Friday, October 16, 2009

OK so I'm totally behind the eight ball on this due to many other comings and goings on here at OT...but I have to thank Jaclyn at Urban Dwellings Design in Kansas City Missouri for a wonderful posting on Oliveira Textiles in September. She has an elegant, modern, high style shop and we are of course very honored to be included in her design pics.

Thanks to Kelly LaPlante's genius website, The Green Grades-a website created to give "comprehensive reviews and evaluations of companies providing eco-furnishings", we are thrilled to have found Oliveira Textiles.
Urban Dwellings Design Ltd.

Hello and please check out this great event happening at RISD next week.
I've been graciously asked to join these noted Rhode Islanders: the topic - smart, sustainable design...RISD press release below....come join us.
Thanks very much,

RISDCE Special Event :: Thursday, October 22, 7–9pm

Growing Greener Work

If you're thinking about going green with your own career, check out our symposium/topical discussion, Design, Industry + Careers in the Age of Sustainability. Charlie Cannon, RISD associate professor of Industrial Design and co-founder of RISD's popular Innovation Studio, will moderate and be joined by fellow thought-leaders Matt Grigsby RISD '05 ID, CEO and co-founder of Ecolect, Dawn Oliveira, co-founder of Oliveira Textiles (environmentally friendly fabrics for the home) and Meaghan O'Neill, writer/editor for and co-author of Ready, Set, Green.Design, Industry + Careers in the Age of Sustainability will help you learn which actions, materials and processes make the biggest eco-impact in the home and workplace, how to express your creativity while "doing the right thing," and maybe most importantly, how to inspire others with your own enthusiasm for positive change. The panelists will also discuss which sustainability-focused companies, locally and beyond, are thriving in this new economy. Thursday, October 22, 7–9pmTuition: $25 Space is limited; early registration is encouraged.
Pre-registration is required. Visit the
RISDCE registration page for more information, or download a registration form and fax to 401 454-6218. Registration is also accepted by phone at 401 454-6209, or in person at the RISDCE office, 20 Washington Place, 1st floor, Providence.RISDCE – Where Art is for Everyone All ages and skill levels welcome!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Better World

Mark your calendars if you are in the New England area this weekend.
RISD Press release below:

Providence, RI to host annual “A Better World by Design” Conference
October 2-4, 2009

Rhode Island School of Design & Brown Students Create International Community of Social & Environmental Change.

Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) will invite a global community of innovative thinkers, professionals, and students to Providence, RI to explore, share, and create experiences of social and environmental design. This three-day internationally acclaimed conference, now in its second year, “A Better World by Design” ( will be held October 2-4, 2009 on the campuses of Brown and RISD in Providence, RI. Nearly 500 guests from around the world will gather to discuss innovative approaches and solutions to extreme poverty, access to basic resources, environmental degradation, the future of our infrastructure, and the design of our societies in order to create a better way of life. Global leaders from the fields of architecture, design, engineering, economics, entr epreneurship, environmental studies, business, politics, and global development will converge during this conference to discuss the critical role of design as an integrative application to improve the world and its inhabitants.
“Art and design have a powerful role in this universe – to take all of the complexity in our world and make sense of it on a human scale,” said RISD President John Maeda. “This collaboration between RISD and Brown is just one example of the difference we can make."

And I will be joining this inspiring group as an invited panelist: "Green Consumer Products", Friday, October 2 at 11:30 am at the RISD Museum. Lisle Room
Matt Grigsby, Ecolect,
Rosanne Somerson, RISD Furniture Dept,
Dawn Oliveira, Oliveira Textiles,

See you there.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Great 'greenwashing' article

Found this today through OTA memo.

BSR excerpt-
"Consumer demand for more environmentally responsible products is growing. Once confined to a small market of environmentalists, consumers who choose green products over other options now represent 40 percent of the American market, according to Cone’s “Green Gap 2008 survey.”Although companies are paying it more attention, greenwash continues to grow. This is due largely to a growing demand for green-related products—and to the fact that the companies attempting to respond to that demand lack either the ability or the willingness to decipher and act on what is expected.

It takes time and diligence for companies to get the facts straight, not to mention committment. We're working at it.


Yes, it's been a while...

Summer Project - Vintage bamboo chair, Yolo lo-voc paint, latex foam with organic wool batting, 100% hemp cover with OT's 'Madeira Vine' pattern in 'marigold' colorway.

