Five companies featured in the SustainAbility: design for a better world display at the summer 2010 New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) have been recognized as achieving the highest level of sustainability for their products, production processes and business practices.
“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:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.