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Best of Toronto

The Best Green Retailers in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / January 18, 2012

Best Green Retailers TorontoThe best green retailers in Toronto usually have most of your environmental bases covered. While it's not unusual to find an organic product or a biodegradable bag here or there, the best green retailers in Toronto find a way to address more than one environmental concerns.

These are the stores that offer organic cotton t-shirts or bamboo coat hangers, available to take home in bags made of recycled paper or shipped to your house via bicycle transport. The stores themselves are powered via Bullfrog or a clean(er) source of energy, painted with low VOC paint, and might even have an organic garden stationed out back or up top. These retailers are on the cutting edge of what's new in green, and usually try to keep cost competitive to what you'll find in mainstream.

Here is the list of the best green retailers in Toronto.

Note: A previous version of this list was published in 2008. Comments below made up until January 17th, 2012 are in reference to the old list. We've purposely kept most of the archived comments here because we believe they (mostly) add value to this topic. If you don't want to have to wade through all of them, simply hit the "sort by newest first" link at the top of the thread.

See also:

The best green services in Toronto
The best green wedding services in Toronto

MEC

MEC

MEC is so incredibly green it has he ability to make a biodegradable cup look like Styrofoam (which, by the way, you probably shouldn't bring into the store). It offers gear made with eco-friendly, sustainable materials, emphasizes low-impact production in the making of its products, and even its building has been designed with the environment in mind. The Toronto shop also hosts an annual Bikefest event and gives tours about corporate environmental responsibilities. More »

The Big Carrot

The Big Carrot

For a plethora of organic options, natural beauty products, eco-friendly household supplies, few markets in Toronto can beat The Big Carrot. While the prices may indeed remind you that you are still shopping for specialty items, the selection and influx of new products make it seem like you're shopping at any mainstream store. Minus the awful cartooned cereal boxes. More »

Grassroots

Grassroots

Grassroots is where I head to discover what's new in green. The two Toronto shops offer lots of interesting, eco knickknacks including razor sharpeners, science kits, biodegradable pens, and solar-powered toys (no batteries, hurray!). Grassroots has everything from organic clothing, to bed linens, to cleaning supplies, as well as staff who are knowledgeable enough to break it all down. (And no, that was not a biodegradable pun.) More »

Essence of Life

Essence of Life

I always wander into Essence of Life when I'm in Kensington Market, only to emerge minutes later with armfuls of items I didn't know I needed. Such is the trap when natural beauty items, bulk food, and organic groceries are priced so comparatively low. The health food market also has a great selection of natural supplements. More »

Eco Stems

Eco Stems

Most florists can't call themselves "green" in the same way Eco Stems can. The Queen East florist offers local, organic, and fair trade flowers, as well as biodegradable packaging and recyclable materials. The business operations are also eco-focused, with an emphasis on bicycle deliveries when possible and reduced energy consumption. More »

Baby on the Hip

Baby on the Hip

For those who have opted for biodegradable condoms, Baby on the Hip has everything baby made with the environment in mind. The two Toronto locations offer battery-free toys, cloth diapers, soy fiber clothing, all natural rubber soothers and more, shipped in recycled boxes and bagged with recycled paper. More »

Art.27

Art.27

Art.27 offers only organic lotions, creams, and other beauty products, much of which is packaged using recycled materials. While these environmentally friendly products didn't arrive at the West Queen West shop from France via bicycle, they have been sourced for their ethical environmental and social impacts. The shop also stocks a small selection of organic clothing and accessories. More »

Pistachio

Pistachio

No delicious nuts, sadly, but lots of green paper and beauty products. The Yonge and Eglinton gift shop sells stationery made of recycled paper, soy candles, stapleless staplers organic lotions, and other bits and pieces you can use or gift without feeling environmental guilt. More »

Discussion

34 Comments

EcoChica / May 25, 2009 at 09:07 am
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There is an online option.. sort of like the "grocery gateway" of green lifestyle goods: http://www.greencricket.ca they ship free over 50 bucks to the GTA with their own natural gas vehicle fleet.
Jo / January 26, 2010 at 09:48 am
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w&c is a great online store for stylish eco-friendly furniture - no off gassing and Allegoric friendly. Completely natural materials are used within each peice. Make sure to check it out!
http://www.whitewashco.ca/shop
Stay Green my Friends!
Barb / August 5, 2010 at 09:35 am
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Don't forget eco toys the kids! Little Footprints is a Toronto based online eco toy store caring only ethically, responsibly and sustainably sourced toys and games for kids of all ages - including a whole section of truly Canadian products. You can find them at www.littlefootprintstoys.com
Tony Hancock / August 20, 2010 at 02:15 pm
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Another great online option is Ethical Ocean. This is a great Toronto based marketplace which hosts products from all over Canada and the US which are green, organic, fair trade and vegan.

