Author: Joi

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The 25 Hours Hotel at Bikini Berlin is quite possibly the perfect place to stay when you’re in the city. I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of Berlin. It’s big, it feels cold and the people are not always so nice. When I decided to attend Berlin Fashion Week, I knew I needed to find a warm, fun, inspiring place to stay in order to change my perception.

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This hotel was the perfect choice. 25 Hours is a European based hotel chain with eight hotels in cities like Frankfurt, Hamburg and Vienna. I’d visited the Hamburg location while studying with the Do School, so when my roomie at the time and amazing friend Aryln recommended it I had to check it out. She knows the way to my sustainability and impeccable design loving heart.

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The hotel is inside Bikini Berlin, a really awesome concept mall/complex next to Berlin’s Zoo. “It’s an oasis in the heart of the city, an urban hub and social universe.” The hotel keeps the zoo/jungle theme and executes it perfectly. I really love the greenery, concrete walls and neon signs.

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If you’re feeling hungry you can pop on down to the bakery and grab yourself something to eat, browse some sustainable products at the kiosk or just veg out in one of their awesome hammocks. There is plenty of space to stretch out with floor to ceiling views of the zoo and city all the way around.

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I loved my room. I had a great view of the snow covered zoo and I LOVE the open showers. It was thrilled that the rooms were stocked with Stop the Water While Using Me products. I’ve been hoping to get them in the Green Store so it was nice to have a chance to try them out. IMG_7908

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I loved this creative living lobby on the ground floor to welcome you to the hotel.
Bikini Berlin

 

Bikini Berlin has lots of cool concept stores and cafes where you can grab an organic juice or a bite to eat. It’s also a great place to chill, read and people watch for awhile. They really nailed in when it comes to designing a creative place.

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I really loved this place, Funk You. I like the pop-uo box idea and the seamless design. It definitely gave me some inspiration for future projects. (photo credit: Bikini Berlin)

Funk You Bikini Berlin

But you don’t have to leave the hotel to get a good meal. The rooftop restaurant not only features a panaromic view of the zoo and city but a delicious menu of Mediterranean Foods And if you want a drink you can pop right over to the Monkey Bar. People wait hours to get into this place, but hotel guests can head up whenever they want. IMG_7912 2

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Oh, did I mention the best part? On the ninth floor there is a sauna. This was the perfect place to warm my cold, tired and achy bones from traveling. Afterwards, I had the hottest of steamy showers and dived head first into my comfy bed. It was probably one of the best sleeps I’ve ever had in my life. bikini berlin

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If you’re looking for the perfect place for a short stay in Amsterdam, look no further than the Sir Adam Hotel. One of the newest members of the Design Hotels family, Sir Adam is an urban nomad’s dream. Located just north of Amsterdam Centraal, Sir Adam is just a short (free) ferry ride away.

Situated right next door to the iconic Eye Film Museum, Sir Adam is housed in the iconic A’DAM Tower, built in 1971 on the Amsterdam IJ-river waterfront. Sir Adam offers 108 guestrooms with stunning views of the historic city and is in close vicinity to many of the city’s hippest movers and shakers.

Sir Adam Hotel River

A hotel designed around the love of music, Sir Adam is all about tapping into your inner rockstar. The hotel’s neighbors within the building include the internationally renowned guitar manufacturer Gibson, several music and entertainment companies and a medley of young creative companies with a passion for music.

At the top of the tower lives Madam, Amsterdam’s highest nightclub. The Tower is also home to a mix of shops, cafés, offices, a revolving rooftop restaurant, the LOOKOUT observation deck, the subterranean nightclub Shelter, and a rooftop swing that sends adventurers flying above the water below.

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ICRAVE, the renowned New York-based design studio, is responsible for Sir Adam’s rooms and a “living lobby” called The Butcher Social Club, a full-service concept open 24/7. And in keeping with Sir Adam’s music focus, its mezzanine also includes a “music library” with carefully curated tracks. It’s the perfect, stylishly artful home base from which guests can embark on their own journey into the creative heart of Amsterdam.

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My favorite part of the lobby is this AMAZING living wall with neon sign. It definitely gave me a bit of #inspo for the Green Store this summer.

