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Trends With Benefits


Erica Pitzi shows you how you can wheel and deal — whenever and wherever you are — in PIX11’s Trends With Benefits series.

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Manhattan, NY – With more and more people making an effort to go green, fashion retail giant H&M is launching an eco-friendly fashion line called the Conscious Collection to encourage its customers to care about sustainability.  Plus, the company is starting a green program to get people to recycle their old clothes for a discount on new ones!

“Customers today are becoming more aware of these issues and this is a way of offering them a better choice,” said H&M’s Fashion Sustainability Coordinator Catarina Midby.

All of the clothes in the collection are made with organic cotton and recycled materials.

“The whole collection is very much movie star, Hollywood style glamour,” said Midby, who says some celebrities have recently  shown their support for the company’s green efforts by wearing their clothes, including Zoe Deschanel of the sitcom ‘New Girl.’  In fact, actress Helen Hunt wore H&M on the red carpet for the Oscars to show her support for the eco-friendly effort.

The latest line is formal wear for men and women, like cocktail dresses, prom gowns and three-piece-suits for men.

One of the gowns has a tulle skirt made from recycled plastic bottles.

The cost of the collection ranges from $34.95 to $299.95.

The company’s eco-friendly effort goes even beyond their new collection with their Global Garment Collecting program.  Recycle bins will be set up in every store across the country so that customers can come in and drop off old clothes, from any brand, in order to receive 15% off a single new purchase.

“So many textiles go to landfills, so this is our way of encouraging people to recycle their clothes and they will get a discount voucher in return.  The whole idea for us is to recycle clothes in order to get new materials and make new clothes out of the old ones.”

THURSDAY:  To get 25% off your Conscious Collection purchase, go to the H&M store on 5th Avenue (and 51st Street) on Thursday only!

MANHATTAN (PIX11) — When it comes to beauty, so many women love a 2-in-1 product but I bet you never thought your jewelry could double as your perfume!

The idea of fragrance jewelry was created by Lisa Hoffman, wife of actor Dustin Hoffman, who founded Lisa Hoffman Beauty.

“She has come up with a revolutionary way to put fragrance in the jewelry.  Each piece of the jewelry has a charm and within the charm there are tiny fragrance beads.  There’s necklaces, earrings, bracelets and they are worn on the pulse points so that you really smell fragrance where you naturally spray your fragrance – on your ears, neck, wrist,” said Heather Braasch of Behrman PR, who represents the brand.

There are several scents to choose from:  French Clary Sage, Japanese Agarwood and Tuscan Fig, to name a few.  All of the beads are made of a sustainable woodflower and the jars, though seemingly small, last as long as a bottle of perfume.

“The actual fragrance doesn’t touch your skin.  So, women and men who have allergies to fragrance can actually have a product they can wear now,” said Braasch.

Dr. Clifford Bassett of Allergy and Asthma Center of NY says Lisa Hoffman Beauty is a good alternative for people who cannot wear perfume or scented oils on their skin.  “Nearly 30 million Americans have a skin allergy to fragrances.”  However, he says, even more Americans are irritated by fragrances, even though they may not be technically allergic.

“It depends on the person’s individual sensitivity to fragrances,” Dr. Bassett said, adding that just the scent of a fragrance could bother someone.

The cost of jewelry by Lisa Hoffman Beauty starts at $65.

Her most expensive line, in collaboration with designer Tom Binns, starts at $200.

Manhattan, NY – Thanks to technology, cars keep getting more convenient, especially on the inside!

We visited the 113th Annual New York Auto Show at the Javits Center to check out the latest trends for in-car features.

“It’s exciting, everything is going so hi-tech,” said Mark Schienberg, the President of the New York Auto Show.

Schienberg demonstrated the CUE system by Cadillac.  It is a 3D navigational system.  All you have to do is touch the screen and it allows you to zoom in on the area where you’re going.

Forget about knobs and even buttons, the new Cadillac is all touch all the time.  Even turning the radio on is touch screen-activated and so is the volume!

