Reebok: Cotton & Corn Kicks

 
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How can you kick back and relax when your sneakers are killing the very Earth you traverse? According to an MIT study on the carbon footprint of shoes, one pair of typical rubber sneakers is equivalent to 30 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. This is the equivalent of leaving a 100-watt lightbulb on for a whole week. 

This is why I'm excited to own Reebok’s first sustainable sneaker, an alternative to synthetic rubber shoes which kill our ecosystem. These sustainable kicks are made from cotton and corn which Reebok Classics designed to be SO comfy (this is so rare with vegan shoes!!). The upper is 100% cotton and the sole is bio-based TPU from corn. It's 75% USDA organic, and undyed – aka the fewer steps in the production process, the smaller the carbon footprint. Oh and they’re obviously classically beautiful. Shop these unisex sneaks by clicking the image below. 

“It didn’t start out with corn and cotton, it started out with recycling, compostability, where do we want to land. Our issue with recycling is you recycle plastic, it’s still plastic…You’re not getting rid of the problem." -Bill McInnis, Reebok

Photography: @vtimeflies 

Shoes: Reebok

Top and jeans: Sugarhigh

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When Thrifting Backfires

 
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It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of thrifting clothes (buying and selling), but sometimes the process doesn't go as planned. I recently spent an entire weekend sifting through my shameful plethora of unwanted clothes, crammed into my tiny Brooklyn closet, in order to (hopefully) make some money thrifting what I could and donating the rest.

Want to know how much I made from Beacon's Closet – my local Bushwick, Brooklyn thrift shop – which I was SURE would be a gold mine? -$25... Yup, you read that right, NEGATIVE twenty-five dollars...my plan totally backfired on me and I spent money at the thrift store.

The feeling of being handed back my giant Ikea blue bag of previously cherished clothing from the cashier can only be described as one word, rejection. Thoughts of middle school embarrassment rushed back to me. Wandering around the lunchroom, brace-faced with nowhere to sit. The cool kids giggling in the corner. When I snapped back to reality, I realized, I've come a LONG way since then. I then reminded myself, who cares what these people think? We have to learn from our mistakes to better our chances next time. 

I accepted the fact that thrifting is a lot harder than being a thrifter (my kind of hunting and gathering). It's a matter of opinion, surrendering your clothes to another's judgment and being prepared for the potential let down. However; I now know that there are ways of increasing your luck. This includes:

  • Familiarity: Frequenting the same store...never hurts to make some insider friends
  • Quantity: Bringing fewer clothes (without the Ikea bag) 
  • Timing: Presenting seasonal selections (no crop tops in winter) 
  • Trial & Error: Hitting many different spots to up your chances (and be patient) 
  • Research: Look at the brands and styles in the store and align yours with this

On the bright side of this unfortunate day, I ended up with this awesome Rebecca Minkoff, plaid pea coat, a new favorite in my wardrobe! Time to do some more research in my favorite shops. 

XOXO Alex 

Photography: Nat Belkov

 
 
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Shop my look (not exact items due to vintage)!

 

Thrill of the Ride

 
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After walking back home from my usual Saturday morning workout class – I would actually call it more like hobbling – I passed by the most discrete and intriguing vintage store I’ve ever seen. It’s called Raggedy Threads, situated in an old bakery (old signage never removed), resembling a speakeasy, minus the alcohol (sadly). BUT, my mysterious new vintage find completely made up for it.

I immediately spotted the most incredible brass biker belt buckle...holy alliteration!!... in the shape of Harley wings and snagged it. After taking it home and scrubbing the tarnish off with my homemade potion, the words “motor” “cycles” and the initials “BF,” inscribed on the back, came into focus.

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After doing some research, I discovered that the buckle most likely came from the 1940’s and was part of a company who sold them to different bike manufacturers who would then add their company name between “Motor” and Cycles.” Looks like I ended up with the all-encompassing buckle, one with no name but some mysterious initials to make up for it.

I also realized that I needed the actual belt to go with it, so I popped into my local shoemaker and asked him if he sold used leather belts – I told him I’ll only buy vintage leather since I’m a vegan. I don’t know if the old Greek man had a soft spot for me since his name was also Alex, or what, but he sold me his only used belt. He handed me HIS personal belt that he told me he’s had for 20 years and even custom fit it to me.

WHAT A THRILLING DAY IN VINTAGE HEAVEN.

To complete the look with some updated pieces, I had a beautiful Laura Siegel tunic I’ve been dying to wear, and paired it with distressed denim shorts and over-the-knee, open toed booties. And there you have it, I was ready to RIDE through a fun Saturday in Brooklyn spent checking out local bikes at  and drinking some wine with friends.

Photography: J Goldberg Productions & Jeff Malo

Top: Laura Siegel 

Boots: Guess 

 
 
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Welcome to the Concrete Jungle

 

Welcomeee to the jungleeee! I dare you try to read that again without singing the song in your head. YEAH you know which one I’m talking about. For me, when I hear this song (or literally read the title) I’m immediately transported back to high school dance team. Despite my being 23 years old (I promise I wasn’t alive in the 80’s), this was the song that was blasted from the stadium bleachers EVERY single time our team scored a touchdown. Then would commence our victory sideline dance which hadn’t been changed in 20 years and included a whole lot of awkward hip slaps and pivot turns. But you know what, it was OK because we were winning!  

The reason I bring this story up isn’t that this shoot was literally inspired by the only green area in the concrete jungle of NYC, but because of what that this shoot reminded me of, feeling on top of the damn world. A feeling like this can only come from one thing, confidence. Although growing up a dancer was hard at times – physically and mentally – if there’s one thing it taught me, it was to be confident. When you’re performing on a weekly basis, you learn to thrive off of the energy of stepping out of your comfort zone, especially what that included a killer costume.

Like everyone, I have my moments of insecurity, but sometimes all you need is a fantastic outfit to renew your confidence and you’re ready to GO. I swear, I slipped on this kimono and I was ready to conquer the Iron Throne (or at least climb a forbidden water tower). 

Photography: J Goldberg Productions

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