Chicago's 9 best ecofriendly shops
It's easy to go green, thanks to these Chicago stores.
(5247 N Clark St, 773-878-8570)
This mall-like destination hosts different types of indie shops, many of which offer ecofriendly products within their merchandising mix. Nearly 90 indie vendors rent out individual booths, collectively striving to promote fair trade and a personalized shopping experience for browsers with an eye for rare, local flair. You’ll find fair trade goods by Greenola, a sustainable company working to sell jewelry, clothes and home products from women from around the world, kitschy CTA-inspired tees, mugs, wallets and magnets from Transit Tees ($3–$30), plus gourmet food, furniture, home accessories and pretty much anything else you could want.
Be By Baby
(1654 W Roscoe St, 773-404-2229)
Just like any other shop for new moms, you’ll find an extensive selection of breast-feeding supplies, cloth diapers and baby slings. But this Lakeview shop stands out from the pack by also offering pre- and post-natal workshops ranging from infant massage to Baby & Me Yoga. Plus, every item in the store is vegan (meaning none of them include any animal products and they are not harmful to animals) and you’ll find a variety of ecofriendly products including organic cotton booties and mittens ($9), Earth Mama baby lotion ($15) and Ergo Baby organic backpack carriers ($50).
(2243 W North Ave, 773-252-4923)
This indie Wicker Park paint shop goes beyond just offering low and no-VOC paints: It also participates in the Chicago Sustainable Business Alliance. And the shop’s signature paint line, Mythic Paint, goes beyond VOC federal standards, by including ingredients such as a germ-fighting component called Microban. One of our favorite touches is the paint bar where you can enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of coffee while your paint is being mixed.
(1330 N Milwaukee Ave, 312-890-3684)
After the closing of Connect, Jonathan Shaun has turned the storefront into a showroom and design studio for his ecofriendly and classy menswear line. The clothing at the Wicker Park retailer is suitable both for bike riding and the office. Focusing on the triple bottom line, people, planet and profit, the sustainability-focused products are made to last and avoid landfills. The store also takes back gently used or damaged clothing for a savings code.
(5111 N Clark St, 773-944-9250)
One-up your eco-maniacal friends with superfun and environmentally aware finds from this bamboo-floored Andersonville children’s boutique. Our faves include the Plan Toy wooden tea set for an ecofriendly tea party ($28), the Zoo Lunchies insulated lunch boxes that make meals fun ($14) and made-to-order, Chicago-based Sweater People dolls($55), made from secondhand materials and taking the likeness of any provided photograph. Don’t miss the too-cute organic footies by Babysoy with and INK + WIT design ($30). To keep the green going, employees wrap gifts in complimentary recycled tissue tied with biodegradable cotton ribbon.
(1911 W Division St, 312-264-1625)
The group behind this Wicker Park store is the Center for Cultural Interchange, a nonprofit that offers environmental volunteer and education programs throughout the world. In addition to stocking the typical gifts and home accessories that are safe for the environment (you know, made from bamboo or other sustainable materials), the shop also sells handmade and fairly traded items by artists from all over the globe. There’s women’s jewelry ($10–$70) from India, Indonesia and Brazil; ceramic mugs, bowls and vases from Vietnam ($16–$50); and packaged food stuffs from Ghana, the Dominican Republic and Colorado ($3–$24).
Green Home Chicago Design Center
(213 N Morgan St, 312-432-9400)
Looking to green your home? This hub has everything you need. Located in Fulton Market, the design center is stocked with a variety of environmentally friendly goods, from eco–light fixtures to locally made furniture and art. The space even includes inspirational roomscapes of living rooms and kitchens. The in-house staff includes LEED-accredited designers, which means services such as color selections and full-on interior-design consulting are also available.
Little Green Baby
(4654 N Rockwell St, 773-505-2066)
If Mother Earth shopped, this ecofriendly baby boutique in Lincoln Square would be one of her favorite stops. The stock includes organic clothing, nontoxic nail polish, wooden toys and lots of other great gear for your baby.
Green Sky Home
(5357 N Ashland Ave, 773-275-1911)
This übergreen Andersonville shop has your ecofriendly needs covered. Everything in the store is fair trade and made from recycled or repurposed items by local artists or nonprofits.