Karun: Leading Change in Fashion

From the wild open spaces to the starry sky, the snug fields of green tucked between snow-capped mountains and the raw expanse of open ocean, Chile has got to be one of the world´s most beautiful specimens of Planet Earth.  It seems only fitting, then, that it is also a country taking the business model and embedding it with an environmental conscience (as we have seen with TTANTI and Apicola del Alba).  This next business is one that is setting a new benchmark in the fashion world by merging concepts of sustainability and responsibility with quality eyewear in a way that is quite simply revolutionary. Enter Karun World, sunglasses and glasses made ´from a different point of view´ which I am so excited to feature on my blog because I love the concept, all that they stand for and the sunglasses themselves which are effortlessly stylish and unique.  Here are some reasons why they should be on your radar too.

They symbolize a new vision

The philosophy governing Karun is that their products form symbols of a new way of being; a new way of thinking of ourselves and how we view the world around us. As founder Thomas Kimber says, ¨it´s clear the world needs a big change. I don´t pretend to change the world by making sunglasses, but prove that we are able to make the best products in a completely different way that respects the planet¨.  They follow a circular and regenerative model, aiming to prove that it is possible to manufacture products that are high in quality and that have a lower impact upon the environment than the usual extractive methods that define the norm. They also see themselves as much than just a company, in fact their Kickstarter page states ¨ Everything we do is a reflection of the dream of a great group of people sharing similar values and way of life. We are working as hard as we can to prove through example that we can change the way we interact with ourselves and our planet¨.

Clothing Collection.png
Photo: Karun

They look to nature for inspiration

Karun is inspired by the wilds of Patagonia and means ´to be nature´ in Mapundungun, the common language spoken by the Mapuche indigenous people. This rugged landscape at the southern end of Chile is a place known for its beauty and raw energy, and this is channelled into the designs.  They don´t focus upon inventing new things, instead they look to nature to inspire them.

Made with recycled jeans.jpg
Photo: Karun

They are revolutionizing eyewear

Karun is a Chilean business that is revolutionary. Their first collection (Wood) used fallen trees in Patagonia, carefully selecting them rather than cutting any down, to create unique eyewear that embraced the differences found in each specimen.  After this they teamed up Bureo, a company creating skateboards made from recycled fishing nets sourced from Chile, to make the first glasses in the world made from 100% recycled fishing nets using recycling programme Net Positiva.  Discarded fishing nets cause around 10% of plastic pollution in our oceans and cause major damage to sea ecosystems and marine creatures. Net Positiva was developed by Bureo and launched in Chile in 2014, where it collected some 3000kg of discarded fishing nets in just six months.  Net Positiva works across the USA and Chile to clean up coastlines, and are engaged with various non-profits that remove ocean pollution.

Now Karun bring you The Clothing Collection.  This collection highlights the issue of waste in the fashion industry, where items are mass produced and quickly discarded by consumers.  Jeans are some of the contaminating, with around 3 billion pairs produced annually, of which 80% then end up in landfills.  From there greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are released which cause considerable damage to our soils and water.  The Clothing Collection is the world´s first eyewear made using recycled jeans, combining 75% recycled jeans and 25% bio-resin.  Karun have partnered with Balloon Latam, where a portion of sales from each pair of sunglasses goes towards entrepreneurs in the Llanquihue Lake region of Chile.  Balloon Latam works across Latin America to help develop local economies in a way that is respectful of each community´s identity, cultural conditions and productive possibilities. The designs in this collection are influenced by native Chilean birds such as the Chucao, which is native to the south and known for its emblematic sound, the red-breasted Loica (Long-Tailed Meadowlark) and the crested Kuru, or Magellanic Woodpecker.  Karun has been lauded everywhere, from Cosmopolitan to CNN and GQ.

 

Their eyewear is special

The materials are 100% Chilean and designed in Chile, and are put together using the finest technology in Italy.  The sunglasses use Zeiss official lenses which offer complete protection from UVA/UVB rays, and are available in either grey or amber, or as optical lenses. They contain German stainless steel spring hinges and have no added chemicals. The current collection come with a hardcase container made from jeans and fully recycled cardboard packaging.

Proceso Clothing CollectionProductos jeans

How You Can Get a Pair

Karun are currently seeking funding via Kickstarter, a global crowdfunding platform that got their other designs off the ground.  The campaign ends in late July, and the first 500 models will be completed by August.  In October all the models will have been completed to be delivered by November.

During the campaign, the glasses have a price of USD$149 which is 40% less than their actual retail price so get in there quick to take advantage!

