All Hail the Vegan Queen! (And Whales, Too)

Vegan Queen founder Evelina, making a "Tails for Whales" pose at Greenhouse. (By Hal Horowitz)

Handsome handbags, city nightlife, and eco-fervor, all rolled into one party. Needless to say, Rene Ebersole and I RSVPd "yes" to the February 14th Fashion Week event, which honored the world's whale populations.

Formally called "The Heartless Valentine's Cocktail Reception," the party was presented by the designer Vegan Queen to benefit the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s “Tails for Whales” campaign, which aims to protect leviathans from threats such as boat strikes and entanglement. 

And what better place to host such a function than an environmentally-friendly nightclub? You read that right. Greenhouse, located in New York's SoHo district, casts a verdant light on the city’s nightlife scene with a full roster of sustainable amenities. Bedecked in bamboo wall coverings and bedazzled with LED lights, the 6000-square foot space offers ample room to enjoy various drinks made with organic liquor. Other eco-accoutrements include high efficiency heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning units; low-flow sinks and toilets; and waterless urinals (hey, as any nightclubber knows, bathrooms are important!). All Greenhouse's wood adornments are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests), and even behind-the-curtain attributes are  environmentally-mindful—take the drywall and insulation, for example, which consist of up to 99 percent and 30 percent recycled material, respectfully. Greenhouse has registered as a commercial interior for LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the United States Green Building Council; if it passes, it will likely be the first nightclub in the U.S. to receive that recognition. (Read about other nightclubs with sustainable elements in E: The Environmental Magazine’s article, “Sustainable Clubbing.”)

For about two hours, Rene and I mingled among various members of the fashion industry and media. About half-way through the night, we were treated to a catwalk show featuring handbags by Vegan Queen, founded by designer Evelina, who also made a guest appearance. VQ uses what its website refers to as “eco luxurious materials”—specifically, natural, organic, non-toxic, and recycled material—to create its designs. Coming from a woman who has a weakness for colorful accessories, the bags were pretty cute.

At about 11:30, however (early for party-prowlers) Rene and I decided our ears needed a rest (it was a tad loud), so we grabbed our coats and left. But I have a feeling I’ll be back—maybe even with a Vegan Queen handbag.

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