At A Loss: Where Can I Buy “Green” Clothes That Don’t Look Like Yoga Pants?

One area of my life that I have mostly failed at going green is my clothes. I like cute clothes that don’t cost a fortune and I don’t have a lot of time to shop. Mostly my clothes come from places like Target, Macy’s, Old Navy, Kohl’s and the Banana Republic or Gap sale racks.  Yes, my clothes come from purveyors of cheap, mass-produced goods.

I’ve tried some of the very cute eco-fashion boutiques here in Portland but the clothes either look like sweats or cost hundreds of dollars or both, not to mention the fact that those types of boutiques are not located conveniently for me here in Tualatin.  I’ve bought a few fair trade clothing items at a great shop in Manzanita (Oregon Coast) called Unfurl, which typically has a great sale table outside, but I only get there twice a year or so. My friend Karen P gets the cutest things at consignment shops but she’s about a size 2. I’m not so lucky and my endeavours to shop consignment stores have been mostly failures.

I’ve made up this list of criteria for clothing shopping. I’d love for my readers to share some wisdom with me on this subject, as there must be a better way.

  1. My preferred area to shop is a 5-10 mile radius of Tualatin (SW Portland and SW suburbs).  Online options are also great but as it is I get overwhelmed trying to buy eco-friendly clothes online.
  2. The clothing must be cute, not dumpy, and come in a range of sizes.
  3. Prices need to be reasonable. What’s reasonable? Let’s say $75 for dress pants, $40 for fun pants, $40 for blouses and $20 for kick-around tops. Currently I generally spend much less than that but for good-quality clothes I love that are also good for people and the planet, I’d stretch.
  4. Must have a good return policy. Half the time when I shop for clothes I have Grace with me so I don’t even bother trying them on until I get home, then return those that don’t fit later.
  5. Must be an OK place to bring a small, mostly well-behaved child.

Your input is appreciated!



  1. kmcdade said,

    February 10, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Really, the greenest way to shop is to buy used. You probably won’t be getting organic materials, but re-using rather than buying newly made is the greenest way to go.

  2. free karma said,

    February 11, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Reasonable prices for organic good are still fairly hard to find. Although the prices have stayed fairy stable over the last decade I predict that the down economy will pursued manufactures to lower prices to be more competitive. We have a new rock and roll t shirt line that is all organic and our launch is March 15th. These are stylish and reasonably prices fashions.

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