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EFF SOURCE Fashion business success without compromise

30 April 2017

Top Picks: Artisan Products at NY NOW

Contributor Lori Fox


Lori Fox of foxLOR Consulting shares some of her favourite artisan products discovered at the bi-annual showcase, NY NOW®. Image: Salaheddin, Made in Syria

NEW YORK, NY, 3-8 February 2017

NY NOW®, the Market for Home, Lifestyle and Gift, continues to be the go to place for buyers seeking up-and-coming brands, unique global and handmade finds, as well as the season’s best from long established brands. True social progress and design innovation are happening within the “Handmade Global Design” and “Artisan Resource”* sections as makers take their local materials and traditions and make items that touch on the latest trends or focus on traditional shapes and silhouettes. While there were many products that made me stop and take a closer look, these five give a diverse range of the types of products these sections have to offer.

1. Ziko Afrika

Made in Kenya // Jewellery (Artisan Resource)

Founded in 2014, this sister design duo have a contagious enthusiasm for ethical fashion. Based in Nairobi, their design inspiration starts with tribal silhouettes that are stripped down to minimal and modern shapes. With the addition of perspex they offer a wide range of colour options that keep the recycled brass feeling fresh with multiple wear possibilities.


2. Tonlé

Made in Cambodia, Zero Waste Clothing (Handmade Global Design)

I was immediately pulled into this booth by the handwoven textures and unique screen prints. This company starts with surplus factory materials as the base of their products. They take every scrap that falls on their floor and turn them into clothing, bags, scarves, jewellery, and lastly the paper they use for their hang tags. As “The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world…second only to oil,” [Eileen Fisher, 2015] Tonlé is helping pioneer the way for a new industry standard.


3. Korβáta

Made in Guatemala, Men’s Neckties (Artisan Resource)

This year’s NY NOW Artisan Resource “Best New Product Awards” went to Korβáta for their high quality men’s accessories. These neckties and bowties uphold the traditional Mayan and Guatemalan weaving techniques while providing a sustainable income and empowerment to the communities they work with.



Made in India, Bags proudly created with “purposeful inefficiency” (Handmade Global Design)

Resurrecting and sustaining age old hand crafts like hand woven Khadi fabric and block printing has completely transformed a community in Northern India thanks to JOYN. They believe the more hands that are involved in the creation of a product, the more opportunities that come for the good of all. Their bags reflect classic shapes with traditional or modern prints.


5. Salaheddin

Made in Syria, Glass homewares (Artisan Resource)

The fact that Salaheddin is keeping alive the rich traditions of Syria in the midst of such war torn times is a mockery in the face of terror that seeks to destroy all beauty. This business offers exquisite handblown glass pendant lamps and home glasswares from a second generation of makers. Check out this article from AOW for more information.

*Artisan Resource is sponsored by ByHand Consulting and Hand/Eye Fund and is dedicated to showcasing talented global makers who need exposure to grow their workshops into a sustainable business through opportunities in the western marketplace.


Lori Fox
[email protected]

Lori Fox of foxLOR is based in the USA and is a SOURCE Associate Consultant. For the past nine years she has offered artisan and fair trade businesses branding solutions and design services that are unique to each community and culture they serve.

Discover more about artisans in our sustainable sourcing series

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