Blue Canoe Organic Clothing

I was having a great chitchat the other day with a very cool lady who you will hear about later this week. During our conversation, we talked about the fact that those of us who want to buy more organic, environmentally friendly things like beauty products or clothing have often had to sacrifice fashion. It’s been really tough to find beautiful, fashionable clothing that is also easy on the planet, which leaves the ecochick in a dilemma: Look really sharp, or save the earth?

More and more clothing manufacturers are realizing there are plenty of consumers like us, who want it all. Cool and fashionable and ecofriendly and sustainable. Places like Blue Canoe Organic Clothing. They create a range of tops, bottoms and lingerie pieces that work for both the yoga studio and the street. There’s items made from 100% organic cotton or bamboo, and items that have a little lycra blended in to give it the appropriate level of stretch. The styles are simple, in pretty solid colours such as violet or apple. There’s gorgeous go-anywhere items like this bamboo dress, comfy, flattering pieces like this v-neck tee, easy, cozy bottoms like this crop pant, and plenty more. Everything is made in the USA, and they often have items on sale.

Their online store only ships to the USA (boo!) but the good news is, several items are available at Not Just Pretty, which ships anywhere in Canada for a small fee – or if you spend over $100, shipping is free! Check out the entire line at BlueCanoe.com.

GreenBar: your eco-friendly browser toolbar

Are you interested in getting the latest in green news, straight from your browser? Then check out the Greenbar Toolbar. It installs right in to your browser and gives you easy access to blogs, feeds, links, green resources, and more.

The Greenbar also features embedded twitter, a built in email system, google search, and a popup blocker.

It’s usable in either Internet Explorer or Firefox, so should be accessible to most folks. Give it a try and enjoy your green news!

Kama: Soothing, sweet soaps

Kama Natural Soap is based on Saltspring Island in British Columbia. Their handmade soaps are made in small batches, with natural plant oils and a variety of grains and herbs to suit a wide range of tastes and skin types. There’s a pretty Flowers n’ Spice bar with lavender, Ylang Ylang, patchouli and cinnamon, or perhaps your taste goes more to a fresh Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Neem Oil blend, with natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. There’s also a range of ointments, balms, mineral baths, lip care and more.

You can order Kama Soaps from their website or through various retailers across Canada.

Yes, Yes, Yes to Carrots!

And from Random.Org… the lucky giveaway recipients are Anonymous Lisa who said “I would Love Love Love to try C is for Care Hair and scalp Mud Mask- I’ve been looking everywhere for a good eco-moisturizing treatment for my dry hair! :)” and Icedream who said “I’m getting a bit older now and I could really use the eye contour cream and the hair mask. And I love eco-friendly products!” email me at talk at ecochick dot ca ladies.. and keep your eye out for a new giveaway soon.

ecochicks, hold on to your seats: This one is gonna rock the hizzouse.

A few weeks ago, I got an email from the lovely Lauren who’s promoting the Yes To Carrots line, asking me if I’d like to try out their new Organic Lip Butters. I responded, of course – as long as I get some to give away too. Well, ecochicks, Lauren came through with an enormous box full of samples – some for me to try out, and some to give away to you, my awesome readers.

So here’s the scoop. I’m going to tell you about the line, then at the end of the post I’m going to tell you how you can enter the giveaway.

Yes To Carrots is a line of face, body, and hair care products made with as many natural, organic ingredients as possible. All produce used in the Yes To Carrots line is sourced from organic farmers, certified by the Organization of Organic Agriculture in Israel. Not all of the finished products are certified organic, but all are paraben-free, and all contain at least some organic ingredients. Many also contain Dead Sea Mud and Minerals, which have world renowed purifying properties and 26 minerals and trace elements. They have skin, face, hand, hair and lip products, and they have something to suit a wide range of skin types.

