There aren't many places in the city that feel like a home. My apartment, of course, but it can feel cramped. Aside from that nook in the local coffee shop or that especially cozy bar, most New Yorkers travel in a circuit of uncomfortable train cars, bar stools, and cubicles. Enter ABC Carpet & Home. Where other places fail to dazzle, ABC Home excels: chandeliers, exposed brick, and open spaces make it an urban sanctuary. I had (embarrassingly) never been there before I attended their Beauty Wellness Wisdom event last Saturday.
ABC Home aspires to manifest a universal exchange where spirit, sustainability, culture, currency, and creation coexist; a holistic sensory experience to inform and inspire participation. Their 'Beauty Wellness Wisdom' series brings together people and brands passionate about health, eco-consciousness, and beauty. These brands hit all of the marks for sustainability, clean beauty, and health-consciousness.
The day began with beverages from Løv Organic Tea sweetened with Catskill Provisions Honey, Blue Bottle Coffee, Organic Avenue, and Aloha Juice. I went for a nutritional pick-me-up with the vitamin-packed juices.
Løv Organic Tea is free from GMOs, contains only natural flavorings, and at least 95% of organically grown ingredients free from chemical treatments. The tea bags are unbleached and free of staples or glue and made of organic fibers of corn. Their cardboard packing is FSC certified and their cute metal tins are recyclable and re-usable; they can be refilled in stores offering Løv Organic loose tea.
Located in a small corner of the Northwest Catskill Mountains, Catskill Provisions specializes in creating raw, all-natural handmade products. Sourcing Delaware County and surrounding areas, items like wildflower honey and maple syrup are unique in their devotion to seasonality, as well as their reliance on local purveyors for pure, sustainable products that enrich the community.
Blue Bottle roasts coffee on vintage gear, put it in compostable bags, and still get it to their customers within 48 hours for peak freshness. Blue Bottle works to help create sustainable infrastructures for coffee farms in Ethiopia, Panama, and Guatemala. These partnerships ensure that the treatment and pay of pickers is reflective of the exceptional quality of the beans.
I tried Aloha's The Daily Good, a whole-food powder with 14 nutrient-rich ingredients added to coconut water. I could see it being a convenient option for those of us without a juicer at home. Made with a combination of certified organic, wild-harvested, and sustainably grown fresh produce, it is dried via a proprietary patented technology that preserves the nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. In addition, Aloha chooses compostable or 100% recycled packaging solutions, and sustainable wind-power whenever possible.
Fruits and vegetables are the foundation for ultimate health. —Dr. Woodson Merrell
The speakers and panels throughout the day covered subjects ranging from meditation to holistic medicine to the microbiome. One of my favorite panels is pictured above. 'Food as Medicine: the MindBodyGreen Panel' was hosted by founder Jason Wachob with Dr. Woodson Merrell and Chef Seamus Mullen. MindBodyGreen is on a mission to revitalize the way people eat, move, and live. Their website offers tools and information to foster honest conversations about health. Dr. Woodson Merrell practices and promotes integrative medicine through his involvement and educational endeavors, including the founding of the Continuum Center for Health and Healing. Seamus Mullen is an award-winning New York chef, restaurateur and cookbook author. He spoke about his personal journey with food, and his battle with rheumatoid arthritis. The conversation began with personal habits and what makes up foundational health.
A lot of people fear and are stressed out by food. We need to learn that food is enjoyable. —Chef Seamus Mullen
Food politics entered the conversation around privilege and fragmentation among the healthy living communities. Despite their differing viewpoints, the paleo, vegetarian, vegan, and farm-to-table communities are passionate about health and should be working together to promote well-being. Inflammation and stress, and the microbiome dominated the end of the panel. These issues affect all of us and new information is helping us better understand how we can address them. It's much harder to make that information available to everyone; I think it would be a boon to society if we all had access to holistic care (not just those who can afford it).
Wellness has become a privilege of the elite. We need to take it to a broader community. —Chef Seamus Mullen
As you know, I'm obsessed with clean beauty, so I was delighted by the beauty brands represented and available to talk and test.
I have read about Kahina, but never tried it. I was happy to take samples of their argan oil based products and chat about the ways they give back to the Berber women who harvest the precious oils. Since founding her company in 2008, Katharine L’Heureux has made multiple trips to Morocco to personally source the oil and ensure the ethical treatment of the women who work to extract the oil. As a testament to the essential role the female artisans play in the effectiveness and beauty of the Kahina line, their actual signatures grace the packaging on every product.
H. Gillerman Organics uses only the highest quality, undiluted, unaltered organic, and wild-crafted essential oils, sourced from all over the world. The H. Gillerman Organics gold logo symbolizes the alchemical art of blending to create unity and harmony.
PRITI NYC's mission is to support organic farmers and to decrease the amount of chemicals poisoning the Earth (and its inhabitants) one manicure at a time. PRITI NYC polishes are fast drying, chip resistant, contain a UV inhibitor, and are extremely durable and glossy. More importantly, they are 5 Free & Vegan, completely non-toxic, and are free of toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor – all known carcinogenic ingredients.
Tata Harper products are the ultimate in green beauty. They are developed from scratch by Tata and a team of industry experts and contain no generic fillers or pre-made bases – every ingredient has a specific purpose and delivers targeted results. Everything is manufactured in small batches in their Vermont facility which runs on renewable energy. Tata Harper uses recycled paper and packaging material, recyclable glass bottles, and keeps all activity in one place to cut down on their carbon footprint.
Many of the brands offered demonstrations and consultations. I discovered some great new brands to try out; I'll be adding them to my Ethical Beauty Resources.
Founder of RMS Beauty, Rose-Marie Swift, was there to give mini-makeovers. Christina of DeSmitten tried out their new mascara while Alden of EcoCult took the bronzer and luminizer for a spin. RMS Beauty products are formulated with raw, food grade, and organic ingredients in their natural state, allowing their living, healing attributes to penetrate and rejuvenate the skin.
The Intelligent Nutrients team was on hand to offer hair consultations and Juliette of Spades + SiLK took full advantage. Intelligent Nutrients takes the time and money to have a 3rd party audit their manufacturing, storage and shipping practices – from the raw ingredients right down to the finished goods. And unlike many “natural” and “organic” brands, their ingredient listings are fully transparent. That means that if it’s in their products, it’s on the label.
Thanks to ABC Home for being dedicated to sustainability and beautifully crafted products. I recommend checking them out online. And if you are near one of their locations, take a spin and pretend you're home. That's what I do.
VISITING NYC? GET THIS MAP OF MY FAVORITE SUSTAINABLE PLACES.
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