Guerrilla Wearfare

That was just the beginning. The Nocturnal fracas led to some internal cat fighting, when Ingrid Casares, formerly the I in TAI Entertainment and a high school chum of Nocturnal's club director Dade Sokoloff, parted ways with Pooch and Alan Roth.

"[There was] no falling out. We just decided that it wasn't working out and we wanted to change direction on Saturdays," said Sokoloff in a statement.

Pooch, however, sees things a little differently. "We haven't been there since the end of June and they're still using our name. I'm going to have to confer with my lawyers about that." What about IC? "TAI now stands for Tommy and Alan Incorporated," Pooch declared. Casares didn't return The Bitch's calls, but told the Miami Herald's Lesley Abravanel she just wanted to do some different things, including "working on Madonna's new album." Right.

Candy DarlingCoin purses in dazzling orange and electric blue. Clutches in shimmering purple and silver. Fluorescent yellow tote bags that glint in the light. The range of colorful accessories sold by Ecoist are eye-catching and adorable. And they're made of shiny recycled candy wrappers.

"My sister-in-law brought these handbags from Mexico. They were designed by Marisa Rey, and she had been selling them in gift stores around Mexico. We brought some samples back to Miami and gave them to some friends, and to my mom. They were a hit. People would literally stop her and ask about them," says Jonathan Marcoschamer, the cofounder of Ecoist.

The Marcoschamers were enticed by the unique products and the prospect of selling them to high-end boutiques in Miami. "We did more research and we were even more attracted by the fact that they're made from recycled candy wrappers," explains Marcoschamer. "All of the materials came from factories that are throwing them out because of misprints or discontinued candy lines. So we saw something that was not only an attractive, stylish product, but there was a good message and a good cause behind it. I think there's a huge opportunity here to market, to sell, and to get the message out about environmental preservation."

For every purse purchased, Ecoist has a tree planted through organizations like Global ReLeaf and Trees for the Future, which work with grassroots groups on tree-planting projects in deforested areas. Marcoschamer is especially excited about Ecoist's reforestation projects. "Hopefully we can make a serious impact," he says. "In Haiti we're working on a project where we're adopting a village. We're planting 4000 trees there and trying to rebuild a village that was destroyed by the lumber industry."

As a born-again environmentalist, Marcoschamer is convinced the indifferent masses can be mobilized to act against ongoing social and ecological threats. "You don't have to be a hippie, Greenpeace, Save the Whales type of person to make a difference. Just be more conscious. Next time you go to the supermarket or to buy clothes, be conscious of what impact you're having on the Earth. Like, is it made in a sweatshop in India by twelve-year-old kids, or is it made responsibly? Think about your personal effect on the world," he entreats.

Ecoist bags are sold at boutiques such as KoKo & Palenki in Aventura and Coconut Grove, Simons & Green in South Miami, and at the Bass Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Visit www.ecoist.com for a complete list of stores and to take a gander at their sweet items.

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