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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

karina diaz

October 15th, 2012

Founded in 1987, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a chance to bring together people around the world to join in the common cause of ending violence against women and their children.

The 2012 Day of Unity was celebrated Monday, October 1, and was commemorated with events across the country. Here are a few of our favorite events, activities, and thoughts about DVAM:

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How have you celebrated Domestic Violence Awareness Month?  Leave us a comment sharing your stories.

With Love,
The PeaceKeeper Team
www.iamapeacekeeper.com

PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics is the first cosmetic line to give donations to urgent human rights issues globally.
Want to become a PeaceKeeper too? Take a peek at our products and check outthe causes we support.

Last-Minute Tips for Hunting Down a Halloween Costume

karina diaz

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Most of us have already decided on our Halloween costume and put it together, anxiously awaiting the moment we get to unveil their costumed creativity—here in NYC, we at PeaceKeeper are already seeing witches, goddesses and ghosties patrolling the streets!  However, some of us (or a lot of us) have lost track of time and are now scrambling for costumes.

It is easy to go into the numerous Halloween stores that have popped up all over the place; however, the idea of spending so much money on cheap material that you will only wear once before discarding is distasteful to a lot of us. If you do find yourself having to purchase a last-minute costume, though, why not give it to charity or lend it to another person for next year?  It’ll probably still be in great condition!

If you’re strapped for cash, though, the cheapest thing to do is take a look at your closet and use what you have—a whole world of costumes could exist in your home!  Why not cut that orange muumuu to knee-length?  With a strand of pearls and a little sass, it’s an instant flapper costume!  If you’ve got some serious sewing skills, you could take in that old sheath dress so that it hugs your gorgeous curves; voila!  A seductive retro look a la Joan Holloway—just add red lipstick and a beehive hairdo!

You don’t have to limit yourself to just your clothing, either!  Old sheets and curtains might provide the perfect drape for a Grecian goddess, a sweeping floor-length skirt for a medieval queen, or a flirty asymmetrical dress for a gypsy costume!  Another possibility is purchasing cloth from a fabric store and making your own costume from scratch, but this can be time-consuming and hard to finish without spot-on sewing skills and a super-fast sewing machine.

Of course, if you have a little cash to burn and your sewing skills are a little lacking, you can try my Halloween costume approach:  thrift store shopping!Since my apartment lacks a lot of older-looking items, I raided every thrift shop in the city (and every friend’s closet) until I pieced together my costume.  Not only was this easier on my wallet than buying new, but it felt like a great accomplishment every time I picked out a new perfect piece; now, two days from the big day,  I’m all ready to dress to impress!

What are your costume ideas?  Leave a comment below!

With Love,

The PeaceKeeper Team

(Writer: Renee Estey.  Editor:  Jessica Smith.  Picture courtesy Dezign Wizard.)

 

Fairness and Equality Denied: The Paycheck Fairness Act Fails to Pass the Senate

karina diaz

November 20th, 2010

On Wednesday, November 17, the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that pushed for the closing of the wage gap between genders, failed to pass the Senate with a vote of 58-41.

While the House of Representatives voted in favor of the act two years ago, the Senate has refused to push it through. “This was a missed opportunity to make history and jumpstart real economic change for American women and their families,” stated AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman (Equal Pay New York).

These days, with the economy being what it is, many families rely on a woman’s income just as much as a man’s; however, the average woman makes $.77 cents to the dollar that an equally educated man makes for the same work.  Statistics show that the wage gap costs an average American woman $500,000-$1,000,000 over her lifetime.

The Paycheck Fairness Act, in closing the wage gap, would have not only been a watershed victory for women all over the country; it would have helped impoverished families afford the necessities of life that they deserve. With the failure of the Act, however, loopholes in the original Equal Pay Act of 1963 will still allow employers to pay their workers unfairly based on gender, race, or creed and that employees will still be intimidated by their companies into staying silent about their wages—both of which the Act sought to eliminate.

Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor, stated that her department will “redouble its efforts to ensure America’s women are not treated as second class citizens by employers who refuse to compensate them in a fair and equitable manner.” (EPNY)

We at PeaceKeeper find the failure of the Paycheck Fairness Act unfortunate and unfair. We are thankful for the acknowledgement the Act has received and the many brave men and women who supported its passing.  Hopefully one day this Act can be passed, but until then we need to be grateful for what we have and hope that things will change for women in the future.

