The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

The perfect sustainable store: Kaight December 29, 2009

This post is loooong overdue. But, you know, life happens. And I wanted a picture of myself in at least one of my new items! Anyway, a couple months ago I decided to really dive into the sustainable fashion scene in NYC. Well, shopping is tiring, and I only got to a few stores. At most of them I found typical uber-hippie stuff: fragile woven afghans in oatmeal and wacky shapes, vintage stuff that was nice in theory but I wouldn’t be caught dead in, and cheap looking vegan shoes that seem to miss the point. Kaight stood out as a store that actually offers stuff a normal person would go for – AND it’s all either organic or sourced from vintage finds.

The racks were packed with gorgeous sweaters, finely-tailored pants, flattering dresses, and a lot more. There were even classic boots and edgy oxfords. I put the sales girl to work running back and forth to the dressing room with armfuls of clothing. Among the practical and elegant finds I picked up: black jeans (a staple this season) a organic brown wool skirt, an up-cycled, elegant blue day dress (perfect for work) and a yummy organic sweater. (See picture above!)

I think I’ve said before, though – we can’t shop our way out of environmental problems. I have to remember that sustainable products are for when I have a specific item in mind that will serve a particular role. I can’t just go crazy shopping for organic cotton clothing, because it still takes resources to ship it to NYC, for one. I thought carefully about everything I was buying:

  • Is it useful in more than one setting?
  • Is it flattering?
  • Am I excited to wear it?
  • Will it stay in fashion for more than one season?
  • Will it fit into a lot of different ensembles?

These questions I asked myself kept me down to a reasonable amount of clothing, and in the end I was happy with everything I bought! Well, maybe except for the jeans. They are actually rubbing dark blue ink all over my legs and hands every time I wear them. At least it’s not toxic ink…?

Kaight is located at 83 Orchard St. near the Bowery and Grand St metro stops.


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