General Household

Peg and Awl

“Useful objects for the home” made from reclaimed wood, leather, and natural fiber fabrics. “To make our wares, we gather materials from flea markets and old shoppes, abandoned houses and torn-down buildings, construction sites, yard sales, and dirty basements. Most of what we use—leather from baseball gloves and drawing-room chairs, and WWII gun slings, pages from outdated medical texts and antique seed catalogs, misplaced photographs of people long dead, fabric from bedding, aprons, window covering—is more than a century old. Every item bears marks of a not-fully-known and not-quite-finished past” While they do not add any toxic materials when making their wares, note that some of their materials may have origins unknown, so proceed with caution and ask questions.

 

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Kelly & Co.

A “small and sturdy collection of thoughtfully designed handmade goods for the home. Materials- like linen, waxed canvas and reclaimed hardwoods are chosen for their sustainability, durability, and beauty. Enduring and durable, simple and sturdy, handy and handmade.” Oversized linen napkins in soft colors, linen blankets, linen coffee filters, wooden bangles, aprons, waxed canvas lunch bags and carryalls… “Kelly & Co. represents the work of two Kellys- Erin & Don- both living and working in the same tiny town in the hills of western Massachusetts. They are niece & uncle, and work with fabric & wood, respectively…Both have been at their chosen crafts for many years- so long that it feels perhaps their crafts chose them. Each will wax poetic about their materials if given the opportunity, and family dinners may find them appreciating the tiny luxuries of working where they live..”

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Rodale’s

This website from Rodale—a long-time educator of organic living—brings together “the best in organic living to make it easy for everyone to live a happier, healthier life.” A mix of apparel and accessories, body care, kitchen, home and garden products, you’ll find stylish and useful products made from natural materials—most organic, but some not so, so read descriptions carefully.

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Kaufmann Mercantile

If I lived down the street from this store, I would be there constantly. First I would buy the waterproof waxed cotton canvas lunch bag. “Home pared down to the essentials….From the very beginning, the Kaufmann Mercantile team has worked closely with makers and manufacturers from around the world, sharing a deep appreciation for products made with honest, lasting materials and grounded in a sense of place. Our new endeavor, Kaufmann, is dedicated to the simple yet focused pursuit of distilling a piece to its most essential elements. Each is made in the United States by hand.” Furniture, dinnerware, bags, kitchenware, candles, all thoughtfully and beautifully designed from natural materials. Cookware and bakeware is all clay, porcelain and soapstone.

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Old Faithful Shop

Just as it’s name implies, this website is full of “old failthful” kitchenware and housewares—”good quality goods for simple, everyday living…trusty, well-built heirloom pieces that are classic in design and only enhanced by the passage of time.” This Canadian shop was inspired by a general stored run by a co-founder’s grandparents and their parents before them. You’ll find such things as glass storage jars with walnut lids, wood and natural bristle cleaning brushes (I was searching for this when I found them), huge cotton aprons with leather straps, wooden door wedge, Designs are elegant, old-fashioned and plastic-free.

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Veritey

1000+ exceedingly well-vetted products for body care, baby & kids, health, home, and more, with badges that show why they were chosen. Their nontoxic & safe criteria is “free of toxic chemicals and safe for use. The Non-Toxic and Safe Badge indicates products are free of all known or suspected chemicals based on publicly available information (sources include the Environmental Working Group, GoodGuide, US Department of Health and Human Services Report on Carcinogens, The Center for Disease Control, The World Health Organization and more) as well as input from Veritey Science Panelists (leading doctors, researchers, and PhDs). We look for products that do not contain toxins associated with a variety of diseases and health issues, including cancers, obesity, diabetes, infertility, autism, ADD, ADHD, endocrine disruption and more.” Every product is not only reviewed to be free of toxic chemicals, they are also used by the Verity team, so every product is also a great product. “At Veritey, we do all of the hard work so you don’t have to. Analyzing. Researching. Testing. We feature only 100% GOOD goods.”

