Sustainable Fashion Brands vs. Fast Fashion

Overconsumption and waste are major problems that the industry needs to address before it’s too late

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David B Garrard

August 30, 2018

The wealthy shouldn’t be the only ones who can access sustainable fashion brands. As it stands, all your average consumer can afford is mass market, fast fashion-- an industry that we’ve seen first-hand to have an extensive environmental impact and human cost.

Fast fashion is a cheap alternative that copies the design and style of luxury brands. It serves as a quick fix for many western consumers. It satisfies the desire amongst customers in the developed world for what they perceive as instant style. Fast fashion takes the easy way to "get the look" of an expensive designer brand, despite the shoddy construction of these garments. Longevity is practically nonexistent, which encourages disposability. Fads run their course at lightning speed, with today's most recent designs promptly replacing the ones from the other day, which have already been consigned to the trash can. A quick turnover in the store means that this cycle of obsolescence happens in a matter of weeks, not years.

Sustainable Fashion Brands

Photo by Frank Flores

The Problem With Fast Fashion

Our culture of wannabe-Instagram-celebrity-trend-chasers rather than nurturing our unique style results in vast quantities of newly unfashionable clothing with a dramatically short shelf life. The average person in the US throws away around 80 pounds of clothes every year. The amount of discarded clothes has doubled over the last 20 years.

A lot of mass-market clothing is polyester, which emits harmful microfibers when washing. That water that drains from the washing machine eventually finds its way into the ocean where marine wildlife swallows these pollutants. We consume these microfibers when we eat fish and other products of the sea, which then poses a serious threat to our health. It’s not just the humanmade fibers that are causing environmental problems. Toxic agricultural chemicals used for growing cotton have caused brain tumors in the farmers that produce them and congenital disabilities in their children. Dyes used in the manufacturing process are toxic and are causing significant environmental problems.

To sum it up, fast fashion is bad for the environment. Is luxury fashion any better? Not only that but what do we do about the fact that mass market clothing is the only affordable option for the average person?

Sustainable Fashion Brands Shouldn't Only Be For The Wealthy

Several sustainable fashion brands cost a pretty penny. High-quality brands like Gabriela HearstVivienne Westwood, Edun, and Stella McCartney are at the forefront of sustainability and ethical sourcing. Stella McCartney has championed eco-friendly sustainable production since the launch of her label decades ago. The problem is that her clothes aren't cheap. The price of an average item from the McCartney collection is well out of range of the average consumer.

Stella McCartney Shop in London

Photo by Andy Roberts

According to business advisor Pete Dunn, we often tend to invest up to around 5% of our salaries on clothing. For the majority of individuals eliminates any opportunity of acquiring these luxury-priced environmentally friendly, sustainable fashion brands.

One option would be to shop the racks of Goodwill. However, not all second-hand clothing stores are created equal. Some shops offer a great selection at an affordable price; others charge nearly the full retail price for a used garment. Shopping second-hand is time-consuming. And the masses generally don’t have the stamina, patience or strategy to successfully find what they’re looking for in these types of shops.

Fast Fashion and Income Disparity

It’s easier to fall out of love with fast fashion if you consider the CEO salaries of the major players. The founder of Inditex, the parent company of Zara, is the sixth wealthiest person in the world. His net worth is nearly $70bn. H&M’s CEO is the world’s 73rdrichest with a net worth of $15bn. Now there’s nothing wrong with running a successful company. But, when you contrast the CEO salary with the conditions that the garment workers have to endure, the contrast couldn’t be more glaring. Remember the collapse of the factory that produced these types of clothes in Bangladesh that killed over 1,100 workers? The condition of the factory was well known yet ignored before tragedy struck.

Dakar Savar Building Collapse

By rijans (Flickr: Dhaka Savar Building Collapse) Creative Commons

Think mass market fast fashion is the only culprit? Think again. Luxury brands have their fair share of ethical violations. Luxury products may be more expensive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re paying garment workers a decent wage. Nor does it say that they’re ethically sourcing the raw materials for their supply chains to make their garments. The discharge produced during the leather tanning process is some of the most environmentally harmful toxins produced by any industry. The entire fashion industry needs an overhaul.