Over at Acura, Chris Naughton with Acura demonstrated the MDX’s newest display screen that shows real time weather along a programmed route or near your destination.  It will highlight weather concerns along the way, like a flash flood for example, and offer detours to your route.

Honda came up with a workable vacuum inside the hatch of the Odyssey minivan that has a hose that reaches all the way up to the front of the vehicle.

Audi also rolled out a cool new feature, turning one of its cars into a roving WIFI hotspot that accommodates up to eight devices.

The Auto Show opened Friday, March 29th and runs through April 7th and tickets are $15 for adults.

Manhattan, NY – Talk about a whole new way to travel!

Hotels are hopping on the pop-up trend by putting people up in swanky shipping containers and luxurious tents.  Since the very essence of pop-up means they only exist for a small window of time, if you blink, you may miss this super-exclusive opportunity to travel trendy.

“Hotel companies set up hotel rooms, often in shipping containers or tents on a very temporary basis.  For example, in Edinburgh, Scotland during the music festival toward end of August, the population doubles so there’s a huge demand for hotel rooms.  So, SnoozeBox, company based in UK, set up a temporary hotel, 48 rooms built of shipping containers right in the heart of Olde Towne,” said Conde Nast Traveler Senior Editor John Newton.

If you stay in one of these shipping containers, you are not roughing it.  “They have WIFI, restaurants and bars, in-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, sofas,” said Newton, adding, “To stay in one of these pop-up hotels, you often have the best, most convenient location, and you’re not giving up amenities.”

Another company called Sleeping Around, based in Belgium, set up a bunch of shipping containers in the port of Antwerp.  “So, you’re getting a perspective on Antwerp that you can’t get if you’re staying a traditional hotel,” explained Newton.

The Pop-Up Hotel is another company that pitches luxurious tents.  “It’s called ‘Glamping’!” said Newton.  “The idea of bringing glamour to camping.  A lot of these luxurious tents have beds as nice as any bed you would get in a hotel room.  They are completely furnished, with in-suite showers.  It’s not like you’re not in a plastic pup tent at the side of the road.”

Design Hotels, the company behind the design of The Standard Hotel in Chelsea, designed pop-up hotel called Papaya Playa Project in Tulum, Mexico.  The bungalows were such a hit, they made them a permanent fixture.  Now, the company has its sights set on Mykonos, Greece, where the next pop-up will open in May.

The big benefit with these pop-up hotels, according to the experts, is that you are able to go to some very popular destinations and stay there for a lot less than if you were in a permanent hotel.

Manhattan, NY - If you want to burn more calories without having to work out harder, then you may just be in luck!   Workout wear by Zaggora claim to do just that, by making you hotter, literally!

The full line of women’s workout clothes from pants to shorts to tanks to jackets, ranging from $100 to $128, has Cel-U-Lite technology that is designed to make your core body temperature rise.   “They’re crafted with a special lining in all of the clothes, and what it does is increases the amount that you are sweating as you work-out, therefore, maximizing the benefit of your workout,” explained Melissa Palmieri, adding, “We’ve done several studies that have showed that in 30 minutes, you increase your calorie burn by 11%.

While most of these clothes make you hotter, there is one piece of clothing that makes you cooler.  The sports bra.

“That’s just to keep it nice and cool and comfortable for you,” said Palmieri.

We had to try out the clothes to see if it worked us so we enlisted NYC trainer Terri Walsh, @artstudioNYC , of ART Studio in SOHO to help us out.  Walsh developed the Active Resistance Training, or ART method of fitness.  She has trained dozens of celebrities over the years.

“I do feel my core body temperature starting to rise and I haven’t even moved around yet,” said Walsh.

Walsh and I started a small cardio routine she designed to test out the clothes.  During the first workout, Walsh said, “I can already feel the clothes kind of helping the sweat along, so it will shorten your warm-up time.”

It is not like the company claims the clothes will help you burn calories without working out though.  You must move around.

