Public awareness for environmental issues, including global warming, have caused a shift in the marketplace. Consumers are now leaning towards sustainable, green and organic products. They are searching for stores and manufacturers who operate by using environmentally friendly methods and green principles.
Types of Eco-Friendly Stores
There are many different types of retail stores that are considered eco-friendly and sell green products .
Clothing and Apparel
An eco-friendly clothing store sells products that are made from sustainable fabrics such as hemp, bamboo fiber, organic cotton and reclaimed fabrics. There is even a type of "green" silk called peace silk or vegan silk. This fabric is made from silkworm casings gathered only after the moths have emerged, meaning no silkworms are harmed in the creation of the material. Natural and organic dyes are used in eco-friendly clothing and careful attention is paid to the manufacturing process to ensure it follows the green mandate as well. Online eco-friendly clothing stores include:
Eco-friendly furniture is made from sustainable products such as bamboo, abaca and teak wood. It can also be made from recycled or re-claimed materials such as old barn wood, or is made from wood that is harvested in a sustainable manner. Upholstery and padding for these pieces are be made from natural fibers and recycled materials. Natural dyes, water- and soy-based finishes and environmentally friendly oils and waxes are used on "green" furniture. You can browse for eco-friendly furniture at the following stores:
Personal Care and Household Cleaning Products
Environmentally friendly personal care products are made from natural and organic ingredients that are grown or harvested without the use of harsh chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizers. This can include everything from makeup to lotions to shampoos and soaps for personal care. Green household cleaning products can include laundry soap, dish soap, furniture polish and all-purpose kitchen and bathroom cleaners. Using products like these is not only better for the environment, it is also better for your health and well-being. Stores that carry eco-friendly products such as this include:
How to Find Environmentally Friendly Stores
The easiest way to find environmentally friendly stores is by browsing through a database that has a large listing of these types of retailers. You can use these databases to find green retailers online and also find eco-friendly brick-and-mortar stores in your local area. The following sites are good resources for finding green retailers:
What to Expect From a Green Retailer
There are varying levels of environmentally friendly or green practices that retailers use and can vary greatly from one store to the next. Some retailers go all the way when it comes to being green. A good example of this is The Old Wood Furniture Co. In addition to using only green products in their furniture, this retailer has a list of environmental initiatives which includes:
- Recycled and recyclable packing materials
- Companywide recycling and energy efficient efforts
- Use of recycled paper for printed company collateral
- Paperless accounting and bookkeeping systems
- Use of biodiesel in company vehicles
- Use of LED lighting in 95 percent of store
Not all green retailers go to this ecologically friendly extreme. The only way to truly know the shop's true commitment to being environmentally conscious is to ask questions or do your own research into the retailer's business practices.
Green Consumers Stimulate Product Availability
As long as consumers continue to demand products and services that were eco-friendly, then environmentally friendly stores and their products will continue to become more commonplace and accessible on a larger scale to the general public.