Sustainable and Ethical Shopping in Chicago

Thanksgiving is always known for being a time to gather with friends and family to stuff ourselves with mashed potatoes, turkey, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie.  It’s also a weekend of endless shopping.  From Black Friday to Cyber Monday (and Fair Tuesday if you support fair trade), countless sales online and in stores have people eager to jump into sales and make their holiday purchases.  Getting some of the greatest deals of the season makes anyone eager to fill their cart with cheap deals from mega chain stores, but what if you’re looking for something vintage, eco-friendly, or ethically made?  If you’re heading to Chicago or live in the windy city, is there anything beyond the shopping extravaganza on Magnificent Mile?  Absolutely, and to help you find that unique gift for that someone special, I have an exclusive guide of shops featuring sustainable and ethical products to help you along your way.  Whether you’re a tourist or a local, here are a few great discoveries I’m sharing to make your Thanksgiving weekend shopping a great experience:

Greenheart Shop

Greenheart Shop Interior

Greenheart Shop

Right Corner: Purse from Mercado Global.

Located in Old Town, Greenheart Shop is a division of Greenheart International, a Chicago-based organization that connects people to opportunities that promote environmentalism, fair trade, and volunteer service.  This non-profit shop is a Chicago Fair Trade and Fair Trade Federation Member that features companies and products that are fair trade, eco-friendly, and ethically made and sourced including Faire Collection, Raven + Lily and PACT Clothing.  Local brands also include World Finds and Mata Traders, two fair trade accessories and clothing brands that partner with artisans in India and Nepal and Greenola Style, another Chicago-based fair trade brand who sources products from fair trade organizations in South America.  Other local companies who hire local workers include Bright Endeavors, a company that hires young mothers on Chicago’s west side to make soy candles and provide them with job training programs.  Sweet Beginnings is another Chicago brand who hires formerly incarcerated people to source honey and beeswax from local beehives.  Both Bright Endeavors and Sweet Beginnings work towards assisting their employees with long-term job opportunities and sustainable work within Chicago.  Are fair trade products your calling?  Then don’t forget to pay Greenheart Shop a visit for all of your holiday presents.

Hours and Location

Greenheart Shop: 1714 North Wells Street, Chicago, Open Monday-Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 10am-5pm.

The Green Goddess Boutique

The Green Goddess Boutique Interior

The Green Goddess Boutique

Upper Right Hand Corner: Bracelets from Alex and Ani. Lower Right Hand Corner: Bracelets from The Giving Keys.

A visit to the fashion forward The Green Goddess Boutique’s Armitage location will give you plenty of opportunity to discover beautiful upcycled gifts.  20-40% of this shop’s products are upcycled, recycled, Made in the USA, or give to charitable organizations.  A few clothing brands include Free People, Beyond Yoga, and Missoni in addition to local jewelry brands Ella E., whose necklaces are handmade with eco-friendly processes, and Nakamol Chicago, a company that hires over 300 local artisans.  In terms of eco-friendly brands, The Green Goddess Boutique also features The Giving Keys, a jewelry company that repurposes keys in their jewelry, and Love Heals, a company that mines eco-friendly metals and plants 10 trees for every purchase.  Also available is Alex and Ani, all products are made in the USA with eco-conscious materials and designs and symbols that represent harmony and empowerment.  If upcycled and Made in the USA is a priority for your holiday shopping, The Green Goddess Boutique has just what you’re searching for.

Hours and Location

The Green Goddess Boutique (Armitage Location): 1009 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, Open Monday-Saturday 11am-7pm, Sunday 11am-6pm, Also an additional location in Hinsdale, Illinois at 52 S. Washington St.

Ten Thousand Villages (West Armitage)

Ten Thousand Villages Armitage Interior

Ten Thousand Villages Armitage

While there are lots of other Ten Thousand Villages’ locations in the suburbs of Chicago, if you are depending on public transportation, the recent Armitage location is your best bet for a fair trade purchase.  Originally founded in 1946 by Edna Ruth, Ten Thousand Villages became a non-profit organization in 1968 and has longstanding relationships with more than 100 artisan groups worldwide.  In addition to carrying jewelry, accessories, and home décor of the Ten Thousand Villages’ brand, the Armitage location also features Level Ground Coffee, Divine Chocolate, Eco Exchange, and Women’s Bean Project for the holidays.  Since these products are handmade and have natural materials, some can have slight variations that will give you a one of a kind purchase.  If you need a gift for the expert cook, the cultural fashionista, or someone looking for a new holiday décor, Ten Thousand Villages has just what you need.