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Abe’s Market

A great collection of natural and organic products, including beauty, food, health,  home, fashion and pet care. But what is really different and wonderful about Abe’s is the amount of information you get about the products and their makers. Each product page tells Why We Love It, ingredients lists, reviews, and a Meet the Seller. There’s even a space right on the page where you can type in a question to the manufacturer to ask them anything about the product! And they assign each product a list of qualities (that include GMO free, made by hand, recycling packaging and many more) and in each category you can filter products to find those with the qualities most important to you. Fabulous. This site connects consumer and providers in a wonderful way. “As natural product enthusiasts, we envisioned a place that would enable shoppers like us to discover fantastic, hard-to-find products and to really connect with the product creators – the way markets were once run.”

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Life Without Plastic

This extensive website was put together by a couple who wanted to help people reduce their plastic consumption. They quickly realized that to accomplish this, they needed to be able to point them toward non-plastic alternatives that could replace the plastic items currently used in day-to-day life. Today their website sells plastic-free items that are scrupulously reviewed by them for quality, health, environment, and worker conditions, showing “the beauty and simplicity of a life without plastic.” Child and baby products, food storage, tableware, water storage, bags, toys, home and body care, kitchen, glassware, school and office supplies, travel and takeout, pet care, water, gifts.

Listen to my interview with Life Without Plastic co-founder and co-owner Jay Sinha.

Listen to my 2nd interview with Life Without Plastic co-founder and co-owner Jay Sinha.

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Hemp Basics

"The Internet's Widest Selection of Hemp Products," provided by a company that has been making and selling hemp products since 1991. Choose from clothing for men and women, bags, accessories, body care, home and garden, and pet. Also basic hemp materials to make things yourself, including fabrics, yarn, rope, webbing, and more.

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Turning Life

Stylish products made from eco-friendly materials, including clothing for women and men, bed and bath, accessories for home and garden, baby things, and gifts. "For us, the name Turning Life describes a personal experience of self-reflection and renewed inspiration; a time when we began questioning our choices as consumers, neighbors and global citizens. Here at Turning Life you will find products which represent a commitment to: Simplicity, Serenity, and Global Sensibility. In other words, we believe you'll find the items we offer in our online catalog support an earth-friendly, calm and comfortable lifestyle."

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Viva Terra

Stylish, eco-friendly goods for every room in your home, plus food, garden, baby, and jewelry too.hoppi "All VivaTerra products reflect a commitment to:

  • ECOLOGY AND ELEGANCE: The finest goods that uniquely fuse exceptional quality and design with eco sensitivities
  • ORGANIC, SUSTAINABLE SOURCES: The purest ingredients and sustainable resources possible – selected to be the best available.
  • EARTH AND PEOPLE FRIENDLY: Partners and suppliers who share our values and work to make a positive difference in the world.
  • HANDCRAFTED BY ARTISANS: Distinctive goods of uncommon value, handcrafted by passionate designers and artisans
  • CELEBRATE LIFE: Celebrate life and human spirit by honoring traditions from cultures around the world."

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Uncommon Goods

I included this website just for fun! Though at first glance you may look at some of the items and ask "What's the health or environmental benefit here?", many of the items were just too charming (I couldn't resist the colorful organic loofah kitchen scrubbers–the first in the world to be certified USDA Organic–handmade by farmers in Paraguay in the shape of vegetables). Many of the items are handmade, some are organic, some recycled, other nontoxic or natural. Some help you get organized, others–like the classy compass necklace–bring you closer to nature. Read descriptions carefully to find the products that suit your own personal criteria. "Creatively designed, high-quality merchandise at affordable prices…combining the treasures of a specialty boutique, the great finds of a craft show, discoveries from a faraway bazaar, along with some enduring classics…we endeavor to feature merchandise created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people."

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Ten Thousand Villages

A bounty of useful and decorative home products made through fairtrade programs throughout the world. Their "earth-friendly" collection is specifically made from natural fibers in earth tones, recycled and handmade materials, but natural materials abound throughout the site. "Since 1946 Ten Thousand Villages has supported the work of literally tens of thousands of artisans in over 30 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, making us one the largest fair trade organizations in North America. Working with more than 100 artisan groups, we purchase fine pieces from craftspeople with whom we have longstanding, nurturing relationships…quality products from diverse cultures around the world."

