Forget mass produced items, chemical-laced beauty products and everyday housewares. These New York City artisans fuse sustainability and innovation for those wanting to live a more conscious, high quality life.
After reading about them here, make sure to take a spin to markets like the Brooklyn Flea, Brooklyn Bazaar, Vegan Shop Up, Artists & Fleas, Renegade Craft Fair and Sugar Hill Market, to get their wares.
Art & Design
For those wanting sustainable gifts and stationery, Lovewild Design started when founder Sierra Zamarripa noticed how much waste many companies produce. Lovewild, a family business (Sierra even employs her mom!) stands out by keeping production 100% in-house, crafting their vendor booths and studio from recycled wood and only entering into partnerships with other green-focused local companies. One recommended product is her Blooming seed coins, with each paper coin embedded with seeds and letterpress printed.
Daniel Hellman and Eric Chang are the co-founders of Hellman-Chang, showcasing wood furnishings crafted by hand using materials sourced within NYC. Not only that, but their Brooklyn studio acts as a co-op for local woodworkers, fostering a hub of creativity where they also offer apprenticeships and internships to help young American designers and strengthen the global design community.
Fashion & Accessories
Rocks and Salt Design, founded by Sara Hull and Phil Miner, fuses hip, urban and timeless elements in a small production hand-made hat collection. They’re also focused on community, employing local seamstresses and sourcing from Manhattan’s Garment District.
Chains by Lauren fuses innovation with style (denim jewelry, anyone?), with designer Lauren Noon who credits her beach town roots and travels abroad for her inspiration, incorporating color, texture and fabrics into her pieces. All production is done in the USA to help reduce carbon footprint, and this summer they’ll be incorporating Itajime and Arashi natural dying techniques into the collection.
Founded by Dana Glaeser, Slightly Alabama is all about timeless handcrafted leather goods made by hand. Glaeser developed a love for the art during childhood summers spent with his grandpa, who was passionate about woodworking and leather-making. Each piece begins with Dana sketching out a new design before creating the patterns, cutting leather — which is sourced from classic companies Horween Leather and Hermann Oak Leather, both over 100 years old — with precision hand tools and using a saddle stitch instead of machine. You can find them their goods at Bene Rialto, ABC Carpet and Home and Teich.
Art of Plants, founded by Jenny Wong-Stanley, is a small and sustainable, three women-operated company focused on crafting handmade, solid bent wood sculptures and planters in small batches. No two pieces are alike, as the free-form bending process really turns planting into a work of art. Along with participating in local horticultural events, Art of Plants donates their sculptures to local schools for fundraising.
Coming from a manufacturing family, Susan Taing became fed up with the inefficiencies in today’s production. Thus, she founded Bhold, efficiently creating playful, yet functional accessories with minimal waste that work to make life easier, from acoustic speakers to travel organizers and beyond. Taing is passionate about local community, participating in local maker and design events to demo, present and offer workshops, allowing locals to have in say in product development via a first-of-its-kind testing program.
The vision for Be Clean is to establish a community that makes accessible, natural plant-based skincare, while also celebrating small batch creators in the USA. The company was born when Becky Waddell, both a vegan and a consumer, grew sick of greenwashing in the skincare industry. She wanted a truly healthy brand she could trust, so she made one. Each item she retails has its own story, offering high quality, savor-able experiences.
FLO+THEO is also passionate about vegan skin care, as founding sisters Ebony and Mayowa Ajiboye grew up with sensitive skin, taking to creating their own all-natural products. Inspired by their outdoor surroundings, they take weeks and sometimes years to test out a product, putting only the highest quality items on the market — in recycled and recyclable packing, of course.
Forget no perfume in the tasting room! Kelly & Jones makes vino-inspired fragrances meant to be paired with wines, like a Notes of Chardonnay, featuring notes of burnt caramel and vanilla blossom. For an experiential purchase, head to Jill Lindsey in Brooklyn, which has an in-house bar and can both sell you the perfume and help you pair it.
Founded by Tanwi Nandini, HI Wildflower was born out of a desire to provide free-spirited people — as wild as wildflowers — an all-natural product. Each has an exotic story, as botanicals like Egyptian neroli, Indian jasmine and Somalian myrrh are ethically sourced from around the world. Purchase a scent, packaged with biodegradable materials, and receive a piece of plantable wildflower seed paper to help your gift keep growing.
This post was originally published on Drive the District
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