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Progress not Perfection

Cindy Rangel

 
path2

 

The beginning is always full of joy.  

It’s been a year since I began my sustainable fashion business/blog and today, I look forward to the last five months of the year.  Why? Maybe because I just finished my vacation.  I was vacationing in San Diego (where I live). Although I had expectations on being in a different phase of the business I am currently ok with being in this place right now. Why? So many reasons but it boils down to three reasons.  Then, I will share a bit about my story.

Reason 1: Great product

Rome was not built in a day!  No really, I take building my business like building an empire.  It’s a lot of work. Day in and day out you wear many hats. The workload is tremendous. Also, the beginning phases includes mostly building your product and the business. This takes time.  Although we live in a tech age where start-ups are built everywhere you turn and growing fast,  I believe in building things gradually with a solid mission, product and people you like to work with along the way.  Being kind is an important trait in my book. 

Reason 2: Finding a great team

What’s that saying? Time is money.  Well, I’d like to think people are an investment, too.  You must find the right people to build your business.  I am in a place where I am looking to gather my people: production partners, community, pattern-makers, suppliers, designers and photographers, assistants, etc. These are the first people you will begin to hire as your team.  I take those decisions seriously. Then, you build upon that with the right close knit team, co-founder perhaps, assistant and any other key partners.  This is significant when you begin your business and you cannot rush into it.   Right now, I am in no rush to hire for the sake of hiring and getting the job done.

Reason 3: Cash flow

There’s another expression: you need money to make money. Well, this can be even more of a challenge when you are building a product made within the United States.  Sustainable materials are costly, labor rates are higher than abroad, and that makes for tighter margins.  In the end, the mission of the company and quality of product with sound business strategies remain the cornerstone of my process.  

My story in sustainable fashion began a year ago when I moved to San Diego with no job and decision to begin again.  This time I was going it alone with my mission and my way.  I am confident this path will have some detours, long hours, learning curves, problems to solve and wonderful people along the way.   Is it a challenge? Yes, but I love my work and it gives me great satisfaction to pursue that with my mission: to build a global travel women’s handbag business based on ethics and sustainable practices & methods. I am not going to rush the process but respect and trust it most of all.  In the end, I am grateful to have this opportunity to build a global sustainable travel handbag business for today’s woman.   

Stay tuned for another glimpse of my story.  I give more of an inside scoop with specific production partners, women lead businesses and their profiles and how I solve problems in my e~newsletter.  Feel free to sign up below to get a peek into my daily schedule, and the community I am building online as well. Plus, I have the funniest stories I share exclusively with my newsletter readers.   I am passionate about sustainable fashion and even more passionate about business. Place those two interests together and I am seriously loving my job.  Watch behind the scenes as I create my first product from raw materials to finished product.  Catch the discounts there, too. Can’t wait to see you there.  Feel free to comment below to tell me how your business is going or what you think about sustainable fashion. 

Top 14 Eco Luxury Hotels

Cindy Rangel

 
Vivood Benimantell, Spain (bottom)  

Vivood Benimantell, Spain (bottom)  

Sustainable hotels are becoming a very ubiquitous sign of the times.  World Travel Tourism Council cites travel and tourism sector contribution of $36.7 billion to the Thai economy alone equivalent to 9.2% of GDP (gross domestic product) in the Singapore Times. 

Part of the story is creating eco-friendly hotels that off set carbon impacts, use wind/solar power, low water usage or zero impact practices.  This requires a two-way participation of the tourists as well as tourist governmental agencies as they begin investing in eco-lodging and innovation.

So, where can you go to splurge and experience the most planet’s majestic wonders? Here are 14 eco-friendly hotels that will leave your breath-less and lessen your impact on the planet.

 

1)    Tierra Hotels- Patagonia, Chile

Tierra Patagonia

 

The hotel sits next to Lake Saramiento with view of Torres del Paine National Park which has been cited as UNESCO Biosphere in 1978.  Tierra Hotel’s policy is rigorous with its environment approach including minimizing water consumption to recording environmental hotel data while asking guests to practice in sustainable habits.

 

2)    White Pod –Swiss Alps

 

white pod hotel

Your stay will include sleeping in a geodesic dome shaped tents with a desk and overlooking the mountains.  Sustainable best practices include: energy efficient built domes, controlled energy and water consumption with use of water installation devices for tap and shower use; the use of local spring water, limited night lighting, local staff walk to work to name a few.  The local cuisine is part of the hotel policy while transportation is limited to walking and there are hiking activities, too.

 

3)    Saffire Freycinet –Coles Bay Tasmania

 

The two core principles are protection of healthy sites and the healing of damaged sites.  It was once a caravan park and they revegetated the site with over 30,000 plants.  Environmental practices include: natural airflow systems, rainwater usage, bushfire management, and minimal use of night lighting on site. 

