As we celebrate the nation’s Independence Day, we thought we’d take a moment help you think outside the box (pun obviously not intended).

Contemplate Some Independence Style on this Appropriate Day

Historical rules around here have changed. The whole “thou shalt not reveal the identity of a Pet until the first day of that Pet’s month” dictate kind of looks pretty silly ever since the print publication has changed to an every-other month schedule. Anyone who subscribes to the magazine will already recognize the the happy lass showcasing her own independence style in the following clip, even though in theory we are not supposed to identify her because we do not happen to be in August, 2023, yet as of this writing.

Still, we will follow the rules and not identify her, although this would definitely be a reason to consider a subscription, which could presumably give us bonus points for cross promotion and sneaking in a shameless plug without literally slapping you upside the head with it. … Hmm. That would make it just a “plug” it would seem. … Cool.

Which leads to a perfect segue for some of the classic Penthouse super-fun discovered stuff — at least of the non-biological nature.

Independence Style for Cool Evenings

Independence Style with Sheep, Inc.Sheep Inc. weaves sustainable fashion goals with style. Edzard van der Wyck and Michael Wessely launched Sheep Inc. in November 2019 with an idea to reimagine the knitwear industry entirely. The two clever and climate-committed fellows sought to accomplish this lofty goal by coupling age-old techniques with modern innovations, while becoming one of the world’s first carbon-negative clothing brands. How’s that for some Independence Style, right?

Fast forward to winter 2022, and Sheep Inc. has already accomplished that bold aim, arriving at pretty epic results, proving neither concept nor creation needed compromising in order to achieve their vision. So, how did a London-based brand, using wool from New Zealand and fabric manufactured in Italy, achieve such lofty heights? As with most clever innovations, in retrospect the answer looks deceptively simple.

For the wool, Sheep Inc. works exclusively with suppliers and sheep farmers who use regenerative farming methods. Wool is then sent to Italian yarn mills that run solely on renewable solar-powered energy. On top of that, money from every sale goes into environmental projects recommended by climate change experts, ensuring the company’s carbon footprint falls into the negative.

But we hear you asking: Do their end products live up to the concept behind their production? The answer would be a resounding, “Yes!”

You can pretty much outfit yourself year-round with their creations — which range from tees and crewnecks to tracksuit bottoms and shorts. A standout within their collection, we’d say, would be The Hoodie. This light and comfortable warmer highlights a unique take on a classic. It comes in an array of pastel and primary colors, but around here the striped Glucus Atlanticus has shown itself a real gem.

If you prefer a more rounded style, then look no further than The Cardigan. Again, it comes in a multitude of color variations, but the simple button look will work with just about everything in your wardrobe as a classically versatile piece. 

Van der Wyck and Wessely have even more ideas for changing the way the fashion industry operates. The innovators stress the point of keeping in tune with not only how they create the clothes, but they want to make the ownership experience unique as well. You can even stay up to date with the sheep that provided the wool for your tops, shorts or hats. Each animal gets tagged, thus allowing you to check out how it’s getting along, how often it’s been shorn, and even whether or not it’s had a few little ones.

Moving forward, Sheep Inc. wants to target closer work with other brands within the industry wanting to follow a similar path. They aim to spread the gospel of carbon-negative production and help others come up with better ways to create clothing that can actually benefit the planet — and the way we look.

[Calling all of this a sheep trick would be beneath us, naturally, so we will not.]

The Time for Independence Style

Independence Style with BreitlingSurfwear brand Outerknown and luxury watchmaker Breitling create a collab well ahead of its time, as it were.

Having surfing legend Kelly Slater, a genuine GOAT, as director means Outerknown probably gets offered a few more collaborative projects than most brands. The sustainable clothing and surfwear group has now teamed up with Swiss luxury watchmaker Breitling, and the venture makes more sense than you might expect.