So, here are a few updates:
Our fabrics have been accepted by Material Connexion to be placed in the world's largest innovative materials library accessed by Fortune 100 companies, architects, designers and more. They will be displayed in 4 locations; New York, Bangkok, Cologne and Milan and in the online database. We are really proud to be included in this great source of environmentally safe products.


  • I will be 'co-teaching' another RISD continuing ed class entitled "Eco-Materials for Interior Design". Matt Grigsby will share his expertise in Industrial Design and I will share my Textiles expertise. (go to for more details)


  • 10/04/09, 2 day event - RISD's 'Build A Better World'. It's a student organized event with some notable speakers. I will be on the 'Green Consumer Products' panel and am really looking forward to sharing our research on creating safer, healthier textiles.
  • 10/22/09 Thursday, 7pm-9pm - RISD has spnsored a symposium called 'Design, Industry + Careers in the Age of Sustainability'. There will be 3 of us - all Rhode Islanders *Matt Grigsby ( RISD alumni and CEO/Founder of a great green materials sourcing group called Ecolect based in Providence and Chicago.) *Meaghan O'Neill (Meaghan is one of the original founders), *Dawn Oliveira - (Veteran Textile Designer / Educator) Go to for further information.
Thanks for checking in..... Dawn

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

RISD Summer Class Recap

So my foray into teaching was fun and rewarding.
Thank you Cara, Emily,and Lynne. Your interest and enthusiasm in Sustainable Textiles made teaching a pleasure. I look forward to seeing all of you in October at RISD's "Build A Better World Event".

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

OT in 'Apartment Therapy'

Some Nice press for Oliveira Textiles thanks to our wonderful Newport, R.I. PR company, . Thank you Kara DiCamillo.
click link
Apartment Therapy Boston Sustainable Fabrics Inspired by the Sea
We love it when locally-made, environmentally-conscious products find their way into our mailbox. Add a dose of New England inspiration into the aesthetic and it really makes us smile. Introducing the debut line of eco-friendly fabrics inspired by the ocean from the Rhode Island-based company Oliveira...

Also, I'm heading down to NYC on Friday, June 26, to visit the showroom of our newest representative: AM Collections in SOHO - 584 Broadway to be exact. Oliveira Textiles is thrilled to finally have a presence in our favorite city!

And because it's so important to mix pleasure with business, I look forward to seeing 5 of my dearest friends from Polo and Liz for a wonderful Indian dinner. A few hours of R&R will truly be welcome.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oliveira Textiles in great company on Treehugger today.


4. Ocean Collection from Oliveira Textiles
Photo left: Anemone made of hemp & organic cotton, twill. Photo right: Shellgame in 100 percent hemp, or 55/45 hemp/organic cotton, twill. Photos via Oliveira Textiles
For whimsical eco textiles, look no further than Oliveira Textiles. The firm's debut Ocean Collection is made of sustainably harvested and rapidly renewable hemp, (like Ecotextiles, it is sourced from Romania), and organic cotton grown, harvested, and woven in Turkey. Check out our interview with founder Dawn Oliveira.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

RISD reminder...

Thought I would share this information with all those who visit our blog and ask that you pass it on....thanks .
New this Summer! RISD Continuing Ed has several new courses that focus on sustainable materials for a variety of design applications, plus many unique new fine art and design offerings, and several new courses in The Business of Art + Design that should be of interest to all. Here are links to a few of the new courses, or check out our full course list for all summer offerings:Sustainable Textiles: Farm to Shelf (TEXT-1961)Green Materials and Design: Exploring Process + Product (INDES-0280) Vibrant Vector Design (COMC-0899) Landscape Design History: Focus on Newport (PRES-3917) Painterly Prints: Gelatin Monotypes Workshop (PRINT-4399) Experimental Relief Printmaking (PRINT-4398) Intellectual Property for Art + Design: Be in the Know (PRAC-0173) Contracts: What Artists + Designers Need to Know (PRAC-0174)

Monday, May 18, 2009

On a Bright Note...

Design Trade Magazine
We've discovered some new web press from Design Trade Magazine.
Design Trade Magazine: Ocean and Madeira Collections from Oliveira Textiles

And on a new twist, our Anemone pattern has been selected for a book cover illustration. The book is a historical novel titled The Coral Thief written by Rebecca Stott, to be published by Orion Press in the UK.....sneak peek here. release is fall 09.And, back in April our Anemone pillows were included in Newport Life Magazine's feature, 'locally made'.


