Green is the new black, but many eco-friendly fashions on the market now cost almost as much green as they are meant to save. In my efforts to update my spring wardrobe this month, I decided to go online in search of styles that would appeal to the fashionista in me as much as the tree-hugger. The following green sites made the top of my list for their stylishness, their user-friendliness, and their affordability.
The items at VivaTerra (“living earth”) are on the higher end of my price range, but they are some of the most attractive ones I found. Committed to fusing design with sustainability, VivaTerra offers a wide range of handcrafted apparel and furnishings. Their collection of jewelry, clothing, and handbags is the perfect mix of funky and subtle. You’ll be able to find fun items for a lunch date in the city (like the cool Sari Scarf $58) or more muted pieces for the office (Hemp & Silk Slouch Bag $69). The site is very easy to navigate and offers gift registry, gift certificates, and sale items.
Best known for its sporting and hiking gear, Patagonia also carries an extensive line of casual styles for men, women, and kids. And it’s not just for the granola and clogs crowd. Even the most discriminating clotheshorse will find something to please her. Be sure to check out Patagonia’s line of organic cotton tees, which at $29 each are an inexpensive way to advertise your devotion to green living. The site is extremely user-friendly, and includes articles about environmentalism, as well as a link to Patagonia’s weblog about outdoor living, The Cleanest Line™.
Under the Canopy
Under the Canopy offers green clothing, home accents, and beauty products at affordable prices. There is a limited selection, but the pieces they do have are exquisite. I loved their organic jersey Zazen—on sale for $28! This is definitely a site to hit for some signature pieces to accent your spring wardrobe.
Amazon is no longer the e-haunt of bookworms! The site offers great deals on items from electronics, to furnishings and apparel, and even groceries. I surfed the women’s clothing section to see how green it could get, and was pleasantly surprised. A search for “organic” got me 424 hits, including bras, jeans, and shoes. “Bamboo” unearthed 503 hits, and “hemp” 301. All items carry the lowest prices you’ll find anywhere, and Amazon’s membership deals make shopping here even more worthwhile. All in all, I give this site the Good Girl’s seal of approval!
Gap is a member of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders Program. It employs good energy reduction standards in its stores and distribution centers, as well as ensuring that its denim laundering facilities do not discharge harmful dyes into the water system. Gap uses sustainable fabrics, and holds its suppliers to strict environmental guidelines. And of course it is the classic go-to for great styles at reasonable prices. The spring collection is full of vibrant colors, including green!
TreeHugger is more a comprehensive online guide to green living than a place to buy. However, it is probably the biggest directory for green shopping out there, offering countless reviews, articles, and catalogs devoted to eco-friendly living in a consumer culture. The drawback, of course, is that there is so much information, it is very difficult to navigate. TreeHugger is probably not the place to go if you are looking for a particular item, but once you grow accustomed to its user interface, this site will give you some great ideas for spending your green. It’s also a fun place to connect with others who share your concerns about environmental sustainability.
Certainly the destination for bargain shoppers, Target is beginning to offer enviro-conscious products as well. For now, the selection is extremely limited. I could only find the Organic Earth Vintage Tee, made from 100 percent organic cotton ($9.99), in terms of apparel. But there is an expanding line of organic cotton and bamboo sheet sets, so I think we can look to Target in the future as the go-to for cheap green.
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