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(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) HO-HO-KUS, NJ - August 24, 2010 - VIVI, an environmentally-friendly children's clothing store, celebrates its one year anniversary on August 24, 2010. Having weathered the depressed economy, a major streetscape renovation on her doorstep, and the ups and downs of learning to run a retail business, the owner of Vivi, 26 year old Sandy Russo, has had no shortage of obstacles set in her way. But through this year she’s managed to educate her customers, expand and improve the lines of clothing she carries, and make good friends in the eco-friendly world along the way.
VIVI offers organic and sustainably-produced clothing, while also supporting designers that give back to their communities or to charity. Sandy Russo was born and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey, and has always had an interest in protecting the environment. As a child, her home overlooked acres of apple and peach trees, the neighbors kept horses, and three farms, dating back to the 1700s, were within walking distance. But, as the neighborhood was developed the farms and trees disappeared, change seemed impossible to prevent. She realized that future generations of children would not have the luxury of growing up the way she did.
By opening VIVI, Ms. Russo is able to bring some of her childhood love of nature and enduring interest in the environment to parents and children in the area and help inspire a new generation of earth-loving children through the fashionable and healthy clothing she sells. Ms. Russo’s philosophy is that companies that strive to promote cultural and environmental awareness across the globe are the companies worth supporting. All of the clothing lines are chosen because they are either organic, handmade, upcycled or produced by socially responsible companies.
Many of the designers Ms. Russo carries contribute a portion of their proceeds to organizations that work towards improving the lives of women and children around the world. And Ms. Russo works hard to support their efforts such as Barley & Birch’s work in Haiti. Sales of B&B clothing at Vivi, including the limited edition Haiti t-shirt, raised money to fund two orphanages and a clinic in Haiti for three months.
Clothing that is well-made lasts longer, can be handed down to younger siblings or friends and in the long term saves money and reduces waste in landfills. Organic clothing can be washed a hundred times before noticeable wear compared to conventional cotton clothing’s 14 washings (Parenting Magazine July 2010).
VIVI, was inspired and named for Ms. Russo’s niece, Genevieve, who was born in 2008, 6 weeks early and very tiny. When she gained enough weight and was capable of breathing on her own “Vivi” was allowed to go home. But Ms. Russo had trouble finding clothing small and soft enough for her fragile new niece and she was concerned about the pesticides and carcinogens she knew conventional cotton was laden with. Certain that she couldn’t be the only one searching for these types of products, the seed for Vivi was planted. Ms. Russo began to research companies that produced green, soft, organic clothing, made without pesticides and harsh chemicals.
"It is so simple to turn a blind eye to the injustices of the world when they are not in our own backyard. But we can do so much simply by choosing to support green, sustainable and ethically sound businesses with our spending. All it takes are a few small changes to make the transition," says Ms. Russo. VIVI aspires to do just that and create not only a store where people can find clothing that is healthy for children and for the environment but also a community of like minded consumers. To that end, this fall Vivi will be hosting in-store events including seminars on cloth diapering, baby food making and baby wearing.
Events currently scheduled for this fall:
• Vivi’s 1st Birthday Party! 9/10, 11 and 12: Giveaway! Basket of Kate Quinn Organics One Pieces and PJs
•Back to Pre-School Week 8/30 - 9/4 - Giveaway! Tea Collection Dress
•September Designer of the Month: Kyle Smitley of Barley & Birch and a Barley & Birch Giveaway!
•Cloth Diapering Talk 8/20 at 7pm
•Sidewalk Sale Days: 9/10-11, 10/15-16, 11/5-6
The new and returning clothing lines for fall 2010 include:
Aiden + Anais (Organic Cotton & Bamboo Swaddle Blankets)
Go Gently Baby (Organic & Sustainable Materials Made in the USA)
Barley&Birch (Organic, Made in the USA)
Fournier (Handmade, Sustainably & Responsibly Made)
Chai Baby (Bamboo Baby Cloths & Accessories & Cloth Diapers also Bamboo)
Bobinette (Made in the USA)
Lucky Jade (Bamboo)
Misha Lulu (Some organic, all made in the USA, upcycled fabric)
Chapter One Organics
Tea Collection (Excellent Quality, 100% Cotton)
Juliette Sunshine(Organics, Bamboo, Vintage Prints)
The Sewing Loft (Handmade, Upcycled Fabric, Toddler Backpacks)
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