Gifts Made of Elephant Dung Sold at Union Square Holiday Market

By Heather Holland on November 19, 2013 6:51am 

UNION SQUARE — Talk about a unique gift.

A Union Square Holiday Market is selling presents made out of recycled elephant dung.

Called Mr. Ellie Pooh, the company sells handmade journals, stationery and photo albums — all made using 50 percent recycled elephant droppings, according to its website.

“It sounds kind of gross, but it’s actually really cool,” said Rachel Van Dolsen, a spokeswoman for UrbanSpace which runs the seasonal Union Square market.

“It’s a great example of using eco-friendly materials and ingredients.

“Their products would make a great gift for children. I think it’s something kids would really find funny and interesting.”

Mr. Ellie Pooh — which sells its products online and in shops across the country, including the city's Museum of Natural History and the Bronx Zoo, sources most of its dung from elephant orphanages, the company's website says.

“Elephants in Sri Lanka are being killed at an alarming rate,” the website says. “We plan to open handmade paper facilities in rural areas, train local villagers to make paper and hire artisans to embellish our goods.

“Our hopes are that such an initiative will self educate the villagers into living, working and respecting the elephants.”

Other new vendors at the Union Square Holiday Market, which opens Nov. 21, include Dap Kitsch, which makes men’s bow ties, and Liddabit Sweets, a small business in Chelsea Market that makes artisanal candies like pumpkin pie and “pbandj” candy bars.

Returning favorites include Brooklyn Brew Shop and Humble Chic. Breezy Hill Orchard serves hot apple cider and jumbo gingerbread cookies every year, said Van Dolsen.

Little Brooklyn, a section of the holiday market dedicated to products made in that borough, will also be returning with 10 vendors at the southwest corner of the market, she added.

“The Union Square Holiday market is a showcase for New York City’s extremely talented and diverse community of artisans, makers and chefs,” said Eldon Scot, president of UrbanSpace, in a written statement.

“We’re thrilled to welcome back many of our vendors from the past markets as well as some new partners and look forward to an exciting holiday season in Union Square.”

The Union Square Holiday Market will run from Nov. 21 through Dec. 24. The market will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. The market is closed on Thanksgiving Day.

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