What The Future Holds For Sustainable Fashion Brands

Advances in technology are addressing the environmental impact of fast fashion, but progress is slow. H&M and Gap have both added recycling bins in select retail outlets where you can recycle your old, worn out items. Zara and Uniqlo are experimenting with ethical lines manufactured from sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled fibers. Levi’s has partnered with I:CO to collect shoes and clothing for recycling. Patagonia offers a repair service to customers to extend the life of their garments.

The solution lies with every one of us, the consumer. We have the option to change our consumption habits. We can choose to purchase higher quality garments much less frequently, which ends up being cost-effective in the long run. Fast fashion, on average, is designed to hold up for ten uses only. The cost may be cheap, but it adds up if you have to replace a garment after you’ve worn it ten times. If we choose to nurture our style free from the fads of the moment, then we are less apt to cycle through our wardrobe continually. Brands at all price points can do their part to lessen the environmental impact of the fashion industry and become sustainable fashion brands. And we as consumers can do our part as well.

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The HNTRISM Coffee Clutch - Second Cup: Chemex Brewing Process Culture

The HNTRISM Coffee Clutch - Second Cup: Chemex Bre


The HNTRISM Coffee Clutch - Second Cup: Chemex Brewing Process


July 23, 2018

The Chemex brewing process, the subject of the HNTRISM Coffee Clutch - Second Cup. Something that is surprising is that Chemex was invented in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm. Characterized as "as the synthesis of logic and madness," the design of the Chemex has not changed over the years. Besides, the Chemex retains elements from its original design, including a wood handle, leather cord, and tapered glass.

Chemex Brewing Creates a Rich Cup of Coffee

The Chemex brewing process uses the infusion method, which makes it similar to drip coffee when it comes to body and taste. And one thing to note is that Chemex filters are 20-30% thicker than those used for pour-over methods. Thus, the brew is slower which creates a richer cup of coffee. To make the most out of the Chemex brewing process, grind the beans more coarsely than you would for a ceramic drip.

Chemex Brewing finished product

Photo by Nathan Dumlao

The Process of Chemex Brewing

Step 1: Bring water to a boil and allow this to rest for around 30 secs resulting in an ideal temperature level of 205º.

Step 2: Insert the Chemex filter in the top of the brewer. Make sure the triple-layered side of the filter is lined up with the pouring spout.

Step 3: Saturate the filter by pouring some of the hot water around the inside of the filter. Keeping the filter stationary, discard the water. Rinsing the filter helps seal it inside the dripper and also gets rid of any of that "paper" taste.

Step 4: Grind your preferred beans on a setting that is slightly coarser than medium. If you are using pre-ground coffee, skip to Step 5.

Step 5: Pour the ground coffee into the filter. Gently shake the brewer back and forth to settle the grounds.

Chemex Brewing article detail

Photo by William Moreland


Step 6: Set your timer for 45 seconds. Then start by slowly pouring water on the coffee grounds to get them constantly wet. You will need three or four pour segments that allow the water to percolate through the coffee each time. Hot water forces the coffee to release trapped gasses, which is called "the bloom." The result is a fabulous aroma that will fill your home.

Here is some advice from Blue Bottle Coffee about pouring hot water on the coffee grounds. They recommend pouring the water in a circular motion from the center. Spiral out toward the edge of the grounds then spiraling back toward the middle of the filter. Avoid pouring water on the filter. Use about 200g of water in this pour. Let the water drip through the grounds until the slurry drops 1 inch from the bottom of the filter.

Step 7: Pour into a heated cup. Then, finally, enjoy the rich flavor of Chemex Brewing.

Here's all you need for Chemex Brewing

Chemex Brewing 6-Cup

Check out the Chemex coffee maker. Its made of one piece, heat resistant glass which also makes it a beautiful object to leave out on the counter.


Chemex Brewing 6-cup filters

Chemex Brewing 6-cup filters

These filters are specifically designed to fit the 6 cup Chemex coffee brewer.



Hario Buono Kettle

Hario Buono Kettle

Here is another product that looks beautiful sitting out in your kitchen with your Chemex coffee maker. The Hario Buono is a fantastic water kettle with a swan neck to do a slow pour for your Chemex brew.




