Feature Articles: The Green Scene

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.

Satsuma Designs
ABC Spring Educational Conference & Trade Show

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.

Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. (K.I.D.S)
No Slippy Hair Clippy, Inc.

PlanToys is an innovative collection of educational green toys that are bright, affordable, and as safe for little ones as they are for the planet. This line is full of new and traditional toys, from long-time favorite pull toys to one-of-a-kind dollhouse designs. Each toy is designed to inspire children’s imaginations, engaging them in educational play that will provide physical and intellectual stimulation and development. The educational value of PlanToys has been recognized with the prestigious Parents’ Choice and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio awards.

As retailers, it’s hard to ignore the green revolution. More young families are demanding natural, organic or sulfate-free products. Nowhere has “clean and green” been more in demand than in cleaning products. New parents need the strongest stuff on the market to clean up the messes, but want those products to be safe and gentle as well. It isn’t easy for retailers to wade through the growing waters of products marked “natural” or “organic,” so we’ve helped out a bit and feature a few favorite brands: BuggyLOVE, Better Life, Dapple and Fresh Wave.

Icky Baby has been creating “Fashionable Solutions to Life’s Icky Situations” for 10 years and has recently introduced a new line of Icky Eco Disposables, a collection of simple products that are sure to make life with sticky, messy babies and toddlers much easier. Icky Baby understands that messes are a part of everyday life with kids and that parents often don’t have the energy to meticulously spot clean every item of clothing and accessory. Icky products have modern style and are disposable, a rare combination in the current children’s market. Taking it one step further, the disposable items are also biodegradable, making them eco-friendly.

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