By Vicki Matranga, Design Programs Coordinator
At the 2013 International Home + Housewares Show, programs in our Innovation Theater and at our Going Green display will present the latest thinking in how our industry is innovating new approaches in sustainable practices. The Going Green display, located in the Hall of Global Innovation in the Lakeside Center Level 3 Lobby, will present exhibitors’ products and packaging. The display also introduces its members and attendees to service providers who can help them make more sustainable decisions in their supply chains and production as well as benchmark best practices. A green retailer and representatives from companies that provide energy and waste management, packaging, materials and other services will be at the Ask an Expert counter to chat with visitors. Information for exhibitors about submitting products for inclusion in the display is available in the Exhibitor Marketing Kit.
As the Show approaches, we’ll acquaint you with sustainability advisers who will be at the display. Meet Richard Cohen, president of Distant Village packaging, one of the Going Green experts.
Distant Village: Unique Sustainable Packaging for Specialty Products
Sustainability is vital to a company’s strategic positions, performance and brand image. A purchaser’s first impression of a company’s products and values comes often in the form of a bag or a box. In the hands of gift’s recipient, packaging imparts messages of care and quality. More than a decade ago in Chicago, Distant Village began to develop new methods in design and production of sustainable packaging and now creates sophisticated custom packaging for retail and industrial clients.
Global Mission: Local Business
Richard Cohen founded Distant Village in Chicago in 2000. With experience in international business, strategy and technology, Cohen had traveled to more than 50 countries and saw opportunities in developing sustainable innovations in packaging. Armed with his new concept of practical sustainability and committed to social and environmental responsibility, he formed exclusive relationships with skilled fair trade artisans and producers, especially in economically isolated regions around the world. They focused on using abundant and renewable plant-based fibers and invasive plant species, such as banana, cacao, wild grasses, mulberry and water hyacinth fibers, as resources. The company now offers customers high-quality packaging that differentiates and builds brands. In 2012, NBC Chicago named him as one of the city’s 14 Eco-preneurs.
As Cohen outlines, Award-winning packaging designs and our clients’ growing success with their branded packaging show that companies can do well by doing good. There is a rapidly growing market for authentic sustainable products. Consumers expect sustainable brands to have an unwavering commitment to sustainability, and packaging is no exception. We’ve demonstrated that sustainable packaging can be impressive while extending the brand experience.
Sustainable companies rely on transparent supply chains and benefit from an authentic sustainable story to share with clients. Distant Village’s Seed-to-Box initiative digs into the roots of the company’s supply chain to choose raw goods producers and growers and to verify the natural and recycled source materials. Small or large volume production capacity is monitored to intelligently reduce carbon footprints along distribution channels.
Design Communicates Brand Identity
Distant Village’s designers work with clients to identify brand attributes and goals. They create elegant, handcrafted packaging for purveyors of specialty food items, such as tea, chocolates and sauces, fashion apparel, soaps, and cosmetics. Distant Village also makes packaging for specialty retailers to represent a unique brand statement, and even created packaging for an industrial janitorial supplies company. Clients include IHA exhibitors and companies in Europe, Australia and South America.
In addition, Distant Village recently introduced a line of office products such as papers, stickers and labels. The PURElabels™ are made in the USA of 100% recyclable, compostable natural wildgrass and the adhesives and paper backing are made from recycled materials.
With offices in London and Lyons, France and Manila, Philippines, Distant Village updates traditional craftsmanship with 21st century design and business practices. If your company is seeking a partner in crafting your authentic brand image and raising your sustainability profile, contact
Get acquainted with new ideas and people at the Going Green display at the upcoming International Home + Housewares Show in the Hall of Global Innovation, Lakeside Center Level 3 Lobby. To help you plan your time at the Show, check www.housewares.org regularly to find updates on Show Events and see the schedule of Green Experts.