Jul 31, 2010
Five Exhibitors Awarded NYIGF’s Highest “Sustainability3” Status

White Plains, NY — Five participants in the SustainAbility: design for a better world®display at the summer 2010 New York International Gift Fair® (NYIGF®) have been designated as achieving the highest level of sustainability for their products, production processes and business practices.

NYIGF’s “Degrees of SustainAbility” initiative outlines industry-specific criteria to identify green products and producers, and a three-tiered ranking indicating the extent to which a product/producer complies to these standards. NYIGF’s SustainAbility: design for a better world exhibit will feature some 250 gift, home and lifestyle products which meet the threshold SustainAbility1 criteria for inclusion, and five of the summer 2010 participants have been designated as attaining SustainAbility3, the highest ranking.

“While all of the 250 products selected for presentation in the SustainAbility exhibit share ‘green’ qualities, these products and producers exemplify comprehensive attention to environmental stewardship, both in terms of material and manufacture, said Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and GLM senior vice president.

These industry standard-bearers, and their exemplary products, are:

The DBA 98 Pen by DBA LLC
Designed by Leon Ransmeiler as a responsible alternative to the ubiquitous, wasteful and often toxic writing pen, the DBA pen is the only version in the world which is 98% biodegradable. Its body is made from a certified BPI biodegradable material derived from non-GMO corn. The reservoir is composed of biodegradable fiber from plant cellulose, and the ink is ACMI-certified and non-toxic. The packaging is made from 100% PC recycled, chlorine-free, FSC-certified paper. The pen is produced at a wind-powered facility in the United States. www.dba-co.com

V’reens by The Green Glass Company
Severine Zaslavski designed a green twist on verrine glasses, using only reclaimed soda bottles and wooden wine barrel slats. Both are single materials which can be fed back into nature’s resource loop. The original wine barrels were made of oak staves and processed from timber purchased in sustainable and managed forests. After the bottles are cut, the edges are melted and annealed. Re-purposing of glass requires a fraction of the energy compared to melting recycled glass. The Green Glass Company purchases renewable energy from its energy provider, and donates a percentage of profits to The World Wildlife Fund and other environmental not-for-profit organizations. www.greenglass.com

On The Rocks by Sea Stones LLC
Using stone and wood, two of nature’s most fundamentally recyclable materials, designer Arra David created these drink chillers which keep beverages cool without diluting them. The stone “ice cubes” are the re-purposed cores generated from drilling holes to create stone napkin rings. The hardwood comes from FSC-certified suppliers. The wood composts and the stones may be returned to the beach. Sea Stones plants a rough quarry stone in the ocean for every smooth stone they collect, and replants ten times the number of trees used each year. The Sea Stones workshop is heated and cooled with a geothermal heat pump. The energy required for tooling comes from water, which is 100% re-circulated. www.sea-stones.com

Flame-Blackened Folding Salad Tongs by Jonathan’s® Spoons
Through careful and efficient layout, Jonathan Simons minimizes waste of the FSC-certified cherry wood used to create these handmade utensils. The distinctive and sophisticated appearance comes naturally from flame blackening, which eliminates the need for toxic stain or finishes. Once blackened, their tongs are lightly sanded and finished with non-toxic oil. Scraps become a heat source for the shop and employee homes. The sawdust is turned into compost used to fertilize local farms. Jonathan’s Spoons purchases wood grown within the same state. The company supports the Hardwood Forestry Fund, American Forests, and the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry. www.woodspoon.com

Makedo Kit for One by Reeves International
Makedo is a connector system designed by Paul Justin and made in Australia. Three simple parts – a connector, a hinge and a construction tool – join pieces of fabric, cardboard and other materials together to form new play objects or structures. The connectors are made of recyclable Nylon 6.6, which was selected for its functional qualities of flexibility and strength, allowing for extended reuse of the product. Makedo provides a recycling service to ensure the material does not go to landfill and can feed back into a production cycle. 100% recycled paper is used for all printed and paper packaging material. Makedo’s award-winning products are delivered carbon neutral. Production processes are reviewed to reduce their embodied energy, and what remains is offset. www.reevesintl.com

Launched in 2007, NYIGF’s SustainAbility: design for a better world showcases global gift and home industry suppliers whose products or production processes are eco-friendly, as well as companies whose business practices are socially responsible, philanthropic or fair-trade oriented. A zero tolerance policy was enacted in 2010 for any products with VOC; lead (for baby, children and food-related products); aniline dyes, formaldehyde and chlorine (for textiles); and PVC, without recommendation for use and disposal.

In 2010, NYIGF convened a “SustainAbility Task Force,” comprised of experts in “green” retail, design, manufacturing and fair trade: Display curator Ilene Shaw of Shaw + Co! Productions chairs the group, and advisors are: Enrico Bressan of Artecnica; Scot Case of TerraChoice; Mark Caserta of 3R Living; Amy Chender of ABC Carpet & Home; Paul Donald of Branch Home; Matthew Morris; Colleen Pendelton of AID TO ARTISANS; Jessica Pope, Working Class Studio; SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design); and Jaime Salm of MIO.

Several members of NYIGF’s SustainAbility Task Force will lead an informal and open-forum exploration of environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible best practices at NYIGF on Monday, August 16, from 12:00-1:30 pm. The seminar, titled “It’s Easy Being Green – Just Ask the Experts!” will be moderated by Susan Szenasy, editor of Metropolis. Information and registration is available online at www.nyigf.com/programs.

SustainAbility: design for a better world will be on display in the North Concourse at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from Saturday, August 14, through Thursday, August 19, 2010. NYIGF is the nation’s premier gift, home and lifestyle marketplace, with 2,800 exhibiting companies featuring an extraordinary breadth and depth of design-driven home fashion products and complementary giftware. Some 35,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 85 countries worldwide are expected. Information and registration is available online at www.nyigf.com.

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