The hottest eco brands in LA
It’s better known for huge Hummers and traffic jams than for hybrid bicycles and hemp, but there is a growing commitment to going green in Los Angeles.
In fact, LA aims to become one of the most environmentally friendly big cities in the world, expanding and improving its public transport links, recycling more waste and even making its landmarks greener, with the Audubon Center at Debs Park entirely off the grid. This also means great shopping opportunities, with a raft of eco brands, products and stores across the city. All with a juicy twist of LA cool, of course.
From vegan eyelashes to sustainable stationary, here is our pick of the best green stuff in the City of Angels.
They may be faux, but these eyelashes are handmade and come with botanically infused, PETA and vegan certified adhesive. Sold online and at Nordstrom in Santa Monica, the glue also has none of the potentially harmful chemicals found in other falsies, including formaldehyde.
Among racks of covetable items from cult designers Peter Jensen and Nico Nico, this gallery-style boutique has a selection of beauty products made from natural, ethically sourced ingredients. Gorgeous items at TENOVERSIX include velvety Ilia lipsticks and Chen and Kai’s retro glycerine soaps, shaped like fruits.
One of the coolest eco brands around, Reformation’s stellar clientele includes Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Karlie Kloss (who has invested in the company). The minimalist yet sexy pieces recycle vintage and surplus fabrics in the downtown LA factory.
With the motto ‘green in every colour’, this children’s boutique manufactures 100 per cent raw, organic cotton clothing in LA and uses low-impact dyes. The Little Seed boutique in the Larchmont neighbourhood also stocks handcrafted eco toys, books and beauty products.
These handcrafted leather bags are made from materials sourced locally, combining minimalist LA cool with Parisian chic. The items, including stylish laptop cases, are sold globally but designer Clare Vivier keeps the creation and manufacture completely LA, with her flagship Silver Lake store still the heart of the company.
This hip gift, homeware and stationery shop in the Arts District sources sustainable, eco-friendly products that also happen to be bold, bright and beautiful. Think Muji with a splash more colour. Poketo now have a second branch in The Line hotel, Koreatown.
An acronym of ‘Pure Eco Rag Industry’, this eco brand was founded by a former design manager of American Apparel. The items at PERI are made from organic and recycled materials, before being dyed in a solar-powered building. The company also donates three per cent from every sale to a charity of the customer’s choosing.
ORG by Vio
ORG by Vio’s collection of jewellery, accessories and clothing is made using native rainforest materials by indigenous artisan collectives in the Amazon. Helping to create sustainable economies, and protecting the rainforests and its inhabitants, the result is a unique selection including breastplate beaded necklaces and sculpted wood earrings.
Menu items at this vegan, macrobiotic and largely gluten-free Venice restaurant include Italian ‘soysauge’ panini and blackened tempeh burger topped with mango salsa. But the green sensibilities go beyond the food – chef Eric Leschasseur has banned the use of microwaves and nonstick pans at Seed Kitchen, to keep the cooking eco-friendly.
With cafes in Silver Lake, Venice and Pasadena, Intelligentsia sources organic coffee and works directly with producers in Peru, Rwanda and beyond to find the best java, paying a fair price for it. You can buy bags of beans in their stores and online.
This Silver Lake shop, filled with quirky, pretty little things, is all about handmade creative designs by local artists. Keeping packaging to a minimum, Reform School products are categorised by school subjects – for example, cooker-top enamel kettles, bunting and dram syrups can be found in ‘home ec’.
Two Birdees was set up by an LA couple who struggled to find clothes suitable for their baby’s sensitive skin. Now they source organic bibs, rompers and bamboo Kickee pants to sell via their online store, testing everything on their own two ‘birdees’.
It’s much easier to get around LA on two feet or two wheels than it used to be. But if you want the convenience of a car without the guilt, all-hybrid Simply RAC at LAX is a rental company that specialises in green motors from the Toyota Prius to the Mercedes E320 BlueTEC.
Located near downtown, this certified AAA green hotel has charging points for electric cars, eco-friendly toiletries, bedding and cleaning products, and recycling points throughout the building. Hotel Solarie’s cosy rooms, some with balconies, are sleek and stylish, too.
Written by Ella Buchan