Green was the theme at the February New York International Gift Fair and sustainability was the trend. Aid to Artisans' eco products from projects in El Salvador, Colombia and South Africa were right in step.
Vendors at the recent New York International Gift Fair reported that business was indeed off, on an average between 10-15% but, they said, not as bad as might have been expected with the stock market headlines and the general countrywide economic jitters. The aisles were often crowded, as even in worrisome times retailers need something enticing to sell. (Pictured are Artecnica's green recycled bottles from Guatemala).
GREEN was the clear market trend along with the now widely adopted Fair Trade emphasis. Throughout the show from Handmade to Accent on Design the emphasis was sustainability. Widespread concern for our planet's renewable resources meant that some vendors even took the trouble to list every material used in a product, the source, and the process employed in production.
Eco-Chic from El Salvador, Colombia and South Africa
ATA has been working "green" for years and we had many green products in our booth. Magazine editors looking for eco-chic - and they all were - could choose from El Salvador's eco-products: recycled leather bags (from leftover factory leather bits and pieces, softened, much like paper pulp and reconstituted into leather again); lace-like wicker baskets and trunks from Fibras Naturales; natural indigo tabletop furnishings as well as eco-products from other ATA projects: from Colombia, Tagua Jewelry (called vegetable ivory) in satiny naturally dyed colors and from South Africa a hugely popular assortment of pyrographed bugwood fish sculptures and candleholders. Bugwood is and invasive and fast-growing wood that South African foresters want to eradicate and offer it free for the taking. Click here for more information about ATA in South Africa.
ATA Trade Members Also Offer Fair & Green Products
Many ATA Trade Members offered green, recycled, Fair Trade products too, such as the best-selling recycled glass bottles at Artecnica, and some from very recent visits to ATA projects such as One World Imports first venture in Afghanistan and Swahili Imports big accent baskets from recycled prayer mats in Senegal.
To see more pictures of green at the New York International Gift Fair, visit ATA's Marketing News here