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green and the city
increasingly congested areas and a rising ecological awareness among many people in large cities are causing the demand for “islands of green culture and lifestyle” to grow steadily. more and more stores and initiatives in the fashion and lifestyle industry are also devoting themselves to “green” concepts and matters. hedonism and consumerism, yes – but in a balanced, healthy kind of way. for some years now, the city travel guides from the verystyleguide ecological series have been cultivating and focusing on a green way of life and consumption.

“act now, or ...” were the words of fashion designer katharine hamnett’s rather harsh appeal regarding ecological and ethically correct actions a few years ago. for a long time, the british fashion designer has been releasing distinct and clear messages into the world to finally do something for the environment and a consciously “healthy way of consumption”. climate change and the impending ruin and exhaustion of many of the world’s landscapes and energy resources have made a change of thinking mandatory. in the large metropolises of the western industrialized countries in particular, this concern is manifesting itself in more and more people. uscha pohl, founder of “verystyleguides and verystylemaps” (published since the year 2000), a travel guide series for selected fashion and lifestyle hotspots in cities like paris, london, new york and berlin, has also been dealing with the subject of “ethical and ecological consumption” for a long time. the london-based publisher attempted to find a way of incorporating ecologically correct thinking into the content of her “very” guides. uscha pohl’s basic idea was to connect the environment of the cities’ creative and artistic scenes with ethical and ecological elements.

in 2006, the publisher, who lives in london and paris, finally decided to add a “green” aspect to her travel guide series which focuses on style and designer hotspots. under the title “verystyleguide ecological”, she began by portraying ecological and organic lifestyle spots in london in the form of a guidebook and city map. it explicitly featured fashion and accessory stores, cosmetics shops and interior design stores with an ecological and sustainable focus, as well as organic restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bakeries and supermarkets, addresses of bicycle rental locations, electric cars, shopping facilities for alternative medicine, locations of farmers markets, ethical banks and more.

what began with the “verystyleguide ecological” in london has by now expanded to include ethical and ecological lifestyle hotspots in the cities of new york, paris and berlin. the pocket-size travel guides each include a handy city map, which highlights neighbourhoods and areas with a high density of “green spots”. the “eco guidebooks”, certified with the fsc (forest stewardship council) environmental label, are available at art galleries, fashion and concept stores. the internet platform www.very-eco.com also features a forum, where updates and additions can be entered on an ongoing basis. furthermore, the website portrays brands, companies and products that have committed themselves to ecological, sustainable as well as stylish principles.

back in 1997, german-born uscha pohl, originally a fashion designer in new york and london, launched the first issue of the fashion and art magazine “very”, which is still published today. the medium strives to create a connection and a “better understanding” between art and fashion. with the verystyleguides ecological, the focus is now on the connection between art, fashion and “ethically correct” behaviour. it seems as if this is a successful fusion, developing a promising symbiosis of sophisticated indulgences and a clean conscience …

helmut wolf