http://www.ethicalocean.com
Megan / May 17, 2011 at 03:38 pm
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I ♥ ecoexistence. Located at St. Clair & Vaughan, it is a eco-friendly lifestyle store that specializes in all things better for you and the planet.
Mildred / November 24, 2011 at 06:51 am
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Green eco-friendly cleaning products that are locally made in Toronto are hard to find. However, I have been using two products that are worth mentioning, made in Toronto.

Wash Down Clean and Pet Clean are two environment friendly locally made products that clean all of my house and my 2 dogs.

The product works for you , so you don't have to work so hard cleaning. I like the smell of the products and feel good about supporting Canada and the rest of the world. Try it and see.
Jane / January 18, 2012 at 03:44 pm
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Add to this list, 100 Mile Child on the Danforth in the Carrot Common. Eco-toys, locally produced clothing for kids, great games, cards and wrapping paper. Wonderful service and great selection too.
Tel: 416-254-0150
http://the100milechild.ca
crcto / January 18, 2012 at 03:55 pm
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"For those who have opted for biodegradable condoms, Baby on the Hip has everything baby made with the environment in mind."

Hilarious.
Dihan replying to a comment from Megan / January 18, 2012 at 06:22 pm
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Actually, ecoexistence just moved around the corner to 766 St. Clair West and Arlington - agree, a great store with uber green mum Kymm Klopp at the helm. Wychwood don't you agree?
Dihan replying to a comment from Megan / January 18, 2012 at 06:24 pm
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And of course, check out www.organiclifestyle.ca - Shop organic and how to be greener - affordable, ethical and Free Shipping.
Jeff / January 18, 2012 at 06:29 pm
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What about all the antique stores? They are in the business of recycling.
Shannon / January 19, 2012 at 08:06 am
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There's a new option for Torontonians as well - DonateNaturally.com. It's an online retailer specializing in natural and organic products. The bonus here and major difference from any other online retailer is they donate 15% of the value of EVERY sale to the cause of your choice. You could buy these products at some of the other great companies listed here or you could try out DonateNaturally.com and help fundraise while you shop!
Charles / January 19, 2012 at 09:51 am
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Congrats to The Big Carrot and Essence of Life from your friends at Kensington Natural Bakery!
Amandla / January 19, 2012 at 11:37 am
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Planet forward (http://www.planetforward.ca)is a GTA e-retailer that sells a complete line of green products at reasonable prices.
Gabriella / January 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm
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Guys, guys, guys. SOME of these retailers use thermal paper in their POS and credit card terminals which is TOXIC and contains BPA. These retailers ARE NOT GREEN because of this fact and also because they promote the mass consumption of goods instead of freeganism or recycling.

WHat a scam.

Drew / January 19, 2012 at 01:40 pm
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Also, Pistachio is just part of Chapters / Indigo. More an image/niche thing than an eco business.
Danny P replying to a comment from Gabriella / January 21, 2012 at 11:20 am
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"These retailers ARE NOT GREEN because of this fact and also because they promote the mass consumption of goods instead of freeganism or recycling. "----
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This kind of absolutism is hardly conducive to any kind of progress on environmental issues. Guess what? You also live in a capitalist country and in order to exchange money for goods and services you're forced to partake in the use of some form of environmentally destructive currency (plastic cards! paper money!) whether you like it or not. Your only other option (assuming you don't choose suicide) is to go live in a cave and scrape a living off grasses and rabbits.
You're also "not green" because you're using a computer, which unless you put together yourself out of parts you personally manufactured from biodegradable plant-based plastics, is part of the problem you're griping about.

Baby steps. Nothing wrong with them.
elaine replying to a comment from Danny P / February 5, 2012 at 11:15 am
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I like your style.
N.J.Bond / February 10, 2012 at 12:42 am
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More and more customized from small unit available on organic and natural dyed . One to one can be discussed decided and shipped on line orders .


