Pin It About SSF | sustainable style foundation

About SSF

contact us

SSF is no longer in business. For any inquiries about SSF and what is next on the horizon, you can still reach founders at email | info@sustainablestyle.org

people

People are our greatest resource here at SSF. We couldn’t accomplish a quarter of our efforts without an awesome group of volunteers, interns, contributors, etc. You can find out more about our team on our Studio SSF page.

purpose

The Sustainable Style Foundation (SSF) is an international, member-supported nonprofit organization created to provide information, resources, and innovative programs that promote sustainable living and sustainable design.

mission

SSF’s mission is to educate, support and inspire people from all walks of life to make more sustainable personal lifestyle choices at work, at home, and at play.

approach

From fashion, food and film to interior design, travel, music and more, SSF has designs on continuing to make sustainability the “it thing”, as well as a timeless trend by using the power of popular culture to influence consumer choices in fun, positive, and creative ways.

vision

seven generations.
improving the quality of life for everyone.
living enterprises and economies.
family, friends, community.
equality.

Sustainability is all this and more. Most importantly, it’s understanding that each of us has a role in making all of the above a reality. The world is full of opportunities to look fabulous, live well, and do good.

strategy

  • Be the premier resource on sustainable lifestyles and design:
    provide useful and up-to-date information and resources to both design professionals and consumers so that they can more easily incorporate sustainability into their work and/or lives
  • Use the market: increase both the supply of and demand for sustainable products and services in the many and diverse style/design industries
  • Dangle cocktail carrots: When it comes to using a carrot or a stick, we choose the carrot as there are lots of other groups out there that are very good at the stick approach. Better yet we use tiny cocktail carrots…sometimes even the smallest positive reinforcement can create big change.
  • Surprise consumers: highlight the amount and breadth of sustainability already underway across the many and diverse style/design industries
  • Keep sustainability in the media. Insure continuous forward progress to counteract the perception of sustainability as ‘fits and starts’ (a green building here, a fashion designer using organic cotton there…)
  • Promote cross-industry awareness and inspiration: work to promote cross-industry learning and projects so that industries are aware of innovations in other industries that might be applicable in their own industry
  • Use popular culture to influence consumer choices: provide high profile lifestyle role models to inspire consumers to make more sustainable personal lifestyle choices themselves

a word on ‘style’

Dictionary.com defines ‘style’ as a quality of imagination and individuality expressed in one’s actions and tastes. ‘Style’, therefore, is not about conformity, consumption or the latest fly-by-night fashions. True style – the essence of style  is about individualism. It’s about expressing yourself, your individuality and you values in the clothes you choose to wear, the way you decorate your home, the car you choose to drive, the food you eat, the places you choose to go on vacation, etc. That’s why ‘style’ is truly something available to everyone. So whether you put on a Def Leopard t-shirt or a Donna Karan original in the morning, the question is how can you express your stylish self more sustainably. So, the “look fabulous” part of our tag line “look fabulous, live well, do good” is about your definition of looking fabulous, not everyone else’s.

about the co-founders

SSF was founded in 2003 by Rebecca Luke and Sean Schmidt with the idea that we shouldn’t have to give up looking fabulous and living well in order to be socially and environmentally responsible. Together, Rebecca and Sean felt that there had to be more fun, positive, and creative ways to bring attention to – and ultimately solve – the many pressing social and environmental challenges facing our world. Their hope was that by demonstrating the amount and breadth of efforts underway across the many and diverse style and design indsutries, they might inspire even more producers and consumers to make even more sustainable personal lifestyle choices, at work, at home, and at play.

sustainable style stands

Sustainable Style Stands represent the core values of SSF. Each stand represents extensive discussion and debate and often reflect issues that are as controversial outsides SSF as they are within SSF.

no one is perfect | SSF recognizes that “no one is perfect”. Fundamentalism and absolutes just don’t work in the real world and issues are always more complex than they appear with their infinite shades of grey. When it comes to working with a company or individual that demonstrates seemingly opposing activities and/or value structures, SSF will focus on cultivating seeds of sustainability rather than the more arrogant option, we feel, of condemning or not associating with the company or individual.

creating change | There are many ways to create change. The metaphor of using a carrot or a stick to persuade someone demonstrates that change mechanisms have positive or negative associations. Many feel that it takes pain to create change and choose to condemn or convict companies or individuals when their actions or values fall short of social and/or environmental responsibility expectations. At SSF we prefer to create change through positive mechanisms by nourishing the seeds of sustainability.

honor living resources | SSF understands that the welfare of animals is one of the most sensitive issues across style industries. Even within SSF we have diverse and often opposing opinions about this issue. SSF will focus on what everyone can agree upon: we need honor and respect all living resources.

governance

As a nonprofit organization, it is vital that we maintain a high level of professionalism, governance and vision. Our organization structure, at the local chapter level and international level, includes three oversight groups at the international and chapter levels including boards of directors, boards of advisors and boards of elders.

The first three groups may not surprise you, they are standard to most nonprofit organizations. But you’ll notice we’ve added an “Elders” group. We felt strongly that we wanted to incorporate the knowledge and wisdom accumulated from those who have spent many years in our societies. Elder groups might include First Nations peoples, retired style professionals or even your Grandparents who seem to have the answer for everything. All of them teach us to honor our past, ground us in the present and respect those who come after us. Stay tuned for a list of all our groups.

board of directors

SSF would like to recognize those currently serving on our International Board of Directors:

annual reports

We’re working on a fabulous new format for our 2005 – 2009 reports. In the mean time, you can find past reports here: 2003 | 2004

art work

We have some really cool logos and most of them have been created by our SSF Board Alum, Lydia Voiland.

legal disclosures

Use of the SSF website is subject to both our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Please read them carefully.

Pro-bono legal services provided by Chad M. Smith

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