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?
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?
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
How did you end up working together?
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?
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
Who are your favourite eco fashion designers?
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?
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