N.Y. Gift Fair Brings Back "SustainAbility" Program for Third Year

The New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) is looking again to facilitate green business practices in the gift and home industries with the return of an environmentally focused exhibit and educational program it calls "SustainAbility design for a better world" during the show in mid August.

This year's eco curated SustainAbility display will showcase about 175 environmentally conscious and socially responsible products — including home goods — and producers, and two green-themed seminars — one featuring environmental entrepreneur, author and retailer "The Lazy Environmentalist," Josh Dorfman, and the other addressing organic beauty trends.

NYIGF launched the SustainAbility program three years ago "to recognize and encourage the integration of environmental responsibility with profitable business practices," said Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and GLM svp.

The SustainAbility display will showcase global gift and home industry suppliers whose products or production processes are eco-friendly, as well as companies whose business practices are socially responsible, philanthropic or fair trade-oriented.

The exhibit is curated by Ilene Shaw of Shaw + Co Productions, and products must meet specific criteria in order to be included. Products must be manufactured or constructed with only recycled, recyclable and/or sustainable materials; undergo an environmentally friendly production processes, or the use of alternative sources of energy in production; and employ socially responsible business practices, meaning production by indigenous peoples, the creation of viable, sustainable trades and markets in developing communities worldwide, and/or the donation of percentage of product sales to not-for-profit organizations.

Among the 175 participants is Bella Notte Linens with its Peony line, which encompasses duvet covers, coverlets, shams, and throw pillows made from organic cotton and linen yarns. The renewable plants are grown and harvested without environmental toxins, and the company follows a sustainable manufacturing process.

A full participant list, including detailed product descriptions, will be posted online at www.nyigf.com after June 30.

In addition to the exhibit, a two-part seminar program will provide background on green consumer behavior, and offer suggestions for integrating and marketing sustainable merchandise. Both sessions will be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, with tickets costing $20 in advance and $25 onsite. Advance registration is available online at www.nyigf.com/programs.

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