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THE BEGINNING or History:

Starting in 2008, an unsuspecting artist by the name of Angela Du was working part time on various creative fashion editorial photo shoots as a hair and makeup artist. She ran into one photographer in particular who asked Ms. Du to create an eco friendly themed photoshoot including hair, makeup and some kind of recyclable wardrobe. Within 4 months of being approached with this project, she created what is now known as the [BETA COLLECTION] which is a line of five outfits made of recyclable material such as soda cans, water bottles, brown paper bags, and plastic trash bags. The photos of these outfits spread quickly in the environmental awareness community. The [BETA COLLECTION] designs inspired the Earth Week planning committee of the University of San Diego to put on a show called the GREEN SCENE : Project Trashin. This is where Ms. Angela Du made her first appearance on the runway as an eco-friendly fashion designer. This was the beginning of her journey to spread conscious living awareness through the art of fashion.

In May of 2011, without warning, Angela got laid off a management position job which was providing her with a steady income and a vehicle. She found herself as a new home owner with no way to support her lifestyle and no direction to move in. Times were quickly getting tough and in order to stay afloat and keep sane, she created INKDthread as a platform for her to showcase her artwork to the world. Through networking in the artist community, she decided to make INKDthread a network and open opportunity for other artist to brand themselves through
collaborative projects.

Since the creation of the INKDthread brand, we have appeared in over 8 Runway Fashion shows in cities including Hollywood, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Santa Ana, and San Diego. Angela Du has been recognized by RAW Indie Artists as the 2011 Designer of the year of Orange county. The organization has grown from a one woman project to a crew of 8 plus affiliations with local businesses and non-profit organizations. To commemorate the humble beginnings of her art, Angela has started the INKDthread annual Earth Show held every April. With the expansion of the INKDthread brand, Angela hopes to continue elevating the artist experience.

THE MISSION STATEMENT :

“INKDthread pledges to be a progressive art entertainment company that networks, gathers resources, and produces fine quality artwork, collaborative projects, and entertainment events while utilizing undervalued resources.”

INKDthread Art is style that’s organically grown. You can expect all of the designs to be made from or inspired by the Eco-Green movement. All INKDthread products are hand-made and are unique in style, design, and fashion. We pride ourselves on using re-purposed and up-cycled materials in making our products. All our designs are made in small batches, making all our products limited and rare with high quality. Keep posted for all our new products on www.etsy.com/shop/inkdthread

Mary Jane SkirtHooded TankMary Jane JacketLeotardReversable Hoodie VestToxic Bunny Sweater

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INKDthread Entertainment is real life enjoyment. We believe that a busy work life should be off set with soulful entertainment where laughs and joy can be shared among friends. You can expect an INKDthread event to bring you a new perspective on art, music and what it means to have a casual conversation. Come join us for our next art show case or fashion show. Stay updated by following our Facebook page.

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INKDthread encourages people to find their own cup of tea. Art, music, and fashion should be incorporated into ones lifestyle and in order to enjoy these things you must first be happy and healthy. INKDthread makes it a priority to ensure that people are staying FIT mentally, physically, and financially by creating programs for community involvement. Weather you’re a doctor, lawyer, or artist there’s something that you can benefit from by being involved with INKDthread. Join our network by submitting your project idea and sharing your skill, trade or talent.summerbods

Trouble in Paradise II A collection of world travel photos by Jonathan Lee

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For most of us the tiny corners of the world that are untouched by tourism aren’t too much to think about. Maybe a tropical paradise here and there might pass through your fantasies and as memory serves, they are all typically beautifully untouched by man and absolutely pure. As for people like Jonathan Lee, these untouched paradises are incredibly important to keep in mind due to the fact that the characteristic of “pure” is slowly diminishing.

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Photographer and environmental health advocate Jonathan Lee has traveled around the world and back, coming home to California to find that our recycling troubles are far from over. Here in Los Angeles, we have made big initiatives to encourage the public to jump onto the recycling bandwagon motto “reduce, reuse, recycle!” However from a different perspective, I found myself wondering if recycling is enough. Lee offered me a view into what his travels were like a while back when he was traveling through Malaysia in an effort to give me an idea of how recycling is going for other parts of the world.

