Wednesday 11 September 2013

eco shopping : san diego style

Well, last week's election didn't go exactly as I'd hoped for the climate, but no time to dwell. Onward and upward to more sustainable living activities, like scoping out the eco-shopping scene in San Diego.

I've been hanging out in sunny San Diego for the past month and exploring the eco-shopping options available. I had the most fun in South Park. Within a three block radius around Fern and 30th Streets there is a lot of mindful shopping to be had - and plenty of cafes to refuel if necessary.

Clarity Soap & Candles
After finding a rock-star car space (because, sadly, I've been driving a lot due to insufficient modes of public transportation outside the CBD, thank goodness it's a Prius) I spotted some gorgeous reworked vintage furniture pieces in front of a store and was drawn like a moth to a flame. . .

Turns out it was a candle shop, and the owner also refurbishes furniture pieces. A great place to find a special gift or a treat for yourself. The candles all have at least 50% recycled wax, with customers invited to return their wax to the store for a discount on future purchases, and only lead-free wicks are used. The store also sells handmade natural soaps.

Clarity Soap & Candles
3022 Juniper Street

Mythology Eco Boutique
Touted as the only eco-boutique in San Diego, I was excited to see what was on offer inside Mythology. The owner Richard Fredrick studied fashion design at FIT in New York, and after a time designing for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Fredrick returned to California and opened Mythology. The boutique offers a variety of eco-clothing and accessories for men, women and children - I saw a few tees I particularly liked by Arbor and Horny Toad made of organic cotton and Tencel. Much of the apparel was on the casual-side (this is SoCal, after all), but Fredrick can also be commissioned to create individual pieces.

In addition to the clothing, the shop has its own line of vegan belts and a fabulous collection of vintage belt buckles, as well as loads of lovely jewellery hanging from tree branches. The sustainability sourcing credentials are high, and more than anything, it was so lovely to chat with a shopowner who really understands sustainable fashion.

2365 30th Street

Make Good
Around the corner is Make Good, a great little shop featuring locally sourced pieces from San Diego and Tijuana as well as pre-loved items. I scored a pretty little secondhand ruffled tank, my hubby got a clever iPhone cord holder, and it was all I could do not to start a collection of the beautiful bracelets made by various local artists. The shop, which started as a collective of 8 local artists, carries pieces from over 100 artists. Make sure you have time to peruse each item carefully, there was much to discover!

Make Good
2207 Fern Street

Graffiti Beach
Walking into Graffiti Beach you just know you're going to find something really amazing. This shop was created as a space for emerging artists and designers to sell their wares, and lucky for all of us the emerging designers of today know the importance of sustainability.

Not all of the pieces were sustainable fashion, but there was jewellery made of used skate decks, bamboo sunglasses by Yellow 108, WeWood watches, sunnies by Solo, a label using a one-to-one system of providing sight-restoring surgery for each pair of sunglasses purchased, and maxi sundresses by one of my new faves, Threads 4 Thought. Not to mention oodles of gorgeous locally-made jewellery and artwork.

Graffiti Beach
2220 Fern Street

In the same building as Graffiti Beach there is also Home Ec. Studio where grown-ups and children can learn to sew - love!


San Fran better be careful, its status as US Eco-Queen is under threat by its sunnier neighbour to the south. Next time you're in San Diego, it's well worth the effort of pulling yourself away from the gorgeous beaches, donning your most hipster outfit, and enjoying an afternoon strolling through sustainable South Park. Once you've tired yourself out, stop in the Stone Company Store for a refreshing (local!) Stone Brewing beer.

Next stop - LA!


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