The products themselves are really fantastic. They’re upscale without being obnoxious – and they really are awesome to use. First, there’s the selection of certified Organic Lip Butters in a range of flavours including mint, melon, berry, citrus and carrot. All are prettily scented, but what’s great is that they work. They feel *amazing*. Many organic lip balms I’ve tried feel greasy, but these feel very nice – moisturizing and not at all sticky or oily.

Next, I tried the C is for Hair Care Hair and Scalp Mud Mask. Upon opening the jar, I admit I was skeptical, as I was at first with almost all the rest of products. It was the scent. I kind of thought at first that all the products smelled a little too.. heavy, perhaps? But I had gotten them on a promise to try them, and try them I did – and I realized with this product, and with all of them, that the scent is really lovely once you’re actually using it. Light and unique, almost spa-like. Very worth it.

Back to the Hair Mask.. I slathered this stuff on according to the instructions, left it on for 15 minutes, rinsed it off and went to dry my hair, and I was blown away. My hair felt like silk. And given that my hair is generally straw, this is no small thing. This product is now in my regular hair-care routine, it’s that good.

The next product I eagerly tried out was the Feel The C Pampering Hand and Nail Spa. It’s a hand and nail scrub, with sea salts and moisturizing oils and nutrients. You simply scoop a teaspoon into your hands and start massaging, rubbing the rough patches, nail beds, whatever you want. Scrub for as long as you wish, then rinse it off and rub your hands dry. I did find I had to rub fairly firmly to get the oils off of the keyboard-facing surfaces on my fingers, but on the rest of my hands it felt great – not greasy at all. This would be something excellent to use if you’re doing a lot of yard work, or perhaps in the winter when your skin needs something extra-nice.

I’ve also got my hands on samples of the C a Softer You Hand and Elbow Moisturizing Cream; Eye can C Clearly Now Eye Contour Cream, and C the Difference Exfoliating and Soothing Mud Mask for Dry to Sensitive Skin. Can you believe it?

And I’m giving it all away. Well, the stuff I haven’t used, that is. I have one of everything listed here to give to ecochick readers. And here’s how you get it. Head over to the Yes To Carrots website and tell me which of the products you’re dying to try out by Friday, August 1st. I’ll select two names randomly, and I’ll split the swag equally between two lucky readers.

Thanks to Lauren from Yes To Carrots for providing all this stuff. Good luck ecochicks – I can guarantee that whoever takes this stuff home will love it.

UPDATED: This post is now linked on Bloggy Giveaways! Click the button to return to the giveaway list, and good luck!

Herbfest: Celebrating a healthy lifestyle

Eastern Ontario (and even Western Quebec!) ecochicks: The Annual Midsummer Herbfest will be taking place on Sunday, July 27th in Almonte, Ontario.

More than 100 neat vendors will be there including local producers, organic producers, and folks who have been featured on ecochick before such as Urban Forest. There are also features such as a chef cook off, local food vendors offering a wide selection of culinary favourites from around the world, herbal Tea Tasting, mini-markets showcasing gardening wisdom, culinary tips, craft and decorative inspiration, total body wellness and herbal healthcare, a herb plant sale and gift shop, herb garden walks, and a beer garden to deposit your husband in while you partake in it all. :)

It’s being held at 3840 Old Almonte Road, about half an hour outside of downtown Ottawa. Passes are $4 in advance, $5 at the gate. For more information visit their website. See you there!

LUSH ByWard Market Birthday Bash

Lush Skin Care Products

Ottawa ecochicks: Check this out!

LUSH Byward Market Birthday Bash!

WHEN: Saturday, July 19th, 12pm-4pm

WHERE: LUSH Byward Market, 43 William Street, Ottawa, ON 613-241-5874

Ten years and still green! Join us at LUSH Byward Market for our tenth birthday celebration! We’re featuring tasty treats, dynamic demos and tremendous trivia! The first 100 guests to come in during party hours will receive a free piece of our Trichomania shampoo. The first 40 people to spend $40 will get a goody bag ($25 value of full product) and if you spend over $80, you’ll get to take home a free Charity Pot body lotion (and the charitable donation is on us)!