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Rawganique

I can only describe this site as "organic fiber paradise." They carry an extensive selection of stylish clothing for men, women and children, plus kitchen, bed and table linens–most made from European certified organically grown hemp, organic linen or organic cotton, some with natural dyes. Many items are exclusive to this site. Plus more certified organic hemp items, including footwear, bags, fabric and hemp paper. And organic foods and sustainability books. "The philosophy that governs every aspect of product selection at Rawganique.com is that there is no compromise for purity, environmental sustainability, and quality craftsmanship. This is why we mostly offer the highest-quality, most luxurious, best-made possible version of a product…Our hemp products are, of course, sustainably made with no sweatshop, child, or underwaged labor involved at any step of the cultivation or manufacturing process — this is something which we have taken pride in from the very beginning."

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Preserve Everyday

"High quality, great looking eco-friendly products that feel good to use and perform as well as or even better than your old standbys…all made from 100% recycled materials." Limited to things like razors, toothpicks, toothbrushes, and assorted tableware, kitchenware, and BPA-free food storage, designs are stylish, with vivid colors. Recycled materials include paper and polypropylene, a relatively safe plastic.

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N.E.E.D.S.

N.E.E.D.S. (Nutritional Ecological Environmental Delivery System) provides products, information, and education in the areas of Chemical Sensitivity, Environmental Illness, Fibromyalgia, Celiac Disease, and Candida. Their products include Environmental Equipment –air & water purification, portable saunas, oral hygiene, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and electromagnetic field (EMF) products–dietary supplements and Gluten-Free Foods, Personal Care products, mattresses and pillows, paints and sealers, cleaning products, Pet Care items, and more. They also have a wellness team and product consultants available free of charge to answer questions related to reducing exposure to toxins in the environment. Discounted prices.

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The Natural Home

"The vision of The Natural Home is to provide functional, beautiful, unusual products crafted from natural materials." In addition to bedlinens made from organic cotton and unbleached cottons and linens, and wool-filled mattress pads, pillows, and comforters, they offer artful little touches for your home throughout–towel racks, drawer pulls, switchplates, recycled brass house numbers, paper lanterns, paper and bamboo blinds, indoor fountains. And more is coming. They donate a portion of profits from online sales to various environmental groups suggested by their customers.

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Lifekind

Products "that lower your daily exposure to hazardous chemical ingredients", including air and water filters, baby products, beds & bedding, candles, cleaning products, clothing, kitchen and bath products, personal care items, and pet products.

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Lehman’s

"Authentic, historical products for those seeking a simpler life." This is a great site to browse for ideas on how to make things yourself and do things in the old-fashioned way. The company was founded in 1955 to serve the local Amish and others without electricity, and to preserve pre-industrial ways for future generations. If you would like to rely less on modern technology and learn how you can live closer to nature, you'll probably find the answer here. Their bookstore is full of titles on growing your own food, healing with herbs, making soap and cheese, and other do-it-yourself subjects.

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Juniper Ridge

"Wild plant products from the mountains and deserts of the west". Home and personal products that evoke the natural woodsy smells of the outdoors, made from wildcrafted herbs and plant trimmings. "This business was born out of my love for the wild plants and the outdoors. Everything we do…would be pointless if the plants were harmed by our harvesting activities. As such, we always harvest with permission and in a sustainable and responsible manner…When we harvest Juniper we prune around the bottom of tall tress and every year, the trees respond vigorously to the pruning by putting on new growth." I love these products because they really speak of the wild places they come from. Like Douglas Fir tea–when I lived in California, I learned that the local natives in the forest where I lived drank Doug Fir tea. It smells and tastes like Christmas trees and my own forest. Choose from teas, sachets and incense, medicinal herbs, wild herb soaps, and wild foodstuffs like birch tree syrup and wild berry jams. "We also give 10 percent of our profits to groups that defend western wilderness, so when you buy our products not only are you getting a gift from the wild, you are also helping preserve it."

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Janice’s

Yes, there really is a Janice. Since 1979, when she started this business to meet her own needs, this catalog has been a main source of supply for people with multiple chemical sensitivities. Physicians all over the country refer their patients to them. They offer the purest bedding, bath, kitchen and personal items available. When articles are not obtainable through traditional manufacturing sources, they produce them in our own sewing room with their 100% cotton fabrics and batting. They carefully wash and rinse fabrics prior to construction. As a contamination precaution, employees do not smoke or wear perfumed products while at work. Products include baby bedding, beds and bedding, cellophane bags, fabrics, household, clothing for men and women, and personal care products.