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I was greeted at reception by a handsome young fella who asked me if I’d like to have a celebratory glass of Prosecco to get my stay off on the right foot. Of course my answer was overwhelmingly YES.

Sir Adam Reception

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After a seamless check-in, front desk cutie personally escorted me to my room – not before getting me hip to all of the fun and high-techy features that the hotel boasts. He also informed me of how with keep the music theme, each elevator is dedicated to a specific genre of music. My favorite so far is Disco. Yeah baby!

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Additionally, each room is equipped with it’s own old school inspired Crosley record player with a customized selection of records. But don’t worry, if you’ve had enough of those – you can always head down to the lobby to grab others. And, if you still haven’t satisfied your music fix, you can always call reception to have a Gibson Guitar or an Armin van Buuren M1X-DJ set sent to your room. It’s Lit.

Sir Adam Hotel Record Player

Sir Adam’s rooms are so cozy/comfy or as the Dutch would say “gezellig” that it kinda makes it hard to leave all. he Sir Deluxe rooms offer a superb view of the unique Amsterdam surroundings and are flooded with natural daylight from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Additional pampering deluxe features are the SIR signature bathrobes, comfortable slippers, and complimentary water.

Plus, you will get all the extra SIR hotels family standards that will serve your every need, like the SIR’s signature bedding collection, smooth 300 thread-count crispy cotton linen, 24-hours room service , oversized rain shower, DEAD CLEAN bathroom and spa body amenities, big fluffy pillows and a pillow menu.

Sir Adam Hotel Rooms

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And, if you’re like me and find yourself exhausted from a long day of traveling or overall Amsterdamage, you can order room service directly from The Butcher Social Club and get it brought up to your room.

 

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There’s no need to head down to the bar, when you have a bar in the room. Treat yourself to a nightcap of traditional Dutch Kopstootje, Amsterdam brewed Heineken and a shot of Jenever. The perfect way to end a perfect day.

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My new suitcase arrived today just in time for my trip to Europe and I couldn’t be more in love. The brainchild of two Warby Parker alums (both women might I add..) Away is on a mission to reimagine the travel experience. And, the first stop on that journey is designing the perfect suitcase.

Developed from hundreds of travel stories and designed for the way people actually travel, Away doesn’t make “smart” luggage, they make thoughtful luggage—featuring unbreakable shells, interior compartments, and built-in USB chargers—using the best materials in the world. The result is luggage that is beautiful, functional and minimal. It’s luggage that helps you find your way by staying out of it.

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Photo Credit: Away

So what makes this suitcase so dope? Well for one, I’m in love with the minimal design. I chose the stark matte “snow” white limited edition color inspired by winter in the city. Lucky for me the matte textured surface deflects scruffs and scrapes along the way. And a handy note inside the bag reassures that most stains can be cleaned with some simple warm water and soap.

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Photo Credit: Away

I also love that the bag has a TSA approved lock built-in to prevent anyone from getting in your bag except for you. It’s a great way to lock up your valuables without using the hotel safe. The bag also features two compartments inside to help you stay organized while you pack. The bigger carry-on is perfect for those who like me, insist on packing a few extra outfits.

Photo Credit: Away

Photo Credit: Away

This little suitcase packs a lot of stufffffffff. packedMy favorite part is that the suitcase has a USB charger built in! That means no more fighting for the lone outlet at the airport or running out of juice on your cell right before you have to call an uber. You can charge up while you’re on the go.

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I can’t wait to start packing and take my suitcase on the road. Be sure to watch this space to follow my adventures in Amsterdam and Berlin!

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Zady is setting a new standard for sustainable fashion. The company, which is spearheaded by Maxine Bédat and Soraya Darabi, began with a grand vision: to combat the fast-fashion craze by providing a platform for companies that care about timeless style and solid construction.

Since its inception, Zady has quickly evolved into one of the world’s leading fashion brands for the conscious citizen-consumer. I recently sat down with Bédat to talk sustainability, the brand’s new partnership with actress Emma Watson and what’s in store for the future of fashion.

Can you tell me a little bit about your background and the story of Zady? What was the spark that set you on the path to where you are now?