The Green Revolution?

Has anyone listened to a recent NPR broadcast referencing an article in the June issue of National Geographic titled The End of Plenty? As I listened, I kept hearing the term, Green Revolution...I was perplexed because this revolution was not a positive, reaffirming one...No, this Green Revolution, which began in the 50's, was quite different than the "Planet Green/Cradle to Cradle", one we are moving towards today. Joel K Bourne Jr., in his NG article, painfully points out what has happened around the world as we've stopped paying attention to the realities of our food supply.
The author's insightful essay reminds us that today most of our food is shipped to us from the far corners of the globe and "we no longer, grow, harvest or prepare most of our daily bread".
The new monocultures require lots of water, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Of course nothing lasts forever and much of the land in India, to name one country, has today, been lost to salinization. The water is poisoned-truly a grim picture. (The same is happening with conventional cotton production around the globe).

The article wraps up on a more positive note with an alternative offering-sustainable agriculture or "agroecology". Farmers and consumers facing the realities of climate change can no longer afford to support monocultures with their dependence on fossil-fuel based fertilizers. "The underlying idea is that we must stop focusing on simply maximizing grain yields at any cost and consider the environmental and social impacts of food production. It is disturbing that we continue to encourage farmers to rely on expensive, toxic imputs that are making money for corporate giants rather than on more ecological methods that use local resources and skills".

Read the story, grow a garden, enjoy and celebrate the healthy choices we have, support sustainable agriculture--for our food, for our fibers and for our kids' futures.
Dawn & Deb

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Flame Retardants...gotta be a better way

Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Future Society is leading a campaign to ban PBDE toxic flame retardants. These synthetic chemicals make clothing, furniture and electronics less flammable, but we now know they are harmful to humans and to sealife, especially killer whales. To learn more and to get involved, visit

Talk about ' full cirlce'...My entire family (8 kids) at my dad's request, would gather around the TV on Sunday evenings to watch Jacques Cousteau's undersea adventures.......and since we've been doing a fair amount of technical research these days..thought I would share this. We all want our kids and homes to be protected against any and all possible disasters, but are chemically saturated fabrics and clothing really necessary? The research is pretty heady and more scientific than many folks have the patience to read through...but I'll share an article I've just read here.
"Recently there are increasing concerns over the environmental and toxicological impacts of halogenated flame retardants and their decomposition products formed when the flame retarded polymer systems are burned during an accidental fire, disposed off in the environment or being incinerated. California, for example, is to ban some halogenated flame retardants in 2008 due to the health concerns. Another serious drawback of halogenated polymer systems is that they generate thick smokes and toxic fumes when burned during a fire event.
A new series of low smoke, non-halogenated flame retardants have been developed. Tests showed that the flame retardants are effective in PP and other polyolefin compounds. These flame retardants compare favorably with traditional flame retardants such as halogenaated, mineral and APP flame retardants."

Stay tuned


Friday, March 20, 2009

Planet Green..thank you

OK folks...this latest piece of press for OT is just wonderful.
Thank you to Treehugger & Planet Green for earnestly encouraging the strides we're making here at Oliveira Textiles
Dawn & Deb

click here
Meet Dawn Oliveira, Founder of Oh-So-Green Oliveira Textiles : Planet Green
Textiles take on a whole new, less toxic meaning thanks to the help of this change maker.
Jessica Root Brooklyn, NY, USA Thu Mar 19 15:00:00 EDT 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Message from The Organic Trade Association

"When you choose organic, you’re making a positive difference for your family, your home and our environment. You're also investing in the future, and the investment is worth it. In an effort to deepen understanding about the value of organic, and others nationwide are joining the Organic Institute’s new campaign: “Organic. It’s worth it.” Learn more and get involved at"

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chairloom at Go Green Expo-Philly

Ok so today I want to mention to our blog readers in the Philadelphia area..if you would like to see our fabrics lovingly upholstered.., please visit Molly Worth from CHAIRLOOM (booth #826) at The Go Green Expo, this weekend, March 13, 14, & 15. "Chairloom is a company that believes in up-cycling or repurposing existing furniture. Chairloom exists to revamp and revitalize antique and/or vintage pieces using bold, stylish and exuberant textiles. Owner and designer, Molly Worth, gravitates toward cheerful eye catching fabric companies to recreate pieces with great lines and good bones. "
Molly was an early supporter of Oliveira Textiles and has purchased many of our prints for eco conscious buyers; like these fabulous bamboo chairs, showcasing our Anemone pattern in redcoral. Make a purchase and support green textile manufacturing!!
Thanks very much
go greenexpo: green - environmentally - eco-friendly friendly products and services
Philadelhia Convention Center PA Convention Center

