Over the past few years, and with the recent passing of the Sustainable Columbus initiative, Columbus has become a greener city — and we couldn’t be more excited! And, not only is the city itself promoting environmentally-friendly practices, but local businesses have been making some big changes as well.
To celebrate the green initiatives these local businesses are taking action on, we rounded up some of our favorite Columbus makers that reduce, reuse and recycle every day. On this list, you’ll find everything from small vegan clothing companies to ice cream meccas that you should be supporting!
Photo courtesy of Anne Deis via Altre
When Aileen Clemans learned about the unnecessary environmental damage and waste that the fashion industry causes every year, she decided to do something about it. She created Altre, a collection of vintage and secondhand clothing that is carefully selected and altered to fit a more modern style. Altre is not your typical vintage clothing vendor because they sell pieces that have been completely reworked by hand — so every item is entirely unique. By reusing and recycling old clothes, Altre is keeping them out of the landfill, saving water and promoting a more sustainable and ethical lifestyle.
305 East Fifth Avenue | 220 Thurman Avenue
According to Stump owners Emily Brown and Brian Kellet, there’s no such thing as a black thumb. At their minimalist plant boutiques in Columbus, Philadelphia and Cleveland, you can pick up a plant and learn exactly how to take care of it with the help of their friendly and knowledgeable staff. Every plant they sell is of the highest quality and comes with a sustainably made pot — from classic terracotta to custom, artist-made planters.
1166 West 5th Avenue
Photo courtesy of Glenn Avenue Soap Company
Do you know what’s in your beauty products? More often than not soaps, shampoos, lotions and more are full of harmful chemicals that aren’t good for you or the environment. That’s why Glenn Avenue Soap Company uses completely natural ingredients in all of their products, which are also made using environmentally-friendly practices. Either online or in person at their Craft Soaphouse, you can purchase anything from all natural shaving cream and body butters to bath bombs and beer soaps — guilt free!
Photo courtesy of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Even if you aren’t from Columbus you probably know about Jeni’s. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream creates some of the most famous ice creams around — they’ve even been named one of the best ice cream shops in the country by Food & Wine Magazine, Thrillist and US News. And it all started right here in Columbus when Jeni Britton Bauer decided to open a trendy ice cream shop in 2002. We love them, not only because the ice cream is so good, but also because they care about the environment. They recently switched to long-handled metal taster spoons and ditched the plastic ones to keep them out of the landfill and they also recycle, compost and reuse 75-80% of their food waste.
815 North High Street
Glean is a shop that celebrates all things creatively repurposed. At their quirky venue, you’ll find everything from unique home decor to locally handcrafted goods. Dawn McCombs started Glean in an effort to purposely lighten the impact on the environment, but before that, she was a teacher. Instead of scaring her students into caring for the environment, she taught them to love the Earth. That loving spirit is infused into Glean, inspiring customers to think about the planet and their impact on it every time they step inside.
1042 Dublin Road
Modo Yoga is a socially and environmentally conscious studio. They offer a form of hot yoga that combines the precision of therapeutic yoga, and the foundations of traditional yoga in a specially heated room. The “hot” in hot yoga allows for deep, safe stretching that helps strengthen, tone and loosen muscles, all while calming your mind and reducing stress. Their studio is powered with renewable energy and they continually create community campaigns to raise funds for the protection of the environment. So visit one of their many scheduled classes and rest easy knowing that you’re helping out your body, mind and the planet.
424 West Town Street
Land-Grant Brewing is a craft brewery located in the historic Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus. Not only is Land-Grant one of the most successful breweries in the area, but they’re also a leading pioneer in the sustainability movement in Columbus. They’ve worked tirelessly to upgrade their building, and In 2018, they even hosted the Sun-Grant Sustainability Fair which featured community partners that all have a passion for the environment.
Photo courtesy of Northstar
At Northstar, you’ll find sustainably sourced food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They try to use as many locally grown, organic and artisan-produced foods as they can to not only protect the environment but to also support local producers from around the region. And, because they acknowledge how hard it is to have a completely sustainable and harmless business, they’ve donated over $250,000 to-date to environmental organizations in an effort to mitigate the damage that they cause.
Sea and Salt is a small local business that creates ethical, eco-friendly accessories all by hand. Hand-dyed cotton and vegan leather are used to create totes, cross body bags, coin pouches, clutches, keychains and more! Each item is imagined and created by Corinne Furniss right here in Columbus. You can purchase her sustainable accessories on Etsy or at an upcoming popup around the city.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Ransom via Too Legit to Quilt, modeled by Xiao Mei
Too Legit to Quilt is one of the coolest makers in the area. With a quirky, colorful style, owner Dre creates quilted goods by hand. While she started out quilting exclusively, today she creates everything from wall hangings to pillows to patches, all from repurposed textiles. You can get your hands on one of her gorgeous designs on her website or at an upcoming popup around Columbus!
Happy Earth Day!
Did we miss your favorite eco-friendly spot in Columbus? Let us know in the comments!