 

Zady launched three years ago and it feels like an entirely different company because a year ago we went into our own clothing line. We started with the idea of telling the stories behind our products and have held on to that idea to this day.

I’m from Minnesota. In my childhood, I saw the way that things were sold to me – from big shopping malls to Target, which is headquartered there. It was all about consumption.

Then, I started working as a lawyer in Tanzania. This was the first time I was actually able to see the way that products were made. I felt so connected to the process. I fell in love with the process. I saw artisans who knew from memory how to weave the most beautiful baskets. This was the inspiration behind Zady, telling the story behind all of our products. Once we know their stories, we’ll find a deeper connection to them.

We took clues from Whole Foods and how they launched this conversation about food. They made this great destination connecting us with our food. We started to learn more about the fashion industry. We learned that it’s the second most polluting industry in the world. We learned that 98 percent of its women employees weren’t making a living wage. Nobody was talking about these things.

That became our impetus to do things in the right way. What would that look like? Not just slapping the word on it.

look_4_057_v1_r2_rgb_editorialWhat do you think makes Zady different than other sustainable brands on the market right now?

 

The word ‘sustainability’ is thrown around a lot these days to the point where it becomes meaningless. Our collection, The New Standard set out to apply science to what sustainability means. To many, it’s like 10 percent organic cotton and 90 percent polyester and they’re calling it sustainable.

We don’t use the word sustainable when we talk about fashion. That’s because we want to move away from the distinction between fashion and sustainable fashion. There is starting to be a change to the way we put value to clothing. We can move in a direction in seeing value in the process of clothing.

We want to help the industry move in that direction, beginning with design. One hundred billion new pieces of clothing are produced each year. The average woman is wearing an item of clothing only seven times before getting rid of it. So much is produced without any thought to the longevity.

Everything we do is slow and considerate in every way. Instead of focusing on trends, we keep the collection tight. We’re only producing what we’re really excited about and want to wear.

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How did the partnership with Emma Watson come about?

 

From the very beginning, we’ve always talked to the modern woman. We designed for the modern woman. When we started to ask ‘who is this modern woman?’ Emma Watson was at the top of our minds. As a celebrity, she uses her platform to do something really remarkable. She’s thoughtful, smart and has a classic style. (Not to mention, a UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador)

We saw that she was already wearing some Zady pieces and asked her for a meeting. She said this issue was really important to her and we discussed the connection between fashion and feminism. Making women feel insecure and as if consuming more will make us feel whole, while on the other side of the world there are women making our clothes who aren’t being paid a living wage. As women consumers, we are the ones who are in control of where our planet goes and can say enough is enough.

We designed a collection inspired by her beauty inside and out. We developed a mood board of women throughout history who have always stood for something and have used their platform for good. From there, we designed a capsule wardrobe for women who want to feel like themselves. We wanted to create pieces that women can wear to work, on the weekend, or speaking at the UN.

What is the future of Zady? What things are you most excited about?

 

We continue to get excited about sharing this knowledge that we have and sharing the stories, building that very human connection. And, as we continue to evolve aesthetically, we will only share products that inspire and feel like they are reflections of ourselves.

We want to change the language used in speaking about fashion, we use the word consumer. To us, the word consumer is too focused on consumption. I am not a consumer, I am a citizen – a human being. As a human being, what am I going to purchase? As a woman, what am I going to purchase? That can change the conversation – where we have a sense of humanity beyond the simple purchase. If we can change the language we can change the future.

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TEDxNewYork is all about the magic of New York City — the ideas that come from dreamers, thinkers, and doers; the diverse and energized people that make it glow; and the activities and events that keep the city from sleeping. I had the pleasure of attending TEDx New York this past September and these were a few of my favorite talks:

So We’re Woke.. Now What?

Our generation is deeply aware of social injustice, discrimination, and the need for inclusivity, but being woke is only half the battle. In order to change our cultural and social structures, we have to take a stand within our communities and in world around us. Digital strategist Mark S. Luckie makes a strong call to action in this candid and empowering talk, reminding us that activism can come in many forms.

