Christmas Eco-Shopping at the Fair

ryan frank eco fair photo

The annual Eco Design Fair has design and fashion accessories with flare and a conscience. Everything on sale has a pedigree that will please every TreeHugger's heart and pocket book. There were lots of new ideas and old favourites to be found. The Duke of Cambridge, the first organic pub in Britain, was supplying the mince pies and mulled cider, and celebrating its tenth anniversary.

We were delighted to meet up with Ryan Frank, a familiar favourite to this site. He has a new idea, seen here (above) first; a variation on his "Zilka" clothes hangers. They are made out of British newspaper which is pulped and dyed, decorated and then turned into a pop-out hanger. The board can be a piece of decorated art and/or a hanger. He also had his prototype for a good looking stool (right-hand corner of photo) which is made out of old office furniture. He wants to be able to produce these on a large scale to make them economical.

felt necklace eco fair photo

This adorable boy was selling his mother's wonderful hand-rolled felt necklaces and felted jewellery. The necklaces come in lovely earthy and lemony colours. They are all naturally dyed with plant dyes and the fleece is made from sheep. Some of the necklaces were made of cashmere and others were made of merino wool or felt. The arctic rock is a rock covered with a felted skin. It looks light, but it isn't.

twig-house at eco fair photo

We couldn't resist this charming playhouse for the child who has (almost) everything. Made out of natural english willow twigs from Somerset, the playhouse will last for five years and then can be recycled. Given how much nicer it will look in the garden than those nasty plastic ones, it would be a delightful addition to the backyard. The design was a finalist in last year's Grand Design competition, which is pretty impressive.

mama africa designs photo

From Africa with Love: these brightly coloured place mats and beaded eggs are made in South Africa by women in the local communities. They are making use of the traditional craft methods of beading and weaving, but the products are updated in a contemporary way to make them more saleable to the western market.

We loved Lizzie Lee's lights made out of plastic milk bottles. Each one is unique and some have lace on them, collected from charity shops to make them even more delicate looking. Junkyard Chic reclaimed furniture and wallpaper also hit the spot. The wallpaper is from old rolls, stitched together. Other styles are made from paper from sustainable forests with digital prints added. :: Eco Design Fair
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Ryan Frank
Duke of Cambridge Organic Pub
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