Jun 24, 2011
NYIGF “Sustainability” Initiative Showcases Green Products, Programs & Awards

White Plains, NY – SustainAbility: design for a better world® – a special exhibit and educational series designed to inform, promote and recognize “green” activities and initiatives – returns to the New York International Gift Fair® (NYIGF®), August 13-18, 2011, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Now in its fourth year, NYIGF’s SustainAbility program incorporates a juried exhibit of sustainable gift, home and lifestyle products, the Eco Choice Awards recognizing “green” product innovation and a two-part seminar series addressing sustainability and fair trade business practices.

The summer 2011 SustainAbility display, curated by Ilene Shaw of Shaw + Co! Productions, will feature 179 products from 125 companies from around the world. Acceptance criteria included eco-friendly products and production processes, as well as socially responsible, philanthropic or fair-trade oriented business practices. The products vary widely in provenance, design, materials, and functionality. A full SustainAbility participant list, including detailed product descriptions, is available online at http://nyigf.com/TheShow/Sustainability.aspx.

“Products within the realm of ‘green’ now extend beyond the basics – recycled and recyclable materials – to include products created through solar and wind energy manufacturing,” said Shaw.  “We also are seeing an increasing number of green products that accessorize and coordinate with high technology products, such as personalized headphones made with alpaca fibers; and a banana leaf iPad case produced in Rwanda through a Fair Trade arrangement.”

During market week, products displayed in the SustainAbility display will vie for the semi-annual Eco Choice Awards, co-sponsored by NYIGF and GREENRetailer.  Through open balloting, winners will be named in three categories – “Most Innovative,” “Most Sensitive Use of Materials” and “Most Sellable” – at the conclusion of the NYIGF.

Two seminars addressing eco-friendly and socially-responsible issues and opportunities also will be presented during NYIGF.  “Certification, Standards & Compliance” will be held on Monday, August 15, from 12:00 to 1:30PM. Susan Szenasy of Metropolis Magazine and Susan Inglis of the Sustainable Furniture Council will discuss the evolution of green products and business practices, and new developments in certifications, standards and compliance.

On Tuesday, August 16, “The Fair Trade Kitchen” will be presented from 12:00 to 1:00PM. Renee Bowers of the Fair Trade Federation will outline Fair Trade basics and will address how retailers can benefit from buying and selling high-quality kitchen and table products with societal and cultural impact. Anna Wolfe of The Gourmet Retailer will moderate the session.

Tickets for each session are $20 advance and $25 onsite, or $30 in advance and $40 onsite for both SustainAbility seminars. Advance registration is available online at www.nyigf.com/programs.

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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