Diversity in Electronic Music

Diversity and inclusivity are buzzwords in dance music, but the overwhelming majority of the world’s highest paid DJs are still white men. This is a disservice to the fact that the culture so many of us cherish and enjoy was created by marginalized groups as a form of self-expression and tolerance. During the lunch break at TEDxNewYork 2016, Mixmag and Smirnoff Sound Collective hosted a panel to discuss these issues in their industry.

The panel was hosted by Mixmag’s Editor in Chief Nick DeCosemo and featured Katie Longmyer (Head of Experiential Production, Translation), Julia Willinger (SVP of A&R, Mom + Pop Records), and rapper Cakes Da Killa. Together, these groups are working to raise awareness and take positive action to address the imbalance in dance music. Mixmag and Smirnoff Sound Collective are leading a mentorship program to help artists from under-represented or excluded backgrounds, as well as other awareness initiatives.

How to Speak Up When You Feel Like You Can’t

We all experience moments when it’s hard to speak up – whether it’s at work, in our relationships, or out in a public with a stranger. Business psychologist Adam Galinsky shows research and shares helpful tips on how to find your voice when it matters most, and to advocate for others who need it.

Adam Galinsky is the chair of the management department at Columbia Business School. He thinks deeply about how we work with and against one another to achieve our goals.

When I first started thinking about what to pack for my #PowerTrip to New York the key word was comfort. If I was going to be sprinting around the city from fashion shows to meetings and drinks with friends, I needed a pair of cute, cool and comfy kicks. Lucky for me, my Veja sneakers arrived right on time.

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Paris based brand Veja has the sustainable sneaker game on lock. These gold Esplars are named after a Brazilian NGO which brings technical support to the organic cotton farming families the company has worked with in North Brazil since 2004.

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I paired my comfy kicks with a comfy faux suede dress from Forever 21 (don’t judge me, I’m not perfect!) and a vintage clock printed button down top. I decided against the matching shorts.Hey, it was the 80s.

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The finishing touch was this gold bib necklace which was ethically made in Nairobi by Sustainable brand Soko. I am a huge fan of their jewelry and sell it from time to time in the shop. This easy breezy outfit was perfect for hopping around the city checking out great ethical designers.

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photo credit: Van Gorp Photography

 

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These hot and hearty meatless meals are perfect for those cold wintery afternoons when you’re just trying to curl up on the couch, eat some good food and binge watch your favorite shows.

Greek Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

I love spaghetti squash. So when I saw this recipe for a sexy, spicy version on Plated I had to check it out. I love the idea of cooking the dish and stuffing it back into the shell for a bit of an edible bowl. I’m all about that sustainable no dirty dishes life.

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

The key to this dish is the Harissa, the fiery Tunisian sauce made of chiles, garlic, olive oil and aromatic spices. It adds a kick of subtle heat to the stuffed spaghetti squash filled with spinach, onion, sun-dried tomato and feta cheese. The crunchy parmesan and breadcrumb topping adds a bit of cheesy texture.

First, cut the spaghetti squash in half and cook it face down on foil-lined baking sheet seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil. While that’s baking, heat olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, Harissa, tomato puree and spinach. Then, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Once the spaghetti squash is done baking in the oven, rake the “spaghetti” out and add it to the pan with the rest of the filling. Mix well and put it back in the shell.

In a medium bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, parmesan, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the herbed breadcrumbs on top and place back in the oven for about ten minutes until it gets brown. Serve warm with your favorite breadsticks.

Grilled CHZ + Tomato Basil Soup

So this dish comes straight from one of my favorite lunch spots here in Cincinnati called Cheapside. The key is the Grilled CHZ with white cheddar, slow roasted tomatoes, green chiles and dare I say it.. spaghetti squash! Have I mentioned that I love spaghetti squash? All of this goodness is toasted to perfection on multi-grain bread. It’s perfect for dumping in a piping hot bowl of savory tomato basil soup.

My Favorite Winter Veggie Meals

A warm invigorating matcha latte is the perfect addition to any winter meal. Use almond milk for a tasty vegan alternative. Look out for my green “inner-g” matcha tea kit and recipe on the blog soon. Get into that green life.

