Monday, December 14, 2009

A December Devotional to Duvets

If this were the 14th century, you might be saving the feathers from the geese you plucked for more than a year to make yourself a duvet, which you would then pass down through many generations of your family.
In Europe, many people sleep only between 2 duvets, eliminating the need for sheets and blankets, and the bother of making the bed! When I heard this, I tried it myself and I loved it!
Winter is the duvet’s signature season, evoking moods for snuggling in mounds of warm, poofy down with hot tea or chocolate, and a good book while the winter season moves and stills outside. The winter holiday times have long been the most popular time to gift a duvet to someone, indeed it’s the time of year to give in to the occasional desire to stay in bed a bit longer than usual, so give permission to indulge and lounge!
Fun Duvet Facts:
Name for duvets around the world:
¨ Scandinavian: “Dyne”
¨ Pakistan: “Ralli Quilts”
¨ France: Duvet (origin of the word)
¨ Germany: “Federbeden”
In the U.K. and other European countries, when employees take a personal day off from work, it’s called a “duvet day”.
In Europe, sleeping under duvets is so popular, that many couples have refined it to an art of adaptability: they put two twin duvets on a full or queen-sized bed so that they may each enjoy their own preferred thickness!
Duvets are coming into style with the younger generation now. The gothic clothing store Hot Topic has a new duvet set based on the popular vampire television series “Twilight”.
So indulge yourself, cozy up to the season, and have a dreamy duvet day…

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Holiday Update from Our Friends at Bash Eco Events

This is such a lovely post from our friends at Bash that we decided to post it here for anyone who missed it...

Holiday Loveliness

Remember my Design*Sponge post about these? Well, this is what they look like come the holidays.
Lots of loveliness from the talented designers + curators of TRUNKSHOW. Their stuff is beyond words. Da eco-luxe bomb. My client’s guests were shopping WELL into the night + I think I saw some drool coming out of one lady’s mouth. Napkin please. Check out their awesomeness here. I’ve already got my wish list for Christmas.
And hello? My partner in crime, this cool cat, created the most killer sweets table EVER. The guests were gushing over her cuppies + her creative display of snow whites + winter greens. It is now a future staple at all bash-TRUNKSHOW events. I could not ask for a better collaborator in design. Kelly + I share a brain and her execution of this table was beyond!
I’m so beyond grateful for collaborating with such brilliant people. I truly believe you are only as good as your team, + these ladies make me better at what I do. My hats off to you + you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gratitude to Bees

A bee stung Eros on the nose
While he was smelling on a rose
“Mother Venus,  ay,ay,ay
Please help me or I’ll die
What a terrible disgrace
A dragon bit me on my face”!
Venus comforts first her son
then speaks to him with mocking fun:
The little bee’s tiny sting
Is for you an earnest thing
But more painful and real hard
are your stings in human’s heart.

A. Dürer, 1514: Eros, Venus and the bees

Humans have long had a symbiotic relationship with honeybees. We provide them with shelter and care, and in return, they not only provide us with honey and bee pollen for our health and pleasure, they pollinate 35% of our food crops! Our lives are inextricably intertwined with the lives of bees. Honeybees are behind every cheerful bloom of spring flowers, and every abundant harvest on the Thanksgiving table.
Many honeybees in recent years are disappearing due to Colony Collapse Disorder. We at Raksha Bella choose to see this as an opportunity for transformation. By calling our attention to the need for healthy change, the plight of bees all over the world is a gentle call, reminding us of the interconnectedness of life on the planet, and of how our choices today will resonate into the future lives of all beings on Earth.
Although no conclusive evidence has been drawn as to the exact causes of CCD, many of the studies point to conventional farming practices as at least partly responsible: the use of multiple toxic pesticides and fertilizers, genetically modified crops, and monoculture have all led to a loss of biodiversity. Biodiversity is essential for all life on earth to grow healthy and abundant. The interconnectedness between organic farming and saving the bees is indisputable. Conventional and Monoculture farming is responsible for poisons in our soil and bodies, the destruction of ancient human agricultural traditions all over the globe, and global food shortages. Conventional cotton crops use 25% of the entire world’s pesticides! Ouch! In contrast, organic farming promotes biodiversity, blesses us with higher crop yields and more nutrient-rich foods, promotes fair labor practices, and reduces the toxic load on our depleted soils. This is why we choose to use all certified organic cotton for Raksha Bella products.
Spread the beauty and harmony of nature into homes and hearts all over the globe. Believe that healthy, abundant food for all people is beautiful; believe that the cycles of the seasons are beautiful; that harmony between people, plants, and creatures is beautiful, and that organic products we touch and sleep in, with limited impact on our ecosystem are beautiful!
Ally yourself with beauty! Gratitude to the honeybees!
Wishing you blessings of health, bounty and beauty this autumn

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Eco-Home Highlight: Think Green. Think SPRING (even in summer!)

