Green Is the New Black

By: Paula Lewis

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Many Florida designers and stores are going green, providing shoppers with eco-friendly and fashionable shopping choices.

It seems everywhere you turn lately, “going green” is the topic of conversation. This is not the environmental change the hippies spoke about during the late 1960s and ‘70s; in today’s society, green has gone mainstream, fashionably setting trends and opening the doors for a more eco-friendly society. Now, you can turn your house into a stylish green abode or walk down the street with a stunning outfit made out of earth-friendly bamboo, fair-trade silk or organic cotton. Green is the new black; it’s no longer a passing fad. Green means a lifestyle choice, and Florida designers and stores are part of the green movement.

Green Goods

In essence, green goods such as clothing, accessories and furnishings are created from organic raw materials produced with recycled materials and without the use of pesticides or herbicides. You won’t find any bleaches or harmful chemicals as part of the process. Laborers earn fair wages and enjoy healthy conditions. Fashion designers are embracing today’s sophisticated environmental movement by showing that eco-fashion does not mean a burlap sack. Check out what Florida’s green scene offers visitors and residents, from trendy, chic fashions with a conscience to eco-friendly products.

Eco-Fashion:  Clothing, Accessories and Gifts

For eco-fashionistas, the green selection is more fashionable and abundant than it was several years ago. Green clothing boutiques in Florida illustrate that their goods – from a beautiful recycled vintage material dress or an organic blouse to bamboo skirts or hemp jeans – fit a green way of life.

la rutaN (“Natural” spelled backwards) in Palm Beach Gardens makes amazing clothes from lovely organic fabrics. Designed for men and women who are socially aware and love soft materials, the clothing line not only has a flattering fit, but also a wide selection of brilliant colors that make the purchase fashionable and comfortable.

This boutique also carries the brand Under the Canopy from Boca Raton. Under the Canopy opened for business in 1996 and was at the forefront of taking organic clothing from hippie to trendy chic. It also has a wonderful array of organic home products to make your house stylish and eco-friendly. Even though its merchandise is sold primarily online, you can also find it at Bed Bath & Beyond in Boca Raton, Aventura and Sarasota, and Sears and Target stores throughout the state. Under the Canopy’s slogan says it all: “Earth Wise. Style Conscious.”

For those environmentally savvy shoppers who do not want to keep contributing to the planet’s waste, Fly Boutique on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach is your store. Owner Jean Marie is known for reconstructing vintage pieces and artistically creating stunning blouses, skirts, dress, tops and bathing suits. If a fabric can be recycled, she is your girl. Her own line, called Puglia, is made from recycled vintage items that are no longer wearable or pleasing to someone. She takes those fabrics and transforms them into one-of-a kind pieces that are reconstructed with designer labels such as Missoni and Pucci. Fly Boutique is “mainstream with a sensible and practical, yet glamorous style that appeals to all generations.”

Speaking of reaching all age groups, American Apparel stores throughout Florida (Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, Key West, Miami, Orlando and St. Augustine) are also worth mentioning, as they carry a wide selection of urban clothing made with organic products and created in the United States.

Lastly, trendy eco-fashion would be nonexistent without the accessories that create the perfect outfit. This is where Ecoist comes in. Ecoist is recognized for its unique handbags, gifts and fashion accessories for the green-minded individual. Its products are made from recycled candy wrappers, soda labels, newspapers, magazines, food packages and other waste-bound materials. Ecoist merges its original designs with “social and environmental consciousness” to give customers not only a fashionable, practical and long-lasting product, but also something they will love to possess. Ecoist merchandise can be found in the following eco-friendly stores: Pop Gallery in Lake Buena Vista, Orchid Beach Clothing in Melbourne, The Standard Boutique in Miami Beach and Jeweled Lotus Yoga in Leesburg.

Eco-Kids

Having babies gives parents a whole new perspective on being eco-conscious. They want to leave the world a better place for their children. Today, parents desire environmentally friendly choices not only for the food their kids eat, but also the clothing they wear and toys they play with. They also have embraced wholeheartedly the idea of raising “green babies.”

The Florida label Bossy Baby carries out parents’ desires by offering soft and comfortable, yet trendy outfits for little ones while at the same time promoting green living. The label accomplish its goal by using only organic cottons, hemps and recyclable fabrics in a way to help conserve the planet’s waste and discover the exquisiteness of vintage fabrics. You can find Bossy Baby’s collections at Bennett’s World for Children in Sarasota, Butterfly Kisses in Ormond Beach and Pretty Please in Destin.

Eco-conscious parents in Orlando gravitate to Hopscotch Boutique, which offers organic, trendy and chic clothes, accessories and toys. Hopscotch is known for having a varied supply of organic children’s brands like Earth Mama Angel Baby, Bebe Au Lait, Baby Legs and Petunia Pickle Bottom.

