PHOTOS: NYIGFs Roster of Sustainable Design Grows – We Highlight the Best!

by , 01/29/13

New York International Gift Fair; NYIGF; Javitz Center; New York City; Inhabitat; InhabitatNYC; Amanda Coen; Navjeevan; Vaishali Design Studios; Fab Habitat Baskets; Greenaid; Seedbombs; COMMONstudio; Chrysalis; Greenaid Seedbombs; green gardening; guerilla gardening; sustainable design; green design; eco design; international development; economic development; locally made; Peg and Awl; Rob Brandt; reclaimed materials; reclaimed wood; recycled materials; recycled plastic; recycled glass; Marina Paper

It was hard to pass by Peg and Awl’s stall and not be enthralled. The Philadelphia based husband-wife duo carefully laid out some of the many found treasures that they transformed into heritage items. They constructed a small wooden cheese board from reclaimed Walnut from a local cabinet maker’s shop and aged steel boat cleat handles. Hand rubbed with olive oil, it is safe to eat from and easily maintained with regular natural oiling. Their waxed canvas Marlowe Lunchbags and totes also seem to be big sellers this season and offer a re-useable alternative to brown paper lunchbags. For those looking for gardening accessories, reclaimed Oak Nesting Garden Boxes offer a perfect solution for urbanites interested in small, stylish receptacles from which to house plants. Or if you have a backyard with a sturdy tree branch reaching into it, Peg and Awl’s offers a tree swing with some history. The seat is made from reclaimed old growth pine that once served as floor joist in a 19th century house and is finished with tung oil.

Also in the gardening category, the Greenaid Seedbombs from COMMONstudio offer a guerrilla approach to promoting greener cities. Based in Los Angeles, Greenaid works in partnership with Chrysalis to offer opportunities to local formerly homeless and disadvantaged individuals. Over 253,000 individual “bombs”, equating to about 75 million seeds, have been distributed across 68 cities worldwide. Each seedbomb is made from a mixture of clay, compost and hundreds of seeds. The small balls are launched with a slingshot into underused landscapes and users are invited to add their latest action to interactive maps featured on Greenaid’s website. New balls can be purchased from vending machines in select locations and suggested ideal seedbombing locations offer users a strategic way to have the most impact; all of this can be found online.

For those looking to support sustainable design coming from further away, a variety of international projects give consumers a way to do so. For instance, Fab Habitat Baskets designed by Vaishali Design Studios in India are made from recycled plastic taken from bottle caps and containers and are themselves recyclable as well. They are handfinished by local artisans and disabled workers from the Navjeevan Society, who receive a fair wage for their work. Also made from recycled materials, Zen Zulu’s woven Imbenge and Jaheni baskets are made in South Africa from old telephone cables and come in a variety of bold colors. Eangee Home Designs, a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, offers several handmade options from the Philippines that feature nature untouched. The Urn driftwood series includes vessels in a variety of shapes and sizes made from found driftwood that is bound with hidden brackets. Lights feature shades made from coca leaves or Abacca, a weed commonly found throughout the country. From the Netherlands, the Crushed Vase designed and manufactured by Rob Brandt is made from recycled glass and offers an alternative to the straight drinking glass.