PICS: The Best Green Designs from the New York International Gift Fair

by , 02/02/12

Sustainable design; Inhabitat; Inhabitat NYC; Javitz Center; New York City; New York International Gift Fair; NYIGF; recycled materials; hand made; SustainAbility: design for a better world; product design; sustainable products; green design; eco design; eco friendly; trade show; Amanda Coen; Vinylux; Shannon Smith; Jetsam; Laura Skelton; vintage menswear; vintage ties; vintage flannels; used clothing; 3-Pocket Billfold; card wallet; recycled handbags; sustainable handbags; sustainable design; eco design; green design; vintage LPs; First World Trash; Wood Thumb

Jetsam is one brand that undoubtedly stood out. Designer and founder Laura Skelton, who launched the company in 2011, has a background in sustainable architecture which shines through in her smaller scale products. Her collection of eco-friendly wallets are made from vintage menswear and factory overruns and produced on a local scale in Mexico, about an hour south of her San Diego base. The wallets offer a compact option for carrying essentials when on the go.

The Jetsam line includes two models: the classic 3-Pocket Billfold and the newly released Card Wallet. Each comes in three styles that speak to their hip sartorial history. The Uncle Larry Edition is made from vintage neckties with 70s-era patterns. For a more proper looking wallet, the Prepster Edition features stripes and traditional colors and the Natty Professor Edition is made from vintage wool jackets that sport herringbone tweed in muted colors. The outdoors type may enjoy the Spiffy Lumberjack Edition made from gently used plaid shirts. Customers will also appreciate that all packaging is made from recycled materials.

Another designer falling under the accessories category, Brooklyn-based Shannon South, upcycles used materials to make unique bags and accessories. Her company, Shannon South- Remade in the USA, launched in 2009 and has already enjoyed sales in Barney’s NY for two years. The designer strives to create beautiful, soulful, well-crafted, locally-made products that have the smallest footprint possible.

Besides the designs produced from South’s collection of used materials, customers have the option to send in old leather coats, denim or even doilies. The designer then re-crafts what is sent into a useable item that carries a personal history. People are always drawn towards well-designed products but sometimes grow bored with what they have and South has found a way to re-spark this initial desire without producing additional waste. In doing so, she creates an awareness of the endless possibilities of what can be done with discarded materials.

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