“You can’t just be sitting on your couch, eating bon-bons and wearing Zaggora from head to toe and think you will get the effects.  We encourage women to get out there, be healthy and we’re going to give you a little boost along the way,” said Palmieri.


NYC burgers get a healthy makeover

Manhattan, NY – From beef patties to lamb patties to salmon patties to turkey patties to veggie patties, any burger-eater can find their favorite fast-food at 4Food near Bryant Park, without the side of guilt!

Executive Chef Vinnie Mangual explained how these burgers are better for you.  “We use whole cuts of meat and we grind it ourselves.  You don’t have to worry about any pink slime or additives, there’s nothing that’s not natural going into our burgers,” said Mangual.

There is a lot of emphasis on local food at @4FoodNYC.  For instance, their turkeys come out of Pennsylvania.  The tomatoes come out of New Jersey.  Some of the basil that they get is grown on rooftops out in Brooklyn.

When asked why people should care about where their food comes from, Mangual answered, “The end result is a healthier, cleaner burger, so all the calories you are getting from the burger are whole calories.  It’s not like you are getting calories from high-fructose corn syrup.”

The shape of the burgers are key.  They look like donuts, with a hole in the center.  That creates room for a scoop of their plethora of fillings you can choose from, like chipoltle hominee grits or mac-n-cheese or garlic spinach.

“A lot of the fillings we use are a heart-healthy filling or a leafy-green filling,” explained Mangual.

I ordered the Greek burger:  lamb burger with garlic spinach filling, topped with tatziki sauce.  And I got a side of Square Roots (4Food’s version of fries, with purple and white potatoes, lightly roasted.)

After you pay, your receipt breaks down all of the calories you ordered.  My Greek burger and fries, was about 700 calories!

Prices are affordable too – burgers start at $6 and go up to $8.

You can also create your own custom burger online.  Then, you can brand it and market it via social media.  Every time a customer orders your burger you get a cut of the profit!  A quarter per burger in 4Food dollars that you can cash in on your next meal!

New York, NY – As women, we’re always trying to find something that slims us (which is why Spanx has become a household name) but what if your shape wear could “repair” your skin as it sucks it in?

We caught up Cass & Company designer Susan Ledyard to talk about her latest luxury shape wear line called “Wear Repair.”

Cass & Company is already a successful shape wear company, with lines already available in Bloomingdales stores.  ‘Wear Repair’ is one of the newer lines and it has already seen success online at Bliss and Rue La La.

“When we started 8 years ago, shape wear wasn’t as significant – just mothers were buying it now but now they are buying it for their daughters, sisters, everyone is wearing it,” said Ledyard.

Now, with ‘Wear Repair’, according to Ledyard, your shape wear can pull double duty.  “Our clothes can significantly reduce wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and overall texture of the skin,” said Ledyard.

But how?

“You’ve heard of copper in our moisturizers, it’s the same thing but now it’s in a fabric form.  It’s been seen in double blind clinical study to show 85% improvement in skin tone, texture and appearance.”

Ledyard showed PIX 11 News her latest design for the line called the “Lucky Back” that has multiple functions.  “It gently pulls your shoulders back and keeps you in better posture,” adding, “And it has the copper in it so it improves the look your skin tone and texture, decreases age spots, while you wear it.”

Ledyard says the benefits do not wash out of the fabric either because its woven into the fabric.  As far as results go, Ledyard says, the Rachel Ray show did a 30 day trial with her audience and found they had significant decrease in age spots after the second week.

“The goal is to feel better about yourself in your clothing!  Our tag line is:  It’s you only better!” said Ledyard.

Cass & Company’s ‘Wear Repair’ is one of many clothing lines that claim to do more for you.

Proskins Slims is another company that carries a line of leggings and undergarments made of fabric woven with Retinol, caffeine and Vitamin E.  Those elements, the company claims, promotes blood circulation and fluid retention, ultimately helping to reduce cellulite.  Their tagline says it all, “The Hidden Workout.”