By Sabrina Sucato
Brooklyn is like Manhattan's younger, hipper sister.
It may not receive as much attention as the heart of the Big Apple does, but the borough is a thriving mecca that celebrates different cultures, innovative businesses, and unique individuals. If you have never made a detour to Brooklyn, do yourself a favor and place it on your must-visit list now.
A short subway ride from Manhattan will drop you in the center of an area that can best be described as one-of-a-kind. Nowadays, Brooklyn is packed to the brim with creative startups and unusual businesses. What is more is that many of these storefronts were developed with human and global betterment in mind.
Do a quick walk around the borough and you will undoubtedly spot a number of eco-friendly and socially conscious shops lining the bustling streets. Not only do these destinations tend to be beautifully designed, but they also focus on giving back to the planet in some way or another.
Without further ado, swipe your Metrocard and hop on the next Brooklyn-bound train for an eco-shopping experience unlike any other at these businesses:
Finding fun, quality toys that are also eco-friendly can be a challenge. Luckily, Norman & Jules is here to help. Owned by a Brooklyn-chic couple, this Park Slope toy store offers a curated selection of beautiful trinkets and games that are crafted from sustainable materials. Whether you are on the hunt for delicate dolls, detailed dress-up fashions, or buildable blocks, this shop has it all. Bring the kids, or just your kid-at-heart, and prepare to be delighted.
As the name would suggest, this Clinton Hill storefront is dedicated to all things green. With a wide variety of everyday home products and specialized organic gifts, Green in Bklyn is a one-stop shop for everything your earth-loving heart could desire. Be warned that while you may make a trip here just to refill your organic soap, you could easily end up walking out with bags filled to the brim with organic makeup, fair trade coffee and tea, and locally-produced gifts for friends and family.
For all you event planners and party animals, this environmentally-minded party supply shop will have you over the moon. Located in East Williamsburg, this business is all about partyware that is as pretty as it is good for the planet. All products are sustainable and compostable, so you do not have to worry as much about your global footprint when you pick up a few packs of wooden cutlery and polka dot plates. If you need to spice up your table for a birthday party or even for just a special dinner at home, this is the place to go.
If you are on the hunt for beautiful furniture to fill your home but do not want to cave to mass-produced department store products, look no further than Greenhouse & Co. Make your way to Boerum Hill to browse the curated collection of sustainable furniture and home accessories that will have every hipster heart aflutter. From minimalist throws and towels to eye-catching light fixtures, chairs, and tables, there is bound to be something to perfectly fill the void in your apartment.
This perfumery and apothecary is as hip as it sounds. The pristine shelves of this Boerum Hill treasure are stocked with such a variety of one-of-a-kind, natural scents that you are sure to find at least one that will capture you. On the skincare side of things, the store also sells good-for-you products from brands like Malin+Goetz and Brooklyn-based PLANT. There is no better way to indulge yourself and keep up your commitment to the environment.
If you love candles but hate the idea of filling your home with artificial scents and chemical contaminants, head to Apotheke in Red Hook. This sweet-smelling space is dedicated to products that will delight your nose. From soaps that are handcrafted in batches to candles that are scented with farm-sourced essential oils, there is no doubt that you will find your perfect fragrance match. Bookmark this spot for your holiday shopping later in the year, since you can check off presents for a number of people on your list.
Let the eco-friendly shopping commence!
Sabrina is a 20-something freelance writer based in the scenic Hudson Valley, NY. She has lived in both Bologna and Milan, Italy, and is now hopelessly addicted to gelato. When she's not writing or dreaming of Italy, she can be found drinking copious amounts of coffee and testing out new dessert recipes.