TV producer Peter Glatzer and actor and activist Adrian Grenier have gotten together to create SHFT, an online, new media platform, celebrating the eco concious lifestyle through video, shopping and education. I was able to sit down (digitally!) with Co-Founder Peter Glatzer and learn more.
What was the motivation behind starting SHFT?
Adrian and I had always shared the idea that sustainable living didn't have to be a sacrifice or not about good design or fun times. We wanted to take the "environmentalism" out of the equation and see this shift in consciousness in all the things we do: the way we eat, what we wear, the furniture and electronics we buy and sort of nudge this notion into the mainstream. We also always agreed that the problems of climate change depend on market driving solutions. That we, as consumers, call the shots and vote with our dollars. If we demand sustainable products, businesses will respond. It's really simple. This was a few years ago when we started putting SHFT together. Now there's - thankfully - a burgeoning sustainable market place and we can select and curate the best of it for SHFT.
Where does the name come from?
We're moderate people and don't think that anything extreme in this realm really works. If you preach to people and wag your finger, it turns them off. And now with the BP spill, everyone is saturated with depressing news day in and day out. SHFT connotes a subtle shift in the paradigm, a shift in consciousness, a shift in the way we think about things. Also, in our texting we can remove a vowel and still know what it means. And practically, we could trademark SHFT. But we like it.
How did you end up working together?
We share a very close friend, Clark Stiles, who knew that I was cooking up a TV show and a brand initiative and he encouraged us to talk about it.
in May you had a Pop Up Shop in Downtown Los Angeles, how did it go?and
why did you choose Downtown LA? (I say this as a huge fan of Downtown
We found ourselves posting a lot of art content on the site. One of our contributors, Karl Burkart, writes about art and nature, Ars Natura, for us, and we find photographers and series we like all the time. We were asked to be a part of Artwalk - a monthly downtown event where like 20 galleries are open - and we figured if we're curating all this stuff and going into this great space, we should be open for as long as we could and do a few events and salons. The space used to be a bank at the turn of the century and it is - in and of itself - a beautiful example of a re-purposed building. It's great to see the streets downtown full of people checking out galleries and bustling around like they do in New York.
How do you both integrate eco living into your everyday lifestyle?
After you start doing it, you don't even notice it anymore. Try to never buy water bottles - we installed a filter in the kitchen sink in my house - Adrian has one too - it was about $40 bucks and do away with even the big delivery ones. Try to buy organic foods - the ones that really matter. With clothes, try to get vintage as much as possible. Being aware of electric usage, carpooling. Then there's the really nice rituals like having a dinner party with good friends and turning off all the electrics from the circuit breaker for the meal. We light candles and play acoustic music. We did this at Adrian's house for our TV show ALTER ECO, and we've done it at my house too. You wind up instead of doing it for an hour, doing it for 3-4 hours and the lights, when they eventually come back on, seem like an intrusion. It's romantic, it's sexy, and it's fun.
If you could recommend one step that everyone could take to improve the planet, what would it be?
Stop using plastic bags. Bring your own re-usable ones. California may become the first state to ban them. We're actually making a PSA right now to support the ban. It passed the assembly and now goes to the senate. It's easy, and if everyone stopped, it would make a big difference. There's a plastic waste floating in our oceans and it's despicable.
What new eco design innovations have impressed you?
Clothing that harnesses the energy of our movement and generates enough electricity to power an iPod. Researchers are developing this breakthrough technology that will enable people to do this. The scientists are using microscopic fibers known as nanofibers, which can create electricity through simple motions like bending, stretching, and twisting. The fibers are so small and unobtrusive that they could be stitched into a piece of clothing and be undetectable to the human eye. That's pretty exciting stuff.
Who are your favourite eco fashion designers?
We had Linda Loudermilk on our show - she's a pioneer in sustainable high fashion. We like Nau, we like Loomstate. Actually, our friend and compatriot Angela Lindvall should be asked this question. She's been in the fashion industry for 15 years and has been an activist in this area. She's also a big part of SHFT and we're developing a web series with her on eco-fashion. One of the things about SHFT is we've become a sort of creative collective and we can draw upon our friends in certain areas. Lauren Gropper, our partner in SHFT is a sustainable design expert - she's LEED certified and consults on green building. We have people we've come to count on for expertise in various areas.
Do you plan on expanding the wearable side of SHFT in the future?
Yes. Lauren just spearheaded our presence at D&A and I think SHFT will be venturing further into the online retail space sooner rather than later.
What is in the future for SHFT?
We're co-presenting a series at LACMA called EATLACMA with Fallen Fruit. Very cool series there with crazy and wonderful gardens by various artists. We'll be expanding the site and doing more web series. Currently we are in the middle of rolling out LIGHTEN UP, it's a series following bands who are lowering their carbon footprint while on tour. Adrian's band THE HONEY BROTHERS are in one episode, there's one on DAVE MATHEWS BAND, EDWARD SHARPE, BRANDI CARLILE and a lot more. Check it out on shft.com.
1) Loomstate Organic Cotton T-Shirt - $42, 2) TOMS Vegan Classics - $54, 3) Leather bag Recycled from Leather Jackets by Ashley Watson - $POA, 4) Forest Bound Carryall Bag - Made from Reclaimed Materials over 100 years old - $250, 5) Boyfriend Ring made from Recycled Skateboards by Lindsay Jo Holmes - $54. All available from SHFT.com
By Kelsi Smith