My Favorite Winter Veggie Meals

 

Winter Quinoa Bowl w| Roasted Vegetables, Creamy Tahini and Asian Pear

Who doesn’t love a good hot bowl of delicious food in the winter? Tahini, a Middle Eastern sesame seed paste, adds a nutty flavor and rich creamy texture to this delightful quinoa bowl featuring fresh seasonal produce like carrots, cauliflower, kale and sweet Asian pear. Aleppo pepper, another Middle Eastern ingredient, provides a hint of smoky spice.

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Despite how modest it looks, this dish packs a ton of flavor. First the carrots and cauliflower are roasted in a spice mix of ground cumin and za’atar. The kale is sautéed to perfection and drenched in the delicious tahini sauce. Also, silvered almonds and golden raisins are mixed into the quinoa. The sweet Asian pear seasoned with red Aleppo pepper completes the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.

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Speaking of carrots.. this cold weather dish is the besssst.

Potato Latkes w| Horseradish Crème fraîche, Roasted Carrots + Spinach Salad.

My photo doesn’t do this dish justice. It’s so simple but hearty and flavorful. I love potatoes. In fact, they are something like my favorite food. This was my first attempt at making potato latkes and they were actually much easier to make than I suspected.

Potato Latkes

The horseradish Crème fraîche and roasted carrots really set this dish off. And, it’s super easy to make. On a baking sheet, toss carrots with olive oil, salt/pepper then add shallots and garlic. For the sauce, combine crème fraîche with horseradish, chives and some salt/pepper. Once the veggies are done, toss them and the spinach in salad dressing made of champagne vinegar, mustard, olive oil and salt/pepper for an extra kick of flavor.

Somehow it happened. I can’t say when or how but it just kinda snuck up on me in the middle of the night. Despite my best efforts, I’ve become someone who actually likes to clean. *gasp* Ok, “like” is a strong word. Let me try this again. I like for things to be clean. On my journey towards becoming my most minimal, organized and eco-conscious self, I’m finding that the act of cleaning, organizing and decluttering can be very therapeutic.

Don’t get me wrong. My loft rarely looks as tidy as I like to pretend it does on Instagram. At this very moment, my sink is full of dirty dishes left from this week’s cooking experiments and I have an insurmountable pile of clothes on the floor begging to be thrown into the wash.

However, there are few things that motivate me more to get into my deep cleaning’s yams (this makes sense) than a big ole’ box of Honest organic cleaning supplies! Yayyyy!

Honest Cleaning Supples

This is not an ad btw. I spent my hard-earned money on these products after using them faithfully over the past year. The brand gave me a few products to try when I first moved into my loft and I’ve been using them every since. I’m actually a pretty big fan of Jessica Alba’s company and wrote an article last year about how the company clapped back at claims that their products were not as “honest” as they appeared.  Despite the haters, the company is still going strong and adding new products to their line all the time.

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Here are a few of my faves: (click the images to check out the item on the Honest website)

 

1. Lavender Dish Soap

The first thing people ask me when I mention that I use Honest products is “But do they really get things clean?” My answer is emphatically Yes! I HATE washing the dishes and my loft is regrettably sans dishwasher #firstworldprobs but this sweet smelling stuff gets the grime all the way off. Just add a few drops to a sink filled with hot water and let the dishes soak for a few minutes and you can basically just wipe the dishes clean. Perfection.

2. Organic Towels

Instead of producing a lot of waste using disposable paper towels, get you some reusable organic towels. These beautiful, textured towels are constructed from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton and feature both a solid and striped towel in this coordinating 2-pack set.

And, if you’re ever looking for an awesome hostess gift, check out this DIY gift set via Paging Super Mom:

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3. Multi-surface Cleaner

This advanced plant-based surface cleaner tackles dirt, grease, and grime anywhere, anytime! Super versatile and ultra-effective this all purpose cleaner leaves nothing behind but the fresh smell of grapefruit.

Know what’s even better than recycling? Reusing. With Honest Concentrate Refills, I can reuse the Honest Spray Bottles I have — over and over again. Plus, by opting for a Concentrate Refill instead of a full-size Spray Cleaner, I’m saving more than just plastic, it also saves water consumption, fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions, mineral consumption and packaging.