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GreenSage

A comprehensive resource for energy efficient, non-toxic, recycled, reclaimed, naturally resourced and biodegradable items for your whole household. You'll find air filters, appliances, artwork, baby gifts, bath towels and accessories, bedding, body care, candles, carpet and padding, draperies and curtains, furniture, glassware, home accessories, home office accessories, knobs & pulls, laundry, lighting, mattresses, nursery items, paints, pillows, rugs, shelving, soaps, tabletop, towel racks and hooks, towels, trash cans, upholstery fabrics, wallpaper, and more. They've been in this business since 1988, so they are well-experienced. The founder started GreenSage after personal experience with MCS.

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Freecycle

Get almost anything you want for free by joining freecycle. When you join a local freecycle group, you can check the daily email postings for items you are looking for, post a request for something you want, or offer something you have you no longer want. Everything is free for the taking.

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EnviroOil

High performance green lubricating oils made from certified organic cold-pressed canola and sunflower oils. A proprietary manufacturing process gently extracts oils from the raw materials using nominal pressure, resulting in cooler processing temperatures than extrusion processes and without any distillation, harsh chemicals or synthetic 'stripping.' Products include multi-purpose lubricant for cleaning and protecting any metal tool, multi-purpose chain and sprocket lube for bikes and food preparation machines, and more. Completely safe around the house and garden, and around children and pets.

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EcoChoices

Ten big websites offering all sorts of eco-friendly products with one shopping cart. "Create a home that is beautiful, natural and a safe environment for you and your family's enjoyment. The best earth-friendly products available at the lowest prices possible…" Browse through EcoAnimal, EcoBathroom, EcoBedroom, EcoBicycles, EcoByDesign, EcoKitchen, EcoMattress, EcoPatio, EcoSofa and EcoToyTown.

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Branch

Created by people who love to shop, but who are concerned about the environmental effects of consumer products, this website offers products that ""responsible" choices more attractive and functional." Each product is evaluated according to "rigorous standards." Indeed, each product is ususual, stylish, and has at least one environmental attribute, clearly explained, and often several benefits. I found acoustic wall tiles to muffle sound made from 100% recycled paper, recycled glass cups processed using wind power, a throw pillow made from 100% reclaimed ultrasuede… Modern aesthetic.

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Berea College Student Crafts

This has always been one of my favorite catalogs. Not only are all the products made from natural materials, they are all made by students at Berea College in Kentucky. Berea charges no tuition, admitting only academically promising students, primarily from Appalachia, who have limited economic resources. All students must work 10 hours weekly, earning money for books, room and board. Berea's crafts program also ensures that the traditional Appalachian handcrafts are kept alive and taught to new generations. These are simple, useful household items such as cutting boards, wooden games, handwoven blankets and placemats, baskets, rolling pins, small furniture items, trays, candleholders, brooms, ceramics, wrought irons pieces, and more.

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Bedrock Industries

“We are a creative company manufacturing a wide array of products all handcrafted from 100% recycled glass. We participate in and support recycling efforts whenever possible.” Creative is right! All kinds of decorative shapes and ornaments–I couldn’t resist the whimsical iridescent purple stars–suncatchers, windchimes, coasters, candleholder, dinnerware and more, all made from recycled glass with lively designs.

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American Environmental Health Foundation

Founded in 1975 by William J. Rea, M.D., AEHF is a nonprofit organization founded to do research and provide education about multiple chemical sensitivities. This is funded in part through proceeds from their on-line store, which carries nearly 1500 environmentally safe products for the home and office, including: organic cotton clothing and bedding, personal care products, pollutant detection kits, charcoal and ceramic masks, household cleaning products, vitamin and mineral supplements, ar filters and purifiers, safe paints, sealers, and stains, adhesives, water filtration systems and saunas.

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AlerG

Houshold products chosen to be free of irritants that cause symptoms of allergy and multiple chemical sensitivities. Includes air purifiers, water purifiers, humidity control fragrance-free hair and body care, cleaning products, paint, vacuums and dusters, saunas, test kits, various allergy protection devices and more.

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