At Riverside Designs, we believe in design that makes a difference, which is why we are dedicated to innovation, supportive of our community and sensitive to the environment. Founded in 1996, our company grew out of an idea to revitalize manufacturing in western Pennsylvania by introducing design-forward glass tableware suitable for homes and museums. Our efforts include operating out of an energy-efficient LEED-certified building; using recyclable and sustainable materials, including glass with recycled content; and using lightweight recycled shipping materials to keep our carbon footprint low. Here is a shot of our gorgeous Elements line, made entirely out of recycled building window glass.

In addition, we are very proud of our shipping materials. Not only do they look beautiful, but they are also very kind to the environment, relying on recycled corrugated cardboard, recycled/reusable Giami and reusable rubber bands.

But, perhaps the effort that makes us proudest is our Plates With Purpose™ line. As a part of our commitment to community service and support, we developed Plates With Purpose™ to raise funds to support nonprofits that give back to our communities. We partner with select national and local organizations such as the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and the Alzheimer’s Association to create a plate that symbolizes their message of hope. Fifteen percent of the money Riverside Design Group makes from the sale of the plates goes to the partner organization. Since 2005, we have given more than $124,000 to our partners. Our latest plate, a Crocus Plate from the Plates with Purpose™ new Perennial Hope™ line, supports FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), an organization that provides support and encouragement to individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. It was inspired by a friend of Riverside Designs who was given a breast cancer diagnosis just days before her 40th birthday. Rather than throw a party she might not be able to enjoy, her family and friends planted a perennial garden in her Chicago back yard to give her hope through her treatment.

Today, the garden is five years old and our friend, healthy and strong, is thrilled her story can be an inspiration to others. The Plates With Purpose™ line is 11 plates strong now. You can see the full range of designs and causes at All the plates are made with recycled content in western Pennsylvania and make wonderful gifts. Those of you interested in shopping our other lines can find our retail partners at Happy recycling! Cassandra Ott is the Creative Director at Riverside Designs.