One of these days, women will be acknowledged as equal to men in the eyes of the American government.  Until then, we will continue to fight for a woman’s right to equal pay. We need to keep spreading awareness and fighting for equal pay and no discrimination!

With Love,

The PeaceKeeper Team

(Writer:  Renee Estey.  Editor:  Jessica Smith.

​ PeaceKeeper Kiss Of Approval: Prada’s “Made In” Collection

karina diaz

November 17th, 2010

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This week, we’re giving the PeaceKeeper Kiss Of Approval to Prada for their new “Made In” series! The luxury brand has created four capsule collections from four different cultures, teaming up with their native producers and using their regional skills, materials, and techniques–luxury items made by locally sourced artisans. It is a statement against ‘fast, mass-produced, globalized fashion’.

Scroll down for a preview of each collection!

 

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Prada Made in Scotland is a collection of tartan wool kilts from United Kingdom workshops. The kilts are made from traditional manufacturing and weaving techniques.

 

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Prada Made in India features gorgeous handmade shoes and handbags (pictured above) crafted in Chikan workshops in India (Chikan is the most ancient Indian embroidery).

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Prada Made in Japan features premium denim produced by Dova, a leading denim manufacturer. The jeans have four varieties of cloth and seven washes and can be custom ordered.  (P.S.  If the insides of the jeans look this cute–check out those embroidered pockets–we can only imagine how cute the outsides will be!)

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Prada Made in Peru uses Alpaca wool knitwear from traditional workshops in Peru.

The collection has been slowly but surely making its way into Prada boutiques, and is scheduled to officially launch in 2011.  We at PeaceKeeper think this collection is so cute that we want to take a stroll around the style globe ourselves!  What do you think?  Leave a comment below!

With Love,

The PeaceKeeper Team

(Writer:  Renee Estey.  Editor:  Jessica Smith.  Pictures courtesy Fabsugar.

I WANT MY MILLION BUCKS!

karina diaz

November 11th, 2010

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In 1963 Congress passed the Equal Pay Act so that women and men were ensured the same pay rate for the same work; however, almost 50 years later, women are still making 76 cents to every dollar made by a man. The Paycheck Fairness Actwas introduced in January 2009 by then-Senator Hillary Clinton and Representative Rosa Delauro to eliminate loopholes in the Equal Pay Act—and to eliminate the wage gap between genders.

 In January 2009, the Paycheck Fairness Act passed in the House of Representatives,  but not through the Senate.  On Wednesday, November 17, the Senate will vote again on this historic bill.

              We at PeaceKeeper are asking you to join us in telling the Senate to “Vote YES!” on the Paycheck Fairness Act.  Because of the pay gap, working women can lose up to one million dollars of hard-earned wages.  The average working woman in America loses $500,000-$1,000,000 over her entire lifetime;  that’s money that could feed an entire family for years, all lost because of wage discrimination.  In the new economy, the woman’s income has become as important as the man’s; without that extra money, entire families are suffering.

With the Fairness Act, corporate pay loopholes will disappear and businesses will need a legitimate reason for paying women less than men. The act will also stop employers from intimidating their employees into staying silent about their wages, so that female workers will understand how their pay corresponds to their fellow employees without fear of losing their jobs.

Here’s what YOU can do to support the Paycheck Fairness Act:

–Sign this petition to tell Congress to make the Paycheck Fairness Act a law!

–You can research more about equal pay advocacy by using this handy Equal Pay Toolkit.

–In support of the Paycheck Fairness Act, Peacekeeper has launched a light golden “Fairness Gloss,” which is perfect for all skin types.  Your purchase is donated to groups for equal pay advocacy!

–Since the Act will take effect 6 months after it passes, you can act now to start your workplace moving in the right direction!  Visit PeaceKeeper’s Paycheck Fairness Act page to find out more about the Act, how to research your fair wage, and more!

              What are some of your experiences with the wage gap?  Have you been a victim of pay discrimination?  Let PeaceKeeper know in the comments section below!

With Love,

The PeaceKeeper Team

(Writer:  Renee Estey.  Editor:  Jessica Smith. 

For more information about PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics, visitwww.iamapeacekeeper.com.)

PeaceKeeper Kiss of Approval: Extraseed Ballet Flats

karina diaz

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November 4th, 2010

In the spirit of Vegan Month, we at PeaceKeeper aren’t just limiting our meat and dairy intake—we’re keeping it off our shoes too! Our latest shoe addiction are the brightly colored, eco-friendly ballet flats from Extraseed Shoes, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ballet flats are a timeless classic, perfect for the chic urban girl on the go, and these joyous pairs are the perfect pop of color amidst a sea of black and brown boots.

