Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yala Sales Partner - Sedona Organics Educates its Customers on Sustainable Fabrics

Yala's new sales partner, Sedona Organics offers a wonderful selection of products "...for you, your home, your family, your friends." Their store is located in central Arizona among the beautiful red rocks and fresh air on the outskirts of Sedona.

"Our products reflect our desire to support and encourage 'organic' and natural as much as possible. Our Mission is to nurture and nourish our local and global communities,  working in harmony with people here in the USA and abroad in helping restore the health and balance to Mother Earth."

They carry an amazing selection of fabrics including Organic Cotton, Recycled PET and Viscose or Rayon from Bamboo, including a wonderful selection of Yala favorites. Along with selling conscientiously sourced products, Sedona Organics has a goal of continually raising education, awareness, consciousness, and action on their journey to sustainability.

Sedona Organics provides useful information about their fabrics, including these interesting facts about how these three fabrics are sourced... Also, make sure to check out their information about "Why Organic".

Did you know?

Cotton vs. Organic Cotton
  • On average, it takes about a pound of chemicals to grow cotton contained in a standard cotton T and jeans. 
  • Standard cotton production may not go away overnight, but buying organic cotton helps support farms who engage in the socially responsible practice of pesticide-free production. 
  • The chemicals used on cotton crops have been linked to ground water, surface water and drinking water contamination around the globe. 

Viscose or Rayon from Bamboo

  • Considered a grass, bamboo is capable of growing over three feet in a 24-hour period making it one of the fastest growing plants in the world. 
  • Compared to trees of similar size, bamboo also consumes five times the amount of CO2 and emits 35% more oxygen. 
  • Growing bamboo improves soil quality and helps rebuild eroded soil. The extensive root system of bamboo holds soil together, prevents soil erosion and retains water in the water shed. 
  • It does not require replanting after harvest because its vast root network continually sprouts new shoots by pulling in sunlight and converting green house gasses. This happens naturally without pesticides or fertilizers and without the use of tractors or other petroleum using machinery.

Recycled PET

  • Recycled PET is one of the most exciting eco-conscious fabric choices available on the market today.  The fabric starts out as used plastic containers in the recycle bin. The PET products are sorted out, crushed, pressed into bales, shredded and then refined into PET flakes. 
  • The recycled flakes are identical to newly produced PET flakes in their chemical composition, but they do have a few extremely important differences. It takes two-thirds less energy to manufacture products made out of recycled plastic, 90% less water and 50% less certain chemicals.
  • At first glance, making clothing out of plastic bottles instead of bamboo or organic cotton may not seem very eco-friendly, but consider this- The United States consumed over 5.6 billion pounds of PET plastic containers in 2007. 
  • Choosing to buy garments made of recycled PET over more resource-intensive fabrics (synthetics or otherwise) is one way to help reduce this imposing mountain of plastic in our world. Flexible, weather-resistant and long lasting, PET fabrics can also be surprisingly soft and supple, while maintaining favorable insulation properties.
We look forward to a long relationship providing sustainable fabrics together!

Until next time,

Lauren of Team Yala

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving - Yala Style!

We recognize that the holidays can be stressful, with the pressure of cooking traditional dishes and hosting visiting family and friends, getting dressed is often moved to the back burner. To help you out, we asked some of our staff members to tell us how they would personalize their Yala holiday outfits. We hope that these six different looks will inspire you!

Yala's Top Six Outfits for the Holidays

Amanda's look utilizes Yala's timeless Grace Gathered Dress in Cassis paired with our popular Cashmere Scarf in Chai for a little extra warmth on her neck. The look is completed with black boots, a simple pendant necklace and of course, a classic pea coat.  

Caitlin likes to keep things cozy and simple. Yala's Harlow Top in Bayou is the perfect top no matter the dress code. She paired the top with our Maxi Skirt in Slate for the ultimate warm and flexible layer. Add our Wrap Bracelet in a few colors, brown boots and of course an over sized hobo bag.
Erica stays comfortable while looking chic in our classic striped Laurel Wrap paired with a feminine Lace Cami and Wide Leg Pants - perfect for our mommy-to-be. Pull the whole look together with a tonal clutch, stylish jacket and your version of a ruby slipper!

Kristen keeps it edgy with our new Della Dolman Sleeve Top, a pair of classic skinny's, and one of Yala's Nugget Necklaces for a touch of sparkle. Put on your sexiest pair of black heels, your favorite red lipstick, and a modern cape to keep the winter chill off!
Naomi sports the versatile Nadia Tunic with a pair of Yala Leggings and her trendy black booties. Keep the look funky and flirty with our frayed Pashbu and a pair of fingerless gloves for added warmth.
Tif gives the Izzy Dress a rocker-chic makeover with a pair of Yala's Slate Leggings and tall lace-up boots. Complete the look with a fur-trimmed hooded jacket and a pair of diamond studded hoops!

Until Next Time,
Happy Thanksgiving!

