Jacob Javits Center NYCI just returned from the New York International Gift Fair at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.   I attended this show with my good friend David Schmitt from Renaissance Floral Design, a wonderful floral shop and gift store located on Western Avenue in Albany.  We had a great trip.  He was kind enough to let me ride down with him and the next day I took the train home.  I promise myself that the next show scheduled for January, I will definitely give myself more time.  One day at the show was not nearly enough time.  I could have easily spent at least three days there.  It’s really quite incredible how many vendors there are.  Merchandise for any kind of store.  I only covered one and a half floors of vendors.  I also found myself rushing to cover as much ground as possible.  In the end, however, I did settle on a few select designers whose jewelry made me smile, not only because of  how beautifully unique the pieces were but also because of how much they were doing to ensure the long-term health and wealth of the communities from which they came. The guild of eco friendly jewelry designers appears to be growing at a tremendous clip – and I’m happy to report that a  greater focus on verification & validation is beginning to take hold.  I was especially interested in seeing how all the different ‘green’ jewelry companies went about aligning themselves to the green movement.  Some stories were better than others of course, but by and large, they all made terrific sense.  Much of the jewelry was made from recycled metals and precious stones which were mined under carefully-monitored, worker-friendly conditions. What’s more, several lines went so far as to regulate the land their metals are mined from in order to mitigate any and all possible disruptions to the local ecosystem.  This made me very happy.  Being good to our environment can come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes – for eco- jewelry designers, being organic doesn’t mean diddly, but aggressively rethinking how their products and creations are manufactured from start (earth) to finish (box-in-hand) certainly does. And that my friends, is the fastest path towards sustainably positive change…
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