Sustainable

Meet Filip Karto: THE artist of upcycling fashion #IronsideMakers

An artist at heart, he uses multiple mediums to convey his messages. From sculptures to collages, fashion to jewelry, his passion lies in the process of transforming an already existing object into something new.
PHILIP KARTO products are handcrafted in our Miami-based atelier by expert artisans. Their Alligator line is exclusively fabricated in Florida. This leather is particularly durable and can last a lifetime with proper care. Because each hide has a unique pattern of “tiles” or scales, every item produced is one-of-a-kind from the start.

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Produced at an average of three bags (3) bags a day; vintage luxury handbags are completely taken apart, hand painted, and re-assembled with suede handles, exotic leather and silver 925 details.
All of the above-mentioned bag styles are known for their double-sided design: an impactful image paired with an inspirational, funny or unusual quote to match.

Inspired by Rock and Roll, motorcycles and urban culture this high-end leather brand’s motto is: Disassemble, Modify, Transform. The use of premium acrylic leather paint promises for a long-lasting design.
All of their luxury vintage handbags are purchased at certified auctions.

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Keeping Up With Krel #IronsideMakers

Meet Miami fashion designer Karelle Levy and explore her collection of sustainable, hand loomed, limited edition designer knitwear specifically made for the heat.  Styles range from dresses, skirts, and hot shorts to tanks. 

Designer and artist Karelle Levy founded Krelwear fashion collection in 2002. Born in Paris and raised in Miami, she graduated with a Textile degree from Rhode Island School of Design. She applies her multi-cultural background to designing and fabricating colorful, body-conscious knitwear for tropical climates. She specializes in eco-friendly cotton and metallic fibers with advanced technology. Hand-knitted dresses, tops, hot shorts and accessories come in her exclusive, signature fabrics.

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In addition to creating art installations, including Quickie Couture, a series for on-the-spot custom pieces, she hosts “Stitch N Bitch” monthly knitting and crochet workshops at her studio and boutique in Miami Ironside and at the Freehand Miami hotel.

KREL’s philosophy is based in the beauty of seamless “toobular” knit design. Branching through two separate lines; one of a kind hand loomed and limited ready to wear.  The one of kind line is hand loomed in our Miami atelier with a blend of yarns ranging from cottons, metallics, rayons, glow in the dark, and polyesters.  Some pieces can have up to 20 varieties of yarns.  The pieces are like works of art; they change and morph as they are created.

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Sustainably Designed & Knit in Miami

KREL has been voted Best Fashion Designer in Miami New Times in 2005 & 2010 and awarded GenArt “Fresh Faces of Fashion” in 2004.  Among its list of thrilled garment owners are: Nicki Minaj, Alanis Morrisset, Christina Ricci, Carmen Electra, Pink, Cameron Diaz, and Natasha Lyonne.

What’s On Tap? 5 Sustainability Trends For 2019

In 2019, global sustainability trends are taking shape in a meaningful way. Some you may not notice right away, but others will be impossible to miss since they will not only be emphasized in the media, but also in our everyday lives.

Here are 5 sustainable trends to keep an eye on in 2019.

1. Sustainable Vehicle Automation

As climate concerns continue to grow, so does the attention being paid globally to carbon emissions. Because cars and trucks are large contributors to these emissions, a great deal of progress continues to be made regarding the restructuring of the vehicle industry. Low to zero-emission vehicles, self-driving cars, and fully electric options are gaining in popularity – a trend that will only gain strength in the coming year.

According to GreenBiz several countries are working to actively ban fossil fuel cars within the next 25 years and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has projected that self-driving vehicles could remove up to 90% of vehicles on the streets of urban cities.

2. Consumers and technology will make headway in reducing plastic pollution

Addressing our plastic problem is something that many organizations, corporations, activists, environmentalists, governments and individuals have been doing for years – so what is going to be the new trend in the 2019 plastic battle? The answer lies with the informed consumer and changes in plastic technology.

Because plastic is an affordable material with an extensively wide range of uses, it isn’t likely that plastic waste will become a thing of the past by December 31, 2019. What is likely to happen is a change in the way consumers use plastic and the pressure they will continue to exert on their elected officials to make single-use plastics less accessible overall. 

