Monday, March 5, 2012

Saving the World, One Accessory at a Time

I admit it: I like stuff. I like to pretend I'm not a materialistic person, but come on, I spend the majority of my time surrounded by awesome things; it's hard to not want at least some of it. Yet in this day and age, it's important to know more about your stuff than just how cool it is: where it was made, what it was made from, the philosophy of the company producing it… it's a lot to keep track of!

Luckily, Booksmith here is a pretty environmentally aware place. We use biodegradable shopping bags, are highly involved with our community, and are pretty intense about recycling. We also carry many vendors in our gift room that make the world happy. Let me highlight a few of the many vendors we carry that make awesome stuff, and are doing it responsibly.

Bungalow360 is a company that creates high-quality purses, totes, wallets, hats, and even umbrellas--all with adorable patterns. I have owned many a Bungalow bag over the years, and I've been happy with every one of them. They're sturdy, easy to clean, and fit way more stuff than I should be allowed to put in them. The only reason I keep buying more is because they just make cute and cuter designs and I just can't help myself sometimes because omygosh. Seriously, can anyone resist these adorable otters holding hands?!

But Bungalow360 is a responsible company, too. Their website has a page dedicated to their work at the Yucaipa Valley Animal Placement Society, a no-kill animal shelter in California. Bungalow donated a 5 kilowatt solar power system to the shelter, as part of their "Powered By Love" program, which provides solar power to non-profit organizations. On top of this, all of their bags and accessories are vegan, made of 100% natural cotton canvas and printed with water-based inks. So now, every time you buy a Bungalow360 bag, you're helping save kittens with solar power! Awesome!

Now I shall spotlight BlueQ, a company that I just think is awesome. It's clear that the people at BlueQ put a lot of effort into making detailed, fresh, and well-designed products, but they're also pretty darn green. I mean, look at these bags--all made of 95% recycled material. Super-sturdy and super-fun, these things will last you forever while showing your signature style, whether it be vintage collage, funky designs, or adorable little critters.

BlueQ is responsible for many great products besides their bags. Their little boxes of gum make me laugh every time, and it's pretty good stuff to boot. Lip Sh*t is hilariously named, comes in great packaging and offers a variety of unusual but appealing flavors (I'm partial to Coconut Basil and Cucumber Mint, myself). It's also made of 23% beeswax for extra moisturizing power, and a number of other natural ingredients that make for some quality stuff.

I will finish off today's post with Seltzer Goods, a vendor whose products I have fallen in love with during my time here at Booksmith. Their designs are fun, clean, and modern, without being overly hipster. As a design school grad, I appreciate these things. At first, I only knew about Seltzer greeting cards, but--gasp!-- now we carry even more awesome stuff, like tote bags and journals! I think I need the Nerd tote, don't you agree? Although, that mustache is very tempting as well... And I do love cats, and bicycles... Gah! I'm terrible at decisions. Oh, and notice the adorable wooden tags they use. Is that awesome or what?

This is not the limit to our earth-happy gift vendors; nay, we have many, many more. But that is too much to cover in one little blog post (I didn't even start on our jewelry!). So come in sometime, and ask one of us about our products. We'll be happy to tell you all we know about the source, materials, and green-ness of our merchandise.

So now, I can feel a little happier knowing that the stuff I buy from Booksmith will be hurting the earth a little less. That, unfortunately, cannot be said for my wallet.

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