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Borneo, a city in east Malaysia, brings in tourists to the small island year after year. It’s main attraction is its promise of a tropical paradise underwater as well as rainforest adventures and a diverse culture to experience. Filled with opportunities to dive and snorkel along its shorelines tourism is a big factor for small towns like this, especially for a coastal city like Semporna where the population is barely beyond six digits. As Lee recalled, Semporna is a “water city” where its community thrives off of the water; boats are the main sources of transportation and houses on stilts over the water are common. As small as Semporna may be, it’s attractions are rather unique making it a hot spot for foreigners to travel through.

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For someone who has never traveled to an eastern seaport off of a small island for snorkeling, the narrative of Lee’s trip was enticing. To my dismay, what came next were his photographs of what he experienced at the seaports just moments before traveling out into the water for diving. In a few photographs that Lee had taken, the seaports were far from paradise. The water by the docks of the seaport were beyond polluted, wrappers and bottles of all sorts float along the shoreline bobbing up and down around boats all gathered to take tourists out into open water. The sight was disheartening as one wonders, how could such a small island far from mass consumerism like America still be so heavily affected by pollution? But clearly how could a city whose attraction is the water allow its actual water to be so contaminated?

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Semporna and its blemished paradise is “not a unique story” Lee informs me. In fact, as he spoke with the native islanders whose livelihood depended on the water, many are aware of the uprising of pollution in the seaports but so many are unsure as to how to go about the obstacle of cleaning up. In a place like Semporna, the water provided transportation, food, capital through tourism and also a means of cleaning but like many other coastal city dwellers, few who live there consider their personal impact on the water. Digging deeper beyond trash at shorelines, Lee found that Semporna’s issue wasn’t only along the coast but that the entire city’s waste management was the main source of misguided information about trash and recycling.

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Considering that America is one of the leading countries in education and technology, its hard to understand that even with such a reputation as a “progressive” country, America is still very low on the list of environmentally friendly countries in the world. In this context, taking us from America all the way to the shores of Malaysia, Lee points out that the solution now isn’t so much about cleaning up but about preserving the beauty that we still have in nature. For instance in the commonly used mantra “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle,” Lee states that the order of reusing, reducing and then recycling was created purposely because one of our first moves as an environmentally conscious community should be about purposefully reusing what we can in an effort to save production efforts of creating new products. In that sense, Lee provides an example of reusing plastic bags for more than just the walk from the grocery store to your pantry. Those plastic bags used by virtually everyone who shops at grocery stores are used for not more than 15 minutes (actually this depends on how far your pantry is from your local grocery store). By cutting down the production of plastic bags, like they do in major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Hong Kong, energy is saved from recycling efforts, less landfill space is used, and there is potentially roughly $3 million dollars to be saved.

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Step 2 includes reducing the prevalence the of single-use package. Yes single-use packaging has been created for convenience but in the long run, those itty-bitty bags of chips potentially end up taking up more space in landfills than if more people utilized reusable bags and purchased large Costco-like sized packaging. Every little effort counts especially if the education of how to incorporate these recycling tips into your everyday life became more accessible.

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As a Los Angeles native myself, I have always been aware of the pollution that overshadows the beauty in Los Angeles. However as many people would agree, the little attempts at being environmentally conscious almost go unnoticed and leave one feeling like their efforts don’t make a difference. Often the massive presence of trash and pollution discourages people to a point of hopelessness. In my conversation with Lee, it is clear that these feelings of unhelpfulness are absolutely unwarranted.

