Monday, June 28, 2010

The Hot Trend: Giving Eco Gifts

We have all experienced one of ‘those’ gifts at some time. Multi layered packaging, which eventually reveals a clam-shell like plastic casing, which in turn protects its ‘treasure’ of some cheaply made item which barely lasts past Christmas.  All which will find its way to the nearest landfill before long.

Increasingly there is an awareness of the ecological aspect of gift giving, both on an individual level, and by companies who are anxious to incorporate sustainability as a part of their gift giving. We are often asked to supply ‘eco gifts’, and find it is not difficult, but may take a little extra consideration.

There are many ways to achieve eco friendly gifts. Some of the key considerations are:

  • Shop locally. If you are supplying a local made gift, it will clearly not be adding additional ‘transportation miles’ to the finished product. You are also in a position to know more about the environmental reputation of the manufacturer as regards pollution etc.

  • Buy quality. Cheaply made products inevitably do not last, resulting in replacement and the associated waste (not to mention it is not likely to be the most popular gift received).

  • Encourage environmentally sound behaviour with your gift. For example give a tree to be planted, or a book on gardening or environmental issues.

  • Choose the most appropriate gifts you can, to encourage their usage and retention. This also makes your gift more appreciated, and less likely to make a quick journey to the landfill. Hand made gifts may be more unique, and can have more appeal on an emotional level, and therefore be retained longer. They can also be better made than a mass manufactured alternative, therefore will last longer.

  • Consider the materials your gift is made with, and packed in. Are there more natural materials or even recycled options available?  Is there a more natural packaging alternative (for example woven flax gift baskets, wooden boxes made from sustainably harvested pine trees with wood shavings).  

Giving eco gifts is not difficult. With a little thought, gifts can be stylish and sustainable. We are happy to help. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How is a possum like a polar bear?

So how is a native Australian marsupial like an icy dwelling polar bear?

The answer doesn’t lie in that bizarre TV series “Lost” where Polar bears roam tropical islands, but with their remarkable fur.

Both possess fur with hollow fibre, a characteristic shared only by these two animals. The fur gives fantastic insulation for superlative warmth, dries quickly, and does not freeze. Pure possum fur is also scale free (so not itchy to wear), and when compared with wool it is both lighter and warmer to wear, plus amazingly silky soft.

So it is no wonder that opossum fur when combined with wool, silk and nylon creates a truly luxurious and technically superior yarn. The yarn is used in the same way as traditional wool yarn to create socks, hats and gloves etc. But these garments have an amazing downy softness to them.

Although the opossums originated from Australia, New Zealand is the only country in the world where the possum has become a devastating pest, and a possum ‘eco-fur’ industry has developed. The 'possum' products have created a truly unique niche market.

To explore more about these items, please visit our website and search 'possum' to view possum socks, hats, gloves and scarves etc.