Hours and Locations

Ten Thousand Villages West Armitage: 840 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, Open Monday-Saturday 11am-8pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm.

Andersonville Galleria

Andersonville Galleria Booths

Left: Dog t-shirt from Sophisticated Pup. Top Right Hand Corner: Purses from Pop Top Boutique. Lower Right Hand Corner: Earrings from Greenola Style.

Andersonville Galleria Booths 2

Left: Necklace from B-Rustik. Upper Right Hand Corner: Purse from Susu Accessories. Lower Right Hand Corner: Dog sweater from Love Mary Alice.

Located in the Swedish neighborhood, Andersonville, the Andersonville Galleria is described as a local year-round indoor art fair.  Within this 4-story shop are booths rented by local artists and artisans, small business and fair trade companies.  The Andersonville Galleria provides opportunities for local and small businesses to network and build their audience.  Within this shop, you’ll find original clothing made by local artists Julie Kramer of Shift who combined efforts with Tania Rodamilans to create Common Thread.  You’ll also find colorful hats, scarves, hot pads, and clothing handmade by Stacy Rauba and Yutaka Fujita who have also designed and sewn for the film and theatre industry.  One of my favorite booths was from Cube Monkey Designs whose baby onesies are covered with fun and humorous prints.  If you’re looking for fair trade, the Andersonville Galleria also has Mata Traders and Greenola Style, as well as handmade clothing and jewelry from Indigenous Artworks and purses and bags handwoven in Columbia from Susu Accessories.  Purses made from recycled tires and soda pop tabs at Pop Top Boutique’s booth and accessories like ties, bow ties, and necklaces from B Rustik are edgy and artistic statement pieces that will be sure to catch anyone’s attention.  And, if you need a gift for one of your furry friends, don’t forget to visit Love Mary Alice’s knitted dog clothing and Sophisticated Pups’ bowties, leashes, t-shirts, and accessories to dress up your pet for the holidays!  The abundance and variety of local businesses at Andersonville Galleria are certain to be a great option for finding gifts for everyone on your list.

Hours and Location

Andersonville Galleria: 5247 North Clark Street, Chicago, Open Monday-Thursday 11am-7pm, Friday 11am-8pm, Saturday 11am-7pm, and Sunday 11am-6pm.

Green Sky

Green Sky Interior

Green Sky

Upper Right Hand Corner: iPad holders from Baabaazuzu. Lower Right Hand Corner: Cherry sweets from Cherry Republic.

Also in Andersonville is Green Sky, a gift and art boutique featuring products that are eco-friendly, made by local artisans in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois, and re-purposed or recycled materials.  Voted Best Eco-Friendly Shop by TimeOut Chicago, this is the perfect place for the person in your life who loves locally made and upcycled gifts.  A few unique products include picture frames from Jimbo Designs that are upcycled from double-hung windows donated by Habitat for Humanity projects and upcycled cotton blankets from Green 3 Apparel.  A couple of my favorites include Michigan-based company Baabaazuzu’s hats, gloves, and accessories made from reclaimed sweaters and suitcoats from Goodwill and cherry salsa and hot sauce locally made in Michigan from Food for Thought and Cherry Republic.  And, if you’re looking specifically for locally made Chicago products, check out Anastasia Mak’s paintings of Chicago, Gabriel John’s eco-friendly soy candles, and Malibu Tote’s reusable washable bags made from recycled water bottles.  Finding this gift shop that features eco-friendly and recycled products for everything from gardening to cooking to décor is a refreshing and inviting atmosphere with a variety of gifts.

Hours and Location

Green Sky: 5357 N. Ashland Ave, Chicago, Open Wednesday 12pm-6pm, Thursday-Saturday 11am-7pm, and Sunday 12pm-5pm.


Dovetail Interior

Dovetail Vintage Items

Left: Top from Argaman & Defiance. Upper Right Hand Corner: Vintage tea set. Lower Right Hand Corner: Earrings from Luxurious Sloth.

If you’re looking for great vintage finds, don’t miss out on shopping at Dovetail, a small boutique in west Chicago that features handmade products and vintage clothing, jewelry, and home décor.  I loved all of the beautiful vintage glassware and tea sets throughout the shop as well as some incredible vintage hats and metal copper waistbands.  You’ll also find a few sustainable options including silk scarves that have been naturally dyed with roots, tree bark, and leaves from Argaman & Defiance, incense made from pine needles, leaves, and other natural elements from Juniper Ridge and accessories made of reclaimed and vintage materials from Dovetail’s in house brand Luxurious Sloth.  Some other brands and designers you’ll find also include Silk Shaman, Soap and Paper, and Dorus Mhor.  The shop also hosts a monthly party for sales events and opportunities, so if you love vintage, don’t miss out on this shop!

