What is luxury? It seems that luxury is built upon the foundation of status. I would argue that the very foundation of status is rapidly changing before our eyes. Today, it seems to me that status is more derived from what you stand for rather than what shoes (sorry Christian Louboutin!) you stand in. It is about seeking collective change rather than seeking to own the unobtainable. We are moving towards a world full of movements: #MeToo, #Guncontrol, #AnythingImportantToYou! It is driving a Tesla rather than a Ferrari. It is carrying a reusable Whole Foods Bag rather than a Birken bag. Times are changing, and we are all better off for it! We live in a luxurious time indeed!
EARLY MORNING LUXURY
To me, luxury is that morning cup of coffee. Apparently, however, Keurig Cups are not particularly good for the environment (but they are damn easy to use) as they result in the needless use of plastic. Then there are the folks that satisfy their desire for coffee at the Starbucks of the world. Most of those folks take it away in paper cups that are used once and then disposed. It is also apparent that most paper doesn't find its way to being recycled but instead finds its way into landfills. What if the process of making those paper cups could be drastically reduced/eliminated (hallelujah!)? Ecoffee has created a cup that will last a very long time. It consists of recyclable bamboo fiber which is comfortable to drink from and dishwasher safe. This cup keeps your coffee luxuriously warm. You can even bring it to your local Starbucks for a refill. Often times coffee shops will even give you a discount for bringing your own cup. You can also choose a cup style/pattern that matches your own!
EARLY AGE LUXURY
We like to shower our children with love. Who doesn't? Sometimes that love comes in the form of toys --- more toys than any child could play within their lifetime. Big, beautiful, durable toys that are inevitably made of plastic and very rarely recycled. EcoBirdy is collecting all the old toys and making children's furniture from them while teaching children a valuable lesson in the process. They have created a specialized recycling machine that takes plastic toys and converts the material into recycled plastic before one's eyes. From there, they use this recycled plastic to make original children's furniture. Not only are they doing this, but they have made a book to teach the process to children to engage them in the environmental movement at a young age. Maybe they will question the next large plastic toy that comes their way!
NEAR FUTURE LUXURY
Leather is a luxurious material. With leather, good ol' Mother Nature produced a material that is durable, flexible, and warm. It provides adequate protection for its bearer, especially the cow. However, the flipside of leather as a luxe product is the raising and slaughtering of cattle, and honestly, are those shoes worth that? According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the production, processing, and distribution of meat and related materials require huge outlays of pesticides, fertilizer, fuel, feed, and water while releasing greenhouse gases, manure and a range of toxic chemicals into our air and water. Some luxury designers, like Stella McCartney, understood ethical eco-fashion long ago and banned leather and fur from all her collections. Now, other designers can easily follow suit. The company Modern Meadow is chemically reproducing leather in ways that are less impactful on the environment. Their product looks, feels, insulates, and even smells like natural leather. I am waiting for my Modern Meadow jacket from Stella McCartney in the near future!