Spring 2012
Fourth Annual Eco-Choice Awards By Kristin Larson Contino

A growing number of viable candidates meant stiffer competition at the winter ’12 edition of the Eco Choice Awards.

A boost in attendance and a standout lineup of new products made for a fantastic start to the year at the winter 2012 New York International Gift Fair, which took place January 28 to February 2.

While the show itself showcased the latest and greatest in the gift and home products industries, green options stood out in a dedicated display. The “SustainAbility: Design for a Better World” display included more than 200 green items. To be included, the product, production processes or company must follow eco-friendly, socially responsible, philanthropic or fair trade-oriented business practices. Selections this year included everything from organic lip balms to baskets handcrafted by tribal artisans in Kenya.

In addition to the display, a series of seminars were held in conjunction with Green America addressing sustainable and socially responsible business practices.

Another exciting part of the gift fair and the sustainability display included the presentation of the fifth semi-annual Eco Choice Awards. Three companies were chosen for Eco Choice Awards in categories including “most innovative,” “most sensitive use of materials” and “most sellable.”

GREENRetailer is co-sponsor of the awards. “We’re thrilled to be a sponsor of the Eco Choice Awards program and to continue fulfilling our mission by highlighting environmentally friendly products,” said Patricia Norins, publisher of GREENRetailer. “The award competition was tight and I was pleased to see so many fantastic green ideas out there at the show.”

The Eco Choice Awards have become an integral part of the New York International Gift Fair,” said Dorothy Belshaw, New York International Gift Fair director and GLM senior vice president. “These companies participating in the SustainAbility display share NYIGF’s vision of a greener future by using eco-friendly materials and production methods. The display has grown each year as more manufacturers choose to include more sustainable products in their lines.”

Attendees at the gift fair voted on their favorite products based on commercial appeal, design and creative use of eco-conscious materials. Here’s a look at this year’s Eco Choice Award winners.

For more information about the Eco Choice Awards, the SustainAbility display and the next edition of NYIGF, please visit www.nyigf.com

Kristin Larson Contino

Kristin Contino is a freelance writer and copy editor based in Philadelphia. She writes for a variety of print publications and blogs, and also covers women's fiction for examiner.com.

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