Whereas some set aside a fair bit of time to head out into the surf for a morning or afternoon, professional surfing races against the clock as well. Checking the time between sets and the time until the end of the session can be the difference between advancing to the next stages or packing up your board and heading to the airport.

This fact — along with Slater’s early memories of his dad, Stephen — serves as the inspiration behind the collaboration between Outerknown and Breitling, an effort resulting in the Superocean Heritage II Chronograph 44 Outerknown. The timepiece boasts a strap made with Econyl — yarn from old fishing nets, a fabric which Outerknown has become accustomed to using in their clothing collections.

The watch even features a bright orange face, a nostalgic nod to Stephen Slater, who wore an orange watch when the father and son surfed together. Echoing Breitling’s Superocean dive watch from the ’50s, the Superocean Heritage II Chronograph 44 Outerknown aims itself firmly at a new generation of ocean lovers who get their kicks closer to shore.

It features the watch brand’s signature arrow-pointed hands, a shock-resistant ceramic bezel and a COSC-certified chronometer.

So if time is of the essence when you’re out on the water, and you’re looking for an all-round time teller that looks as good with a wetsuit as it does with a traditional suit, the Superocean Heritage II Chronograph 44 Outerknown will fit the bill. 

[All deference to the magazine editors, our research led us to conclude that no such watch as the “Superocean Heritage II Chronograph 44 Outerknown” even exists. We did find a collaboration item looking as described on the Outerknown site, but they call it the “Breitling Superocean Automatic 42 Kelly Slater” in their description. Near as we can tell, the photograph provided features what may be a different collaboration called the “Superocean Heritage Chronograph 44 Outerknown” — without the “II” after the word Heritage — on the Breitling site. Honestly we’re not sure exactly, but decided that this approach definitely fit our Independence Style theme today, so we’re just taking the win. -Ed.]

Independence Style in Travel

Independence Style in GreeceMona, Athens’ newest boutique hotel, energizes an ancient city.

Greece tends to be one of those locations in Europe which can be hot pretty much all year round. Also incredibly rich in culture and architecture, we can easily see why a great many tourists have it on their list of destinations. The city may be less well known for luxurious hotels, however. Fortunately for those of us that like a little pampered treatment in our travel, that all changed with the opening of Mona, located in the heart of downtown Athens.

Overhauling an eight-story industrial factory from the 1950s actually allowed the creation of the concept boutique hotel, if you can believe that. The space now includes 20 rooms, a café, lounge and rooftop terrace — plus a basement venue for performances by artists and musicians. What may be most striking about Mona, however, would be its stunning interiors. The overall design displays a perfect blend of the past, present and future, creating dreamlike spaces that are more avant-garde than ancient Greece.

The designers purposefully been left the walls with the scars of the building’s past, while the furniture and photography everywhere push the mood into a more modern, bespoke setting. The rooms themselves feature delightful reworked vintage furniture and classic Greek pottery, with beautiful green botanicals acting as a contrast to the brown, beige and gray surroundings.

Like any fine hotel, you can find a varied selection of accommodations. Choose between Intimates for two; Patios, which sleep up to three and feature signature recycled brick, sofas and terraces; and Amours, which comfortably accommodate parties of four.

But by far the most sought-after options, though, would be the Penthouses and Mona’s Suites. With spacious interiors, balconies that overlook Athens and enough space to sleep up to four adults, they put the the jewels in Mona’s crown. The Mona team even designed the furniture around the hotel — and you will find much of it even for sale, should you want to take a comfy physical reminder of your visit back home with you.

Mona has managed to breathe a fresh and modern lease of life into Athens and anyone seeking a luxurious, yet modern, stopover should definitely consider adding the stop to their Independence Style adventure. 

Mona Hotel, Athens, Greece

In fairness, most of us already knew Greece is the Word. Yeah, yeah … we better shape up. We will apologize, however, by making it easy for you to find Sheep Inc. and the Mona Hotel. We have Independence Style too, you see. Yep. Hopelessly devoted. That’s us.

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