A warm and heartfelt thank you to our friends at Spring on Post Street in San Francisco for creating the perfect home for our eco-bedding.
As we grow, so do our like-minded partners who believe that a greener home is conducive to a happier, more serene lifestyle. And that is truly contagious!
We are thrilled to see the ever-expanding selection of environmentally-friendly lifestyle products, the enthusiasm of our retailers and ultimately, their customers. Once a vision of the future, we sleep well knowing that the demand for greener home products is quickly becoming a way of life. Stop by, say hello and check out their unique and fabulous assortment of inspiring products!
Quilted Deco Pillows - Indian Rose in Dusty Cedar with Peonie in Warm Taupe (pictured)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Raksha Bella Organic in Little Willow

raksha bella bedding

raj paisley

indian rose
When I spotted the Raksha Bella collection over at More Ways to Waste Time I almost cried because they’re so beautiful. I’m sad to be leaving our little house in the hills of Mill Valley but I when I saw this lovely bedding it made me excited to set up house all over again in Utah. It’s on the pricier end for bedding, $311-$449 for duvets, but since it’s handmade in India using quality certified organic cotton I’d say it’s more than justified. Drool over it at any of these Bay Area locations.

raj paisley blue

indian rose green

Thanks Little Willow for posting about us!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Trunk Show at Emily Joubert Home & Garden

Thank you Kacey, Judy and staff for the fabulous Raksha Bella trunkshow last week! We couldn’t think of a more perfect setting then the romantic outdoor garden of Emily Joubert Home and Garden in Woodside California. Such a beautiful place! We loved our whimsical outdoor bedroom setup, which showcased some of our most popular bedding.

It was also a fantastic environment to launch our new line of organic Erica Tanov for Raksha Bella loungewear.  The trunkshow was a huge hit and we could barley keep anything on our racks!  A big thank you to everyone who attended!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Raksha Bella Organic in So Haute

Picture 19
A while back I was shopping the organic bedding section at ABC Carpet and Home and I stumbled upon the most beautifully dressed bed covered in Indian paisley printed bedsheets by Raksha Bella–a new brand that I was thrilled to discover. Raksha Bella is an eco-friendly line of 100% certified organic cotton bedding that is hand block printed using non-toxic, low impact dyes. The line is produced by a group of fair trade women workers in India who are recovering from poverty. Raksha Bella was founded by Carrie Peters who is truly passionate about sustainable design and what I love most about the brand she has created is that it embodies the idea of sustainability in every way possible. Even the company’s San Francisco Bay office is “green” both in its design and its operations. (The office is run on solar power and includes an organic vegetable garden out back.) I reached out to Carrie recently to learn more about Raksha Bella and she was kind enough to fill me in on how the brand started, where it’s going and also share her insights on sustainable design. I hope you enjoy the interview.
What is Raksha Bella in a nutshell?
Our company’s name is also its creed- Raksha, pronounced (ra-k-shaw), meaning protection in Sanskrit, and Bella, the Latin classic for beautiful. Appropriately, Raksha Bella’s philosophy is to protect what is beautiful with our devotion to hand-made organic textiles.
Picture 8
What inspired you to design a line of bedding?
I was a decorative painter and I started getting concerned about the paints I was using. I began to research and use non VOC paints before they reached the mainstream marketplace. That led me to researching more ‘green” products for the home. Textiles became a main focus for me, especially the plight of organic cotton and what’s happening overseas. I took a trip to India and fell in love with the artisan world there, and saw a great opportunity to heal the planet with my love for pattern, design and color and my passion for sustainability in a place that really needs it.
Picture 7
How are your textiles are made?
The cotton is grown in certified organic cotton co-ops in India, milled in a GOTS certified mill in Dehli, then printed by hand with wood blocks in Jaipur with low impact AZO-free dyes, and cut and sewn by women self employed by the Grameen banking system for the poor who are recovering from poverty and empowered by their work.
Why was it important to take this humanitarian approach to your business in addition to simply being “green”?
I believe that eradicating poverty is the next step to sustainability. I believe that empowering women, who are raising the next generation, is a way to make culture changes more sustainable. Women make cultures thrive, vibrant, alive. Without happy women, happier children are fewer. They are our future. They hold the promise to change that is most effective because they grow up with the values needed to full and more long term change.
Picture 5
What does sustainability mean for you?
Sustainability for me means long term, healthy tending, maintenance, adoration and protection of the planet and people.
Picture 8
How do you practice sustainable design in own life?
Most of my home is painted with non VOC paints, I collect all extra water and pour it onto my potted plants and I have solar panels on my home. I love the Center for Creative Reuse and Recycle—a local favorite–all reused and recycled things people throw out—its so incredibly creative.
Picture 9
Are there any other “green” brands for the home that you love besides your own?
Peace Industry rugs & American Clay.
Picture 10
Do you have plans to introduce any new patterns or products any time soon?
Yes!  We have our new loungewear collection coming this June/July designed in collaboration with Erica Tanov, and our new prints for our bedding line.  For fall we are playing with texture and the ancient and beautiful Japanese dye technique Shibori.
A big thanks to Carrie and in case you were curious about the new products, here’s a sneak peek at some of Raksha Bella’s new bedding patterns and loungewear. These should be available on the Raksha Bella website in a couple of weeks!

