Saturday, February 5, 2011
Twice a year, the New York International Gift Fair takes over Manhattan's West Side. Despite the slushy streets and gray early-February skies outside, the colorful mecca of home accessories, gift items, furniture, linens and crafts was buzzing indoors. I braved the ice (and the $40 event parking lot fee) to scour the aisles for new eco-friendly housewares and accessories. I was delighted to see more offerings than ever before. Here are a few of my favorite:
1. Cork Fabric Bowls from Bambu. They are tough enough to hold a bushel of lemons and soft enough to scrunch down for compact storage. Plus, they can be thrown right in the laundry machine for easy cleaning. (Available in March 2011.)
2 & 3. Peacock Alley's booth was definitely the show stopper. Their beautiful linens were draped over custom hammocks outside a - gasp! - fully renovated 1977 Airstream! They use the trailer, also bedecked in their fabulous wares, for outdoor trunk shows around the nation. A cozy cocoon of neutral fabrics and retro kitsch beckons warmly inside; I didn't want to leave. Peacock Alley has several organic cotton bathrobes, a line of Adriana Matelasse organic cotton bedding and bamboo/cotton towels in their collections to complement their conventional cotton and linen styles.
4. For years, Coyuchi has been one of my go-to resources for certified 100% organic cotton bedding, especially since launching their adorable embroidered George crib line many moons ago. They have since added several other baby collections and greatly expanded their adult lines of bedding, towels, blankets and more. At the recent gift fair, I was struck by their new, incredibly modern charcoal Seersucker Bumper Cover. Sophisticated, and a bit daring, I was pleased to find out that this gray has become one of their best sellers.
5. Michigan-based K Studio has been making pillows and accessories from eco-friendly fabrics like hemp and linen since 2004, each year stitching up even cuter designs than the last. Furthering their green mission, they have added Mod Green Pod's organic cotton patterns to their charming House Pillows. (Photo above is from the awesome home accessories site www.theaccessorator.com)
6. Molla Space unveiled a new, innovative, reusable beverage container simply called My PLA Drinking Can. The can is made from an eco-friendly, corn starch-based material called PLA, bearing the benefits of plastics, but without the negative effects of petroleum components on us and our planet. It is Dishwasher and Microwave safe, retains beverage temperature with double-wall construction, and as the name suggests, will biodegrade rather than adding to our landfill waste.
7. I love pretty much everything from the Urban Infant line, but I thought the Skip Rope was particularly ingenious. Constructed from 100% reclaimed mountain climbing rope that would have otherwise ended up in landfills, with soft handles also made from reclaimed materials, they prove that playtime and eco-responsibility belong in the same game!!
8. Once again, the sweetest organic cotton tees were blowing in the breeze at the Zebi booth, making my longing for another baby to clothe even stronger (like it takes much!!). Here are a few of their adorable appliqued tops available at Kitsel.