 

 

A Newbie's Guide to Upcycling.png

More Information

Website here

Facebook here 

Instagram here

Kickstarter campaign here


If you liked this, you might like to support one of these other amazing small businesses:

TTANTI watches made from fallen Patagonian trees;

Pajarito de Mimbre books & toys;

Apicola del Alba natural cosmetics.

 

10 Fun Things to do with Kids in Santiago

Having two children, we spend a lot of time going to places with their happiness in mind.  What follows is our list of the best places for youngsters in the city of Santiago, with top accolades going to the Museo Interactivo Mirador, a science and technology museum that will honestly blow your mind and take up most of your day. Chile is also very family friendly, and restaurants will not blink an eye if you pop by with children or babies (and some even have play areas, especially in areas like Ñuñoa and Las Condes).  Further afield, you could stop by:

The Alpaca Farm in Quintessence;

Aguas San Ramon for family-friendly hikes:

Santuario de la Naturaleza to immerse yourself in nature;

Snow fun at Farrellones;

river swimming at Rio Clarillo;

the beaches of Viña del Mar;

the animal farm at Lonquen;

or one of the various Mampato theme parks for little ones.

Selva Viva

There is no better introduction to the jungles of the world then Selva Viva. This is an indoor, living museum where you can hold parrots, snakes, even hermit crabs, whilst learning all about the world´s ecosystem.

Price:   Adults – CLP$9.950 per person / Children (3 – 17 years) and Senior Citizens – CLP$8.950 per person
Address: Av. Presidente Riesco 5330, (Metro Manquehue, inside Parque Araucano), Las Condes

11535800_10153367841255097_9128712682671128437_n

Museo Interactivo Mirador (MIM)

This interactive museum takes the fun side of science very seriously. It takes it so seriously,        in fact, that the whole family will be amused and entertained for hours – if not the whole    day!  Visit the website here.

Price:   Adults – CLP$3,900 per person / Children (3 – 17 years) and Senior Citizens – CLP$2,700 per person
Address: Av. Punta Arenas 6711, (Metro Estacion Mirador), La Granja

55

Museo Aeronautico y del Espacio

Put simply, this is a stunning museum curated with love and maintained with care. This two-storey building is filled with replicas and models of aircraft in all their forms, and there is an outdoors area to explore where you can step inside a real plane.

Price: Free
Address: Avenida Pedro Aguirre Cerda Nº 5.000 (Ex camino Melipilla), Los Cerrillos

44

Parque Bicentenario del Infancia

There´s toboggans, a caged maze, sandpit, swings, water fountains and tree huts to entertain your child, plus an amphitheatre for events.

Price: Free
Address: Avenida Peru 1001, Recoleta. Metro Cerro Blanco

11898749_10153541840170097_3448164789722033254_n

Fantasilandia 

The best theme park in Santiago, Fantasilandia provides entertainment for all ages. Also in Parque O´Higgins you can find a dinosaur museum and an aquarium.

Price: Adults CLP$11.990; Children and Senior Citizens CLP$5.990; Kids less than 90 cm in height enter for free
Address: Beaucheff, corner Tupper (Parque O’Higgins)

fun places to go with kids

Parque Quinta Normal

Choose from one of the museums or just wander this colossal, and historic, park. Museums on offer include the Museum of Natural History, the Science Museum, a railway museum (Ferroviario), and the Artequin children´s art museum.

Price: Free
Address: Metro Quinta Normal

33

Buin Zoo

A zoo to rival the world´s best, Buin Zoo packs a huge punch that everyone will enjoy. There´s also a marine show (additional price) and a dinosaur park.

Price: Adults CLP$7.500; Children CLP$5.000; Senior Citizens CLP$4.000; Kids less than 90 cm in height enter for free
Address: Panamericana Sur KM 32, Buin.

22

Santiago Planetarium

Chile is world famous for the quality of its night sky and its observatories rank as some of the best in the world. Learn as much as you can at this city planetarium located within University of Santiago (weekends only)

Price: Adults CLP$3.800; Children, Students and Senior Citizens CLP$3.000
Address: Av. L. Bernardo O’Higgins 3349, Estacion Central.  Metro Universidad de Santiago

 

Granjaventura

Give your kids a break from touring and instead take them to meet all manner of cute and furry critter at this farm located in the pre-cordillera.  There are also adventure activities to enjoy in the extensive grounds.

Price: Weekday CLP$4.500; Weekend and holidays CLP$4.900
Address: Av. Larrain 11.095, La Reina

12011251_10153582569435097_4642333654172832539_n

Cerro San Cristobal

From summer swimming pools, a hillside furnicular train, a zoo, Japanese Botanic Gardens, a dazzling-high cablecar (teleforico) and a city lookout, this gigantic hill dominating the Santiago skyline will provide for the whole family.

