Spring 2011
Third Annual Eco-Choice Awards By Haley Shapley

A self-contained plant in a bottle, single-garden organic tea, and notebooks that take a trip back in time took home the top green awards at the New York International Gift Fair’s winter show.

At the winter 2011 New York International Gift Fair, thousands of retailers cast their vote for the best of the best in green products as part of the semi-annual Eco Choice Awards co-sponsored by GREENRetailer and NYIGF. Out of some 200 products participating in the SustainAbility: design for a better world project, three were crowned champion in the categories of most innovative, most sensitive use of materials, and most sellable.

Retailer participation and interest in the products exhibited at SustainAbility is proof positive of the booming green category, said Patricia Norins, publisher of GREENRetailer. “Green awareness has increased rapidly among the average consumer and there’s an amazing variety of companies that are giving consumers exactly what they’re looking for,” she said. Norins added that GREENRetailer was delighted to be a sponsor of the Eco Choice Awards, thereby recognizing gift vendors at the forefront of the green movement.

“The demand for eco-friendly products continues to grow, especially among design-savvy consumers,” said Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and GLM senior vice president. “Thousands of retailers have weighed in this week with their top picks.”

SustainAbility: design for a better world is a curated exhibit of global gift and home industry suppliers whose products or production processes are eco-friendly, or companies whose business practices are socially responsible, philanthropic, or fair-trade oriented. While participation is free to all NYIGF exhibitors, companies must apply and be accepted based on a set of criteria that demonstrates their commitment to sustainability.

The next installment of the Eco Choice Awards will be at the summer 2011 NYIGF, which runs from Aug. 13 to 18. For information about the show, becoming a part of the SustainAbility: design for a better world exhibit, and past Eco Choice winners and participants, visit nyigf.com.

Haley Shapley

Haley Shapley is a Seattle-based freelance writer who 
specializes in retail, travel and health topics. Learn more at www.haleyshapley.com.

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