4. Bathroom Cleaner

This bathroom cleaner smells absolutely heavenly due to the natural tea tree oil infusion. This powerful, effective formula leaves your bathroom sparkling clean and delightfully fresh. It easily eliminates soap scum, rust, hard water stains, and other pesky nasties. It works great on showers, tile, tubs, fixtures, chrome, and counters. And like all other products, it’s completely non-toxic for you and your family.

5. Bubble Bath

There’s nothing better than a hot bubble bath to soothe your body after a long day, especially after cleaning your house. This is my first time trying Honest’s bubble bath and I couldn’t be happier. I love bubbles and the organic chamomile and calendula help sooth and nourish the skin.

Check out the Honest website for more products and let me know if you decide to give any of them a try! Happy Cleaning Babies!

The Honest Company - Shop Essentials!

What if we could make a shift from “take-make-waste” to a fashion world where there is no waste? What if we could make fashion circular? This is the question H&M is posing to a new generation of fashion innovators.

The brand recently put out a call for early stage ideas that present new circular approaches to reinvent the fashion industry. This means changing the way garments are designed and produced, shipped, bought, used and recycled  by utilizing disruptive technology or new business models.

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The Global Change Award offers five fashion-preneurs the opportunity to share a €1 million grant and get access to a one-year innovation accelerator provided by H&M Foundation, Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

 

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I recently had the opportunity to chat with Diana Amini, the Global Manager for the H&M Foundation about how this opportunity is a game changer for the future of fashion. This is what she had to say:

What was the impetus for establishing the Global Change Award? What was the story behind it?

DIANA: As the population of our planet heads towards close to 10 billion by 2050, every industry will need to dramatically increase innovation to safeguard the environment. At H&M Foundation, we don’t think the transition to a circular model within the fashion industry is happening fast enough, and as a non-profit Foundation we have the opportunity to act as a catalyst for positive change. H&M Foundation drives different initiatives to improve the living conditions for people and communities around the world.

Our connection to the fashion industry, and the fact that the overall impact it has on our planet is quite heavy, made us start thinking about different ideas and concepts to spur innovation. This is how the Global Change Award was born. It is at the earliest stage of innovation that we as a Foundation can provide the much needed resources, access and skills to make the biggest difference. After receiving over 2,700 innovations from 112 countries the first year, we know there are a vast number of great ideas out there but we also know access to capital, know-how and business support is scarce and many great ideas never get to see the light of day. We want to find those game changing ideas and give them the support they need to make a difference.

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Are there plans to adopt any of the innovations created during the first accelerator program into H&M’s production process?

DIANA: From last year’s winners we see that things which would have taken years have now happened in months. They are performing advanced trials and pilots with different partners in the fashion industry, H&M being one of them, as well as quality testing for commercialization and scaling up. It’s important to note that neither H&M nor the non-profit H&M Foundation take any automatic equity or intellectual property rights in the innovations, as we want to influence the fashion industry as a whole.

What is your long term vision for a fashion future? How does the Global Change Awards fit into that idea?

DIANA: We want to see a fashion industry that operates within the boundaries of our environment, that has transitioned from the take- make- waste model to a model where resource loops are tightened and valuable materials are recovered at the end of a garments life. A shift to a circular model can help to create flourishing, resilient economies in healthy environments with restored natural resources.

The circular economy may be the biggest revolution for how we organize production and consumption in our global economy in 250 years. This applies to all areas of the fashion industry, and to achieve this goal it needs to reinvent itself: how to design, what materials to use, how to dye, cut, sew, ship, sell, own, use and dispose of fashion. New technology, business models and materials can make this possible. This is where we see that the Global Change Award can act an important catalyser for change.

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In addition to the Global Change Award which programs and partnerships are you most exciting about for the coming year?

DIANA: During the last year, H&M Foundation has committed 7.5 million USD for programs related to refugees. In addition to supporting UNHCR’s efforts to secure education for refugee children, we will start a collaboration with the nonprofit tech organization REFUNITE and their online portal, enabling refugees to reconnect with lost families and friends through their mobile phone, computer or the organizations free help lines. They collaborate with large telecom companies in each country enabling them to create a service free of charge.

