The best eco-friendly boutiques online.
Eco-boutiques are popping up all over the web thanks to visionary retailers willing to take risks. While the debate over green consumption asks tough questions (is marketing lots of green stuff the answer to our consumerism woes?), it is clear that when it comes to eco fashion, the mantra is quality over quantity.
While some sites carry tried and true lines we’ve been following for years, others are peddling cutting edge sustainable fashion – making conscious consumption more provocative than ever.
Here’s an updated list of what we consider the top online eco boutiques going.
Start your shopping engines…
Annie Novotny, the designer behind Frei, opened Workshop in 2009 in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. Her boutique’s 100 year old building houses her own line as well as lines like Brooklyn’s Loup Charmant, Shades of Gray vintage jewelry, D.S. & Durga perfume and a great selection of vintage leather handbags and belts for accessorizing.
Novotny’s shop also serves as a gallery and an actual workshop space for sewing classes.
In Roman mythology, Juno and Jove ruled as the divine queen and king of all gods, online they rule as a fantastic source for shopping over 70 designers. This online boutique (and store based in Sarasota, Florida), is massive but never overwhelming. Owner and buyer Olivia Bono has done well balancing high fashion with wardrobe staples including clothing, shoes, body care, home and even a nice section for men.
Whenever I want something totally different and inspiring, I click on over to Beklina. Not only is owner/buyer Lina Rennell one of the best online site curators, she designs an eponymous (eye candy) line featured on her site. Here is where you find architecturally and artistically pleasing clothes infused with all the glamor and femininity a site can offer. An additional bonus is Rennell selling fabric yardage from her own line and sustainable sweetheart, Caitlin Mociun’s of you guessed it, Mociun.
Joslin Van Arsdale’s Eco Citizen is a San Francisco staple for lines including The Podolls, Stewart+Brown, Feral Childe and more. Van Arsdale caters to women more than men but still has some fun organic pieces for your significant other you can quickly purchase before checking out with a cart full of your own new duds. We love the Jade Tribe and Collina Strada bags.
Everything at Olivine is special, (their tag line of “Atelier” says it all). With plenty of beautiful clothing, trendy beauty products and the healthiest dose of Swedish Hasbeens and Prairie Underground around, Olivine is a source of sustainable inspiration. Did I mention there’s cute baby gear too?
Three core passions inspired founder, Shana Yansen to start Jute and Jackfruit and now tie into the company’s core mission: to be smart, sustainable and chic. She accomplishes all three in her Boston based online shop filled with flattering Kelly Lane dresses, Turk+Taylor tops and Indigenous’ Fair Trade clothing.
Super girl Kate McGregor of Kaight is always on trend with her role as buyer and owner of New York City’s premier brick and mortar shops as well as having a major online presence via her blog and Facebook. McGregor can often be found working with leading sustainable designers, housing shops within her shop (Melissa shoes and a vintage section), as well as hosting fun store events. Kaight is the complete package.
In 2008, a conference speaker told Future:Standard owner/buyer Jessica Althoff “You do not have to choose between your passions. If you want to combine them, you should.” Two years later Future:Standard was born from Althoff’s desire to support the environment, promote fair labor practices, and spend her days looking at (and wearing), beautiful clothes. We love all her indie lines that aren’t so frequently seen in other online boutiques.
Cow Jones Industrials’ owner Donna Oakes runs her vegan boutique from upstate New York as well as online with an eye for the pretty and playful: Think Popomomo tunics and dresses, Feral Childe frocks and a wide array of vegan shoes and hand bags by top designers. Vegan paradise fulfilled.
Label Gazer gives you a snapshot of socially responsible, ethical and eco-friendly fashion, then links you to where you can immediately buy it. Thieves, Elroy, The Uniform Project, Studio Jux and more, all presented so stylishly and clean with additional links to sales, sites and a designer database.
In early 2008, Mission Savvy founder Jennifer Miller picked up her journal and began writing, documenting careless acts of
animal neglect. From this introspection, Miller realized a way she could fuse both her love of clothing and animals was to open a vegan boutique (online and brick and mortar in Charleston, West Virginia). Not so strange a jump seeing as each collection of clothing is based on themed animal rights or “Missions.” Her clothing, footwear and accessories highlight not only a raised consciousness in fashion but of our furry friends.
Kate Morison and Andrea Barrett, founders of Arboretum hail from Sonoma’s wine country where the living is easy and the clothing, organic perfume and shoes coming out of this brick and mortar (as well as online eco-boutique), is refreshing. We love that they offer staple capsule collections for both men and women and only wish we lived in the same town to shop and see more!
Enjoy the pretty sounds of chirping birds as you shop. Not kidding.
Did you know that Tobi had a whole Eco Tobi section? A great selection of Matt and Nat handbags, wallets and clutches, tons of Melissa shoes, Prairie Underground and Alternative Apparel, make Tobi a perfect destination spot for those stylish staple pieces that never grow old.
Another great online boutique, Embodies also has a shop based in Larkspur, California. Owner Kenlynn Wilson bases her criteria on a few things: What fabrics are used in the clothing, where the items are manufactured (and under what conditions), what types of dyes are used in the clothing as well as the packaging the clothes are being shipped in. Curating with a careful eye, Wilson’s due diligence yields a great stable of fashion-forward eco-designers. Look for Alabama Chanin, Calleen Cordero cuff bracelets and select Linda Loudermilk.
In 2007, inspired by the fashionable direction green and ethical designers were taking, A Green Wardrobe decided to launch promoting all the organic, sustainable, or recycled and repurposed material clothing they could find from top designers. Look for Juleselin, Kris Nations jewelry, Numanu and Les Fees de Bengale.
UPDATEd 4.27.11: This post has been updated with more amazing boutiques since the original publish date.
BTC Elements combines smart style with sustainability, hand-selecting each item in their boutique’s collection of clothing, gifts, and accessories with an eye to the environment and social justice. The result: fresh, inspiring designs that are both earth friendly and ethically sourced.
Look for lines including Raw Earth & Wild Sky, Kelly B and Feral Childe.
Kathleen Rowan and Deana Bracken, run Green With Glamour from both Los Angeles and Chicago, building and curating the Green with Glamour® collection. Founded in 2007, the duo has always operated sustainably whether it’s buying for the shop or running the site on a certified carbon neutral webhost. GwG reaches eco-chic shoppers worldwide and continues to promote the concept of living with style while passionately caring for our beautiful planet.
We love that they carry Dallas based Koch, as well as a lot of L.A. based Popomomo and EcoSkin.
Equita, (Italian for fairness), is a design-conscious shop showcasing the finest in green, sweatshop-free and Fair Trade essentials for the body and home. Each item is hand-selected and thoughtfully edited to ensure a mix that is design-conscious, functional, eco-friendly, and socially conscious. In addition to ethical fashion and footwear, Equita carries green home decor, sustainable furniture, fair trade handbags and jewelry, organic and fair trade body care, ethical baby clothing, fair trade sport and wellness gear, and specialty gourmet treats.
Is that it?
Top image: Annie Novotny of Workshop, from Chicago Magazine