Price: Various entrance prices
Address: Pio Nono 450, Recoleta. Metro Baquedano

11

 


I´d love to hear your recommendations and feedback!

Other blogs you might enjoy:

Parque Fluvial Renato Poblete

Museo Artquin & Ferroviario

Family Fun Day

Silvestre Bistro: Wild Food

It is the morning after my lunch at Silvestre Bistro, and I am still excited. Everything wowed me at this tiny restaurant in Ñuñoa – from the eclectic vibe through to the passionate staff, a passion which is evident in the beautifully prepared dishes.

Located in Barrio Italia, right in the heart of Santiago´s ´healthy food´ neighborhood, lies this small restaurant that, from the outside, looks completely unassuming. However inside, it is a paradise of truly veg-tastic proportions. A produce-laden table greets us upon arrival, and the restaurant sprawls between a small inside eating area and a larger outside space which is elevated on wooden crates. The walls are covered in all manner of colorful paraphernalia, and we plop ourselves down on mismatched chairs beside an antique typewriter.  Despite it being a cold Autumn day in Santiago, we are pleasantly warm outside (there are heaters) and, also despite being in a city, we are watched over by a plethora of greenery.

 

There is no regular menu at Silvestre, only a changing daily menu that offers lunch specials and more elaborately plated evening meals. The prices are not expensive but what you get has a value much, much higher than your regular run of the mill food stop, for Silvestre is a place that is doing things a little differently.

35326375212_da150b90cb_o.jpg

Silvestre in Spanish means wild, and this is a concept that lays at the heart of the Bistro (and what has got me so worked up). Each month food is foraged from around Chile, from the forests, beaches, hills – you name it – and the findings are what dictates the menu. The two masterminds at the head of this operation are Nestor Ayala, a self-taught cook known for developing a line of popular supermarket sausages, and Patricio Pichuante, a chef with 24 years of experience working in top restaurants in Italy. Together they are a magical combination, creating dishes that defy labels; the food is both complex and simple, using well-known and traditional ingredients in a way that highlights them but never overshadows them.

 

The day we visited, we opted for the Gnocci, the Tandoori Chicken and the Quiche, three of the four options (1 vegetarian that day).  Service was prompt, and we received a juice of lemon, orange and ginger that was refreshing; I enjoyed it because I found myself drinking it because I was thirsty not because it was pumping me full of sugar, and so it lasted the whole meal.

35362602751_f1b5baf92e_o

35493305745_89a59d3631_o
Taking my notes thanks to this notebook from Apicola del Alba, a small Chilean business located in Curacavi that promotes sustainability and Chilean flora and fauna, and makes creams, shampoos, aromatherapy treatments and vitamin supplements.

The Gnocchi: In all honesty I don´t know the first thing about Italian cooking, but I really enjoyed this. That pesto though … que rico, rico, rico! I loved the unusual herbs on top (see below).

 

The Quiche: My son ate it all. The salad was delicious with a lovely dressing. What more can I say? The 3 year old approved!

34683298753_721d53848d_o.jpg

The Chicken:  This dish, to me, was one of the best I´ve had in a long time.  There were really unusual flavor combinations and the quinoa/brown rice/millet was absolutely gorgeous.

34652302514_d11bd95cc6_o.jpg

Now for dessert.

There were two options that day and we opted for the carrot cake because I´m a bit of a fiend for carrot cake!  I didn´t think anything would top my sister in-law´s version but I have to say, this one was pretty up there!  The photo´s do not do it justice.

 

¨It has been hard to educate the producers not to throw things away that are a bit different, like manta ray or eel,¨ Nestor tells us, ¨and it is also hard to educate the people eating them.  We forage for everything, like the seaweed we go to the beach to get, or around places like San Javier or Zapallar, and we also have all these plants [gestures to the wall behind us] that we use.  We use fruit and vegetables that are in season, we buy locally and we use small providers.¨

 

The dinner menu is more elaborate, and Nestor shows us photos of plates with stunning presentation and lots of color.

35452861376_0f5d88af52_o

Verdict: If I am to give stars, this would be 5/5.  Everything about this place echoes what I believe in and what I love to eat. Best of all, my family all enjoyed it too!

 

Tip: Linger around the area of Barrio Italia because this is a neighborhood worth exploring. Right beside Silvestre is Padre Nuestro, where you can pop in to see a real artisan at work making shoes for men by hand and utilizing Chilean leather.  If you are visiting Santiago for the first time or even if you live here, this is the place to buy your gifts and souvenirs as they 1) small businesses and 2) they are often made right there!