1101 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Friday, February 20, 2009


Well, I'm back from The Magic Show in Vegas, and inspite of all of the economic doom and gloom we hear today I feel inspired, and even more motivated to continue our sustainability goals - Sure everyone commented on the less than stellar turnout of attendees this year, but I still felt a high energy level..these are fashionistas after all..and although I am not a veteran of these kinds of trade shows as some folks I spoke to, we all just have to move forward albeit cautiously and intelligently.
And those of us in the sustainability sector, I believe strongly, are positioned to be leaders when this economy does get back on track.
(The Vegas 'Strip' is truly a bizarre place to vacation....but those mountains are 'spectacular'!)

Most importantly, I want to thank Matt Grigsby and Elizabeth Redmond from 'Ecolect' for graciously inviting Oliveira Textiles to join their panel of super sustainability speakers. I was honored to be included and look forward to future opportunities.
Eco Materials Panelists were:
Matt Grigsby - Founder and panel moderator -

Marci Zaroff - Founder
Mark Dwight
- Founder &
Jonathan Shaun - Founder -
Charlotte -
Dawn Oliveira - &

What I take away from this trip is:
* a feeling of incredibly deep respect and admiration for those panelists and companies who have
made the commitment to create , healthy, sustainable, successful products,
* inspired by the positive, youthful exhuberance of the speakers ,
* motivated to improve our product, educate and excite our customers and excell, sustainably,
as we continue to grow our small company, always keeping in mind, the bigger picture of health for
ourselves and the planet.

I got to chat with Jill Dumain - Textile expert from Patagonia! and listen to Eric Ryan - Founder of the incredibly successful,San Francisco based, 'Method'- the environmentally safe cleaning products company... So, admittedly, I did spend more time at Eco-seminars and other Eco-product booths than in the larger 'Magic' experience, but what I did see in the S.LA.T.E, STREET, & POOL fashion exhibits were some fabulous, hip, chic urban fashion if they were only taking those first steps to manufacture with the environment in mind, we'd all be golden!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our Green Economy

So on Monday, Feb 16th, I will be headed to Las Vegas to join the panel discussion at the "Magic Show"/Ecolect Eco-Material Panel 0209-Seminars Eco and from the current state of affairs around the world, I have a feeling 'the economy' will be at the top of everyone's agenda.
From my own perspective as a designer, I will do my best to highlight the importance of creating a sustainable society through education, inspiration, and will clearly take a concerted effort on the part of designers, scientists, economists and politicians to rescue our economy and protect our planet.

Some eco-facts I've read this morning:

...Over the next three decades, today´s students must re-engineer and re-wire the world, provide shelter and food for three billion more people, and stabilize the global climate, sustainably.
Professor Eban Goodstein, Bard Center, National Climate Dialogue

...Catering to environmental demands also is becoming increasingly important for keeping the industry's mills and factories humming. The emphasis on "green" applies to the whole spectrum, from basic fibers all the way to finished garments. (and home textiles)

...Retailers also are in the forefront of the eco drive. Their basic message to suppliers these days: If you don't follow some ecological principles, we will look for other suppliers who can and will.

...One final sign that reducing the environmental footprint is now mainstream: The increasing reliance on third-party certifications. At last count, there were 38 certifiers for textiles. These include such organizations as the International Oeko-Tex Association, bluesign technologies ag and the International Working Group on Global Organic Textile Standard. Some of these outfits even work with manufacturers in such key areas as water use, energy and chemicals.
Robert S. Reichard, Economics Editor - Textile World - Textiles 2009: Some Late Bottoming Out, But No Miracles

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

so sorry to see domino go.......