RSVP: 65byward@lush.com


LUSH Cosmetics

Dagoba Organic Chocolate: Sweet Indulgences

Frederick Schilling was a chef who liked to dabble. He experimented with chocolate, adding chai and ginger to the mix, seeking to find the perfect Chocolate Alchemy. And from this experimentation, Dagoba Organic Chocolate was born.

Relying on the core values of Quality, Ecology, Equity and Community, Dagoba Organic Chocolate provides not only delicious, organic chocolate, but they also create a range of standard to completely unique blends to satisfy both the traditional chocolate lover and the adventurous eater (lemon-ginger chocolate, anyone?)

They feature a wide range of chocolates, from classic chocolate bars to baking and home chef chocolates to dark blends and infusions to drinking chocolates. And people are liking it: They won “Best Organic Bars” from Food & Wine, Food and Wine’s 2005 Tastemaker Award, “World’s Best Chocolate” (CNN/Money) and “Best Dark Chocolate” (San Francisco Chronicle), “Best Organic Bars” (Food & Wine), the EPA’s 2005 Green Power Leadership Award and the 2005 Spirit of Organics Award (OTA/OFRF). With all this fuss, it seems almost foolish to not see what the hype is about.

You can order their chocolate online or purchase it at retailers across Canada.

Coyuchi Organic Cotton Towels: Where have they been all my life

Another excellent find from Arbour Environmental Shoppe: gorgeous, squashy, soft Coyuchi Towels. One of the things I really enjoy about searching for eco-products is finding something that totally outclasses the non-ecofriendly version in every way, and these towels are completely in that category. Soft and thick, with thousands of thirsty loops of organic cotton, these towels are a luxury.

Coyuchi certified organic cotton is grown in India by family cooperatives, ensuring a fair price for the growers as well as protecting everyone (farmers, manufacturers, and you) from toxic agricultural chemicals. (You can view Coyuchi’s video “The Conventional Trap” which outlines the difficulties faced by cotton farmers in India under the “about us” section of their website to learn more.)

Coyuchi towels come in a range of colours and sizes, including the 28″x54″ bath towel and the 35″x65″ bath sheet, which means you’ll be able to find something perfect for your home.

You can find Coyuchi products at many retailers across the US and Canada – simply click the “store locator” link on their website.

Free 95% Organic Smileage Plus Liptint at Origins til July 20!

It’s been a while since there’s been something super fun coming out of Origins in terms of freebies and discounts. This one’s definitely super fun. Today through July 20, get free shipping and a free Smileage Plus Liptint with any order. These sweet liptints come in four shades – pinky Sugar Cane, pale Raw Honey (as shown at right), rich Organic Plum and deep Off Beet. Formulated with Organic Beeswax, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter and Organic Aloe Vera, with an organic essential oil blend of Tangerine and Lime, these liptints are sure to keep your kisser smooth.

Never tried Origins products before? They have a wonderful Organics line, certified organic by the USDA. Even their non-certified products use many natural, organic ingredients, so you almost can’t go wrong. One of my favourites is the Heart and Soles foot care line, if you’re a home pedicurist like me.

Check it all out at Origins.

Maggie’s Functional Organics: Fun, Functional Clothing

Spotted at Arbour Environmental Shoppe: Maggie’s Functional Organics. Maggie’s line runs from baby gear to yoga-style loungewear to fun, stylish tops and even a fun, wide range of socks. And who doesn’t want organic feet, I ask you?

Maggie’s Functional Organics strives to “provide a direct and vital link between the organic, sustainable agricultural community and the end user of these products. This connection should serve to educate and enlighten each player in the production chain of the interdependence we share in serving and promoting the health and general welfare of the planet upon which we live and the people who inhabit it.” The ethos is working: people are saying great things about Maggie’s stuff – perhaps you will too!

Maggie’s Functional Organics are available on their website or at eco-shops across Canada.

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