Cush Life and Eco Chic Make Window-Shopping Greener

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Those of us who follow green design have a pretty decent handle on how to find sustainable choices in the marketplace. There are a few major retailers that offer eco-choice (mostly in the food and grocery market) and online vendors provide great options for fashion, home d├ęcor and gadgetry. But 'The System' still isn't set up to support casual green window-shopping, in other words, a stroll down the avenue probably won't result in any groovy eco-finds. There are many reasons for the dearth of earth-friendly retail goods, but one of the most important is that small shop owners can have a tough time sourcing the stuff. But there is a growing number of eco-savvy sources offering wholesale vending options for independent producers of sustainable goods. Cush Life and Chic Eco are two of these green middle-marketers helping to establish a thriving system for sustainability.Cush Life promotes design made from local artists using recycled and sustainable materials. Their goal is to generate demand for these designs by giving them as much exposure as possible through selling wholesale to retailers, promoting designs in the media, and holding design shows to help spread the word. The site features some of the cutest skirts I've seen on the eco-web and the accessories are up-to-the-minute boutique worthy finds.

Chic Eco was founded in 1997 to make it easier for stores to source environmentally-friendly products. They serve specialty stores, gift shops, boutiques, architects, interior designers, consultants, garden markets and consumers. Their most high-profile contribution is the Chic Eco Directory, which provides environmental wholesale design sources for homes, bodies and gardens. The directory is a bit pricey at $125.00, but when you consider the work it takes to document thousands of creative products made from artisans around the world and the one thousand verified business that distribute them, the cost makes a lot of sense.