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The world's trusted guide to sustainable and ethical fashion

Photos: The Sustainable Summer Fest Proves Sustainable Partying Is Better

As Emma Grady and I danced on top of the DJ booth under the softly-glowing lights strung across the dance floor, I tapped her shoulder and pointed behind us. An orange Super Moon was rising above the warehouses of Bushwick. “Wow,” was all she could say.

Wow, indeed. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day. The Sustainable Summer Fest had popped off with nary a hitch in plans, proving that planning a bangin’ party sustainably is not only possible, but better than the norm. And the four of us–Juliette from the  spades + siLK, Emma from Past Fashion Future, Elizabeth from The Note Passer and I–were so grateful and excited for the amazing turnout!


Playdate organizer Leah Bradley gets her hair braided by Danielle of James Corbett Studio. Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Bartender Marine pours a SodaStream soda into a BPA-free, made-in-the-U.S., reusable cup. Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.s_SustSummerFest_090

Attendees noshed on grass-fed burgers and portobello sandwiches. Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.s_SustSummerFest_100

Of course there were recycling, trash and coconut receptacles! Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Build It Green! was key for building the reclaimed-wood DJ booth and dance floor. Here, Illich Mujica is on the decks. Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Our sustainable step-and-repeat with all of our sponsors was done in chalk, for zero waste. Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


The bartender uses new SodaStreams to make the sodas for the Refresher cocktail, Prairie organic vodka is underneath. Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Juliette and I chat with Lisa Mechanic of Echoes of Culture and her friend Joyce Salazar. Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.

The space, the new party venue Beef Cuts, was a beautiful little secret sanctuary in the middle of industrial Bushwick. There was no sign of the magic as you walked up, but open a metal door, walk past a construction truck, and suddenly you found yourself in a breezy backyard that felt like, as one attendee put it, “A secret island paradise.”

From the bar inside the upcycled shipping container, bartenders served up the Refresher, a combination of Prairie organic vodka and bubbly SodaStream mixers; Sky Juice, with Prairie organic gin, lime juice, organic sweetened condensed milk, coconut water and seltzer; Beyond Brewing Probiotic Beer and Beyond Brewing Aphrodisiac beer; Brooklyn Summer Ale; and Runa energy drinks.


The beer tap handles were made from old chair legs from Build It Green! Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


The party organizers from left: me, Emma Grady, Juliette Donatelli, and Elizabeth Stilwell. Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.



DJ Illich Mujica and Emma Grady matched! Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.

Right next door, attendees used the Coco Jack to crack open baby Thai coconuts and stick a straw inside. (Some people opted for a boozy coconut with a shot of organic vodka). There were delicious little cupcakes from Little Cupcake Bakeshop, and grass-fed burgers from The Tablespoon catering company. Nearby, behind the colorful hammock, Danielle and Rebecca from the James Corbett Salon had a braid bar set up, creating fantastic hairstyles for all the ladies. (And a few brave men, too.)


Elizabeth Stillwell and Lisa Elaine Held of Well+Good. Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Emma passing around Little Cupcake Bakeshop treats with Yuka Yoneda of Ecouterre. Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.

GoGreen Ride

GoGreen Ride was on hand to help attendees home in eco-friendly style. Photo credit: Emma Grady


Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


The bar inside the repurposed shipping container. The wood front is made from the old covering for water towers. Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Making a boozy coconut with Prairie organic vodka. Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Sebastian, the owner of the venue Beef Cuts, dances behind the bar with the bartender Marine. Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell. s_IMG_8489

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell. 

But the real magic was on the reclaimed-wood dance floor (made possible with help from the salvage warehouse Build It Green! NYC), where DJs Illich Mujica, Sophia Valence and Jasper Stapleton kept the beats going from 3 pm until way past dark. GoGreen Cars arrived to escort attendees home in Hybrid style, but it was hard to pull people away from the dance floor.s_IMG_8557

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell. 


Photo credit Hans Eric Olson.


Photo credit Hans Eric Olson. s__SustSummerFest_442

Photo credit Hans Eric Olson. s_IMG_8586

DJ Sophia Valence. Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell. s_IMG_8618

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell. 

Attendees included editor Lisa Elaine Held and Jamie McKillip from Well+Good, editor Teneshia Carr from Spirit Beauty LoungeSam Walker from the DJ duo Walker & Royce, editor Yuka Yoneda from Ecouterre, founder and editor in chief Kristen Arnett  Green Beauty Team, editor in chief Mara Schiavetti from A Green Beauty, David Dietz of and jewelry designer Lisa Mechanic of Echoes of Culture

So when is our next event, many people asked. We’ll just have to see, but clearly this wasn’t the last one …


  • Alden Wicker

    Ruth Alden Wicker is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of EcoCult, and author of To Dye For: How Toxic Fashion Is Making Us Sick – and How We Can Fight Back. She also writes for publications including Vogue, The New York Times, Wired, The Cut, Vox, and many more.

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