One of my favorite eco-kids brands is OBLI Organics, which was created by two sisters who wanted to offer stylish and hip styles for children and pets while at the same time being champions of the environment. OBLI is committed to providing clothing and products with positive environmental messages like “Generation GREEN, Tree Hugger, I only ride HYBRID, Eco Princess, Green to the Bone and Bee Green.” Its aspiration is that through its products and messages it can help its customers take action to make Ecolectual™ choices that support a more organic or “green” lifestyle. You can find OBLI Organic clothing at Baby Because in Oldsmar, Carried Away in Cape Coral and Green Dwellers in Plantation. 

A Little Extra Green Goodness

As you can see, Florida eco-friendly designers and stores have gone mainstream. They are part of the “green movement” that gives Floridians and its visitors environmentally friendly shopping options that make our world a better place to live and play in. 

What you probably don’t know is that Florida also offers eco-conscious visitors a little extra green goodness. Nowadays, “green vacations” are hotter than ever; the accommodations, attractions and activities that have allured more than 82 million visitors annually are going green.

When making your plans to visit the Sunshine State, why not stay in a green hotel? The Florida Green Lodging Program certifies hotels, resorts, motels, and bed & breakfasts around the state that are committed to protecting and caring for our planet. To be considered “green,” a property must follow these criteria: communication, water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction and clean-air practices. It’s much more than not handing out fresh towels during turndown service or changing bed sheets daily; the businesses must make a real change in its day-to-day operations.

When researching and making your vacation plans on VISITFLORIDA.com, find the green lodging options by looking for a green house icon.

To wrap all this up, I will say that I am one of those parents who wants to leave the world a better place for my children. I am also a fashionista who understands that supporting eco-trends and -fashions is a wonderful way to participate in the green movement. Green is the new black, and there is no turning back. This trend is important because by purchasing eco-friendly clothing, accessories and products and visiting “green” hotels, we can make a difference to our planet. Florida’s environmental designers and businesses understand that being eco-conscious does not mean leaving style behind; as a matter of fact, style comes first. They know consumers usually purchase what looks good on them or what’s hot at the moment before they consider buying something because they are helping Planet Earth. By promoting green merchandise and products, they make a better world, improve consumer consciousness and transmit eco-values, not just a sense of fashion and style.

Learn more about these eco-friendly businesses:


American Apparel – www.americanapparel.com
You can find eco-fashions at the following locations:

  • Boca Raton – 276 Town Center Road, 561-368-8594
  • Fort Lauderdale – 12801 W. Sunrise Blvd., 561-368-8594
  • Gainesville – 15 S.W. 1st Ave., 352-372-2262
  • Key West – 608 Duval St., 305-292-0200
  • Miami (Coconut Grove) – 3030 Grand Ave., 305-442-7550
  • Miami (Coral Gables) – 225 Miracle Mile, 305-461-5555
  • Miami (South Miami) – 5855 Sunset Drive, 786-268-0531
  • Miami (Miami Beach) – 840 Ocean Drive,  305- 532-0614
  • Orlando – 4950 International Drive, 407-354-0696
  • St. Augustine – 490 Prime Outlets Blvd., 904-808-0732


Bossy Baby – www.bossybaby.com
You can find this eco-brand at the following locations:

  • Sarasota – Bennett’s World for Children, 2830 Bee Ridge Road, 941-921-3039
  • Ormond Beach – Butterfly Kisses, 248 N. Nova Road, 386-673-8288
  • Islamorada – Down to Earth, 82205 Overseas Hwy., 305-664-9828
  • Destin – Pretty Please, 36150 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 805-650-5988


Ecoist – www.ecoist.com
You can find this eco-brand at the following locations:

  • Orlando – Pop Gallery, 1502 E. Buena Vista Drive, 407-827-8200
  • Melbourne - Orchid Beach Clothing, 826 New Haven Ave., 321- 723-8008
  • Miami Beach – The Standard Boutique, 40 Island Ave., 305- 673-1717
  • Leesburg – Jeweled Lotus Yoga, 1704 High St., 352-874-3272


FLY Boutique – 650 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-604-8508, www.flyboutiquevintage.com

Hopscotch Boutique
– 1620 N. Orange Ave., Orlando; 407-898-5000; www.hopscotchboutique.com

La rutaN
– Downtown at the Gardens, 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave., Palm Beach Gardens; 561-627-6050; www.larutan.com

OBLI Organics
– www.obliorganics.com
You can find this eco-brand at the following locations:

  • Oldsmar – Baby Because, 400 Douglas Road E., 813-814-5680
  • Cape Coral – Carried Away, 5789 Cape Harbour Drive, 239-549-2247
  • Plantation – Green Dwellers, 5215 W. Broward Blvd., 954-533-2295

Under the Canopy – www.underthecanopy.com 
You can find this eco-brand at the following locations:

  • La rutaN (see above)
  • Bed Bath & Beyond, www.bedbathandbeyond.com
    • Boca Raton – 20560 State Road 7, 561-482-7780
    • Aventura – 19205 Biscayne Blvd., 305-935-6244
    • Sarasota – 6567 S. Tamiami Trail, 941-924-0319
  • Sears – visit www.sears.com to find the store nearest you
  • Target – visit www.target.com to find the store nearest you


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