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Ethical Silk

Eva-power My guest today is Eva Power, Founder of The Ethical Silk Company in Dublin, Ireland. We’ll be talking about the benefits of silk as an alternative to synthetic fibers, and silk production. Eva uses only silk that is produced in a way that is toxic-free, animal friendly, and fair trade. “The Ethical Silk Company produces 100% eco-friendly & ethically made mulberry silk products, where no silkworms are harmed or killed in the production process, resulting in beautiful natural mulberry silk. All tailoring is done in the Nano Nagle Tailoring Unit in Theni, India. This tailoring unit is run by the Presentation Sisters, where they teach women various crafts including tailoring as part of the local Women’s Federation. This Women’s Federation aims to empower the women through self-help groups.”




Natural Shoe Polish for Leather Shoes

My guest today is Glen Tippets, Co-Founder of GlenKaren Premium Shoe Care Products. I had to have him on the show after I read the story about how he loved to polish his leather shoes, but his wife hated the chemical smell. The compromise? Create an all-natural shoe polish, of course. We’ll talk about their shoe polish and how to maintain and enjoy good shoes. Glen is a Business Systems Analyst with 20+ years of experience in penetrating root causes of complex system problems and architecting simple solutions that help move companies forward. Currently Glen is employed as a Director of Business Administration in a small company of 65 employees. Glen’s love of shoes began in the late 70’s with his first pair of leather dress shoes. One of his main hobbies ever since has been learning about shoe leather and how to properly care for his ever growing shoe collection.




Finding Toxic-Free Clothing

My guest today is Adrienne Catone, founder and CEO of the eco-fashion website We’ll be talking about what’s available in the world of safer fabrics and her exceptional collection of clothing. Adrienne is a long time vegan and environmentalist who loves animals, faeries and fantasy novels. She started her career in the aerospace industry as an analyst. Her fondness of travel took her to Africa in 1994 where an encounter with a silverback gorilla troupe started her thinking about conservation and changed the course of her life. The changes culminated in the opening of in 2005. Adrienne has an MS degree in Applied Mathematics from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook and a post-graduate Certificate in Environmental Studies from California State University (Cal State) Long Beach.




A New Kind of Natural Bed

My guest today is Eliana Jantz, founder of Shepherd’s Dream (which is now owned and run by her daughter Sarah Sunshine Smith). Eliana has taken another step in the innovation of using wool to make beds with her new business, Heartfelt Collective. We’ll be talking about her new venture, mattress design, and her experience with wool. Eliana has been a pioneer in the creation of wool beds for the past three decades and has worked closely with her wool growers to develop organic standards for wool (I helped write them). We have been friends for years.,



Getting to Know Alpacas

My guest is Steve Putney from Safe Haven Alpaca Farm, one of the largest breeders of both Suri and Huacaya alpaca in the northeast United States. We’ll be talking about alpaca as a toxic-free renewable and sustainable material for clothing, bedding, and other products.. Steve grew up in Iowa in a rural community. Following graduation from high school he entered into radio broadcasting, and spent the next 17 years working in all aspects of media. His experience in business and marketing took him to Houston, Texas in 1995 where he began a career in telecommunications In 2005 Steve moved to Connecticut to over-see operations of Safe Haven Alpaca Farm, a family business that began in 2001 with six alpaca. The addition of a large retail store featuring alpaca clothing, gifts and accessories, a bed and breakfast and growing the herd from twenty alpaca to over 100 have been accomplished since he joined the business. Steve Putney on the Board of Directors of the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association.




Fabrics That are Nontoxic, Ethical, Sustainable…and Beautiful

My guests today are Patty Grossman and Leigh Anne Van Dusen, co-founders (and sisters) of O Ecotextiles. They are changing the way textiles are being made by proving that it’s possible to produce luxurious, sensuous fabrics in ways that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable. Today we’ll be talking about toxic chemicals in textiles, and how they are creating safe fabrics (they specialize in upholstery fabrics, but the production issues apply to all fabrics). The the collection has garnered accolades and honors since it debuted at Decorex in 2007, where it won Best Merchandise from House & Garden magazine. In 2009, Environmental Building News and BuildingGreen named O Ecotextiles one of the top 10 Green Building Products of 2008. Leigh Anne and Patty believe that the best way to achieve necessary changes in textile manufacturing is to share what they’ve learned about the methods used to make fabrics – and what this means to us and our planet. Their research and groundbreaking efforts to create aesthetically pleasing and environmentally safe fabrics has made them experts in the issues of sustainability in textiles. They are founding members of the Sustainable Furnishings Council and serve on its Textiles Subcommittee.

