Old Navy and TerraCycle Celebrate Earth Day with Flip Flops?!

Earth Day is here, and unlike a majority of American holidays it’s not one where we’re showered with Hallmark greeting cards, excessive candy, or presents. Though if you’re feeling in the holiday spirit I’d be more than happy to receive any of the previously stated!

Recently, I got an e-mail discussing Old Navy & TerraCycle’s team up for Earth Day that sparked my interest!

  • Old Navy stores nationwide will collect used flip-flops during a 1-month long drive kicking off (literally) TODAY, April 22, 2011!
  • TerraCycle will recycle the collected flip-flops into four playgrounds to be installed in communities across the U.S.

Whether you’re a tree hugger or one who occasionally hugs trees I figured what 20 something doesn’t have a pair flip flops laying around? So go on and give the earth a little style by dropping off your flip flops!

Check out my interview below with Riki Brost of the Old Navy marketing team to elaborate a little more on the Flip Flop Replay.

1. Who is TerraCycle? Why did Old Navy decide to team up with this particular company for Earth Day?

TerraCycle, Inc. is an international up-cycling company that takes difficult to recycle packaging and turns it into affordable, eco-friendly products.  Founded in 2001, TerraCycle is the world’s leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable post-consumer waste.

TerraCycle works to collect used packaging and products that would otherwise be destined for landfills.  The waste is collected through TerraCycle’s Brigade programs such as the program with Old Navy.
2. Old Navy is the first retailer to use recycled flip flops for playgrounds around the U.S.! How did you all come about this fabulous idea?

The final idea was a collaboration between Old Navy and TerraCycle. Initially TerraCycle came to Old Navy with the idea of taking our old flip-flops and “up-cycling” them into items Old Navy would then resell such as tote bags, door mats and coolers. However, Old Navy wanted to do something where we could give back to the community which is why we landed on “recycling” the flip flops and creating the playground.

Old Navy wanted to take an item they are known for (or even somewhat famous for) and in turn create something that our customers could use- playgrounds! The Old Navy named “Flip Flop Replay” gives us the opportunity to create earth-friendly events inside our stores, and give us the opportunity to give back. In addition, while the retail market is very promotional, this message extends beyond any discount, and what customers get in return is a chance to support their communities.

In September, we will give away the playgrounds to four deserving schools or non-profit organizations. Customers can follow up on facebook to see how many flip flops we’ve donated and where the playgrounds will be built.
3. Can you drop off any flip flops, or are only previously used Old Navy flip flops allowed?

Any flip-flops and any brand. We don’t discriminate! ;)
4. Why is it important for 20-somethings to get involved with the Flip Flop Replay?

We’re making it quick and simple for our customers, showing them that it’s easy to get involved.
5. An extremely important style question: like many across the U.S. are you a sucker for flip flops year round?

We sure are! Everyone should have a different color for every outfit!
6. Last but not least, Reality Chic wants to know in fashion is going green the new black?

Well, even though Old Navy LOVES color, we don’t necessarily see this as a trend. Old Navy looks forward to finding ways to continue to get involved.

 

Reality Chic Blog Feature: Fashion News Live

Being a former 6’3” male model certainly has its perks like traveling to and from cities such as Milan, Paris, and New York City, but that wasn’t enough for Rocco Leo Gaglioti. While modeling is what kicked off Rocco’s career it was his knack for behind the camera that caught not only his but others attention.

Shortly after founding his production company RLG productions, Rocco had a vision for a new televised online fashion magazine bringing Fashion News Live to life. He now reigns as one the kings of online media.

What makes FNL so unique is it’s ASL content for the hearing impaired. Rocco grew up using sign language because of his mother who was born deaf. So having ASL content is an extremely important and unique aspect to Fashion News Live.

Be sure to take a look at the one stop shop where you can find anything from celebrity and designer interviews along with event coverage, to the latest beauty tips and even a blog feature with yours truly!

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Reality Chic Interviews: Life After College (Author Jenny Blake)

I am sure many of you 20 somethings already know, life after college isn’t quite as easy as sleeping (lets be honest) skipping class. So thank goodness for people like Jenny Blake, a certified Googler (no really she works for Google), a cupcake guru, life coacher, zebra retainer wearing, dancing machine that just so happens to know a thing or two about life after college.

