The latest edition of the 2012 New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) highlighted some fun, eco-friendly kid-oriented designs. From Piperoid’s recycled paper pipe robots to Snow Leopard Trust and WoolBuddy’s handmade wool slippers to Patch's hand-printed, organic textiles, there was plenty on offer to keep kids (and parents!) delighted. Follow Inhabitots as we take you through the best of what we found!
Piperoid draws kids away from computers and invites them to play with their hands, something they often forget to do when surrounded by so much technology. Each kit comes with the necessary parts to assemble the paper craft robots. The recycled paper pipes come with pre-drilled holes and marks that indicate where to cut, fold and connect the pipes. There is even a page online where you can learn how to repair your Piperoid friend if joints become loose from use. Best yet, no tape, glue, batteries or electricity are required!
Originally started as a desire to create a unique collection of toys for his daughter, Jackie Huang has now created over 300 characters that make up the WoolBuddy collection. Huang needle felts each creature, a process that requires no water — unlike the traditional wool felting process. As the product is 100% handmade in the USA, no electrical energy is required — making it a truly energy-free alternative to traditional stuffed animals!
Snow Leopard Trust
Wool? Yes. But yak wool! Not many kids have the opportunity to say they have yak wool slippers, but these booties designed by Snow Leopard Trust give them just the chance. Each is a unique work of art handcrafted by impoverished communities in Mongolia. Moreover, proceeds from each purchase go directly to the communities where they are made, providing a new source of income that deters them from poaching snow leopards and makes them active members in the conservation of the species.
Patch Design Studio
Patch Design Studio is a one-woman operation run by Heather Mithoefer. All printing and sewing is done in her Chattanooga, Tennessee studio where she is greatly inspired by southern culture. All designs are original and hand carved. Patch uses organic and recycled fabrics and water-based inks and when possible, tries to source materials made in the USA. The line includes small towels, onesies and pillow covers, all safe, sustainable items to have around newborns.
All images © Amanda Silvana Coen for Inhabitots