 

The Nitty Gritty

Address:  Caupolicán 511, Ñuñoa. Metro Santa Isabel.

Phone:  91569974

Facebook here.

Instagram here.


If you liked this, check out some other foodie posts:

Vegan + Vegetarian food at La Fraternal

I Ching Chinese Restaurant

Rico Saigon Vietnamese Food

 

Lunch Review: Vegetarian + Vegan Food at La Fraternal

Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food

– Hippocrates

Hippocrates is famous as being the father of modern medicine, who believed in the time of Classical Greece that illness came as a result of poor diet, living conditions and environment. Today this type of thinking is in mode, with the idea of health through food popping up everywhere from our Instagram feed right through to the streets of Chile. La Fraternal is one of those restaurants pioneering cleaner eating, being a vegetarian/vegan/raw food restaurant in Ñuñoa that also sells health products as well as giving cooking and yoga classes.  The head chef, Alejandra Olmedo, aims to make this type of cooking easy and accessible for all, and her passion is obvious as you can see on her food blog.

The restaurant itself is uplifting, all wooden furniture, color with relaxing music, wafting incense, lots of light and a mishmash of designs.

34944171310_b4fbcaf1e9_o (1)

Our waitress was very warm and friendly, and the food was served in quick succession without any of that awkward waiting or trying to catch the server´s eye because you feel abandoned.

35332639795_d3e34b8598_o

La Fraternal serves up a colacion, or set menu, including on weekends, as well as a regular menu which contains an extensive drink selection with juices designed for various health purposes.  We went for a lemonade and a Jugo del Luz, which is a specialty of the establishment that contains vitamins and greens (recipe below).

As part of the menu for the Thursday of our visit, we had a starter; I chose a Vegetable Soup and Luis had a ¨Timbal de NO Atun¨, which was essentially a ceviche with lentils. Both were very good, the lentil ceviche was a standout and very clever. In typical Chilean style, we also received homemade bread.

35202764851_19d64148be_o (1)

34522329253_8279784246_o (1)

For the main, we had a burger patty made with mushroom above wild rice with a country stew and some added greens for good measure. This was very nice, though I did find the burger a bit bland.

35291766476_f56c6d8294_o.jpg

The dessert was delicious, cooked apple with chocolate mousse and oats – it was small but the chocolate was very rich and full, and I loved the combination of the three.

34520629713_66e46c3567_o.jpg

Given La Fraternal´s attention to healthy drinks, we decided to also order a Carrot & Orange juice (which was so good!) as well as the India Milkshake. Visually, this drink was spectacular and the oat milk, cacao, banana and cardamom all worked well together.

Overall, I was happy with this discovery. Excellent service and food which, although sometimes bland, came at an excellent price and pace. This place works well if you are in the area and need something filling but budget-friendly and also healthy. I also personally am super excited by the effort being put in by the people of La Fraternal to revolutionize food and simplify a way of eating that appears so daunting to many. I will definitely be back.

More Information

Address: Av. Holanda 3362, Ñuñoa, Santiago.

Phone: 56 2 2921 7724

Website here.

La Fraternal Food blog here.

Facebook here.

Instagram here.

YouTube here.

Family friendly: Yes. There is a play area for children

Street Art: Museo a Cielo Abierto

 

Largest collection of streetart in Chile

The Museo a Cielo Abierto is located in San Miguel, originally a settlement housing the families of copper mine (MADECO & MADEMSA) workers that today houses some 7000 people.  In 2010, it was falling into disrepair, classed as one of the most populated areas in the Metropolitana region and prophesized to die in 50 years.  Many of the buildings suffered from damage, electrical faults and issues with plumbing. It caught the eye of artists from the MIXART cultural centre, who proposed painting the gigantic murals to residents which was enthusiastically accepted. Extraordinarily, many residents – young, old and from different walks of life – became involved during the endeavor, while the artists themselves collaborated even though they too were known for different styles and from different worlds. The paintings were put onto the most vulnerable buildings, in a sense ´immunizing´ them from further decay, intended as a way to show the world that the people of the area care about their home. This work concluded in 2014.

40 murals that tower on 80m2 apartment blocks

Created by national and international artists, these murals are gigantic.  Many face the road but others you find by walking around the complexes, or painted onto bus stops and other building walls.  Ten of these murals allude directly to Chile and its history, with some being quite political, while seventeen have a free theme expressing ´a love of pure art´.  Last word on the artwork always came down to the residents; ROA, from Belgium, who is known for his macabre style, had his original design (horse eaten by piranhas) rejected.