Our project with REFUNITE is focused on Pakistan and will, in addition to the portal and call center, also launch a Voice Response Platform, enabling illiterate women to access the services. This is an innovative organization addressing challenges in new ways. At the Foundation, we really look forward to this partnership and what we can achieve together.

Click here to learn more about the Global Change Award and check-out last year’s winners. 

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“Hey Joi… how did you find that happy place? I’ve been looking for it for a long time.”

This question was dropped in my DM by a childhood facebook friend the other day. I told him that I would answer him but needed a couple days to think about it. To be quite honest, I’d never really thought much about the process that landed me here.

Happiness is a choice that I wake up and make every day. Somewhere along the short journey between 30 and 31 years old, I decided that pure unadulterated JOI was my number one priority and that I would not accept anything less. Although this list is not exhaustive, here are eleven steps I took to get there.

1. I untied my happiness from all other beings. All too often we intertwine our happiness with that of other people – our partners, children, friends etc. There’s nothing worse than being in a relationship with an unhappy person. Especially if you are someone like me who is incredibly empathetic to the people around me. I decided that I wanted to take responsibility for my own happiness, make that the priority. I also made the executive decision to cut off anyone who was taking me further away from my joy.

2. I surrounded myself with beautiful things. I invested my time and energy into designing a comfortable, inspiring and creative place to live and work.

 

3. I decided to only do things I like doing. From day one I knew that I would never have a traditional nine to five job. Nothing against that, I just knew that it wasn’t for me. I made a commitment to myself to only do things I like doing, every single day.

4. I started having more fun. I made play dates my number one priority. I started hanging out more with my girl friends, traveling, drinking too many mimosas at brunch and other debauchery.  I stopped taking myself so seriouslyyy and started to value the magic of play.

5. I adjusted my free(quency). Music has the power to manipulate your mood in any given direction. I started being more intentional about the type of music I was listening to and started curating playlists of some of my favorite sounds that I listen to everyday. Check out my Spotify Playlist, “No Bad Days”.

 

6. I mastered the Law of Attraction. I adopted an attitude of gratitude. I realized that being truly thankful for who I am and the opportunities that I’ve been given is the only way to be. I fostered a deeper connection with God, the Universe, nature, other humans, the planet and galaxies around me. Then, I was able to attract the perfect people, opportunities and experiences into my life. I stopped complaining about all the things I didn’t have and started celebrating the things I did.

7. I started letting go of all of the things that weren’t bringing me joy. Point Blank Period.

8. I started making more money. Don’t get me wrong, money can’t buy you happiness. And, I know “making more money” is way easier said than done. Folks that know me well know that money has never been a motivation for me. I’ve basically lived an (albeit fabulous) life of poverty all over the globe for the last several years. In fact, in my perfect universe – money wouldn’t even exist. But on this planet and in this time of ours, money is currency (energy) and can alleviate some of the stresses of just getting by.

One book that completely transformed what I thought about money and helped boost my bank account in a positive direction is Marianne Williamson’s “The Law of Divine Compensation”.

9. I started saying ‘NO’ more. The more you say NO the more you have time to rest, read, play and do other fun stuff that you actually want to do. Now, I plan full ‘NO’ days, uninterrupted play dates I make with myself to give myself the space to be free.

10. I stopped letting what was happening in the outside world dictate what was happening on the inside. Don’t get it twisted, we live in a truly f*cked up society in many ways. There are a lot of things shifting right now, culturally, socially and politically. I take all of the anger and sadness I feel and channel it into making things better. I create art, develop projects and try to teach the babies to make the planet better than it currently is. By channeling that energy into something.. I don’t let it foster inside as depression / oppression.

11. I fell in love with myself. I’m talking like truly, madly, deeply.. in love. Head over heels in love. I became my own favorite person. I became much more protective of myself and my heart. I started to forgive myself more. I became more gentle with myself. I started to treat myself as I wanted to be treated. I began to enjoy spending time with myself.. making myself laugh and taking care of myself. This was the major key to unlocking the Joi that was lying dormant inside all along.

If you have a question you’d like me to answer contact me.