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Pistachio’s Heather Reisman – “Buy less. Buy better. Buy forever”

This past Christmas, I was delighted to find a great range of cards from Pistachio (the latest project of Heather Reisman of Chapters-Indigo). They were "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" cards, which thereby extended the Christmas card-sending season to March.  Plus, they were FSC-branded, 100% post-consumer waste fibre, Soya Ink, powered by Green Energy - Mohawk, Made in Canada.  Yeh!! Every kind of serious sustainability logo, right there. My decade-long lack of enthusiasm for cards has largely been driven by concerns about ecological footprints, as well as time crunches associated with grading 100s of final exams and essays at Christmas and attending untold numbers of "festivals of lights" school celebrations. But, I acknowledge that cards are an important means of staying connected and serve an important social purpose.  These Pistachio cards allowed me to do that, and simultaneously underscore my sustainability message to friends and relatives.

Pistachio was back in my thoughts today, thanks to Jennifer Well's article in the Globe and Mail Business magazine: "It's not easy being Pistachio - Heather Reisman is moving eco-products upscale. But will her aim exceed consumers' reach?" Reisman is quoted as saying: "Buy less. Buy better. Buy forever." Wow!!

Reisman has found that people are willing to pay a 5-15% premium for sustainable, ethically-sourced items.  This compares surprisingly closely with the student responses to question 9 of IRIS' Carbon Offsetting survey, in which just under 50% of those surveyed saying that they would pay 5-10% more for environmentally friendly products.  Only 20% said that they would be willing to pay over a 10% premium.

I wish Pistachio all the best, and recently stocked up on their thank you cards. But what I'd really like to see, and would buy, is a set of cards with the "Buy less. Buy better. Buy forever." slogan emblazoned across the front.

Dawn Bazely

Local Fish…

Taking the local movement one step closer to home...or rather your living room. Artist Mathieu Lehanneur has conceptualized and developed the Local River...a spin on the old fish-tube where people can enjoy watching fish from the comforts of their home while picking out tomorrow nights dinner, fish!

Linda Lundström announces bankruptcy

Just over a year ago, I attended the Green Carpet Series, an event promoting sustainable fashion. The evening was aimed at an audience of younger people who work in the downtown Toronto core, and who might not normally be prone to thinking about their ecological footprint. Numerous young women were lured there by the presence of George Stroumboulopoulos, host of CBC's The Hour , who acted as a co-host for the fashion show (I had no idea that he's considered such a sex symbol - I simply admire his in-depth interviews with authors, when I manage to stay up late enough to watch his show!). The fashion show featured lots of cool, environmentally-friendly fashion, including some amazing recycled dresses, along with local food, wine and biodegradable spoons and forks. The gorgeous designs of Canadian, Linda Lundström were also featured. She has been actively involved in and leading efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the textile industry. Her clothes are made locally, and her latest lines featured many organic materials. I was very disappointed to hear, just one year after this event, the sad announcement, that her business has failed. It's incredibly disheartening that she hasn't been able to make it in the current business environment. I very much hope that Linda Lundström will be able to make a come back, and to continue to provide much needed leadership on the fashion and clothing front with respect to sustainability.

Dawn Bazely