There are a million ways to go green in your home – solar panels, geothermal energy systems, zero-VOC paint – but the city’s also bursting with opportunities to be kind to the environment every time you step out the door on a mission to engage in a little retail therapy. From fashion to furniture, here are nine of the best spots in Toronto to get a side of good karma with every purchase.
Logan & Finley
Logan & Finley describe themselves as “an eco-conscious general store.” That is, if your old time neighbourhood general store featured thoughtfully chosen, beautifully designed, and ethically sourced clothing for men and women. But that’s not all they stock – skin care, home accessories, specialty gifts and cards – you’ll find everything you need, local, natural, built to last.
Peggy Sue Collection
With a last name like Deaven-Smiltnieks, you can be sure that the designer behind the Peggy Sue Collection has an eye for detail and it’s that carefully trained eye she uses to ensure a totally sustainable production line from start to finish. Every textile is sourced from a North American farm, spun in a North American mill, and woven, knit, or felted by a North American artisan. This is truly a designer using fashion as a force for good.
Have a favourite pair of jeans you can’t bear to toss, despite the hole where you tugged a little too hard on that belt loop after a Thanksgiving binge? Doctor Denim is here to save the day. The denim experts will repair your favourite blues with their trademark darning technique, saving you from having to purchase a new pair.
What do men want in a piece of clothing? Comfort, ease, and something that’s built to endure. Miik Men delivers all that with its locally produced, ethically sourced, luxe pieces in fabrics like modal, tencel and bamboo, designed with careful emphasis on structure and fit. The company is doing its part to minimize the impact of the clothing industry on the environment. Shop with them and you’ll be doing the same.
Saje Natural Wellness
With its bright-lights and beautiful packaging, Saje Natural Wellness may seem a little too “together” for anyone still under the mistaken impression that green = granola, but this B.C.-based purveyor of all-natural beauty, body, and wellness products is undoubtedly a friend to the earth. With locations at Vaughan Mills, Square One, Yonge and Eglinton, and a flagship store on Queen Street West, you don’t have to go very far to go green.
For kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and everything in between, EcoExistence is a great source for sustainable lifestyle products. Outfit your kitchen with Bambu kitchenwear, score sweet dreams on a buckwheat pillow, or find inspiration for the perfect gift.
Who wants another Billy bookcase from Ikea (the same one you see at all your friend’s places and in every startup office since the dawn of time)? Instead, remember two of the essential R’s – reduce and reuse – and go vintage at Goodfolk. Find beautiful reclaimed pieces from around the world that deliver an eclectic industrial aesthetic worthy of a Condo Guide spread.
FOR D.I.Y. PROJECTS
Toronto Tool Library
Remember the days of the tool shed? When the garage was packed so high with every tool known to man that the car had to stay outside? Today, even in the most well-designed spaces, chances are you don’t have room (nor need) for a full-time belt sander or 8” drill press. Enter the Toronto Tool Library where you can borrow an assortment of tools and gadgets, saving you space and money on all your home DIYs. They also loan out things like folding tables and tents, so the next time you’re planning a camping trip, check in before you go.
The Make Den Sewing Studio
What the Tool Library is for hardware, The Make Den is for stitching. And sewing machines. And embroidery. And basically anything to do with a needle and thread. Learn to reuse and repair your favourite clothes. Or make new pieces from scratch. There are classes on Basic Mending & Alterations (you’ll never need a tailor again!), plus duffel bags, lingerie, dresses, even roman blinds – the whole kit and caboodle. Stop paying for fast fashion and invest some time and energy is a skill that will last a lifetime.