Thank you So Haute!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Raksha Bella Organic in the Haystack Needle

q + a: carrie of raksha bella organic bedding

Carrie Peters is a super sweet gal I met at the Gift Show, who designs a gorgeous line of organic fair-trade bedding called Raksha Bella Organic Textiles. She fell into the business by organically combining what made sense to her. Carrie was a decorative painter for many years and she started to explore eco-paints after getting allergic reactions to standard paint. She started working with non-toxic, no-VOC paints. Then she went back to school for interior design and architecture. Yet she always knew she wanted to work with organic cotton.  A trip to India sealed the deal. Here's more on how Carrie's going green in her everyday:
1. three simple ways you've gone greener in your life
grow my own food, solar panels on my house, biodiesel (maybe these aren’t so simple!)
2. last green purchase
organic cotton bedding (smile)
3. one green initiative you'd like to see enacted in your communityIts Berkeley, CA, so that’s a tough one, hmmm.
4. best green gift you've given, received, or covetedfresh chard from my garden

 Merci Haystack Needle

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Earth Day Every Day!

Our family at Raksha Bella believes that every day is Earth Day! This is one of the reasons that we pledge certified organic, environmentally low-impact production of our textiles. We would like to help shrink the global footprint that we have all created in order for future sons and daughters to live happy, healthy lives in a world more beautiful than we left it. In the meantime, we try to live what we believe while helping others live it too.

Check out bedding for our newest additions to the earth! Pictured is one of Raksha Bella’s Organic baby blankets in Elephant in Milky Blue with Camel in Tangerine on the reverse (with Sweet Clover in Dried Tobacco piping). It's so sweet & we're loving the blue chair!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Design Sponge

Thanks Design Sponge for sharing our pictures from our Kaleidescope Collection!
For those of you who missed this blog post, we've copy & pasted it here.

If you’ve fallen in love with the eco-bedding movement (go to an eco-home store, lay on an organic cotton/natural-latex mattress, and you will), you might be familiar with Raksha Bella Organic Textiles—those beautifully soft handmade quilts and linens with prints reminiscent of India, but with a modern spin.
This summer (June-ish), owner Carrie Peters and designer Erica Tanov will introduce their collaboration: new bedding patterns, and loungeware.
Carrie (and photographer Erica Shires) were sweet enough to give us a preview of the line, shown here.
What’s your favorite? (And who else wants to move their bedroom to a rural grassy field?)
I’m a huge fan of organic, sustainable products. They’re the right choice for the planet, and they’re often the best choice for your health. And Raksha Bella takes that feel-good purchase one step further: Raksha Bella Organic Textiles are made by women who are self employed through the Grameen banking system. This Nobel Peace Prize winning system of micro-loans offers these women an opportunity to live above the poverty line and recover from abuse and ostracism as well as having a practical means for earning a living in something they enjoy. Raksha Bella is committed to, not only
providing a product that is made through fair labor practices and support of organic products, but striving to set an example of a truly humanitarian
philosophy. More info here.
Green values with a gold heart. I love it.
Check out Raksha Bella’s website for their current collection, and check back for the new goods soon. Sleep well
Photography by Erica Shires

Friday, March 27, 2009