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Blue Bottle Coffee – More Than Just Gourmet Coffee Culture

Blue Bottle Coffee – More Than Just Gourmet Coff


Blue Bottle Coffee – More Than Just Gourmet Coffee

Small Company Goes Big, Still Keeps Local Roots


July 9, 2018

Nestlé recently acquired gourmet coffee brand Blue Bottle Coffee. Despite this fact, the company has maintained Blue Bottle’s values of deliciousness, hospitality, and sustainability. OK, I can hear what some of you are saying already… “They sold out!” Well, I can certainly understand. This is notable since Nestlé was found to be selling the controversial powered baby formula to developing countries in the 1970's. However, there are plenty of other examples where customer service and product quality has suffered under new management – big and small. But it is unfair to lump all big companies together under the same umbrella. They can be eco-friendly, employee-centric as well as customer-centric. Also, these companies can be kind and accepting of all customers no matter one’s skin color, sex, sexual orientation, and so forth. It seems we have gotten numb to the stories of those in big business allowing abuse of the environment, rampant sexual harassment, and age, race and sex discrimination. It comes down to abuse of power on many levels.

Photo by Jon Tyson

Nestlé Changes and Keeps Blue Bottle's Values

In the case of Nestlé, the largest food company in the world by revenue ranked No. 64 on the Fortune Global 500 in 2017 and number 33 on the 2016 edition of Forbes Global 2000 list of largest public companies, they made changes to be a better company. They even made changes to their management team. Also, they now have a strategic goal of being committed to enhancing the quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. So, back to Blue Bottle Coffee. Nestlé kept “hospitality” as one of Blue Bottle’s values, which is important in today’s environment. defines hospitality as “the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers. The quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.” Wow. How simple is that? Shouldn’t we all try to be more hospitable to each other?!

Gourmet Coffee Ethos

With stores around the globe, Blue Bottle believes in taking a “responsibility for the neighborhoods” where they are located as well as serving excellent gourmet coffee. So, they started “Community Day” with every new café they open, which raises money for local nonprofits and charities. They also have a community giving program. The Blue Bottle Coffee Foundation supports causes that uphold their values. Those values are deliciousness, hospitality, and sustainability. Above all, imagine big business getting involved at a local level!

Photo by Devin Avery

Blue Bottle Coffee Shows Their Pride

To celebrate Pride this year and show hospitality to their LGBTQ friends, Blue Bottle Coffee created a cool Pride t-shirt with coffee beans in the pride colors. One of their baristas provided the design for The Pride shirt. Most importantly, proceeds from the sales of the t-shirt go to the Blue Bottle Coffee Foundation.

To learn more about their story and coffee, check out Blue Bottle Coffee - From Roaster to Cup in 48 Hours.

A great way to test out Blue Bottle Coffee at home is to try a blend box. Each blend box contains three different Blue Bottle Coffee varieties. It's certainly a great way to find your favorite gourmet coffee variety.

Blue Bottle Coffee Blend Box

May we suggest the blend box as an introduction to Blue Bottle Coffee. Each box contains two or three coffees from various regions, climates and processing methods. Thus, when roasted, the blends are unique, exciting and comforting all at the same time!


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Fresh Coffee - Peak Flavor in 48 Hours with Blue Bottle Coffee Culture

Fresh Coffee - Peak Flavor in 48 Hours with Blue B


Fresh Coffee - Peak Flavor in 48 Hours with Blue Bottle Coffee

“Coffee Lunatic” and Overly Roasted Beans


July 8, 2018

HNTRISM loves to hear about companies with fun, humble beginnings. And Blue Bottle Coffee is no exception.  Blue Bottle Coffee was founded in the early 2000s by a “freelance musician and coffee lunatic.” With cafes around the globe, Blue Bottle Coffee has stuck to its roots and only sells fresh coffee within 48 hours of roasting. Why? As the Oakland, California founder stated, “I will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to my guests so that they may enjoy fresh coffee at peak flavor. I will only use the finest, most delicious, and responsibly sourced beans.” Pretty cool, huh?

HNTRISM applauds Blue Bottle Coffee not only for their sustainability efforts and the hospitality they bring to the locals of the neighborhoods they serve but also for their commitment to quality and providing a premium product to their customers. Did you know that they set up blind taste tests and every batch is taste tasted? Check out how they “evaluate deliciousness.” Presently, they have free brewing classes at many of their locations. Also, they even have a “Whole Bean Coffee Peak Flavor and Freshness Guide” Chart. How cool is that?

