Looking to amp up your sustainability shopping game? Try these local options
The Eagle’s recommendations for some of the best DC stores for environmentally-conscious consumers
There are many ways shopping habits can create harm to the environment. Online shopping produces significant packaging waste and high greenhouse gas emissions. Shopping in-person is not always a better alternative due to waste from shopping bags or from certain industries like fast fashion, which is responsible for eight to ten percent of global emissions.
Despite these challenges, there are several ways to shop consciously in D.C. The Eagle has compiled a list of the best sustainable stores in the city, from markets to clothing shops.
There are several ways to shop sustainably for food. D.C. is home to several farmers’ markets, including the Dupont Circle Sunday Market, which is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Sunday. The zmarket has over 70 different vendors from fresh produce to poultry, baked goods or cooked meals. A bonus is that it is easily accessible through the Metro at the Dupont Circle Metro Station, making it an even more sustainable option.
Other farmers markets in the local area include the Foggy Bottom Market, open on Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. until March 29th, which hosts vendors like DMV Empanadas and Black House Coffee Company. The Mount Vernon Triangle Market is open year-round on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Chevy Chase Farmers Market which is open year-round on Saturdays from 9 a.m. through 1 p.m, has a local creamery. Farmers’ markets are a great way to support local farmers and create minimal waste, as you can often bring your own bags or buy in bulk.
Outside of farmers’ markets, sustainable grocery stores are also an alternative way to shop for food. Yes! Organic Market has six locations across the city and are working toward running all of their locations on solar power. You can bring reusable jars or bags to shop for produce. The Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op in Takoma Park, Maryland, is just a 30-minute Metro ride from American University. Store offerings include organic, fair-trade and sustainable products at affordable prices, and a wide selection of reusable jars and bags for bulk and produce shopping.
Shopping for sustainable clothing can be tricky, but there are several secondhand stores and consignment shops in the area that offer an alternative to fast fashion.
Some favorite thrift stores in the area include Frugalista, in Mount Pleasant or Prime Thrift in Brightwood. For more luxury shopping, Secondi, located in Dupont Circle, sells secondhand luxury apparel.
Finding sustainable clothing brands can be a challenge within itself, but shopping secondhand doesn’t have to be. However, the best way to shop for the planet and for your wallet is from your own closet.
Household goods, such as laundry detergent, dishwasher fluid, soaps and cosmetic products, can cause excess waste due to plastic and single-use packaging.
In D.C., there are several options to shop for eco-friendly household goods. One of The Eagle’s favorites is Mason & Greens, located in Capitol Hill. The store carries a wide range of dry goods, such as reusable grocery bags, tupperware, straws, and water bottles. They also offer bulk and refill selections from soap to kitchen ingredients. A bonus for Mason & Greens is that they also offer free classes and sessions on sustainable living and zero waste.
The FullFillery, located just outside of D.C. in Takoma Park, is a zero-waste shop selling body care products, household items, kitchen and bath products as well as laundry and bulk options. This store is a great choice for those looking to shop for completely reusable or biodegradable and compostable products, while still shopping locally.
MOM’s Organic Market has a location in Ivy City, and other nearby locations in Arlington, Virginia and College Park, Maryland. In addition to their sustainable and organic food products, they also sell compostable and bulk household items.
As climate change continues to impact the planet and the people, consider switching to sustainable options for food, clothing and household goods. These suggestions are a great way to start on the sustainable shopping journey.
For more information on sustainable shopping in D.C., check out Package Free DC.
This article was edited by Patricia McGee, Kylie Bill and Nina Heller. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis, Stella Guzik and Sophia Rocha.