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We caught up with Coyuchi friend Megan Mussari of Apprvl to get the inside scoop on her slow textiles company which she started in her Brooklyn backyard. Megan created an insider's sustainable city guide to all her favorite stops in Brooklyn. Bookmark for your next trip to New York!
Tell us about Apprvl.
Apprvl began in the summer of 2014 when I was working full-time in the fashion industry dyeing sample yardage for my job. We were using synthetic dyes and synthetic fibers. I saw and felt first hand the negative effects these have in mass production. I have always had a more eco-conscious mindset and I wanted to learn how to create color in a more natural way. I explored the history of creating colors and dyeing, and began working with indigo, which is one of the most widespread and historic natural dye substances. I have strived to use mostly recycled fabrics, or fabrics that are destined for landfill, when I am creating my home products. I also developed DIY kits to teach the ideas of mending + updating your clothes to give fabrics a second life and add to their longevity to one's wardrobe.
Any products that you love/swear by?
Running your own business can be overwhelming, I try to remember to take care of myself. I love to do a mud mask and take a bath. I use the Aztec Secret Indian Clay Mask with apple cider vinegar- you can feel it pulsing on your skin! I am also devoted to Health Aid Kombucha. I can't get enough of it and it always makes me feel good!
What's next for Apprvl?
We have a couple of cool collaborations in the works right now for new bandanas! I am excited that people like what we're doing, so much so that they want to put their brand name next to ours on products. I also am trying to work through a huge pile of vintage textiles to dye and give new life!
When we come to New York, what sustainable stops should we make?
I pretty much only wear thrift clothes or pieces by small designers. Dusty Rose Vintage in Greenpoint is my go-to spot to dig for second hand items. All the pieces are separated into huge garbage bins, carefully labeled into the most specific categories so you can get your "women's polka dot tops" without hassle! They also host a ton of parties, art shows and workshops.
Shout out to all the Mr. (insert fruit name here) delis that grace the neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Mr. Berry is my favorite local deli where you can get a $4 salad and $4, 16 ounce juice. Insider tip: they purposefully make too much and you have to chug half a glass of juice in front of them.
I recently learned that my local bar, Tuffet, donates 20% of their profits on Tuesdays to rotating charities until the election of 2020. You can suggest charities and host your own nights. They also have the coziest backyard with (fake) fireplaces.
Junk is heaven. There are a few locations, but I love the one on Driggs Ave. This is probably the best place to go when you're bored and want to dig into a bin of some other families’ vacation photos. I recently picked up the perfect set of porcelain Foo dogs for $25. This resale shop keeps 'junk' out of landfills and is filled wall-to-wall with potential treasures.
I've been following along withTrash is for Tossers, Lauren Singer for a few years now. When she opened up her shop, Package Free, I was so excited to head over and check it out. It's easy to get in a routine where you don't even think about the trash that you generate. It's great that her shop is in a busy location to give us a little reminder to be more aware of day-to-day consumption.
On the corner of Broadway and Union there’s a flower shop on some prime real estate that I am so grateful hasn't turned into a bank (or juice chain). I stop by Nelly's and buy plants maybe too often, but you can really get lost in the tropical section inside. They also have a bunny that sits on the counter when you check out and he is totally un-phased by anything.
My sister's studio sits behind the Big Re-use in Gowanus on the Canal. I got lost and had to walk through the whole store once and I am now addicted to this place. I somehow always leave with at least one broken marble slab, a chunk of reclaimed wood or strange pieces of metal. This place is the perfect nonprofit alternative to a major hardware store when you need those weird pieces of material, you can also donate home goods and furniture to give them a second life.
69 9th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Brooklyn Ball Factory
Everything I love in one place: bento boxes, coffee, a no-frills rooftop and the nicest baristas. Not just because it's half a block from my house, but this is one of my favorite local businesses. They believe in serving healthy foods without additives, preservatives or MSG. Plus, their rooftop is the best in the summer. It feels just like you're a private roof because it's not fancy and it overlooks the neighborhood park.
95 Montrose Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Vamos al Tequila
Vamos is a family owned Mexican restaurant in Greenpoint that is my hidden gem for when I'm working at the studio. Their ingredients are always fresh and simple. Not to mention, you get a free beer with most of your meals and they are always packed with the locals who know the deal.