Complete range of Organic natural dyed on ethnic hues some 108 fabrics for all sorts of garments making entirely on Health Rich Garments range available at www.transindiaexports.net E.mail.bond@transindiaexports.net
N.J.Bond / February 10, 2012 at 01:15 am
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Danny and Gabrriella ,

We started our organic produce as early but could not find off line any till day . They are babies , yes we in Rural India have the capacity here and there small operations .
Small organic natural dyed unit is more and more tend to produce customized items. Big corporates more and more produce non green imitatives and competitive goods.
We are waiting for such medium size stores from rural India to get us escape valley of death of commercialization . Like any innovation has to escape the valley of death of commercialization organic fibers nature binder base dyed ethnic colors need to sell to these shops .

Our past was full of loss and failures , let the present not cut off from the past it is the contineium of the present into future that is going to be very very important . We cannot leave a chemical biological and radiation full world to our generations.

The way forward is one to one discuss design decide and get custom made the exclusivity inbuilt design and get it delivered in Global Village on logistic delivered in days.

Imagine every craft centers such tiny ones come alive all over the third world nations to serve all over the global village . This is application of science of tech and communication wisdom to live easy organic way of life , with minimum objects made by inward dig/exploit mother nature that yeild the great potent and unlimited possiblities goods , for simple style of life . This was our past once at village now the village is global . It is possible we can continue our life in this planet as happy ever if only we know how to exploit the nature .
Organic and natural dyed garments last life time and it heals , it is symbol of well lived life for future antique value.

Do you know that best things in this world is free . Genuine ethnic made denim jeans comes in one 10 th one 30 th the price of premium denim in market.

We still know not how to take from nature what we want .

Here for more detail contact us bond @transidniaexports.net

ken / February 23, 2012 at 09:32 am
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we try to eliminate cardboard out of the enviro. Frogbox reuses plastic boxes for people that are moving.
New Toronto Condos / March 6, 2012 at 01:49 pm
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wow! tons of great info on this post! thanks so much for this!
jeff / March 7, 2012 at 10:50 am
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Make sure to check out Ecotique at 191 Roncesvalles - lots of green gifts and beauty products.
Cynthia / March 24, 2012 at 07:38 am
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Love your response, Danny P! Baby steps is what it's all about.

Another online retailer offering only natural and eco products to check out: www.puresimpleliving.ca. They are Toronto-based and offer free delivery in the west end.
Kestrel / March 29, 2012 at 09:59 pm
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Grassroots sells soaps with palm oil which is devastatiing the southeast asian wildlife habitats. Orangutans are killed by bounty hunters and their babies carried off into the wildlife trade, elephants get their trunks blown off with explosives set for them in food. This goes into soap sold by "eco" stores like Grassroots and most of the other health food stores.
wooden coat hangers / March 31, 2012 at 09:05 am
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Congrats to The Big Carrot and Essence of Life from your friends at Kensington Natural Bakery!
Darkhawk replying to a comment from Danny P / May 24, 2012 at 02:53 pm
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Where's the "Two Thumbs Up" button for Danny P?
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm
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Also, Pistachio is just part of Chapters / Indigo. More an image/niche thing than an eco business.
M-A / November 9, 2012 at 03:13 pm
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Chartreuse Style at 1692 Queen W near Roncesvalles is worth checking out too.
matthew / January 24, 2013 at 02:56 am
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please visit our free website : www.torontobestgreenoffers.com
get super discount - help save the planet
thank you for visiting
SG / October 8, 2013 at 03:04 pm
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One of my favorite places to get local and natural foods: The Good Catch General Store, 1556 Queen Street West at Sorauren. The store has everything from natural pet supplies, organic dairy, chlorine-free diapers, you can get your Good Food Box there,.....and check out the work of local artisans. It is a fun store and local treasure.
Green carpet cleaning Toronto / January 11, 2014 at 12:46 am
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Green carpet cleaning Toronto / January 11, 2014 at 12:46 am
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Elf Moving Boxes / March 12, 2014 at 10:11 am
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I love how green toronto is. I wish more cities in the US were like this. Outside of a few cities like Portland or Austin, most of the rest of US is far behind our northern neighbors in embracing green technology and supporting eco-friendly businesses.

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