Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Feb 28th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Fashionista

ae_fashion1Local maven launches a ‘green’ fashion retail outlet online
With a model for a grandmother and fashion magazines lying around the house as a youngster, Deirdre Holbrook was destined to find a career in fashion—in some way or another. After working in public relations, slugging her way through journalism, and finding her niche in environmentalism, Holbrook recently landed in that seemingly destined place—she pulls double duty overseeing a PR firm (Vie PR) for “green-friendly” clothing designers, and she has also recently launched a charming website named oakandco.com, which functions as a retail outlet for environmentally conscious clothing. All this, while holding down a family and life here in Santa Cruz. And not only that, but Holbrook can be credited for helping to put local jewelry company Blank Verse on the fashion landscape. The local designers of Blank Verse have been featured in numerous recognizable magazines and their work has slipped onto the wrists and necks of celebrities.

Holbrook is a local rock star fashionista who is making a significant dent in promoting and supporting green clothing and accessories. And we’re not talking about hippie fare here. The work that she dives into is beautiful, luxurious, cutting edge, modern and very fashion forward. Meet the newest face behind the green living fashion industry—Deirdre Holbrook, from Santa Cruz.

ae_fashion3She meets me at a Downtown Santa Cruz coffeeshop and is wearing several items off her new website, oakandco.com: the Elin Coat by Juleselin, a Northern California designer who uses things like recycled fabric including bamboo, and whose aesthetic rivals anything you’d find in Anthropologie; and the Cowl Neck (a long-sleeve shirt in a dark grey color with a textured neck), also by Juleselin; as well as the Erma Boot (a sturdy and stylish work/play/rain boot) by Greenbees. Her ensemble is fitting for her career choice as someone who’s promoting fashion with a purpose—each item has a “green” emphasis in some manner, be it the shoes that incorporate tires into their soles, or the organic fabrics found in clothing, fair trade practices, recycled items, or sustainable accessories and jewelry. For a “green” fashionista, oakandco.com is a haven.

That’s not to say necessarily that the items are particularly on the lower-priced end of things, but Holbrook makes a good point when she explains common consumer philosophy and the tendency to snap up trendy items that will fall apart in no time, be out of style in a jiffy, and don’t have a pleasant history concerning their environmental impact.

“People are aware of organic food and the environmental impact and they’re shopping in droves at farmers’ markets, so there’s an awareness of what we eat,” Holbrook says. “But the same awareness isn’t there around clothes. Most clothes we wear are cotton, and cotton is a huge pesticide intense crop that has a severe impact on the environment and on people who work in the fields. People don’t always make the connection between what we wear and the environment.”

ae_fashion2Holbrook started to make that connection several years ago when she worked for a newspaper in Half Moon Bay and began to notice the environmental battles going on there. The impact on her was significant enough that she left journalism and started working in PR as an advocate for sustainable causes. She became connected with someone who was launching a sustainable shoe company, so she started doing PR for them to help them get a ‘foothold’ on the competitive market. From there she began to build a wealth of contacts at newspapers and magazines, which led her to co-found Vie PR (which has offices in San Francisco and New York), and now she is further bolstering green fashion designers by creating this new retail website to showcase their work.

“In choosing the designers (on the website) I look for fit No. 1, then fibers, and that the fabric is wonderful, and I want everything to have a handmade quality to it,” Holbrook says.

In addition, she is also hosting a trunk show in the spring that will be open to the public, featuring the work of local designers like Manu (lingerie) and Blank Verse (jewelry), as well as designers whose work is showcased on her website. (Stay tuned for more information on this.)

In fact, other local designers can go ahead and contact Holbrook to see if they might secure a coveted space on her website. However, they must have a sustainable approach to design.

“I feel that to really have meaning in your purchase you have to know a story about anything that you buy,” Holbrook says.


For more information, visit oakandco.com.
Comments (3)Add Comment
Owner/Design
written by Aunt Bucky, January 05, 2011
Hoping she starts a section for Babies soon. We have wonderful new modern baby quilts that are very 'green'-made entirely from our remnants of our Crib Bedding/Shadow Pillow production runs!
'made with love Aunt Bucky'
-Aunt Bucky
...
written by Deva B., December 27, 2010
What an interesting business venture, thanks for bringing it to our attention. Holbrook makes a great point about the environmental impact of fashion. With an obvious passion for what she's doing and a great vision for Oak and Co., I look forward to seeing the site evolve and thrive!
...
written by laamie, December 21, 2010
wow! another great article, Christa!! yeahy for Deirdre...she's an amazing woman and well deserving of much praise! Oak and Co. is a beautiful site too.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Teresa’s Gourmet Foods

New owners for Santa Cruz’s leading local salsa company

 

What defines a good dive bar?

It’s slightly dirty, and they serve cheap drinks. Stella Celeste, Santa Cruz, Barrista

 

Picchetti Winery

After enjoying its contents, I couldn’t throw away the empty bottle of Picchetti Winery’s Red Table Wine.

 

Happy Birthday, Manny

Manuel’s turns 50, farmers market steel head pairs with Pinot, and a Birichino Malvasia