Make us your home page

Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

Shopping that's cute, trendy ... and eco-friendly?!?



Whynotdress Here's a request we received recently from LeShayne, a Deal Divas reader from North Pinellas:

My family has committed to making 2010 a "Green" year for us - making positive changes for our environment. This is easy to do in some regards - recycling more, eating more fresh/organic/local food ... but when it comes to clothing it is SO hard.

An article on where to find cute trendy clothes that are both environmentally friendly as well as sweatshop free production, even if a little pricier, would be great! We think cost is only in our pocket, but sometimes those cheap tees or jeans mean that someone on the other side of the world is paying the cost.

Golly, LeShayne, you're such a better person than I am. But you inspired me to learn that eco-friendly shopping is so much more than "hold the bag." And it's harder to find stuff in stores than you'd think.

Several local eco-centric boutiques have closed in the past year. One that's survived, Why Not Boutique in South Tampa, has a well-priced selection of women's clothing, guy's and gal's organic T's, baby wear, and many accessories and stationery. (For $8-ish, they sell my favorite reusable bag, the Envirosax, which comes in adorable patterns and rolls up all nice and tiny in your purse.)

The good news is that Why Not Boutique is full of markdowns right now, including a $15 yellow sundress to drool over. I snagged a black T-dress with a funky, yet dainty, floral design and an edgy lace back for $25.

Why Not is also shifting its focus from organics to fair trade and Made in the USA.

Owner Jennifer Dutkowski said in a down economy, people just aren't interested in a $200 to $250 cotton dress. But customers are really embracing sustainably produced items. Her store is about to merge with a neighboring boutique, Sweet Emotion, to bring in more indie designers.

While I wasn't able to check them all out, here are a few other eco-friendly stores I heard about:

  • Tampa Street Market in Seminole Heights: Sells recycled products that otherwise would end up in a landfill, repurposed as custom furniture and a wild range of stylish accessories.
  • The Outpost in Gulfport: An eclectic mix of recycled items and local art, with a beachy vibe.

I know I'm missing stores: What other options are there for eco-friendly shopping in Tampa Bay?

Deal Diva Letitia

(Photo: Why Not Boutique sells this magenta sundress, $45, that is handmade in Ghana by a line that emphasizes a sustainable livelihood for women in Africa.)

[Last modified: Thursday, May 20, 2010 5:27pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours