It’s not by chance that EcoEmporium, the new earth-friendly boutique in
West Midtown, looks familiar. Owners Carol and Bruce Held hired the
designers behind mall chain Anthropologie to create a calming space
with antique display cases and simple art. Only instead of bohemian
wares, the Helds’ “bazaar of sorts” provides a step-by-step guide to
decreasing your ecological footprint.
Carol, who has a
background in banking and interior design, adopted a green lifestyle
after discovering she was allergic to her husband’s office furniture,
which was sealed with formaldehyde glue. After researching products
such as detergents, dishware, toys, and towels, she decided Atlanta
needed a one-stop shop for everything organic, nontoxic, fairly traded,
repurposed, and recycled. And Brickworks, a renovated warehouse turned
shopping center, was the ideal location.
Catering to home, baby,
and pet, many of EcoEmporium’s goods are made from organic cotton or
bamboo. Check out the Bambu flatware, plates, and bowls, which can be
easily washed and reused; there’s even supersoft loungewear and wedding invitations
made from the woody stems. Kids’ tees with slogans such as “I recycled
my juice box today” and “I didn’t take a bath to save water today” are
hot items. Other whimsical offerings include jewelry made from soda
bottles, bullet casings, bicycle chains, and cut-up credit cards; and
purses constructed from magazines, gum wrappers, recycled felt, and
rubber reclaimed from tractor-trailer inner tubes. The two biggest
sellers, though, are utilitarian staples: diapers and mattresses. The
gDiapers starter kit comes with two pairs of washable cotton pants and
ten flushable refills for $28. For around $3,000, you can get a
queen-size Savvy Rest mattress made from natural rubber, organic
cotton, and pure wool (it repels dust mites!).
The Helds and
their official greeter, Krissie, a rescued border collie mix, hope to
franchise in the future. They also plan to host community classes on
such topics as how to set up your own organic baby nursery.
Address: 1000 Marietta Street, Suite 114
Hours: Monday–Saturday 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Bargain buys: Inexpensive
finds include reusable glass straws for $5.99 and a four-pack of SKOY
kitchen cloths for $8.95. (Using just one of these biodegradable
cloths can save fifteen rolls of paper towels.)
Photo by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn