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Published January 29, 2008 12:12 PM

Giving: It's The New Getting at Sundance

Appropriately dubbed "Hollywood's Winter Spring Break," thousands of Angelenos et. al., head to Park City, Utah year after year to don their designer snow gear, watch a few films, and party righteously. This chilly celebresnownfilmfest is known as Sundance. It's not exactly the place that most people traditionally think of as a haven of environmental awareness...until now.

Sundance Film Festival was willingly infiltrated by treehuggers this year, as Re:volve and Betterworld Books presented The Giving Suite. This is not the title of a fledling film, but rather an exclusive boutique of eco-friendly goods where companies that would potentially have given away mountains (no pun intended) of schwag to Sundance-going celebrities, chose instead to sell it. 100% of the profits went to one of seven charities. 100%? Yes, the slogan borrowed from eConsciousMarket.com said it all: "Giving. It's the new getting." eConscious Market selected the companies involved as well as providing an e-commerce site where all The Giving Suite products could be sold year-round. The 10-day event featured mostly sustainably-made goods like yummy recycled cashmere sweaters from Avita, snowboarding gear by Green Guru, fabulous handbags by Helen E. Riegle, and equipment by Fair Trade Sports. Greenloop caught up with Pippa Sorley, Co-Founder of eConscious Market, to discuss in what ways she thought The Giving Suite was an environmental success. Here's what Pippa had to say...

"The event is close to zero-waste. We are working with a 'green' events production agency called Spitfire. All event operations offsets will be calculated (we will need to wait until all shipments have been returned) approx 2 weeks after closing day. Our carbon footprint will be offset through Native Energy.

My favorite part of this story is that we use only compostable cups and napkins; our high-end clothes are hung on corn-based plastic hangers; we have a recycling center in the space and based on an average of 300 people coming through the suite each day, we are emptying our "Landfill" labeled bin only once per day, versus 5-6 times a day for our recycled and compost bins.

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The biggest success to us, on a personal level, is the amount of money we have raised for our 7 featured Non-Profits. We estimate that by the end of tomorrow we will have raised between $15-$25K on their behalf. We of course will keep you posted when we determine the final numbers!"

That's all very exciting. eConsciousMarket.com stated that they "carefully selected brands that have proven their commitment to ecological and social responsibility...These manufacturers stand out in the field of environmental and social integrity." Though there were a few brands that could have used some help communicating their environmental practices, most companies involved in The Giving Suite did indeed stand out as being stellar examples of sustainable manufacturing and best practices.

For a more personal look at The Giving Suite, check out this interview with Joe Thomlinson, Co-Founder of Re:volve, on Elevision.

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