She recently released her new book Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want. It’s written in a way that seriously caters to our Gen Y, twitteresque, 140 character, 5 minute attention span that most of us sadly fall victim to.

As Jenny describes it, “There is no need for a highlighter – this book is the highlights: a compilation of tips, quotes and exercises trimmed to the essence, divided into chapters for every major life area. Chapter categories include life (values, goals), work, money, organization, home, friends & family, dating & relationships, health, fun & relaxation, and personal growth.”

I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview Jenny Blake.

First, I must say a big CONGRATULATIONS to you!!

What is the most exciting part about seeing your new book Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want on bookshelves and on Amazon?!

Thank you so much!! The most exciting thing is seeing my book in physical form — it lived in my computer for so long that it’s such a trip to be able to hold it in my hands. It’s real! I still find it hard to believe. It even has a great new book smell :D

Why do you think life after college can be so confusing or such a difficult transition for many 20 somethings?

Christine Hassler (author of 20 something, 20 everything) put it really well — she describes the feeling of the post-graduation depression as an “expectation hangover.” It can be hard for people to contrast the way people envisioned their life after college with what the actual reality. They find themselves feeling disappointed and confused, and it’s not always clear how to solve the problem/s or move forward.

That’s why I think personal reflection exercises are so important – they allow people to articulate those fuzzy visions living up in the attics of their brain.

What do you hope people can learn or gain from your new book?

My hope is that people will walk away feeling inspired to make positive changes in their lives and take some risks! I want people to feel like they have a handle on the nuts and bolts so that it frees up their energy to go out and do big things.

I want people to walk away feeling more confident and inspired than when they started – armed with practical tools and inspiring quotes to really move them forward in a positive direction.

If you could give one piece of advice to a recent graduate who might not be happy in their career what would it be?

Start experimenting with projects and activities outside of work, and ask your manager if you can take on some new/different projects at work. It doesn’t always have to be all or nothing — sometimes small changes can make a big difference. For people who are really stuck, I always recommend asking, “What ONE change would make the biggest impact on my overall happiness?”

Has starting your blog Life After College changed your life for the better?

It has absolutely changed my life for the better! No doubt about it. It’s given me a voice, and it’s helped me develop my own thoughts and ideas, outside of the company I work for. I am also so thankful for all of the wonderful friends I’ve made through blogging — it’s introduced me to the most incredible community of young go-getters and entrepreneurs.

Do you have any thoughts or advice for other Gen Y bloggers who want to grow their blog or eventually write a book?

For growing your blog – you will find your voice as you go. Focus on building relationships with others, and on putting out quality content. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have big numbers right away – there’s so much value in blogging even if you have a tiny readership.Try to enjoy it for the process, not just the outcome.

The same goes for writing a book! Start small – just start writing. Don’t feel like you have to write the whole book at once. You might also start by keeping a list of “thought-starters” as writing prompts, then setting a goal to flesh out 1-2 a week.

I have to get in at least two style questions! What clothing item can you absolutely not live without?

I love it! My nude Christian Louboutin patent pumps. They make me feel like a million trillion dollars and I would never want to live without them! But those aren’t necessarily an everyday item. My daily can’t live withouts are white t-shirts, yoga pants, and nice cozy sweaters. I know I cheated and listed like five things :)

What is your favorite go to outfit, and how many hours or minutes did it take you to choose your first book signing look?

Favorite go-to outfit: black skinny jeans, cute over-the-knee boots, t-shirt of some kind and a blazer or sweater. Choosing my book signing look was actually easier than I expected! I had just spent a day with stylist who helped me get all set on great book-related outfits.

I ended up wearing black pants, my peacock blue patent Louboutin’s (other splurge purchase!), a bright purple shirt, and a black blazer. I felt very author-y! And very Carrie Bradshaw in my shoes :)

Last but not least, are you celebrating your book release with cupcakes?!!

ABSOLUTELY!!! They will be at every stop if I have anything to do with it :) I ordered $250 of cupcakes for the book launch party — worth every penny!