35186905766_7f24c022d3_o.jpg
Horse by Roa (Belgium)

Artists include Colectivo La Mano: Basti and Jano, Aislap, 12 Brillos Crew, Lo Rekolectivo Ha: Gesak, Santiago Under Crew, Charquipunk + Larobotdemadera, Cruda, Depanité, Agotok, Echoes, Kata Núñez, Jamberta, Roa, Colectivo A La Pinta, Soledad and Sofrenia, Salazart and Inti.

35097159681_a5bf3560dc_o

35097171221_53c9c5099f_o
This mural by Jamberta (Germany) depicts the feelings and frustrations that parents unwittingly pass on to their children (as seen in the words painted on her face). The girl is looking with nostalgia at the flower as it only has nature and the wind to shape it.
34383137054_2ec6980c23_o
The Offering by Ian
34418019833_7ec87198ee_o
Resignation by acclaimed Chilean artist, Inti

34840055210_6441bae7d5_o (1)

35186886396_f78ca886a4_o
Dia del Joven Combatiente (Day of the Young Fighter) by Dasic
34382848454_bd31ea9661_o
Humanidad by Degra, Nao, Teo, Yono and Mona
35061303402_dced8019ca_o
One of the first murals.  This one inspired the locals as it depicts the popular band, Los Prisoneros, who came from this area.
34840206340_dbdbf61df1_o
By duo Aislap, this mural depicts the symmetry of native cultures. In the center there is a Mapuche machi (healer) who is surrounded by Aymara, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), the Ona (of Tierra del Fuego, now extinct) and the ¨digital man¨ who represents the emerging culture of today´s technological world.

More Information

Metro: Departamental

Parking: On the street

Other: The murals are located within a poblacion. While the area is perfectly safe in the day, it is recommended to be vigilant with your personal security and belongings.

Tours: Miles & Smiles Chile offer private guided tours in English and Spanish.  This trip can be combined with the Palacio Cousiño.

 

If you liked this, you might like:

5 Names You´ll Recognize in Chile

Valparaiso

Birds Eye View of Santiago

Ghosts of Recoleta General Cemetery

Autumn Giveaway!!

Casa Luz

Stepping into restaurant Casa Luz is a little bit like entering someone´s home, albeit one dripping with an infinite amount of style.  The decor is warm and inviting, with plates and picture frames hanging off of exposed brick and deeply painted walls, and there are huge vases of freshly cut flowers. The centerpiece of this five-year old restaurant, however, is the atrium that greets you upon entering, and which allows for shafts of stark light to bathe the elegantly composed tables.

IMG_3267.JPG

I have come to Casa Luz on the recommendation of a friend who described the restaurant as both romantic and delicious.  I concur with both statements, as you shall see.

IMG_3333.JPG

First up we ordered some starters.  Casa Luz offers no traditional entradas but instead has a variety of small tapas to choose from.  We tried the Camerones con Cabeza, Ajo y Perejil flameados en Ron and the Patatas Bravas con Aioli.  

Next came our mains. My Merluza a la Plancha, Risotto de Cilantro & Salsa de Crustaceos was very nice and light; the fish was cooked to perfection and the coriander risotto was a nice touch.

IMG_3284.JPG

However, Luis´ main dish, the Risotta de Hongos, was absolutely spectacular. Even now, a few days later, I am finding it difficult to describe the depth of flavors the dish had.  It was very more-ish, and perhaps a bit heavy for those strange folks among us who don´t like mushrooms, but for me it tasted a little bit like how I imagine heaven to taste like if it was my dinner.  So, so scrumptious!

34239031934_d9b57b9476_o

For dessert, I ordered the Mousse de Chocolate y Cardamomo. Again, this was a nice and light dessert, beautifully presented, but I am not a fan of passionfruit icecream.

IMG_3319.JPG

There was a dessert special that day, which was a Barbaroa de Naranja. This was delicious and ended our meal out on a very high note.

Verdict: It is, in fact, exactly what the website states it is: sophisticated but simple food utilizing unusual, seasonal ingredients that are presented in a stunning, warm environment.  A perfect place for a romantic night out.

The Nitty Gritty

Address: Av. Italia 805, Providencia, Santiago

Phone: 2 2918 7204

Email: info@casaluzrestaurant.cl

Website here.

1493924321_social_style_3_facebook               1493924253_RS_Social_Media_Icons-Instagram

 

Did you like this? Don´t forget to LIKE me on Facebook or FOLLOW this blog to be notified about new blogs! Here are some other foodie posts to check out:

Foodlays Chinese Restaurant

Rico Saigon Cafe

Quinoa Vegetarian Restaurant

I-Ching Chinese Restaurant

Autumn Giveaway!!