Hours and Location

Dovetail: 1452 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, Tuesday-Friday 12pm-7pm, Saturday 11am-6pm, and Sunday 11am-7pm.

Also opening Black Friday weekend is the Chicago Fair Trade Pop-Up Shop located at 2031 N. Damen Ave., Chicago.  For more details, be sure to visit Chicago Fair Trade’s Website and Facebook page.

Shops I Missed:

Local Goods Chicago: This shop features gifts and products from over 100 local artisans in Chicago.  It’s located at 5354 W. Devon Ave. and is open Tuesday-Wednesday and Friday 10am-6pm, Thursday 10am-8pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday 12pm-4pm.

Wolfbait & B-girls: A store that showcases products from over 170 local artisans and Chicago-based fair trade companies.  It’s located at 3131 W. Logan Blvd. and is open Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm and Sunday 10am-4pm.

Whether you’re a Chicago resident or a visitor, don’t feel stuck thinking there are only shopping options along Michigan Avenue.  Throughout the city there are wonderful options for local, fair trade, and artisanal products.  I’m delighted to find that Chicago is a huge supporter of sustainable and ethical companies and these are few great stores to help you discover fantastic shopping options for the holidays!

What other sustainable and ethical shops have you found in Chicago?  If you know of more, please provide them in the comments!

Special Thanks To: Anni Metz , Allison Geitner and Larissa Stenzel of Greenheart Shop, Elyce and Auriel of The Green Goddess Boutique, Jill Johnson of Ten Thousand Villages, Denise of Andersonville Galleria, Nadeen Kieren of Green Sky, and Julie Ghatan and Kelly Cane of Dovetail.

This post is a part of Let It Shine hosted by Still Being MollyStyle Sessions hosted by Style ElixirWho’s Wearing What Wednesdays hosted by Pastries, Pumps, and PiFriday Favorites hosted by Lizzie in Lace, Flog Yo Blog Friday hosted by With Some GraceStyle Me Wednesday hosted by Shopping My ClosetWhat I Wore to Work Weekly Link-up hosted by Mix & Match Fashion and Fresh Fashion Forum hosted by Sydney Fashion Hunter.

Who's Wearing What Wednesdays

Friday Favorites Lizzie in Lace

With Some Grace
Style Me Wednesday
Mix & Match Fashion
Fresh Fashion Forum



  1. Ashley

    I love the idea of visiting stores that have some upcycled and recycled options. It’s almost like you get a little piece of history with your item.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I never thought of it that way, but that is a great point! Getting to take a little piece of history is a wonderful way of looking at upcycled and recycled products.

  2. dousedinpink

    I love buying gifts from unique shops and this is a great list! We used to have a Ten Thousand Villages in our neighborhood a few years ago and I always found the best things in there! Thanks for sharing!

    Doused In Pink

  3. luxessed

    If I was in the Chicago area, I would definitely stop by these cute shops!


    • brooklyntvlasich

      I hope you get the chance to visit Chicago someday and shop in all of these stores!

  4. Annessa

    These suggestions are great! I saw a few things in the photos I absolutley loved too!


    • brooklyntvlasich

      I had a really hard time not trying to purchase so many things in every store! Each one had it’s own unique taste and style I fell in love with.

  5. ~ carmen ~

    When it comes to clothes & life in general it’s always good to live purposefully. I do like that upcycled idea; it gives the items a new life. :]

    // ▲ ▲

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I agree Carmen! Re-purposing and upcycling is something I see even more valuable than organic fabrics and materials. Re-using what we have is the best way to live a more sustainable life and make more sustainable purchases!

  6. bitemyfashion

    Great post! It’s so important to pay attention to the power of purchases!

    xx Falasha
    Bite My Fashion ll Instagram ll Bloglovin’

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Exactly. You’ve got it. Where your money goes can make a huge difference!

  7. Miss Malaprop

    Love that license plate USA wall art!

    We’ve been contemplating going up to Chicago soonish for a trip – I’ll have to try to check some of these out if we do!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I hope you get the chance to visit a couple of these shops and see Chicago!

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