Well, I guess I've been out of the bloggosphere loop (been lost in endless technical research...) because I'm just now finding out that domino Magazine is folding. I'm so incredibly dissapointed to hear this news. I've loved this magazine since I found it while surfing the web 4 years ago. Before it ever hit the news stands, I was a subscriber, and eagerly awaited every issue in my mailbox.The casual hip style of the layouts and products totally hooked me. The products were mostly affordable and chic at the same time. It was just such a welcome relief compared to some other well known high-style furnshings mags. Not to mention how much we here at Oliveira Textiles enjoyed perusing domino's March 'Green Issue'. We thank everyone at the magazine for featuring our Shellgame pattern in 2008. And we really look forward to whatever new incarnation unfolds .
most sincerely,
"dear readers
It is with very heavy hearts that we say farewell. Over the last 4 years, in 28 issues, we have done our best to create a great magazine. We started with a real idea—that style is for everyone—and tried to carry it out with stories that provide inspiration and empower you to act on it. From your tremendous response, we know that we were onto something. In this tough economy, however, we simply weren't able to get the advertising support we needed.
As domino evolved, we never lost sight of our original democratic premise. Looking back at the manifesto we published in the premiere issue, the first tenet of domino is still the truest: Home should make you happy. We hope we have played a part in making this come true for you.
Love,All the editors of domino "

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

CPSC Grants One Year Stay
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act has voted to issue a one year stay of enforcement (it remains in effect until February 10, 2010) for certain testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products, including products intended for children 12 years and younger. This is limited relief from the testing and certification in effect as of February 10, 2009 for new total lead content limits (600ppm) and pthalates limits (1000ppm), among other things. The commission says it needs more time to finalize the proposed rules and to issue more guidance on when testing is required and how it is to be conducted.
For anyone not in the loop on this; it was legislation that would have potentially devastated small businesses who could not absorb the costs of testing dozens, 100's or 1000's of SKUs in inventory. Retailers felt they were being asked to assume the responsibility and costs while policing the whole process. And the beat goes on...
Keep in mind however that all businesses,including, but not limited to, handmade toy and apparel makers, crafters and home-based small busineses, must still be sure that their products conform to all safety standards including the lead and pthalates provisions under the CPSIA.

Oliveira Textiles uses only organic cotton and hemp along with oeko-tex approved dyes, and heavy-metal & pthalate free pigments. We are having our fabrics tested to confirm these facts to all of our customers.
Thanks for listening.

"Ecollection" at "Magic" - Las Vegas

Hello everyone.
I'd love to share some news about Oliveira Textiles today.
Our company has been included on a 'green' product website called "Ecolect", a Providence, R.I. based company with a presence in Chicago and San Francisco as well. Material: Oliveira Textiles - Ecolect
"Ecolect’s mission has always been simple, yet ambitious: to help designers find sustainable materials, to provide makers of new materials a space to publicize their innovations and create a vibrant forum for designers committed to sustainability to share their inspiration, occasional frustration, new information and everything in between." Matt Grigsby, a RISD alumni is the CEO and co-founder. We are excited about joining this list of committed 'green' designers & manufacturers.

In connection with our decision to join 'Ecolect', Matt has invited me to take part in a panel discussion in Las Vegas -- The "Ecollection" segment of "Magic"--the large fashion / textiles trade event that takes place every February & August. I am incredibly eager to meet the other panelists and learn as much as I can in 2 days about the extent of audience interest/knowledge in this sustainable marketplace. ECOLLECTION at MAGIC: Programs & Activities
I hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine

Mexican Flavor - Phoenix Home & Garden
Our Anemone in new glowingly warm tones on our 100% certified organic, 13oz hemp herringbone is featured in January issue of Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine.

"Soak up tropical flavor with Oliveira Textiles’ Ocean Collection of 'environmentally considerate' hand-silk-screened fabrics. Made from rapidly growing, sustainable Chinese hemp, the textiles’ enticing swirling patterns are created with eco-friendly water-based dyes. The fabrics, suitable for upholstery uses, pillow covers, window treatments and more, are available through design professionals and the company. For information on ordering, call the Rhode Island firm at (401) 396-9194, or check on the Internet."
Roberta Landman pg 50

Monday, January 5, 2009

This Just In.....California Home & Design Magazine's 'Daily Finds'

Please click on this link to read/see a nice post by Assistant Design Editor Mikhael Romain from California Home & Design Magazine--the website.
Eco-Friendly Fabrics From Oliveira Textiles California Home and Design

Posted by Mikhael Romain
Monday, December 29, 2008 12:27 AM
"If you’re looking for a fashionable and eco-friendly way to upholster your favorite chair, check out Oliveira textiles. The Rhode Island company uses organic cotton and hemp fabrics for their designs that feature botanical and sea-inspired prints. The two collections, Ocean and Madeira, come in shades of blue, orange, purple and green. "
nice note to end the evening on...