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Lee encourages all to not only make whatever effort they can but to also consider new alternatives to recycling. Hand in hand with Angela Du’s ECOStitch line, upcycling is now front and center of the worldwide advocacy of environmental health. For those like me who have never heard of upcycling, it is the movement in which we can take whatever we consider trash and turn it into what others may consider “treasures.” Utilizing a creative spin to recycling has not only provided efficient use of waste but also allows for the education of recycling to be a bit more recreational. For instance during Lee’s travels in Malaysia, he has encountered international people who have taken waste and brought them to classrooms for craft projects to promote upcycling to the younger generation. These small but impactful projects are a mark of true human ingenuity in environmental advocacy.

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Du’s ECOStitch line takes recycling to the runway this Saturday the 19th at the 626 Night Market where upcycling is presented to the public as an upfront fashion statement. If you are having trouble thinking of inventive ways to upcycle, Angela Du for INKDThread is who you’ll want to stop by and talk to about her personal journey in the forefront of upcycling fashion. The efforts to educate and promote recycling benefits not only the community we live in but sends a message to the rest of the world as a call to action. Du and Lee may only be two voices in the crowd but their undertaking of the responsibility to reduce our environmental footprint is a message far from small and definitely hard to ignore.

>>> Photo credits to Jonathan Lee.  Find more of his photos and stories of his world travels  at http://www.subtledream.com/ <<<

Mingle at the 626 Night Market

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Friday and Saturday nights, usually known as the best days of the weekend to have a night out on the town, are also date nights for the rest of us who are single. If you’ve been single for a long time like me then you’ve probably had your share of dates, some not-so-bad and some horrific. Being single in the summertime has always been an occasion to look forward to when I was younger. Nowadays summer to me just means anxiety due to bikini season. However with the 626 Night Market coming up this weekend, a little more hope has filled my dating-consciousness.

 

Gaining huge success, the 626 Night Market is genuinely an event that serves the Asian community as well as the cultural melting-pot population of Los Angeles. Since the first year, I’ve seen the night market grow into something that caters to all types of people but especially couples. As the summer heats up LA nights more and more similar events are popping up all over the city catering to a younger, active crowd. Held in Arcadia at the Santa Anita Race Track for it’s third year in a row, the 626 Night Market is the X that marks the spot if you’re looking for an interesting night.

 

If you’re a foodie and you seem to like to date other foodies, then the Night Market is where you two can tap into the adventurous side in both of you. Lined with rows and rows of food vendors and trendy food trucks, the options are endless. The upside to having so many different choices is being able to wander around and try small portions of diverse street food typically unknown to the average palette. As far as authenticity goes, the street food ranges from traditional Taiwanese style fried oysters, Korean BBQ, breaded and deep fried seafood all the way to Japanese ramen. Dessert, being the best part of the meal, can be romantically shared over Hawaiian shaved ice or even a local favorite, Boba 7’s artisan concoctions such as the Blood Orange Green Tea and the Amaretto Milk Tea with honey boba.

 

A newer feature to the Night Market that has added tremendous amounts of entertainment are the carnival games that can win you adorable stuffed toys, mostly asian character themed of course. For couples this is where one person will find either an opportunity to show off or a source of embarrassment. Not to worry though, almost everyone loses and gets the little prize instead. No harm done to your date’s ego.

 

My favorite part of the 626 Night Market that I absolutely believe makes the night very date-worthy is being able to walk around the site to see very culturally diverse selections of stuff you may never use or may never encounter if you don’t live in the 626 area code. Exploring uncommon snacks, small stages of live bands scattered about, local street artwork and knick-knacks in general can stimulate awareness around what makes each culture so unique. Whether you embrace your own personal culture or not, being on a date at the night market is an experience that can bring two people closer together through the excitement of an exotic adventure. It can also physically force you two to be closer since the event does get rather crowded (just like they do in Asia).

 

Although date or no date, the Night Market offers its audience such a wide variety of fun and entertainment that everyone is bound to enjoy the night somehow. This saturday, July 19th, make sure to make a date for the annual 626 Night Market with someone special! You never know, this may be the place for you to sneakily hold their hands and claim that it’s so you two won’t lose each other. But we all know what’s going on and it’s absolutely fine with us. See you there!

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