NYIGF to showcase sustainable wares, green seminars

White Plains, N.Y. – The New York International Gift Fair’s eco-focused exhibit will expand during the January show to 220 products.

SustainAbility: design for a better world features gift and home industry suppliers whose products or production processes are eco-friendly, or companies whose business practices are socially responsible, philanthropic or fair-trade oriented. This year, NYIGF is prohibiting products with VOC; lead (for baby, children and food-related products); aniline dyes, formaldehyde and chlorine (for textiles); and PVC, without recommendation for use and disposal. 

According to exhibit curator Ilene Shaw of Shaw + Co Productions, there were three common trends among winter 2010 display applicants: natural tones, clean unfinished woods, natural textiles and under-saturated colors; heightened emphasis on technique (i.e. carving in woods rather than painting patterns on wood); and integration of green business practices, such as philanthropic and community support, as well as green production practices, whether by using natural and alternative energy sources or by greening offices, showrooms and manufacturing facilities. 

"During the winter market we will publish criteria that the industry can use to identify green products and producers, and rankings that indicate the extent to which a product or producer is eco-friendly," said Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and senior vp. 

Also during the fair, two seminars will cover green consumer behavior and sustainable business practices.  On Monday, Feb. 1, from noon to 1:30 p.m., "It's Easy Being Green A Conversation with 'Green Guru' Scot Case" will examine what motivates consumers to buy green and how to address their needs without overstating the environmental benefits of a product or service. Susan Szenasy, editor-in-chief of Metropolis Magazine, will interview Case, vice president of TerraChoice and executive director of the EcoLogo Program. 

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., the Day Spa Association will present "The Beauty of Green," exploring a 360 degree approach to green business - from natural and organic products, through to energy-efficient and eco-friendly facilities. Panelists  include Sheila Brody from The Green Spa & Wellness Center and Karen Sinclair Drake of Sophyto Organics.  Networking and continental breakfast, sponsored by Sophyto, begin at 8:30 am.

Both sessions will be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, with discounts for advance registration.  Details and registration is available online at www.nyigf.com.  

The Eco Choice Awards, which debuted during the summer market, will return in January to honor the most eco-friendly products within the SustainAbility display. 

NYIGF runs Jan. 30 through Feb. 4, 2010, at New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Passenger Ship Terminal Pier 94

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