HNTRISM encourages fresh coffee lovers, or even if you’re not, to check out more about the story of Blue Bottle Coffee and how the founder came up with the name.

Here are some of our favorite Blue Bottle fresh coffee products:

Blue Bottle Coffee Giant Steps

Named after John Coltrane's Giant Steps, this thick coffee is not unlike the jazz visionary's trademark layers of sound. Simply like Coltrane's ability to waterfall right into high pitched octaves with optimum control, this coffee's inflections of stone fruit lighten without shedding emphasis.

$17.50 / lb.

Blue Bottle Coffee Bella Donovan

Bella Donovan is the flannel sweatshirt of Blue Bottle's blends, reassuring, relaxing and also enveloping. Bella is a variant of the stereotypical Moka Java pairing in which a jammy and wild natural from Ethiopia pairs beautifully with even more substantive coffees from Sumatra as well as Peru. It's a darker blend, endures the automatic drip process and blends well with milk or cream. It is just as enjoyable served straight.

$17.00 / lb.

Blue Bottle Coffee Opascope Espresso

Well, we have actually constantly been followers of the opascope, a gorgeous device for projecting handwriting as well as carefully made artwork into a larger surface area. The opascope is a device for taking mindful workmanship and also opening it up for every person to gain access to and also take pleasure in. Opascope Coffee is a refreshing alternative to the typical blends with thick chocolatey notes.

$17.75 / lb.

Blue Bottle Coffee Hayes Valley Espresso

Blue Bottle Coffee created this dark coffee for the launch of their very first coffee shop in their buddy Loring's garage in Hayes Valley. Years later on it continues to be the standard coffee served in all of Blue Bottle Coffee shops.

$17.00 / lb.

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HNTRISM Coffee Clutch's First Cup: Cold Brew Culture

HNTRISM Coffee Clutch's First Cup: Cold Brew


HNTRISM Coffee Clutch's First Cup: Cold Brew

Start your week off right with a cold brew coffee

Christopher Conrad

July 8, 2018

Cold Brew. Chemex. Siphoning. So what’s with all the different coffee brewing methods? We at HNTRISM are wondering the same thing. So, welcome to the First Cup of HNTRISM Coffee Clutch where we will explore the art of coffee brewing. In the First Cup, we will learn about the Cold Brew method while future Cups will explain Chemex and Siphoning along with others. Our goal is to bring you a quick and fun snapshot of each brewing method process.

Here we go.

Photo by Tyler Nix

The Cold Brew Method

The Cold Brew method is already prevalent, especially during the hot summer season. Duh. Right?! Also known as Cold Pressing and Cold Water Extraction, cold brewing is the steeping of coarse ground coffee beans in room temperature or lukewarm water for an extended period, usually 12 hours or more. Once steeped you filtered out the grounds with a paper coffee filter or use a French press. Now just because the brewing method is labeled “cold” doesn’t mean it can’t be served hot.

Stelton Erik Magnussen Coffee Press

Check out this sleek coffee press designed by Erik Magnussen for Stelton in 1977. The prize-winning French press brewer makes up to 8 cups and comes in four finishes, stainless steel, black, red and white. Feeling a bit nervous, it comes with a measuring spoon and instructions!



Results: Lower Acidity with a Smooth, Sweet Flavor

The Cold Brew is a perfect alternative for those seeking coffee that has lower acidity and less caffeine than brewing methods where the coffee grounds come into contact with heated water. Why do you ask? Well, we at HNTRISM wanted to know also. Caffeine, oils, and fatty acids, all contained in coffee beans, are more soluble at higher temperatures. So, since cool or cold water is used, per part, Cold Brew may be up to 70 percent less acidic than hot drip coffee or espresso. Now here is the tricky part regarding caffeine. Yes, there is less caffeine extracted during the cold brew process, but usually uses more coffee. The amount of caffeine in a cup of cold brew will most likely will be about the same as a hot brewed coffee.

Photo by Tyler Nix

Here is the beauty of the Cold Brew method… the resulting flavor is smooth and slight sweet because the acidic compounds that make your coffee bitter are left behind with the ground.

