Attending the abundance of celebrity gifting suites before Hollywood awards events is always interesting, even beyond the usual swag. In the days leading up to this year’s 64th Primetime Emmys, I saw more eco-conscious gifts and more items supportive of charities.
For example, at the HBO gifting suite, Showtime’s Nurse Jackie star Edie Falco came up to the Michael Antonio footwear table, and looked at the snake-print pumps. “While she loved the shoes, she told us that she does not wear animal skins,” says Tracie May-Wagner, Michael Antonio’s spokeswoman. “We were delighted to tell her that our shoes were made from vegan ‘leather.’ She immediately tried them on, loved them and left with a pair!” Michael Antonio also supports several charitable organizations.
Benefiting GlobalGiving, Jayneoni Moore’s Boom Boom Room featured a kids play area with games, arts and crafts, entertainment and snacks. “My little girl is having so much fun here,” says Constance Marie of ABC Family’s Switched at Birth. “I’m interested in looking at the Namaste Kid clothing for her. Her dad is a yoga sports coach and I am always looking for great eco-friendly items for us.” Namaste Kid uses minimal packaging, its paper products are recycled, and even its web server use is offset by wind power.
At the Secret Room SPCA Red Carpet Luxury Lounge, attendees brought their pooches to the dog-friendly event. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) was onsite, accepting donations and having celebrities sign dog bowls to auction off, with all proceeds going to the nonprofit. Secret Room Events owners Amy Boatwright and Rita Branch also donated partial proceeds from sponsorships to the spcaLA and a gift bag for future auction. SPCA and eBay also had an online auction where the winner would be gifted like a star, with all proceeds going to the spcaLA.
The Good, Green & Glam gifting suite, sponsored by Coco Eco, brought attention to Fran Drescher’s nonprofit, Cancer Schmancer, and the national launch of her Trash Cancer campaign, a prevention program designed to teach people how to live a toxin-free life. “All of the companies that are featured here are concerned about the planet, concerned about our health and well-being, concerned about living a cleaner, more toxin-free, healthier, sustainable life, and I am very proud of my involvement,” says Drescher.
Vegan clothing designer Dalia MacPhee was one of the vendors at the event. “Teaming up with Fran’s Trash Cancer Event was a great experience,” MacPhee says. “I love what Fran is doing, she’s getting the word out to women, and arming them with information for prevention, which I think is key. She’s a survivor and is someone that I look up to. It was great to see so many celebrities and key players in Hollywood show up to support the event, and really goes to show how many people sincerely want to help and make a difference.”
Alan Eschenburg, president of Belegenza, gifted various products from his eco-friendly hair products line. “We are proud to be associated with the Blue Thong Society (BTS), a unique women’s organization that connects, inspires and mobilizes women to make a difference in their communities and around the globe,” he says. BTS chapters throughout the country adopt a local charity and support the cause as a group, organizing outings and get-togethers to support the initiative.
Many companies at the GBK suite had a presence in giving back. The Mason Jar Cookie Company uses jars that are hand-packed by disabled veterans. “We pay 100 percent of their health benefits,” says spokeswoman Kaitlin Walsh. “It’s nice to be a part of something bigger than just cookies — not that our cookies aren’t enough!”
At the Artisan Group table, celebrities received a Rosy Toes hand-knit recycled silk jellybean wristlet. “I love the fact that each one is a little different, and that the materials used would otherwise be discarded,” said Rosy Toes designer Lucy Chapman. “I also love the fact that the production of the yarn itself helps provide women with a fair wage and a way to support their families in rural Nepal and India. It is definitely a product I feel good using.”
Sabra, which packages all of its products in recyclable containers (the factory in Virginia is one of the only LEED-certified food plants in the world), gave celebs some hummus for the ride home. “I always get you guys at Costco!” noted Glee’s Dot-Marie Jones. Added Brenda Strong of Dallas: “Hummus is a great snack that’s so healthy to eat!”
For every pair of Foster Grant sunglasses gifted to a celebrity, one pair was donated to L.A.’s Dream Center, which serves more than 40,000 people each month with residential rehabilitation programs for teens and adults, mobile hunger relief, medical programs and more. Celebrities from Dancing With the Stars, Homeland, The Office and more stopped by to pick up a pair.
For more eco-friendly and charitable gift ideas, check out “Gifts That VIV” in the new issue! Do you look for gifts that have charity or green aspects?
Photo credit: Courtesy Coco Eco