3. Sustainable Farming 

If there is one area in 2019 that sustainable efforts can have a huge impact, it’s agriculture. The past few years have shown increased attention to the way we produce food, and efforts have been growing to ensure that the process of growing is as beneficial for the earth as it is for our tables.


According to James Goodman, director of futures and projects at Forum for the Future, “The internet of things, remote sensing, artificial intelligence and a revolution in robotics are coming together to make low-input, data-driven automated agriculture at scale a real possibility.” This is good news for more efficient use of water, decreased waste overall, and better crop production in the coming years.

4. Increase in sustainable building materials

The years 2016 – 2018 showed us that if it can be made in an eco-friendly way there is likely someone out there who will make it so – 2019 will be no different. While packaging and everyday materials have been making responsible shifts to biodegradable, compostable, and fully recyclable options in recent years, there is one industry that will continue to strive for new sustainable heights in 2019. That is the construction industry.

According to Marc Spiegel, Construction and Demolition Sector Lead and Co-Founder of Rubicon Global, “When looking at the construction and demolition industry, it will be critical to leverage technology to deal with the massive challenge of cleaning up, waste and recycling.  Today there are better ways to deal with construction clean up, other than doing what we did 50 years ago and calling the garbage company. Educating the public and private sectors on modern possibilities is vital to change old habits.

In addition, the lack of dedicated construction and demolition material recycling facilities means that each commodity being recycled must have its own container to prevent cross contamination. This scenario makes coordination and logistics more important for users and vendors, which is why embracing technology could be a catalyst for change in 2019 and beyond.”

5. Increased social action and education around sustainability

With so much at stake globally, 2019 could be the year when the effects of our increasingly ultra-connected behavior as a society rises to a new level and leads to meaningful positive change. Change can be hard but we are proving more and more that it doesn’t have to be a four-letter word. In the past, we have achieved great things as a society when we have worked together and in 2019 we expect to see big changes.

For example, we expect to see a growing number of organizations doing the hard work needed to gain B Corporation status, an increase in green building LEED Certifications, more cities instituting single-use plastic bans, and global policy changes intended to make polluting nearly impossible. 

We also expect to see sustainability commitments increase for small business and individuals through more responsible recycling practices, efforts toward becoming more energy efficient, and efforts to become more educated about sustainable initiatives in local communities.

Five Incredible Buildings Inspired By Nature 🌱 #Biomimetic

Biomimetic architecture uses nature as a model, measure and mentor to solve problems in architecture. It is not the same as biomorphic architecture, which uses natural existing elements as sources of inspiration for aesthetic components of form. Instead, biomimetic architecture looks to nature as a model to imitate or take inspiration from natural designs and processes and applies it to the man-made. It uses nature as a measure meaning biomimicry uses an ecological standard to judge the efficiency of human innovations. Nature as a mentor means that biomimicry does not try to exploit nature by extracting material goods from it, but values nature as something humans can learn from.

  1. Milwaukee Art Musem

Credit: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Credit: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The elegant Milwaukee Art Museum’s most eye-catching feature is its huge sunscreen roof – the Burke Brise Soleil – which is reminiscent of great white wings thanks to an open and closing mechanism controlling the 90 tonne screen.

Architect Santiago Calatrava wanted to incorporate both the urban and natural features of Lake Michigan, which the building overlooks, and took into account the “culture” of the lake front including boats and sails.

Gabriel Tang, an architect and senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, describes why this US building is among his favourites: “Although expensive and technically complex, this is a delightful way in which architecture can be inspired by observations and ideas from nature to create pieces which are interestingly functional, functionally practical, and practically beautiful.”

He adds: “I love the direct and straight-forward legibility of the building. The opening or closing mechanism is gracefully poetic, but yet performs a function – that of protection.”

2. The Gherkin

Credit: Getty images

Credit: Getty images

“This was one of the first environmentally progressive buildings in the UK city of London,” says Tang of 30 St Mary Axe, the UK’s iconic skyscraper more commonly known as “The Gherkin”.

Completed in 2004, the 180m tower has an air ventilation system similar to sea sponges and anemones, Tang points out.