Read Why and How to Green Your Textile Choices



The Benefits and Comforts of Sleeping on a Wool Bed

My guest is Sarah Sunshine Smith, owner of Shepherd’s Dream. Since she was only 2 years old when her mother, Eliana Jantz started the company, Sarah has been surrounded by natural bedding nearly her whole life. Naturally, she became a part of the company at a young age and has played a key role in Shepherd’s Dream operations for more than 15 years. Sarah took ownership of Shepherd’s Dream over 6 years ago and has been nurturing it’s growth and well being ever since. Sarah is honored to have the opportunity to provide the purest, natural bedding imaginable to people worldwide. It is of great importance to her that each product is made with local, organic materials whenever possible, that the sheep who offer their wool fleeces live happy lives on green pastures and that each product is made with patience and love. Sarah is committed to providing a quality product line that contributes to a sustainable, green planet that will provide a beautiful home for our future generations. We’ll be talking about how wool beds are made, from the sheep in the field to the handstitching. I sleep on a Shepherd’s Dream wool bed, and have known Eliana almost as long as I’ve been writing about toxic free products, so I’ll share my experience too.

All About Latex Mattresses

My guest Barry Cik is a co-founder of Naturepedic, the leading brand for organic baby and children’s mattresses…and now also adult mattresses. As an environmental engineer Barry understands toxic chemical issues better than most product manufacturers and has a “no compromise” policy when choosing materials from which to make Naturepedic products. Some of the new Naturepedic adult mattresses are made of latex. We’ll talk about everything that has to do with latex: natural vs synthetic, Dunlop and Talalay, certified organic latex, and more.




Toxic-Free Alpaca Pillows for a Good Night’s Sleep

My guest Robbin Martinelli the Founder and Owner of USAlpaca Company, which specializes in Alpaca breeding and exquisite Alpaca Fashions, Alpaca Pillows and Pendleton Alpaca Blankets made in America. A former Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing, Robbin’s life now revolves around the agriculture of breeding fine and rare alpacas. At her farm in Virginia, she gives educational interactive tours and follows her passion of creating new American-made alpaca products. Her mission is to provide the consumer with luxuriously healthy products made from all-natural alpaca, called the Royal Fleece, and the Green Livestock. We’ll talk about toxic chemicals in pillows, Robbin’s alpaca sleep pillows (I have one and I’ll tell you all about it!) and why she loves alpaca as a toxic-free material.




Organic Clothing for Women, Handmade in the USA

My guest is Lucretia Bohnsack, Executive Director of Esperanza Threads, an organic, sustainable fiber clothing manufacturer that combines comfort and fashion with socially environmental values. Located in Cleveland, Ohio they make products for adults, youths, babies (and people with multiple chemical sensitivities) as well as bed and bath items. Founded by Ursuline Sister Mary Eileen Boyle in 2000, Esperanza Threads is a non-profit training facility teaching those needing skills for employment how to sew on industrial machines. . Currently Esperanza Threads is collaborating with the Cleveland Catholic Charities Migrant Refugee Services to train newly arrived people from around the world. Other agencies in the area such as El Barrio Workforce Development Center, and neighboring Churches refer individuals who are in need of skills for employment. Esperanza Threads also helps with job placement at sewing facilities in the Greater Cleveland area as well as currently expanding a new apprenticeship program for promising sewers in their manufacturing facility. Lucretia Bohnsack accepted the role of Executive Director in October, 2012 after serving on the Board of Directors from the beginning. We’ll be talking about how they make organic clothing and why choosing organic clothing is an important toxic-free choice for our health and the environment.




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