 

4)    Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Eco-lodge –San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

 

The lodge sits quietly on a 4K acre jungle hideaway and family owned where turtle species visit year along with howler monkeys, and macaws. Sustainable practices: Owners planted 2 million trees (fruit, teak, and sustainable forestry) which includes 60% of the food at lodge as well as the local seafood from local fisherman. 

5)    Lapa Rios Eco lodge –Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

 

Hotel has a five-leaf status from the Costa Rican Tourism board promoting sustainable hotel practices and the hotel prides itself on tours in the rainforest to local surf and kayaking activities to showcasing the local rainforest animals: marine turtles. Also, local piglets are given leftovers to not waste any food.  “Splendid and Sustainable” is their video title where you can listen to Karen Lewis, owner and CEO of this eco-resorts.

 

 

6)    Hix Island House –Puerto Rico

 

Hotel is powered by solar panels and collects rainwater with the waste water from each room supplies the lush gardens.  You can enjoy yoga or watch the over 3,000 wild horses that reside in the island of Vixques. 

 

7)    Hamaasi Adventure and Dive Resort –Belize

 

The sustainable approach is to reduce, reuse, and recycle as Green Globe certified hotel via the Belize Tourism Board. Also, they have become Green Globe member via the Sustainable International Step Program and reached bronze certification. 

 

8)    Green House- UK

 

A hotel nestled in Bournemouth has a level gold level membership at the Green Tourism Business Scheme and strives to be the greenest hotel in the U.K. Environmental practices include: source locally, reduce, reuse, recycle, transparency and lifecycle of incoming and out-coming hotel resources.

 

 

9)    Green Canyon -Philippines

 

This Northern Luzon hotel is surrounded by mountains, rivers and canyons.  There’s lots to do from nature trails in the Mount Balakbak , enjoy campfires, or even ATV rides.  The hotel hires local from a nearby village and practices farm to table cuisine with some of the best chefs in South East Asia. 

10) Mashpi-Ecuador

Mashpi Hotel

 

National Geographic Awarded this hotel as of one of the most unique lodges in the world.  Check out this video and the Dragon Fly cable ride.  Time to check out the Amazon jungle up close.  Ecuador is also a small country like Costa Rica fiercely competitive with sustainable practices.

 

11) O’Reilly Rainforest Retreat –Queensland Australia     

This retreat allows you explore Australia’s Lamington National Park and overlooks the unique mountains and rainforest.  They have all sorts of hiking trips: short walks, half day walks, and full day walks.  Lamington Park celebrates 100 years of conservation and Queensland’s first national parks. 

 

12) Ion Adventure Hotel –Iceland

 

Iceland? Let’s put this one on the list! The multiple award winning designed hotel is about an hour from Reykjavik with a background of unforgettable lava fields. The hot springs is one adventure you can check out which happens to provide geothermal hot water and energy to the hotel.  Plus, you can explore the Thingviller National Park, UNSCO listed.

 

13) Finca Rosa Blanca Inn-Costa Rica

 

Sustainability is the number #1 goal for this hotel when it first began in 1985.  Today, it has solar panels to heat hotel water, electrical systems that do not interfere with wildlife and coffee plantation, recycling of coffee pup to be used as fertilizer, organic shade certified coffee, compost system, a greenhouse for foods, to name a few.  Did I mention a coffee tour? Don’t miss the volcanos in the lush rainforest of Costa Rica. They are the experts in sustainable living and best practices.

 

14) Vivood Benimantell –Spain

 

This hotel is set close Aitana and Serrell Mountain Ranges (Guadalest Valley) in the Alicante province.  This Valencian town is located on the southeast part of Spain.  Sustainable practices include: consuming local products, renewable energies to reduce carbon footprint, exclusive look at luxury hotel style, vegan options, and adults only hotel. 

 

So what do you think? Comment below. Tell me your thoughts about sustainable luxury travel. I believe you only live once and splurging once in awhile is worth is especially when it comes to seeing the wonders of the world with less impact on the environment.  Can't get enough of this topic? Don't worry.  I will be posting a part 2 on this sustainable luxury travel recommendations next week as well as a part 3 on cheap travel place to visit a wonder of the world with less impact on the planet.  Catch my e~newsletter (sign up below and don't miss my funny stories) and get the inside scoop on my travels as well.  I will be traveling to South America next year but watch how I create my own sustainable travel handbag collection.  It's been a fascinating process. But I go into details! I'll introduce you to my pattern maker who is a local in San Diego.  I will give you the 411 on my challenges and how it's making things easier. Yes, easier.  I'd love to share my story as I continue to run after my dreams and obsess over my the sustainable fashion world and living sustainably one day at time.