These creatures feed by directing sea water to flow through their bodies. And similarly, The Gherkin is supported by an exoskeleton structure, and is designed so ventilation flows through the entire building.

3. The “algae house”

Credit: Novarc Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Credit: Novarc Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Germany’s extraordinary “algae house” or BIQ building in Hamburg actually incorporates living matter – microalgae – into its design.

One side of the green-hued tower’s largely transparent surface contains tiny, growing algae which can control light entering the building and provide shade when needed.

It’s the world's first example of a “bioreactor façade”.

Algae produced within the transparent shell are continuously supplied with nutrients and carbon dioxide by a water circuit which runs through the building’s surface.

The algae creates a sun filter, explains Cruz: “In winter for instance, when there’s hardly any light and Hamburg is pretty grey for a long period, then the algae will not propagate and the façade screens will be very transparent, and so light comes through.”

When enough algae have grown they can be harvested and used to make biogas (a renewable energy source made from raw materials) to supply the building.

The ingenious design was completed as a prototype for the International Building Exhibition in Hamburg in 2013.

4. Eden Project

Credit: Caitlin Mogridge / Redferns via Getty Images

Credit: Caitlin Mogridge / Redferns via Getty Images

The Eden Project, nestled in a clay pit near the hamlet of Bodelva in Cornwall, UK, houses an extraordinary collection of plant species from tropical rainforest and the Mediterranean.

But the domed building itself is a large part of the spectacle: its “curvilinear” shape is an example of “softer edge” geometries which fascinate architects today, says Cruz.

Architect Nicholas Grimshaw’s huge transparent semi-spherical creations were inspired by the shape of soap bubbles, and the building’s “Core” education centre mimics the Fibonacci spiral pattern found in many natural objects such as pinecones, pineapples, sunflowers and snail shells.

5. Downland Gridshell Building

Credit: Steve Speller - Alamy Stock Photo

Credit: Steve Speller - Alamy Stock Photo

The light and airy Downland Gridshell Building, part of the Weal & Downloand Open Air Museum in Singleton, Chichester, UK was completed in 2002 and uses oak laths bent into shape to create the double-curvature, lightweight shell structure.

“This is perhaps not a building that was inspired by natural observations but with its timber cladding on the outside and being located within the woods, this building strikes a very close relationship to its natural setting and has been described by critics and architects themselves as an armadillo,” says Tang.

Tang, having worked extensively with gridshell design, explains lightweight shells such as those seen in the Downland Gridshell Building, are typically made with timber or steel. “Imagine how a bird creates a nest from separate pieces of straw. These structures usually have light-filled interiors but because of the number of connections, can be difficult to make weather-tight.”

Design is a human ritual of understanding.
— Maggie Macnab, Design by Nature: Using Universal Forms and Principles in Design

10 Exceptional Earth Photos 🌎 #EarthDay

Celebrate Earth Day With The Greatest Images Of Our Planet.

The Earth remains humanity's only home in all the Universe, and the only planet that we know of capable of supporting human beings. Today, Earth Day, it's more important than ever to appreciate it. Below are some of the most impressive images of our home planet ever captured with a camera.

Northern Outburst by   Oystein Lunde Ingvaldsen

Northern Outburst by Oystein Lunde Ingvaldsen

The Great Blue Hole – Belize

The Great Blue Hole – Belize

Terraced Rice Field, China by   Thierry Bornier

Terraced Rice Field, China by Thierry Bornier

Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland by   Sigurdur Hrafn Stefnisson

Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland by Sigurdur Hrafn Stefnisson

Cave of Crystals, Mexico by   Carsten Peter, Speleoresearch & Films

Cave of Crystals, Mexico by Carsten Peter, Speleoresearch & Films

Camel, Socotra Island by   Sergei Reoutov

Camel, Socotra Island by Sergei Reoutov

Yellowstone Park by   Tom Clark

Yellowstone Park by Tom Clark

All This Blue Ice

All This Blue Ice

Serengeti, Tanzania by   Amnon Eichelberg

Serengeti, Tanzania by Amnon Eichelberg

Arizona Butte by   Rex Naden

Arizona Butte by Rex Naden