To learn more about how to make Cold Brew coffee, check out the Blue Bottle Coffee Cold Brew Guide.

Get this. Seriously, get this. the Hario Cold Brew Bottle is a “bestseller with our Tokyo guests.”

Hario Blue Bottle Coffee Cold Brew Bottle

Designed with the Japanese company Hario, this cold brew bottle is simple to use. All you do it add ground coffee and water. Wait for eight hours. Remove from your refrigerator and pour yourself a delicious cup of coffee!



Blue Bottle Coffee Three Africas

(16 oz bag)

Try the Three Africas coffee from Blue Bottle. The blend contains two coffees from Ethiopia and one coffee from Uganda. The result is impressive with good body and complexity no matter which brew method you prefer.



To keep your Cold Brew coffee cold, check out the Kinto “Kronos” Iced Tea Glass which is perfect for cold brew and other chilled beverages.

Kinto "Kronos" Iced Tea Glass

The Kinto "Kronos" glass is made of two layers of heat-resistant glass to keep drinks either hot or cold for as long as possible. Also, the inner wall of glass has a slight tilt which is the ideal angle for drinking. This also makes your drink appear like is floating. Pretty cool, huh?!


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Diversity On The Runway Culture

Diversity On The Runway


Diversity On The Runway

We've come a long way, but there's still a long way to go

Monica Winters

March 22, 2018

The fashion industry works like a mirror to the appearances and styles of society. The masses, while viewing and applauding the runway shows, appreciate a reflection of their concept of beauty and style. The designers and the fashion press are representing a voguish "ideal" that ordinary men and women can achieve. In the past, there had been a monotony in the presentation on the runways of the dominant fashion houses. It was easy to spot. Designers seemed to prefer only white models with a specific set of physical attributes. Meanwhile, the consumers of these designers' fashion products were much more diverse.

There should have been an understanding and appreciation of various race, culture, ethnicity, gender, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, and ideologies. It should have reached beyond the set limitations and embraced the rich dimensions of diversity within every individual and touch their heart. Critics have highlighted this issue, and it gradually leads to an increase in diverse representation on the top runways of New York and London Fashion Week.

Improvements in Diversity

As in the past ten years, since this question has been in the spotlight, there has been significant progress noticed and appreciated in this matter. New York Fashion Week has made attempts to be more diverse in the shows. 2015 saw the most noticeable change in the type of model's cast. There was an increase in casting gender non-conformists. There was also an increase in casting models of different ethnic backgrounds. Women of different colors and various races, plus sized, aged above 50 and transgender models were finally being represented in the Spring/Summer 2017 shows. This move was much appreciated since more and more people could relate to the presentation in these shows. The brands producing and working for plus-sized had a tremendously influential role in enforcing this representation.

Two years back, Madeline Stuart, an Australian model with Down syndrome captivated the attention of fashion industry and media. Her desire to represent a different kind of physical ability on the runways shocked the traditional cliché of the fashion industry.

Angel Orensanz Fdn

The New York Fashion Week's Spring/Summer 2018 shows have been a comparatively diverse runway season. There was a large number of non-traditional models, such as plus-sized women, over-50, nonbinary and transgender. The fashion Spot released its Diversity Reports that confirmed a large number of models representing the racial diversity as well. A record 90 plus sized models ought to appear on the show. In the past years, it was just 26 maximum. All this reflects the gradual shift in the conservative concept of ‘beauty’ by the renowned designers and brands. These designers have finally realized that a much more diverse group of people are watching their shows. And, ultimately, buying their products. We've made progress, but still, this issue has a long way to go!

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Why You Can’t Create A Dive Bar Culture

Why You Can’t Create A Dive Bar


Why You Can’t Create A Dive Bar

So you think you have what it takes to create a dive bar? Think again.


January 10, 2018

So you think you have what it takes to create a dive bar? Well, there is a lot more to it than dropping an unused shipping container in the middle of an empty lot, stringing up some lights, setting up a couple of tables, chairs and flinging open a small wet bar to serve anyone passing by.

That’s because you can’t reinvent the wheel.

Here are other examples of things you can’t replicate and pass them off as authentic to painfully stretch out making our point.


