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Talk about carbon omission offsets – O’Hare International Airport recently unveiled it’s newest piece of interior decor – an edible vertical garden. While I’m not completely convinced that the airport has all of its intentions aligned with the traditional urban farmer – this effort to showcase alternative green space deserves mention. To learn more about the garden and who was behind it, check out the whole story here.

By Lydia Krupinski

I had the joy and pleasure of dolling up Sarah Louise Braunstein and taking her photos for the Chicago Uniform Project yesterday. Much like the original that inspired her venture, Sarah has taken the challenge of wearing the same item of clothing daily to a new creative level.

Rather then dressing herself, as did Shenna Matheiken, Sarah has asked local designers, boutique owners and stylists to create her looks. Each day she uploads a new photo of herself in a curated outfit, with many of the designers donating the items for an online auction. All the proceeds from the project are being donated to  Connections for Abused Women and their Children, a Chicago-based foundation committed to ending domestic violence.

What I love about Sarah’s spin on the idea is that she’s making an impact three fold: Raising funds for CAWC, forcing introspection on consumerism and fast fashion while also highlighting the many creative talents in Chicago.

In my shoot for the project I used a couple of vintage pieces and two new Pierogi Picnic designs. A gorgeous floral locket gave Sarah’s look a sweet edge, while the Revamped Vintage Petticoat gave her a billowing bustle under her dress. To add some color I created the Pleated Boyfriend Cardigan in eggplant and cinched it with a folksy vintage belt.  To take a peek at the completed Pierogi Picnic look which we shot at the Edgewater Farmer’s Market click here.

Tis the season to start planning your 2011 edible gardens. City dwellers must overcome the myth and fear that growing veggies is only for those with a stiff mortgage and plenty of land mass. Those of us who live in apartments and high rises can overcome this obstacle by employing some creative solutions:

Urbio Vertical Garden: This up-and-coming design team is currently collecting funds via Kickstarter to turn their urban jungle ideas into reality. Their concept of magnetic and adjustable plastic planters is brilliant, modern, and functional.  Let Urbio be your inspiration. Read the rest of this entry »



Looking for a way to connect with like-minded modern eco-verts? Do you have an insatiable lust for green and sustainable design? Pivot, Chicago’s award winning eco-boutique, is hosting a roundtable event this Monday.

Sprout Chicago will be there mingling with fellow eco-entrepeneurs, and we’d love to have you join us!

young and sustainable

Interview by Lydia Krupinski    Photos from Mary Ellen


When people purchase a product its life span is often far from their minds. Videos like The Story of Stuff reveal the cradle to grave cycle to which consumables are doomed.

By re-using products not designed to survive their original intent, artisans like Mary Ellen are re-shaping how we utilize these abandoned items. Mary’s company, Mary Zoom, takes these unwanted materials and transforms them into functional and whimsical goods for the whole family. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview by Lydia Krupinski   Photos from Mandinka Designs

sir franklim satchelReduce, reuse, recycle…a common mantra that is repeated religiously by eco verts of all varieties. Many of us have found new and unique ways to practice what we preach. Mandy Curl is one such re-inventor. Mandy, along with her mother Liz, run the eco-biz Mandinka Designs, where suits are transformed into satchels, messengers, handbags, and more! Sprout Chicago caught up with Mandy via the internet to learn more about her biz and dedication to sustainability. Read the rest of this entry »


Pierogi Picnic

Sprout Chicago Photos

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