To learn more about the book, vist LACBook.com or purchase your copy on Amazon (a steal — currently selling for under $9!). You can read more about Jenny on her blog at LifeAfterCollege.org and follow her on Twitter @Jenny_Blake.

Even Alexa Chung Is Doing It? How to Consignment Shop!

As a fashion blogger I am clearly aware of the stigma that comes with the title. The thought that I am always put together, judge mental of others clothes, and only buy fashion worthy apparel are probably three of the common misconceptions that kind of make me cringe.

What makes Reality Chic different is that I am not afraid to say that I am sitting on my couch writing this blog while wearing mismatched pajamas, if you can qualify pajamas by sweatpants and an old high school t-shirt, all while wearing no make-up and fully aware of the fact that I haven’t yet bathed today.

So while judging others clothes might be suggested by the sparkle pants comment it’s something that others should not fear but embrace as the previous paragraph clearly exclaims! Though the thought of me only wearing fashion worthy apparel was nice for a split second that too has been shot down due to the previously previous paragraph.

It’s not about being put together all the time because that isn’t reality, but knowing good and well that when you are put together you didn’t pay full price for it!

So what’s this all have to do with anything?

Well one of my favorite things is …YOUR ALL GOING HOME WITH …(sorry my inner Oprah just came out).

Anyhow like I was saying…one of my favorite things is shopping at consignment stores. Every time I walk in thinking I’m never going to find anything until I walk out with less money! They really are a great place to find quality clothes at affordable prices. You just have to look! Even Alexa Chung is doing it?

When I was recently approached by Smashion to do an interview with their Smashion Lounge and to check out their no-fees online fashion marketplace and community I got a little excited. It’s what I like to consider the 21st century version of consignment shopping! They consider themselves: “a social fashion site that features a free marketplace connecting people with a passion for fashion. Express your style, connect with others, and have fun buying and selling without paying a fee!”

As consignment/thrift shopping becomes more and more popular due to Alexa Chung’s upcoming show and a site like Smashion, it’s important to have a few rules of the game.

What to look for when consignment shopping?

1. Quality Brands- Quality last. Therefore it matters.It’s one time to pay attention to brand names.

2. Size- It’s been worn and washed and could have shrunk. In this case it’s not size that matters, but description.

3. Trends- You can’t beat consignment prices so it’s a great place to buy trendy items that don’t typically stick around.

Recommendations:

Smashion

Smashion Lounge Interview with Reality Chic!

Thrift America Tips from Alexa Chung!

Reality Chic Interviews Project Runway Season 8 Winner, Gretchen Jones!

If you are anything like me, you probably found yourself this past summer as an unproductive person watching productive people on Thursday nights due to this little reality show known as Project Runway. Season 8 was beyond entertaining with tougher challenges, mid-season breakdowns, personal confessions, and lets be honest drama…drama…drama! So needless to say I was thrilled to have the chance to interview and get the scoop from the winner of Season 8, Gretchen Jones!

Check out the the full interview!

 

After an insane Project Runway Season 8, Gretchen Jones won in a nail biting finale!! Congratulations!

Did you ever imagine in your wildest dreams that you would win Project Runway? How did you feel when Heidi Klum announced your name as winner of Season 8?

Gretchen: When I made the decision to apply [after years of being asked to] I knew I could win. I think you have to go into it feeling confident. Confident in your point of view as a designer, confident in your ability to craft/construct well made and executed garments, confident in your ability to articulate your vision, etc…

Pro athletes walk onto the court knowing they will win, why wouldn’t I? Its the only way to go for it in a competitive industry, let alone competition based TV series.

Of course there was controversy with the win because Mondo too was a very talented designer with a completely different aesthetic. The judges questioned whether your collection was considered too wearable and less high fashion. However with much argument by Nina Garcia and Michael Kors, your clothes were noted as being high fashion with the appeal of being wearable.


 

What were your thoughts while watching the final decision play back on TV? Do you think sometimes in the fashion industry the more wearable collections get overlooked for lack of craziness or “unwearableness”?

Gretchen: I think there is a huge misunderstanding in mainstream America as to what is fashion.  There are different types of fashion- haute couture & pret-a-porter, both of which are considered high fashion. Mondo and I represented different genres, neither being more ‘fashion’ than the other.

