Feature Articles: The Green Scene

Two challenges for parents with young children: mealtime and craft time. The process of keeping little ones occupied, entertained, and engaged is difficult in either case. So why not offer combinations that go that extra mile to make your customers smile? Make mealtimes matter and craft time count with great products kids love. Once your customers use Yummy Dough or Kiddy Platter, they’ll be clamoring for more at your store. Be smart and stock solutions from Smarty Parents.

There is a clear relationship in the improvement of hand-eye coordination through the manipulation of individual puzzle pieces. Another bonus comes in the cultivation of patience. Children who work on puzzles understand that the completion of the project requires a time investment, making it easier for them to approach school and real-life problem-solving situations. According to research appearing in the September 2012 edition of Science, early childhood experiences are particularly important, making it the ideal time to stock up on fun, educational toys that enhance mental development, like those from Red Fish Toys.

Worker B, a Minneapolis-based company, goes beyond just supplying quality organic skin products –– it also keeps its own bees. Quality ingredients form the foundation of Worker B’s success, since all of them are either organic or GMO-free. Worker B’s mission is simple: to help people with common skin problems. There is a large contingent of folks who cannot get relief for skin conditions from conventional treatments. Worker B is there for them with a natural skin line that contains no toxins, fillers or petrochemicals.

Woombie (KB Designs, LLC)
pediped footwear

Face it: What we do has an impact on our planet, whether for good or ill. As a retailer you have the power to help your customers reduce the footprint they leave behind. When you offer green merchandise and shoppers buy it, everyone benefits. Now, top fashion designers and retailers are offering more choices for organic apparel with no company more involved than IMAGINE GreenWear, an all-American organization that is justifiably proud of its designs, its ecological direction and its part in helping the world to be a better, greener place. To them, green IS the future of textiles.

Sunblock has become a family essential for every day, all year ‘round. Kids often make putting it on a battle, hating the feel of cold spray or greasy cream. Because actress Anne Heche had so many skirmishes over sun protection with her own young sons, she decided there had to be a less stressful, happier way to get the essential stuff on her family. Heche partnered with the founders of La Bella Donna to come up with Tickle Time Sunblock, a mineral, brush-on sunblock that is especially formulated for kids — the first of its kind!

Everyone knows that a baby’s soft skin is delicate. Little ones suffer from a number of external irritants that wouldn’t affect adults, because an adult’s outer layer of skin is more developed. While problems like diaper rash are common issues, the increased permeability of baby’s skin also means that more irritants can pass through it. Wouldn’t it be great to provide products that give your customers peace of mind and help little ones stay comfortable? Safe, non-toxic products that protect infants and toddlers, such as the lotions from BabySpa, may just be what the doctor ordered.

Andy & Evan
Teeny Tiny Optics

Sometimes kids need help putting a voice to their emotions, and other times they need to give their feelings a face. There are no cuter (or sadder) faces than those of Lilikin & Friends. Whether a child is happy, sad, or just plain confused, these little play pals will understand and stay by their side until those frowns are turned upside down. Lilikin , Mollycoddle, and Eleven are soft, poseable plush toys made with certified organic cotton fabrics, and are perfect for a new toy holiday display. The fun with Lilikin & Friends doesn’t stop at the animal itself. Each one has a Twitter page, Facebook profile, and email address for the interactive generation.

Zeenie Dollz are the newest trend in eco-friendly toys and in the doll world! The modern and stylish design for these dolls might be enough to make them fly off the shelves, but Zeenie Dollz take it one step further by emphasizing the importance of taking care of our planet. These dolls are certain to be a hit this holiday season. “Saving the planet… that’s our style!” is the battle cry for this line of sassy and creative dolls. The dolls are all made from 100% sustainable materials while the story behind them teaches and encourages kids to take responsibility for the health of our Mother Earth.

While many manufacturers generate waste, here is one that heads in the opposite direction, keeping zillions of pieces of paper out of our landfills. Notebagz transforms this detritus into edgy handbags, cosmetic cases and other accessories. The style alone is enough to recommend Notebagz, even if they didn’t make right-on-the-money bags of all kinds made entirely out of recycled publications, magazines and posters. American-made Notebagz lean on nostalgic icons and vintage books as well as images from television, movie and music artists. All bags feature snappy designs whether shoppers’ tastes run to music, magazine covers, peace signs, travel posters or other icons of times gone by.