Colorado’s Body Botanicals: “Kristie holds a botany degree from Michigan State University, which has given her tools to design products that incorporate herbs for their therapeutic properties … Private labeling is welcome.”
- For Copperhead Studio in Spring Hill, Florida: Furniture, glass, jewelry, sculptures – “Especially important to artist Nita Mehnert is reuse of discarded materials to form beautiful items. Many of her works (fanciful reconstructions) display a sense of humor.”
- Kevyn Woven Hempen Home of Wolf Creek, Oregon – Small weaving business in the Oregon woods, spinning yarn and weaving beautiful fabrics (from area rugs and bedspreads to scarves and vests) from a mixture of hemp and silk to the newest in organic fibers.
- For Maud N Lil of Sydney, Australia – Apparel, bedding, toys … made from certified organic cotton or wool. “Owners pride themselves in their design capabilities and with beautiful products at excellent value prices.”
- Pro-Knit of Brooklyn, New York – blankets and throws from U.S.-grown organic cotton, “designed with beauty and comfort in mind.” Minimum order is $200.
- Two Star Dog of Berkeley, California – Company produces five major seasonal lines each year with specialty clothing carried in all kinds of stores – from hippie havens to health resorts and high-end boutiques. Minimum – $400, yet closeouts are sometimes offered without minimums.
Environmental Ink, August 2002
Reserve Your Free Directory Listing Now
The Chíc Eco Directory is now accepting new listings for its annual publication which features hundreds of companies that create and manufacture environmentally friendly personal care products and items for the home and garden. Delia Montgomery, author of the Directory, is also encouraging confirmation of existing listings.
“The Chíc Eco mission is to help preserve our planet by supporting designers and their businesses that recycle or create fashionable products in a nontoxic manner thereby enhancing consumer consciousness,” she said.
In its fourth year, the Directory includes nearly one thousand listings of sustainable enterprises which directly and indirectly cater to fashion, design and healthy lifestyles. Earth-friendly sources with products that range from jewelry to wall paint, feature creative and hard-to-find artisans with a mission to inspire interest in environmentally conscious businesses.
The Directory is a great tool for entrepreneurs, retailers, marketers, artisans, distributors, wholesalers, students, farmers and consumers. Listings include sustainable wood materials and furniture; nontoxic paints and finishes; outdoor furniture and accessories made from recycled plastics or sustainable wood; bamboo or creative fencing; organic seeds and plants; interior eco fibers and bedding; apparel for all ages made from natural or recycled fabrics; jewelry designed with sustainable resources; aromatherapy featuring pure essential oils; non-petroleum cosmetics and makeup void of animal testing, and much more.
“This directory is full of sustainable enterprises which directly and indirectly caters to fashion, design and healthy lifestyles. Find earth-friendly sources with products that range from jewelry to wall paint and ordinary to amazing in all price ranges. The author has a candid thirst for creativity and hard-to-find artisans with a clear mission to inspire interests in environmentally-conscious businesses. A great tool for entrepreneurs (including farmers), retailers, marketers and students.Everything organic or recycled with exception to food, supplements and cleaning solvents are included.”
– Jerome Goldstein, Editor & Publisher, In Business Magazine (2001 Editorial Review)
“Living Tree Paper Company is proud to have provided the tree-free Vanguard Hemp!” paper for the Chíc Eco Directory where Delia practices what she prescribes. I can testify to the thoroughness of this book and highly recommend it to eco-fashion job marketeers, as many of the sources are seeking sales representatives. Green retailers should appreciate the no-travel ease to stock their stores. Ecological designers will find this directory imperative for their manufacturing needs and individuals will be empowered by learning where the earth-friendly products they want to purchase are made.”
– Harry Bondareff, Vice-President, Living Tree Paper Company (2000 Review)
“Delia has compiled a wealth of information for farmers and weavers to distributors and retailers. This research provides hope that the glamorous spirit of fashion can rule the environmental absurdities of government to what we crave for our planet. Her ongoing commitment to publish local and abroad artisans will predestine her existing and future directories to become global bibles within fashion and design industries.”
– Kentucky attorney, industrial hemp advocate & gubernatorial candidate, Gatewood Galbraith (1999 Review)
Directory Review Testimonials
Paolina Sparti, EcoVogue, Retailer 2004
The directory is fabulous… I can’t believe how much info and how much farther I’ve gotten with all my plans in just a few days with it!
Slim, YogiTimes, Jul/Aug 2003
If you are a conscientious consumer in regards to earth friendly products, an essential addition to your reference library is the Chíc Eco Directory. Published to provide a worthy and concise “green reference bible.”
Vicky Uhland, Natural Home Magazine, Nov/Dec 2002
Delia Montgomery is your personal shopper for eco-friendly clothes and household furnishings.
Karen Madsen, E Magazine, Jul/Aug 2002
… like a fashion secretary for homes, bodies or gardens providing green sources for everything from house paint to shoes.
Jerome Goldstein, In Business Magazine, May/Jun 2002
Delia is always spotting new trends and potential niches in the environmental fashion world. She continually observes what’s “in.”