Some of my favorite designers, whom are very successful and present during fashion week[s] are Rachel Comey, Isabelle Marant, Vanessa Bruno, Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, Mara Hoffman, Vena Cava, VPL…all are wearable, ‘ready-to-wear’ labels that I think represent the modern woman’s perspective on dressing and high fashion.

My clothing and design aesthetic is relevant, forward and wearable…fashion, like art, is objective. We all have an opinion, but what makes it so great is that there is room for many different types of artisans.  I think I represented on PR something that has barely been highlighted on the show- marketable, wearable, sellable clothing, that also was fun to watch coming down the runway.

 

You styled to perfection for the finale collection!


What advice or tips would you give to Reality Chic readers who want to achieve a more polished, pulled together look without spending a ton of moolah?

Gretchen: I think styling is key to fashionable girls on a budget, you don’t have to have a lot of money to put your hair in a high bun and slap on some bright lipstick.  I also think its important to know how to approach ones closet- Are you looking at your wardrobe in a painterly way?

Outside of what I designed and presented design wise, my entire wardrobe [personal] was 90% re-sale, as I too am on a budget.  I mimic what I adore on the runways via thrift and mimicry.  Layering, playing with sizes/proportions and breaking the rules [i.e. shopping based on size, not fit, mixing colors like navy/black cream/white, brown/black, etc.] make all the difference…that and research, research, research!

I am hungry, I follow all sorts of street fashion, high fashion mags/blogs and always follow fashion weeks with a pen and paper next to me. It’s amazing what you can replicate if you just play along!

One of my favorite things about your final collection and designs throughout Project Runway was that the viewers could envision the girl who would wear your clothes.

What was your inspiration? Do you think you’ll continue to design for “that girl”?

Gretchen: That girl, is me, it’s my friends, the girls I wan to know and play dress up with.  I think it is imperative as a designer to know your client.  Know who you are trying to dress.  I think what makes me a strong designer is my ability to translate fantasy into a very accessible, wearable way.

I want my customer to want to be ‘that girl,’ rather than feel she can’t attain what ‘that girl’ embodies.  I want women of many ages to view my work and see themselves in it.  I want to create clothing that is timeless, yet special enough to be your favorite piece…because of how you feel in it.

I recently read an interview with Diane von Furstenburg, in it she said – “Christian Lacroix once told me that women designers make clothes and men designers make costumes. I think that’s true” and I agree, I know how I want women to feel when looking at my runways, looking at my racks.  I want them to feel like a million dollars and as pretty as they’ve ever felt, just like a woman should when she gets dressed.


 

What is your next step after winning Project Runway?

Gretchen: I’m working on my business plan and locking down investment.  It takes far more than 100K to start a label and I want to do this right, so I can dress women for a long time and establish myself within the industry as a steadfast label.

Im currently sketching out my jewelry collection to launch this spring.  And just moved to NYC, where I am researching manufacturing and the resources I will need in order to produce domestically, support ‘Save the garment Center’ and our local economy.  I’ll be producing collections with custom textiles too, so I’m working on those concepts as we speak.

Its important for me to launch when I have all my ducks in a row, because when I do, there’s no looking back.

Reality Chic’s tagline is: Because real people don’t wear sparkle pants to Olive Garden!

Meaning a lot of high fashion doesn’t exactly translate into real life.

As a light hearted question, what outfit advice or styling tip would you give to a 20 something girlwhose date amounts to going out to a nice dinner at Olive Garden?

Gretchen: You can be a romantic no matter where you are.  Be the fantasy version of yourself. Create the world you want to live in.  Play dress up every day and enjoy the reality of clothing- it can transform you, should transform you!

When you play with your own aesthetic, you feel better about yourself, when you feel better about yourself you have richer interactions with those around you…in turn, you live a life according to your own rules…and who doesn’t want that!?

Gretchen, it’s been so great getting to hear your thoughts and perspective! Thank you so much for taking the time for Reality Chic. I really appreciate it!

Best of luck in your future designs, and Reality Chic readers will definitely be keeping our eye out for you!

Check Gretchen out:

@Gretchen_Jones

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