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|NYIGF UNVEILS INDUSTRY'S FIRST GREEN CRITERIA & RANKING INITIATIVE|
|Seven Companies Awarded Highest "SustainAbility3" Status|
This initiative outlines criteria for environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible products and production methods, and establishes a three-tiered ranking system for adherence to these criteria. This initiative was developed by NYIGF in cooperation with its recently formed “Sustainability Council,” an advisory board of green leaders in gift and home design, manufacturing, retail and consulting.
“The gift and home industry has embraced the movement toward sustainability, but until now there has been no uniformity in the definition or application of ‘green’,” said Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and GLM senior vice president. “Through development of this ‘Degrees of SustainAbility’ criteria and ranking system, we have developed a common framework for industry consideration of both ‘green’ products and producers.”
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. From lowest to highest, the rankings are:
• SustainAbility1 – products which are manufactured or constructed with only recycled, recyclable and/or sustainable materials; and with “zero tolerance” for VOC; lead (for baby, children and food-related products); aniline dyes, formaldehyde and chlorine (for textiles); and PVC, without recommendation for use and disposal.
80 Acres of McEvoy Ranch: 80 Acres of McEvoy Ranch products are produced in small batches in northern California, using organic ingredients. These products contain USDA-certified organic olive oil grown and milled on the company’s organic ranch in Petaluma, CA. Also included is jojoba oil, and beeswax and they are scented exclusively with essential oils of lavender, ylang ylang, lemon and lime. Recycled packaging is used wherever possible. McEvoy Ranch operates a wind turbine on site that is designed to meet 100% of its energy needs.
Bambu: bambu is a renewable ideas company and their products are made from excess organic renewable or reclaimed materials that normally are the waste by-product of other production. All materials are harvested without harming trees or the surrounding habitat and every part of the plant is utilized with no waste. This product is produced under Fair Trade policies which support community artisans in developing countries. The production and work conditions are personally overseen by bambu principals who work and live “at the source” in China. A member of the Green America Business Network, they donate proceeds generated by the sale of this product to not-for-profit organizations 1% For The Planet, NRDC, and 3rd Millennium Rainforest protection in Ecuador.
Ecojot: Ecojot is a manufacturer of journals, notebooks, gift wrap and other finished paper products made with paper that is produced in a Canadian mill that is powered by bio-gas off the grid. The paper is made from 100% post-consumer paper and board, without the use of bleach. It is reusable and recyclable and can be fed back into the resource loop, cradle-to-cradle. This product has a "Zero Tolerance" for aniline dyes, formaldehyde and chlorine. Ecojot’s “Buy 1, We Give 1” campaign delivers workbooks to children in need where many families cannot afford the costs associated with sending their kids to school. Ecojot will donate one workbook for each of the selected products sold.
Fab Habitat: Fab Habitat products are made under strict Fair Trade principles from plastic recycled from plastic bottle caps and containers. They are woven on energy-efficient looms using recycled polypropylene and are fully recyclable. The scraps from the manufacturing process are also reused, and no waste is left. Rugs are packaged in earth friendly jute bags and are shipped in lightweight shipping material. Production creates employment opportunities for local artisans and individuals with special needs. Fab Habitat donates a percentage of annual profit to the Navjeevan Society, a local charity.
Fire & Light Originals: Craftspeople create this glassware one by one, preserving the rich tradition of American hand pressed glass, using post-consumer recycled glass. Fire & Light has recycled over six million bottles and jars purchased from their local community recycling center and tons of other glass. Recycled glass uses 30% less energy than virgin glass, and can be recycled repeatedly. Recycled cardboard is used as packing material. Using recycled glass reduces air pollution by 20% and water pollution by 50%.
Jonathan's® Spoons: These spoons are made from solid cherry wood, mostly grown and processed within the same state of manufacture, and purchased from a supplier certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The spoons are finished with food grade oil and contain no toxic glues or finishes. The waste is used to heat the homes of many of the company’s employees and neighbors. The sawdust is mixed with other natural materials to fertilize a local farm. The company supports the Hardwood Forestry Fund, American Forests, and the Pennsylvania Forest Association, whose efforts help to protect our native forests through tree planting and educational programs.
The Green Glass Company: The Green Glass Company purchases ‘green energy’ from its energy provider. This product is made by re-purposing bottles – a process that uses 1% of the energy compared to melting and forming glassware from recycled glass culets and this glass can be fed back into the resource loop (cradle-to-cradle). The bottles are cut, edge melted and annealed. Recycled packaging is used. The Green Glass Company follows Fair Trade policies closely including a fair wage and working conditions. A percentage of profits generated from the sale of this product are donated to The World Wildlife Fund and other local not-for-profit organizations that are stewards of the environmental movement. As pioneers of reclaimed glassware and with a patent on the unique wine bottle-to-goblet conversion, the Green Glass Company strives to use all parts of bottles rescued from the waste stream. By only using reclaimed bottles and other reclaimed materials for its unique glass ware, The Green Glass Company not only practices a reclamation policy but also actively promotes re-purposing as a viable and sustainable way of living.
“These companies meet the highest standards of sustainability – in their finished products, their production processes and their business practices,” said display curator Ilene Shaw of Shaw + Co! Productions. “They are the standard-setters for the gift and home industry in terms of environmental sensitivity and social responsibility.”
Shaw chairs NYIGF’s “SustainAbility Council,” which convenes semi-annually during the NYIGF. Other members of the green task force are: Enrico Bressan of Artecnica; Scot Case of TerraChoice; Mark Caserta of 3R Living; Maren Maier of ABC Home; Paul Donald of Branch Home; Matthew Morris a designer, art director, retail consultant; Colleen Pendelton of AID TO ARTISANS; and Jaime Salm of MIO.
NYIGF is the nation’s premier gift, home and lifestyle marketplace, with 2,700 exhibiting companies featuring an extraordinary breadth and depth of design-driven home fashion products and complementary giftware. NYIGF runs Saturday, January 30, through Thursday, February 4, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Passenger Ship Terminal Pier 94. Some 31,000 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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