Extraseed Shoes travel thousands of miles to get to you, but the shoes are beautiful and custom made to your foot size; just send out your measurements! They are unique and beautiful flats “built with longevity and style in mind”; the soles are made from recycled car tire rubber, and used scraps of fabric (considered waste in garment factories) are used for the uppers.

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These eco-friendly satin shoes are a PeaceKeeper favorite–perfect for the office or a Girls’ Night Out!  Made from new scrap satin fabric, faux leather, and recycled car tire rubber.  (The plaid pair at the top of this post can be found here).

 

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Vegan linen shoes are the perfect way to stay eco-chic in the summer!  Try these out with a pair of black shorts and a white t-shirt as a stylish alternative to flip-flops.

These shoes are affordable, too- most styles range from $38-$55, well worth it for comfort, style, and sustainability. Visit Extraseed’s Etsy page for more of their excellent flats!

What’s your favorite Extraseed shoe?  Leave a comment below!

With Love,

The PeaceKeeper Team

(Writer:  Renee Estey.  Editor:  Jessica Smith.  Pictures courtesy Extraseed.)

 

Go Vegan for Vegan Month!

karina diaz

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November 2nd, 2010

November marks the start of Vegan Month 2010! It’s a chance for all the vegans out there to prove to their meat-eating, cheese-loving, butter-spreading friends that there are many ways to enjoy delicious food without being cruel to our bodies, animals, or the environment—and if you’ve ever been curious, it’s the best time to get yourself started on a vegan diet!

The easiest way to ease yourself into eating vegan is to get your hands on some tasty autumn vegetables!  Try adding squash, dark leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, or sweet potatoes to your daily diet.  Add fruits like apples, pears, cherries, cranberries, figs, and dates for a meal that will fill you up with hearty fall flavor—without a hint of meat or dairy!

For a main dish, try this recipe for Butternut Squash Pie It has egg and Parmesan cheese, but those are easily replaceable—for eggs, you can try silken tofu, bananas, or even applesauce!  For the Parmesan, you can try out this substitute, made from organic walnuts and sea salt.  To make it a true vegan masterpiece, try adding some herbs and garlic for that perfect flavor ‘kick’.

If you can’t live without your sugar fix, it’s easy to vegan-ize some of your favorite classic fall deserts like apple pie and pumpkin pie just by switching out some of the ingredients (see above for eggs!).  So long as you keep the signature fall spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, your non-vegan friends won’t know the difference!  This Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie recipe is a great starter recipe for the amateur vegan cook.  (The recipe for those mouthwatering cupcakes at the top of this post?  You can find it here.)

Veganism is not for everyone, so we’re not telling you to drop all eggs and milk immediately.  But adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet supplies you with nutrients like vitamin A, calcium, iron, and fiber—without the extra fats and empty calories you get from meat and dairy. Also, eating vegan is not only healthy for your body, but healthy for the environment too—since you’re not eating as many animal products, you’re not contributing to animal cruelty!

Experiment with old recipes and make them new, or look for something completely unusual.  Taking the small steps to add vegan dishes into your diet goes a long way to protecting your health and our planet.

What are some of your favorite Vegan dishes?  Leave a comment below!

With Love,

The PeaceKeeper Team

(Writer:  Renee Estey.  Editor:  Jessica Smith.  Pictures courtesy Whole Foods Market and Vegtimes.)

 

Peace = Future. The Math is Easy.

karina diaz

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September 21, 2010 marks the International Day of Peace. Peace Day provides individuals, organizations, and nations an opportunity to create acts of peace on one shared date. And while we at Peacekeeper devote our time and energy to peaceful living everyday of our lives, moments like this really bring this into focus on a much larger scale.

This resolution was established on September 21, 1981 and the first Day of Peace occurred in 1982. During the U.N. General Assembly, they concluded that “it would be appropriate to devote a specific time to concentrate the efforts of the United Nations and its Member States, as well as of the whole of mankind, to promoting the ideals peace and giving positive evidence of their commitment to Peace in all viable ways.”

