Lifegate: Eco-Living Italian Style

It is a bit ambitious to tackle a thorough explanation of the lofty Italian eco-enterprise Lifegate in just one post, but I'll do my best. Essentially, Lifegate unites Italian style and design with the environmental values of holistic healing to produce a range of mini-enterprises that include: fashion house, organic café, online music store, carbon offsetting program and communications consulting biz. Sound flaky and a little unweildy? Perhaps, but the impressively designed web-iverse of Lifegate projects (and products) encourages visitors to take the "People, Planet, Profit" themed line-up seriously. Reminiscent of the Steve Case Lime.com undertaking, the Lifegate project was also developed by business-savvy entrepreneurs Mark and Simona Roveda. Like Lime.com the Lifegate homepage serves as a portal into an online world of eco- and health-related media products including news, radio programs, activist opportunities, advice on green living and much more.

The content is in Italian and is written for an Italian consumer, but TreeHuggers the world over will be able to appreciate one of the group's more interesting offerings — the online sale of fashionable Lifegate jeans. The denim designs are made of 100% organic cotton dyed with natural indigo. The jeans are available in five styles (2 for women, 2 for men and one unisex) that are named for various Eastern philosophic traditions (Tantra, Om, Siddhi, Kundalini and Mantra) and look totally hot on the models. Available online, they cost 88 to 95 euro.

Following fashion, Lifegate offers another quintessentially Italian enterprise — a restaurant/café in Milan that serves organic, mainly vegetarian cuisine. Pizza at the Lifegate café is made with organic wheat or kamut flour and is served with tasty veggie toppings, including "prosciutto vegetale."

But wait! It doesn't stop there Lifegate.com will also take you to: their online music store where customers can find popular and classical music from around the world as well as sheet music for nearly any instrument you can think of; their Milan-based holistic medicine clinic (where you can receive 'biotransenergetica' treatments among other alternative therapies); a site where you can purchase alternative energy through Lifegate Energy; the option to purchase carbon offset plans from Impatto Zero (another Lifegate program); or an eco-conscious communications consulting business.

One might think that Lifegate has bitten off a good deal more than any one well-intentioned eco-company could handle; but the design, accuracy of information and depth of knowledge speaks to a competent undertaking. At the very least — those jeans look damned cute and who could turn down a "Pizze Biologiche" with organic eggplant, tomato, and mozzarella?

Tags: Italy | Music | Vegetarian

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