April 2005  
The Axis of Eco: Eco-Chic
by Cameron Walker

Board Certified
Making surfboards is so toxic that glassers don respirators to protect themselves from pollutants. But Patagonia Surfboards—started by Fletcher Chouinard, son of Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard—aims to change all that. The company has switched to low-polluting foam, chromium-free fiberglass treatments, and epoxy resin, which is lighter and more ding-resistant than the widely used noxious polyester resin. $495; 805-641-9428

Soul Boots
Jade Planet's casual hiking boots for urbanites have evolved from the company's first recycled-material shoe—developed by founder Julie Lewis with input from Bill Bowerman, of Nike fame—to the Pachira, a durable stomper with artificial leather derived from plastic soda bottles, a hemp-and-cotton-blend upper, and a sole made from 40 percent tire rubber. When you've worn them down, simply return the boots to Jade Planet and they'll turn them into stuffing for dog beds. $75; 503-297-2093, www.jadefootwear.com
Recyclable Razors
Who knew the green bug could find space in your dopp kit? It will if you use Recycline's toothbrushes and razors, which are made from 100 percent recycled plastic, chiefly from discarded Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups. When you're finished with a brush or razor, mail it back to Recycline in the included postage-paid envelope. It'll be turned into plastic lumber. $7, four razors; $4, toothbrush; 888-354-7296, www.recycline.com

Sustainable Socks
Sure, Teko's line of toe cozies may be knitted for competitive sports, but its earth-friendly fabrics belie a softer edge: nontoxic dyes, Swiss-grown organic cotton, chlorine-free merino wool, and recycled polyester (a process that turns No. 2 plastics into fiber). Wear 'em once and you'll be soled. $10–$23, depending on fabric; 800-450-5784, www.tekosocks.com

Barrier Chief
Sensitive-skin types can try Jason Natural's 30+ SPF, a chemical-free sunscreen that uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide instead of petroleum-based protection. $19; 877-527-6601, www.jason-natural.com

Green Jeans
New York fashion company Rogan has collaborated with U2 frontman Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson, to create Edun (read it backwards), a rock-star-worthy full-fashion collection made in eco-friendly, sweatshop-free factories in Africa and South America. Available at Saks Fifth Avenue, from $163; www.edun.ie

Copyright 2005, Cameron Walker.