In 2002, 20 years later September 21st became the official Day of Peace. This year is extra special, because it is also the International Year of Youth. Here in NYC, youth peace activists, youth religious and youth artists will meet in the Chapel of the Church Center at the United Nations at 2:00pm on Tuesday September 21st.

This year, the world’s largest anti-poverty campaign, Millennium Development Goals occurs on September 20-22, meaning the Day of Peace falls in the middle. The goals of the MDG are to slash poverty, hunger, disease, and maternal and child death by 2015.

The UN website states that “Peace enables development, which is critical in providing opportunities for young people,” and therefore, youth, peace, and development are closely interlinked. The Security-General believes that it is the potential of our youth that will have these goals met.

Because of the summit; however, the International Day of Peace will be observed this Friday September 17, 2010 on UN Headquarters, but will be observed on the 21st outside of Headquarters. The schedule begins at 8:45am with the Peace Bell Ceremony in the Rose Garden and then there will be a student conference from 9:30am-12:30pm. These events are not open to the public but will be broadcastedhere.

To find out what other countries around the world are doing for Peace Day, click here. And if you are in the City, swing by the Bandshell in Central Park between 9am-6:00pm on Sunday September 19, 2010 for a VIGIL to “awaken humanity to harmony and peace through the power of intent and celebration and heal and bridge our lives and communities in order to achieve divinity alignment and recognize the oneness in all.” Tell us what you are going to do for the International Day of Peace!

 

 

Shabd Simon-Alexander: Forward-Thinking Fashion, Steeped In Tradition

karina diaz

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The latest in our lineup of fabulous eco-fashion, Shabd Simon-Alexander’s artful minimalism is all about the union of opposites.  Her Fall 2010 line is inspired by both the natural (mountains) and the man-made (skyscrapers).  The seasonless combo of metal, rock, and glass, together with the bright, reflective, winter colors, brings the power of nature to the excitement of urbanity.

Each piece is made by hand (either by Simon-Alexander or purchased from Peru, Thailand, or China) from natural fabrics using ethically sound labor practices.
Her pieces are fashion-forward to be sure, but Simon-Alexander makes sure that each of her dresses are steeped in history.  She approaches her fashion from the traditional aesthetics of quilt making and folk costuming, beginning each dress with the remnants of the last.  Like a family that can trace its origins back through the centuries, this process ensures a history and depth to her clothing that separately crafted pieces can’t attain.

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 Her line is also marked by an experimental approach to dyeing and painting.  “I’m not even sure which came first,” she claims, “the clothes or the inspiration”.  She works primarily in Shibori, an ancient Japanese dyeing technique that involves binding, stitching, folding, or twisting the cloth to achieve the desired colors and patterns.

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You can see more of Shabd Simon-Alexander’s Fall 2010 line at Treehugger!  For an exploration of her history as a designer–as well as her awesome artwork–check out her website at www.shabdismyname.com.

With Love,

The PeaceKeeper Team

(Writer:  Renee Estey.  Editor:  Jessica Smith.  All pictures courtesytreehugger.com.)

 

A.D.O. Clothing: Healing the Body, Healing the World

karina diaz

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As you probably all know by now, we here at PeaceKeeper LOVE our sustainable fashion.  So chic, and so so so good for the environment—what could be better?

Designer Anjelika Krishna and her company A.D.O (Anjelika. Dreams. Organic.)have taken sustainable fashion to the next level—clothing that not only helps the environment, but actually heals the person wearing it!

Krishna, a New Delhi native and New Jersey resident, follows the tradition of “Ayur-Vastra”—meaning “life or health clothing”—in the creation of her sustainable fashion.  Her gorgeous designs are woven from 100% organic cotton, every strand of which is infused with hand-picked natural herbs such as eucalyptus, sandalwood, pomegranate seeds, lemon, and basil.   These “herbal dyes” are said to boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and provide a general sense of well-being.

 

Better yet, A.D.O.’s manufacturing process is completely sustainable!  Since the dyes are made from hand-picked vegetables, they don’t pose the same health hazards of other colored dyes; furthermore, since all water waste contains no harmful synthetic chemicals, the company uses their leftover water for plant fertilization!

You can find out more about Anjelika Krishna and A.D.O. Clothing at the company’s website  (http://www.adoclothing.com/).   Check their store locationsto find the boutique nearest you!

With Love,

The PeaceKeeper Team

(Writer: Renee Estey.  Editors:  Jessica Smith and Eva Kuhn.  Pictures courtesyA.D.O. Clothing and treehugger.com.)