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It just happens like this. I’m walking down the street. Something cool catches my eye. It’s so “Boutiquey”. It’s so “Pre-Carnaby”. It’s so “Now”. It’s so “Chartreuse Style”. www.chartreusestyle.com

Yes, it’s caught my eye before. Yes I’d bought several great pieces. Yes, they were all reasonably priced. Yes, they all lasted. Easy, I tell myself. You’re on a budget.

The sandwich board on the street pulls me in more. I struggle with its logic.

Summer, yeah I like summer. Sustainable? Okay, that sounds totally hip and green. Style, well now you’re talking.

I decide to have a quick peek inside.

The shop has a clean layout. It makes me feel like browsing the racks and displays.

I meet the owner of Chartreuse Style, Mary-Ann Kowala. I think I hear her say that everything in the store sustains our lives in some way.

That’s interesting to me because, selfishly I was viewing things from the opposite direction. I figured we were sustaining the lives of the plants and trees, like we are so important, we are the ones who sustain life. It’s probably a case of working in tandem, I rationalize in an attempt to sustain my sanity.

Fabrics are made from Organic cotton that is often blended with hemp, bamboo, flax, pineapple fiber soya, silk and whatever is available that qualifies. Although her pieces come from all over, Mary-Ann designs some of them herself.

The hand of the fabrics is soft, very appealing.

Of course I find myself wondering what sustainable accessories look like. In true magpie fashion, I whip over to the display case.

Everything is made from recycled glass, Acai and the Tagua Nut. Some call it plant ivory. pljan99.htm Below: the nut has been sliced, dyed in vegetable dye and etched with a laser.

The “smart glass” accessories are a nice touch. They’re made from liquor and beer bottles, and the colors are notable.

In the back of the store I see something to buy.

No, it’s not the awesome red sundress.

© Resa McConaghy

I bought this sweetly fitted zip non-hoodie. I try to take a pic of me in it in the mirror. Uch, the flash is on, and the details die. However, check out the bag. It’s made from chocolate bar wrappers.

The wrappers had never been used, but they were going to get tossed due to end of a run. So someone grabbed the trash and made a purse. That is cool, very cool. There’s other neat “Wrapper” bags in the store. I forget to take shots of them.

I’m so like the “Emma Peel” of the 2013 Fashionista Green Underground. My imagination sustains itself.

Here’s a Courier Bag made out of bicycle inner tubing and a purse/tote out of a banner.

The nice thing here is these pieces are from product that is recycled without chemical alteration.

Both items have strapping made from seat belting.

Mary-Ann shows off the Vegan shoes on display before I leave. As I look down on them, I think how cute my feet would look in the red ones. Huh, Vegan I muse, and I can’t help but wonder what they would taste like? Of course they’d have to be cooked properly.

When I get home I’m still debating who’s sustaining what, or is it what’s sustaining who? It’s kind of like the “Who’s on first?” gag with Abbott and Costello from the 1940’s and I’m both Abbott and Costello at the same time.

I look the word sustainable up. sustainable?show=0&t=1340289097


I return to Chartreuse Style the next day to take a few more shots of “Wrapper” bags. I am enamored with these creations.

I also want more education on the Tagua Nut.

While I’m there I tell Mary-Ann how her comment “everything in the store sustains our lives in some way” had me thinking all day.

“I said that!” she says.

“I thought so,” I mumble.

Anyway like it says on her card:

Chartreuse Style

A different shade of green.


Mary-Ann,  from Chartreuse Style is the Queen of Green at Queen’s end.

Don’t you just want to go there like, right now?