Green Indie Products of the Month: Krochet Kids Hats + Biodegradable EcoTensils

Knitwear Hats with a Mission by Krochet Kids

Think of Krochet Kids International as the next evolutionary step beyond TOMS. Founded by a trio of college students, Krochet Kids has a goal of empowering people in developing nations to break out of the poverty cycle with sustainable economic development. They began this effort in Uganda, teaching women in refugee camps how to crochet and then paying them to use their new skills. The Ugandan women get a fair wage and greater independence; consumers get stylish, handmade hats.

Krochet Kids knitwear

The Krochet Kids model of social entrepreneurship has attracted quite a bit of attention, landing the nonprofit a collab with Volcom and an appearance on last year’s Bing SuperBowl commercial. Recently, Krochet Kids raised enough money through Kickstarter to launch a new project in Peru.

If you’re shopping for socially conscious headwear this year, be sure to check these indie products out. Hats from $21.95, KrochetKids.org.

Biodegradable Spoons by EcoTensil

Back in the summer (ah, the summer!), visiting the farmers’ market was a regular part of my schedule. Although I wrote a lot about the virtues of fresh, local produce, I have to admit that the best part was not the vegetables, but the ice cream. When the heat index is inching toward one hundred, homemade peach ice cream beats tomatoes by a long shot.

EcoTensils are a biodegradable alternative to plastic spoons.One thing bothered me, though. The ice cream was served with a disposable, plastic spoon. Have we discussed disposable plastic spoons? They violate the essential tenet of green design: Things that last forever should be useful for a long time, and things that are only meant to be used once should break down quickly.

EcoTensil biodegradable spoons

That’s why I was interested when I found out about EcoTensils, a biodegradable alternative to plastic spoons. Invented by packaging designer Peggy Cross, EcoTensils are made of paper board (FSC-certified, of course), so they break down quickly–according to the Web site, the spoons biodegrade in three to five weeks.

Definitely a huge improvement over plastic.

This is part of a series of monthly posts featuring sustainable and independent brands from around the web. If you want to see your favorite indie seller on the Green Lens, get in touch via the contact page or @thegreenlens.

Green Indie Products of the Month: The New Life of Fire Hoses, Birch Stumps, and Delhi Trash

This is part of a series of monthly posts featuring sustainable and independent brands from around the web. If you want to see your favorite indie seller on the Green Lens, get in touch via the contact page or @thegreenlens.

Firehose Belt x Feuerwear

The green manufacturing scene is hardly short of innovative textiles, but the belts and bags from Feuerwear use a truly original material: retired firefighting hoses. (The German word feuer translates to “fire.”) The fashionably worn look of Feuerwear’s belts is not the result of an artificial “distressing” process but of a hardworking previous life. How else would you be able to tell your friends that your belt helped save lives?

+ Feuerwear

Upcycled Wallet x Holstee

Soon after quitting their day jobs, the founders of Holstee gained Internet fame with their much-reblogged Manifesto Poster. Another signature product, the upcycled wallet, is an accessory with a story.

Working with a family-run non-profit based in India that works to collect, sort and clean what was once litter from the streets of Delhi we were able to create our dream wallet. This vegan wallet is made primarily of plastic bags and newspapers. Production of the wallet helps reduce waste in Delhi, provides fair wage employment and subsidizes healthcare and education for each employee’s family.

If you have a functioning wallet, it’s really greener just to keep using it, but if you’re shopping for a new cash-carrier anyway, these are a hip and sustainable choice.

Holstee

 

White Birch Forest Lights and Clock x Urban+Forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

The work of this Rockland, Maine-based studio has a rustic, and sometimes surreal, aesthetic. Urban+Forest’s lamps, coasters, clocks, and wall art are handmade from reclaimed birch. They promise to bring the outdoors into your contemporary space at a surprisingly affordable price. I might have to subtract some green points for the incandescent bulbs, but that design choice is easy to overlook in such beautiful pieces.

+ Urban+Forest