Lauren and Amanda of Team Yala

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yala Founders Nancy and Larry Morgan
Spend Ten Days on a Barge in France!

Ten days on a barge in France is a slow, luxurious way to get to know France’s interior. It is a unique way to visit small villages, bike on country roads, shop farmers’ markets, enjoy regional wines, and eat in local restaurants.
Lucky us! We chose a trip on the River Lot.  We began our planning a year ahead of time with six other friends by booking our boat through Le Boat.  We already knew we would have a wonderful time as we had done the same trip on the Canal du Midi three years earlier.
Larry, enjoying the scenery
The living area, bedrooms, and bathrooms are small so thank goodness we have fun and wonderful friends as travel companions.  Our DreamSacks were much appreciated as the linen provided was limited.

Nancy in her Yala Tessa Tunic with traveling companions
We picked up our boat in the small town of Duelle, famous for its beautiful riverside mural depicting the history of wine.
Soon we learned the art of opening and closing the locks to raise or lower our boat as we went upstream or downstream.  We all took part by either roping the boat off or climbing up the ladder and cranking the heavy iron doors open or closed as our capable friend Captain Tom, guided us through.

We flowed past spectacular views of medieval villages, castles, farms and vineyards, pulling over when we wanted to explore. 
We are already looking forward to our next barge adventure.

Until next time,

Nancy Yala Founder

Learning from leftovers:
How wasted food affects climate change

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we thought this blog was very appropriate. Enjoy this re-blog by our friends at Bambu Batu and perhaps next time you will think twice before taking that second helping that you know you won't be able to finish...

“Finish your potatoes!  There are starving children in Somalia!” . . . “Don’t throw that out!  Do you know how hard I work to put food on this table?” . . .  “If you let that go to waste, you’re contributing to global warming!” Global warming?

Yes, it looks as though  parents have one more phrase to add to their arsenal of  nit-pickings to make their kids feel just a little bit guilty about leaving that last vegetable on the plate.  Turns out that letting last night’s meatloaf languish in the refrigerator may be contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.  As Americans, we waste a staggering 55 million tons of food annually, which is roughly 40 percent of our total supply.

Using software developed by CleanMetrics, an analytical firm out of Oregon, the USDA discovered that food waste is responsible for 135 million tons of atmospheric CO2 each year, about 1.5 percent of total output.  That comes to about 440 pounds of discarded food per individual each year, not counting meals eaten in restaurants or taking into consideration the energy and emissions produced in cooking.

The type food you waste may also have an impact on the climate.  For example, meats and dairy are more energy intensive and expensive to process, transport and raise.  Depending on where you live, your salad may have had to travel several hundred miles to reach the grocery store, meaning more fossil fuels burned and time spent in refrigeration.  According to CleanMetrics, nearly 80 percent of all emissions are created during transportation and processing, with additional greenhouse gas being released through decomposition in landfills.

What to do... to keep the planet cool and mom and dad from nagging?  Leftover plants and grains can be composted in order to let carbon return to the soil and become sequestered in the ground.  Buying local groceries will help to cut down on the amount of highway your food needs to cover before becoming dinner.  Eating lower down on the food chain can also reduce the amount of energy needed to create, sustain and process your meal.  Most importantly, shop prudently and purchase only what you can reasonably eat within a given expiration date.  Not only will you save a little bit of cash, but possibly make a dent in the fight against global warming!

Thanks to Bambu Batu for another amazing and informative blog!

Until next time,

Lauren of Team Yala

Friday, November 11, 2011

Introducing Yala's New Free Soul Collection

Yala has partnered with Nest, a U.S. based nonprofit that assists female artisans around the world to create successful small businesses through education and training. Nest instills pride of ownership, preserves ancient artistic traditions and successfully moves women from poverty to self-sufficiency.

Inspired, we visited a Nest sponsored workshop in Kolkata, India. Once there, we knew we wanted to help bring their beautiful crafts to a wider market.

Jewelry from nomadic gypsies:

These Indian women spend a good part of the year traveling away from their children to sell handmade traditional jewelry at religious festivals. By supporting their craft, we help them spend more time at home with their families.  A portion of the sales is used to build a school for their children. Enjoy the peace and reassurance these beads provide.

                         Yala's Eye Bead Necklace                                                           Yala's Wrap Braclet
With each piece of jewelry you can expect to find a story card that will introduce you to who made the piece and give you a little glimpse of her life in India...


                                              Nivesh - Set of 6 Bracelets

Destiny Scarves:

Handmade by Indian women formerly trafficked in the sex trade. With few marketable skills, these women have a huge challenge in finding a new way to support themselves.  With the help of Nest, these women now support themselves as traditional block print artisans and have changed the course of their lives. We salute their bravery and commitment and admire the vibrancy of their fresh and colorful scarf designs.

By purchasing these products, you provide income and stability to these women, their families, and their communities.

Not just fair trade, empowering trade.

Until next time,

Lauren of Team Yala