Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review - Uncommon Goods

Are you prepared for holiday gift giving? While I don't like to hurry the season, the fact is that Christmas is less than two months away. Finding earth-friendly products which are made locally (or at the very least in the same country), and are sold by a responsible company, takes time and effort. Luckily, Uncommon Goods make it a bit easier for us by offering a wide range of unique gifts.

Before I tell you about the product I tested, let me tell you a bit about the company. Most of the products they carry are made in the United States. Approximately one third are made using recycled and/or upcycled materials. About half of their products are handmade.

It is, however, their commitment to the earth and their dedication to humanity which I find most impressive.

As with any corporation, they are interested in profit. But unlike other corporations, Uncommon Goods also consider society and the environment in their decision making process. For example, employees are paid a living wage and all full-time workers are offered health insurance (most part-time workers receive it as well). Each business practice is tempered by the goal to create harmony with the environment. They do nothing which causes harm to either people or animals and refuse, therefore, to sell products containing leather, feathers or fur. In addition to meeting the comprehensive requirements of a B Corporation, they have created "Better to Give", a program which donates $1 from every sale to the purchaser's non-profit of choice.

A company's ethics are definitely important but so are their products. As I browsed the Uncommon Goods website, I found interesting gifts ... items which I've never seen anywhere else. For example, from their recycled products, I was sent a set of Man Coasters:

Man Coasters from Uncommon Goods

These sturdy coasters are made from salvaged granite slab counter-tops and recycled rubber. Each one is distinct in pattern and color. Handmade by artists Arra David and Anne Johnson in New Hampshire, the coasters are guaranteed for life.

How do they perform? BRILLIANTLY! I keep a glass of water or iced tea next to my computer as I work throughout the day. Typical coasters stick to the bottom of the glass or fail to deal with condensation (don't you hate it when you lift a glass and it's drips on everything). Man Coasters, measuring 4" squared x 1.25" thick, are designed not to stick to the glass and they magically wick away condensation. They truly are the best coasters I've ever used.

How do they look? When I saw them on the website, I was worried that they would be a little too "manly". But I have to say that I love how they look on my coffee table. The granite is beautiful and the rubber case enhances the intricacies of the stone. The coaster size is also a benefit ... no one will misunderstand its use or have to look very hard to find one.

I recommend Uncommon Goods. You'll find bed and bath products, jewelry and accessories, and gifts for the person who has everything ... like this unusual item. You'll also shop with the knowledge that you are supporting an ethical company, one which respects the earth and all who call it home.

So, relax ... Christmas may be less than two months away but this company has you covered.

I received a set of Man Coasters in order to write this review. I received no other compensation. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and reflect my honest opinion of the material reviewed.