Gift. Isn’t that such a beautiful word? Whether you’re looking for one, hoping for one, or opening one—there is never a bad time to gift-give. Of course, there are plenty of bad gifts. Which is a shame because it usually means money and time wasted, not to mention something that will not be used and maybe even discarded (hello landfill). On a recent visit to the New York International Gift Fair, I set out to find items that were purposeful, beautiful, and sustainable—in short, the perfect gift for everyone.
Here are a few of my favorites:
See Design is owned by Designer Donna Gorman. Gorman has been designing textiles for more than a decade (she worked for Marimekko!). See Design has everything from totes, to wraps, to caftans in vibrant, beautiful colors. 115 Weed Street, New Canaan, Ct. 203-972-3685
Harvey & Straight carries some of the most lovely fabric napkins (that’s right—napkins) I’ve seen. Sounds blasé perhaps, but serving your guests with chic cloth napkins is a simple-and affordable-way to add a touch of luxury to your home. Actually, using fabric napkins is one of my favorite ways to be green. And before you say anything about the cost of energy to wash—this doesn’t even come close to the waste created by paper alternatives. Trust me, cloth is way better—and prettier too, don’t you think? www.harveyandstrait.com
Gallery 91 has such an amazing collection of Japanese styled house wares and gift items that I could have—and almost did—spend all day there. My favorite items are the earth-friendly paper serving pieces. They look so delicate, but really are extremely durable. www.gallery91.com
Dogeared is a company definitely worth adding to your next gift list. A whole range of organic inspired jewelry, and a few other items like tote bags as well. Dogeared also has it’s heart in the right place with a “Karma Program” that connects with those in need to create a virtuous circle where everyone benefits—from the people who are trained to handmake the jewelry (in the USA), to the business, and then the consumer. Dogeared also saves resources by using only canvas bags instead of plastic. www.dogeared.com
Fluf is right when they say “We’re not just another pretty print.” Toronto-based owners, Terra Kushner and Nathalie Butterfield, are sustainable, chic, and they’re mompreneurs (yay!). I could have walked away with pretty much every pillow, tote, lunch bag I laid my eyes on (just in case you were wondering what to get me for Mother’s Day, for example). www.fluf-design.com
Yala drew me in with the bright colors, bold patterns of the super-comfy looking kids clothes that I wished were made in my size. Luckily, Yala does make clothing for adults that’s just as adorable. So soft and luxurious, each piece of clothing in the line is made from Bamboo fiber, a renewable resource. Bamboo crops use very little water, require no pesticides, and grow at a very rapid rate, which is why Bamboo is becoming a very popular fabric option. For me, Yala was a great find. With clothing and home items in eco-friendly, affordable, and chic styles, how could you go wrong? www.yaladesigns.com