Photo by Michael Discenza


1 – Elvis Presley

Elvis left the building for the final time forty years ago this year. Since then his passing led to the birth of a whole new generation of imitators (keep that word in mind). Although they all prefer the politically correct terminology of “Elvis Tribute Artist” the fact remains that most of them had never met The King and are now living off of his legacy. Several of them are very, very bad. Faking your way into a dive bar operation is a lot like a bad Elvis imitator.

2 – The 1980s

Let’s face it. The decade is over. It has been gone for a few decades now. Trying to capture the feel and mood of an era you probably weren’t even around to enjoy the first time around does not give you an actual connection to that timeframe. Sure, we have plenty of dinosaur rockers who are still barfing out tunes which were somewhere in a pile in the 1980s and just won’t go away, but they are The Real Deal (keep this term in mind). Faking your way into a culture, you were never part of makes you a phony hipster which is not cool and the farthest thing from The Real Deal as possible.

3 – Imitation Jewelry

What? The term should tip you off right away. This is as fake and low grade as it can get. The difference between imitation jewelry and fashion jewelry is well, a whole lot to do with the overall quality of the product (keep this thought in mind). You may be able to fake a diamond ring with a cheap substitute that may look like a diamond to the untrained eye but is still a fake piece of cubic zirconic-something-or-other. It’s a lot like trying to pull together some crappy elements together for a dive bar. It’s going to show in the overall quality (or lack of) in the product.


Photo by Trevin Rudy


What Does All This Mean?

Simple. You can’t fake, imitate or otherwise replicate something as unique as a dive bar. Sure, if you could time travel, you could frequent a few just for the heck of it. But you’ll never honestly be able to tap into the nuances of the real vibe. It’s kind of like a white guy singing the blues. It’s kind of like the Olympic Bronze Medalist seeking endorsement deals. For big corporate advertisers, no one remembers who came in Third. Don’t be that person and leave dive bars and artisanal cocktails where they belong…in the past.

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Meghan Markle is a Natural on World AIDS Day

Christopher Conrad

December 1, 2017

Already used to the limelight and now a soon to be royal, Meghan Markle knows how to handle the media and attention. But what was surprising was her natural ability to fit right in with the Royals. And to top it all off, she did it with such grace and style. What a bright spot in the media with all the sexual harassment allegations, political games and “fake news.” Ms. Markle has shown that there is still kindness and sophistication in the world. And the best part? It is second nature to her. How becoming!

Meghan Markle Strathberry

Meghan Markle sparkles on World AIDS Day

Ms. Markle’s first public appearance as Harry’s fiancée on World AIDS Day is a prime example of her poise and natural ability to relate to all types of people. By the way, I refer to her as “Ms. Markle” as I believe she is deserving of that respect at this time. If she were here, I would, of course, give a proper head bow upon meeting her. How she handled the crowd on World AIDS Day was spectacular. Its like she has been a member of the royal family for years! She greeted everyone with genuine smiles and care. And her style! Whoa! She held her own, yet she and Harry complimented each other to a T with their matching navy overcoats, hers by Mackage. And the future Duchess of Sussex carried a Tri-Colour Midi Tote by Strathberry which was a perfect compliment to her ensemble.

I applaud Ms. Markle for being true to herself and wish her all the happiness in her new life with Harry!

Tri Colour Midi Tote by Strathberry

Tri-Colour Midi Tote by Strathberry

The Strathberry Midi Tote features understated styling and the iconic Strathberry bar closure. Featuring two interior pockets, Strathberry branded hardware and a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap. Made in Spain using the most beautiful calf leather and microfiber lining with a suede-like finish.

Now available at FOUR/POINT/EIGHT in various colors and styles.




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The Unintended Consequences Of The Travel Ban Culture

The Unintended Consequences Of The Travel Ban


The Unintended Consequences Of The Travel Ban

Our actions have consequences, whether intentional or not

Katie Martin

November 29, 2017

One of life’s most significant truths especially in politics is that your actions must have consequences. In the real sense, this is the reason we make decisions – to achieve our desired outcomes. When these decisions are made correctly, they lead to success. However, on some occasion, we may make decisions that do not yield the desired results. When these decisions are made – especially in a political setting, there could be an adverse backward effect.  The consequences may be unintentional. But they could play a significant role in affecting every other right decision that may have yielded success.

To defend the territories of the United States, President Donald Trump placed a travel ban on a few countries to prevent them from having access to the country’s visas. While the intentions are generally high, the effect on businesses in the U.S. has not been favorable. This policy has hit the luxury retailers even harder. Most of their sales come from visiting customers from other countries. A long list of these luxury retailers has spoken out to express their dissatisfaction with the policy. A few of these retailers include Amazon, REI, Nike, Kering Group, Naeem Khan, Nordstrom, Procter & Gamble, and Under Armour.


Photo by 2Photo Pots


Unintended Consequences Of The Travel Ban

About a hundred of these luxury retail stores filed an amicus brief in objection to the travel ban of Donald Trump. They have all advocated for the equal rights of all citizens residing in America. The outcry is not so far from the reality on the ground as the massive drop in foreign travel would be leading to about 6.3 million lost visitors. This considerable drop represents about $10.8B in spending according to Tourism Economics. We can only imagine the money spent on luxury retail purchases by these foreign visitors. Luxury retailers such as Tiffany & Co.’s Fifth Avenue New York Flagship mainly rely on the sales to foreigners with these visitors responsible for a massive 40% of their sales. Considering the effect of the travel ban on the dollar – with the dollar rising in strength, shopping in the United States is now even less attractive than ever.

Therefore, it is imperative to define the desired outcome of your actions. Otherwise, you'll remain stuck in the middle of nowhere with no way out. The decisions we make today may feel good at first. But with proper planning and brainstorming, we would hardly set a foot wrong. We must be responsible for our actions. It is best to make significant decisions to avoid the effects of unintended consequences.

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No Kissing On The Lips - Use Common Sense Culture

No Kissing On The Lips - Use Common Sense


No Kissing On The Lips - Use Common Sense

Simple Steps to Avoid Sexual Harassment at Your Workplace Holiday Party

Christopher Conrad

November 29, 2017

Nobody, male, female, straight, or gay, should be made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace due to any sexual advances or overtures, perceived or not. This does not mean that the workplace can’t be fun, happy, and enjoyable. Yes, its call work for a reason, but it is a place where we spend a majority of our day and at the very least should be pleasant. Aside from a place to use one’s intellect and creativity and to support yourself and family, it should be a safe place from any harassment, including sexual harassment.

With the holiday party season upon us, many places of work provide a celebration for employees to celebrate the holidays, show appreciation and get to know one another and their families. Many workplaces today are very cognizant of ensuring employees safety and provide resources for holiday parties to do so; such as, offering to reimburse taxi or Uber expenses for those employees who may indulge in alcoholic beverages.

Employees also need to be cognizant of their actions AND reactions to ensure a safe and pleasant holiday party for all. Individuals tend to be more “friendly” in a relaxed atmosphere such as a holiday party. Hugs and kisses show a general affection or gesture of kindness in most cases. However, there are times in which these gestures overstep bounds and create uncomfortableness. Here are just a couple actions or inactions to keep in mind.

Photo by Quentin Dr

Photo by Quentin Dr

The Open Bar

Holiday parties should be fun. But remember to limit your alcohol intake to 1-2 drinks per hour. You wouldn't want to be the punchline of the post-party conversations going on.

The Bear Hug

Hugging can be a fantastic symbol of warmth and affection. But not everyone responds to hugs in the same way. Understand the concept of personal space. Limit the embrace to just 1 second. And never place hands below the other person’s waist

Pucker Up

Do not kiss on the lips even if you know the person well. This shows respect and cannot be misinterpreted by anyone else.

A friendly pat

Shaking hands or tapping someone on the shoulder to get by is innocent enough. Use common sense when it comes to touching. Never touch anyone below the waist, on the face, or sensitive areas of the body, including breasts. DUH!

Photo by Ian Dooley

Photo by Ian Dooley

If helping someone who may be intoxicated, such as escorting them to the restroom, always get someone nearby to assist or to be present while assisting.

If you feel someone has made an inappropriate advancement, immediately inform an appropriate person at the party, such as someone in human resources or officer of the workplace. Be sure to write down what happened and note any witnesses and contact the human resources department. Follow workplace protocol for reporting such incidences. If you feel it is necessary, you have every right to contact the local police.

If you keep these simple things in mind and use common sense, your workplace holiday party will be enjoyable and fun!



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